Immigrant Great Depression- Depression

Deacon Recalls His Immigrant Grandmother’s Gumption – and Discovers Her Struggle with Depression While he was growing up in Chicago, Deacon Don Grossnickle loved visiting his grandmother Maja, an immigrant from Sweden, and listening to her stories about her home country’s “enchanting winters, the Christmases, the sleighs, the horses, the beautiful lakes,” he recalled during aContinue reading “Immigrant Great Depression- Depression”

Swedish Immigrant Adversity: How Did Women Fare?

My grandmother certainly was not the only Swedish woman immigrant who suffered significant difficulties and adversity in making the commitment to come to America and have to make harsh adjustments. The stress and strain my dear Grandma Maja endured as a woman, widow, single mother breadwinner was in my opinion cruel and abusive. She boreContinue reading “Swedish Immigrant Adversity: How Did Women Fare?”

Genealogy and Museums Spark Grandma’s Imaginations Come Alive

There is something special, very hard to describe about Swedish Grandmother’s softly expressed intent on sharing customs and traditions with grandchildren. I was fortunate to experience this Swedish nurturing firsthand, and to watch it as my mother was magically transformed into a mentor, teacher, tour guide into the mythical love of ethnic traditions and lore.Continue reading “Genealogy and Museums Spark Grandma’s Imaginations Come Alive”

What Makes a Swede?-A Swede? Allt för Sverige?

What steps or building blocks contribute to one’s Swedish framework, constitution, chosen lifestyle? What makes a Swede a Swede? Through sixteen years of research I have pursued the quest to discover how my Swedish Grandma Maja’s essence of guts, gumption, gritty framatånda and resilience was built into her character, personality traits, and lifestyle. At theContinue reading “What Makes a Swede?-A Swede? Allt för Sverige?”

Chicago Swedes Genealogy & Recollections 1871-1933

The Great Chicago Fire and the demand for builders and construction workers attracted many Swedes from 1871 until 1924 when US curtailed the welcome. Chicago became the home of our Swedish family roots in America. Swedish life for our family began in early 1900 when Albert Källgren emigrated to Chicago from Sollefteå Sweden seeking prosperityContinue reading “Chicago Swedes Genealogy & Recollections 1871-1933”

Swedish Love Letters: Genealogy Tears and Years

In 2004 I found in a dusty attic, my Grandma Maja’s Sweden to America steamer trunk filled with buried treasures. Dozens of photos, artifacts, and more. What a happy shock. Maja and I were reunited as I tenderly examined each special piece of her lifetime memories she left behind. It had been over 30 yearsContinue reading “Swedish Love Letters: Genealogy Tears and Years”

Swedish Immigrant Great Depression Kids- The Fallout

Grandma Maja was one of the finest teachers I have ever met. Her three children , Delores, Peter, and Linnea without a father learned the meaning of a lifestyle philosophy: “a stitch in time saves 9”. The incredibly hard times of America’s Great Depression tested the character of widow Maja and her three Swedish AmericanContinue reading “Swedish Immigrant Great Depression Kids- The Fallout”

Swedish Immigrant Regret: Looking Backwards

Meeting the challenges of leaving much loved Sweden and relatives and choosing to settle in America must have been a mixed bag of emotions. It takes a whole book: My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute to sort out for the reader my views of my grandmother’s decision to set down roots in America and incurring terribleContinue reading “Swedish Immigrant Regret: Looking Backwards”

Published Book Review from The Daily Scandinavian

My Swedish Grandmother September 11, 2020 Tor Kjølberg, Ph.D., Editor in Chief Don Grossnickle, the grandson of Maja Källgren Witterström, spent 14 years dusting off photos and archives he found in his grandmother’s steamers trunk on a journey to revive her memory and proclaim her dramatic and inspiring story. Read more about the fascinating storyContinue reading “Published Book Review from The Daily Scandinavian”