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”

Independent Book Review: My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute

As promised, my review of Dr. Don Grossnickle’s fantastic book, “My Maja”. “‘Framåtanda’- gumption, a go-to spirit: this Swedish word that Don Grossnickle uses to describe his beloved grandmother in this book could not be more accurate. She arrived in America from Sweden as a young woman with high hopes and expectations, only to haveContinue reading “Independent Book Review: My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute”

Swedes and Immigrant Name Change Stories: Facts, Myths, Mysteries, and Fun

Since studying genealogy of my Swedish immigrant family I have encountered more interest and chatter about US immigrant name change stories occurring at Ellis Island than most any other topic. My 2020 book, My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute explores my journey to track my relatives coming from Sweden through Ellis Island eventually landing in Chicago.Continue reading “Swedes and Immigrant Name Change Stories: Facts, Myths, Mysteries, and Fun”

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?”

Monstrous Depression Relived: Stacked Deck for Immigrant Survival

Only a few living souls can look backwards at what it was like for those who fought hard to survive the vissicitudes of America’s Great Depression’s crush on the human spirit. Inspiring me my whole life, Grandma Maja’s story has inspired me to take my troubles in stride as hers were monstrous by comparison. StoriesContinue reading “Monstrous Depression Relived: Stacked Deck for Immigrant Survival”

Swedish Family Heirlooms: Genealogy Show and Tell Treasures

My Swedish Grandmother Maja and family have left behind treasures which each tug at heartstrings linked with cherished memories. What are your family heirlooms?, and why do you hold them to be treasures? In 2004, exploring the attic of grandma Maja’s daughter, Linnea, I found a treasure chest almost tossed out with the trash. LinneaContinue reading “Swedish Family Heirlooms: Genealogy Show and Tell Treasures”

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”

Swedish Strong and Tough With a Courageous Heart

My Swedish Grandma Maja was one of the strongest and toughest people I have ever met. It takes me a whole book to explain how very strong she was in proving herself as an immigrant. I built my own life celebrating the example of gritty resilience Maja demonstrated. At the very same time, this strongContinue reading “Swedish Strong and Tough With a Courageous Heart”

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?”