Brev från Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. 2011-08-03

My name is Charles Richard Gustafson   

My mother was born at Rabben in Skarbol on August 12, 1900. Her father was
Nils Kristoffersson.  My mother's name was Hulda Nilsdotter which changed to Christopherson when she came to America at the age of 9.  Her younger sister
was named Anna and was 7. Their mother died in childbirth.

The old photo is in front of Rabben getting ready to leave for America. Hulda
and Anna are the two young girls in dark dresses in the center of the group. 
My morfar is standing at the rear holding the reins of the horse.

The date of the photo would be (1909) 1910.

The family before leaving Sweden. 
My mother Hulda is on the left and 
Anna on the right and Nils in the


Brev från Charles Gustafson 17 november 2014 :

" The photo of my morfar Nils Christopherson (or Kristofersson) with two
horses was taken in Red Wing about 60 miles south of Minneapolis, a year
or two after he arrived in America. My mother, Hulda and her sister Anna
were sent to live temporarily with relatives on farms nearby.  

My grandfather got a job at a pottery in town until he could earn enough
money to buy a farm. Eventually he did buy a farm and his daughters moved
in with him.  After the two girls married, my grandfather sold his farm and
moved to Minneapolis in 1921 to live with my family. I had two fathers in my
home until I was 17 years old."


I think the photo from the town of Red Wing (named for a famous Indian Chief),
fits into my mother Hulda´s story.  Her story is not unique and it could be the
story of thousands of Swedish immigrant families who left Sweden for what they
hoped would be a better life in a new land called America.  Sometimes it was
better and sometimes not. The desire to become American was strong, but many
kept their native language and customs along with the new for awhile.  
The ability to speak and understand Swedish has disappeared for most first
generation Americans like me.  They may claim pride in their heritage but even
that will be gone some day.  This story is not only a Swedish immigrant story,
but it is the story of immigrants from every foreign country who came to America.  

Only one of my daughters can read and speak some Swedish.  None of my grandchildren speak or understand any Swedish.  I hope people who read my grandfather’s and mother’s stories, to which you have  given life, will understand
that it is a Swedish story, not just about a man named Nils and two girls named
Hulda and Anna. 

Perhaps that is now happening in Sweden with immigrants from other parts of
the world coming for a new life in a country very different from their previous homeland. 


What started with a little 10 year old girl from Sweden more than 100 years ago,
has grown into 19 Americans in Minnesota. Our four daughters are beside us,
then their husbands and then those who may add to the total some day.

Dick and Laurie Gustafson
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Charles Dick Gustafson, hans hustru Laurie Gustafson, deras äldsta dotter Lisa Steinmann och hennes son Jamie Steinmann besökte Töcksfors under två veckor
i augusti 2011. 

De bodde på Rabben i  Skarbol - cirkeln var sluten.

Klicka på bilden för att göra den större.

Gården Rabben i Skarbol 1910 - beslutet är taget att utvandra till Amerika.
18 augusti 2011 - Laurie, Dick, Jamie och Lisa framför fädernegården Rabben i Skarbol.
18 augusti 2011 - Laurie, Dick, Jamie och Lisa framför fädernegården Rabben i Skarbol.
Dick, Lisa och Jamie - tre generationer framför fädernegåden Rabben i Skarbol.
Den 22 augusti 2011 besökte Dick, Laurie, Lisa och Jamie samt Rune Nilsson i Skarbol, Töcksmarks kyrka och Nordmarksstugan. Runar Patriksson guidade. Dick Gustafson och Rune Nilsson är fyrmänningar.