Americans searching for their roots in Lommaryd, Sweden

During the Saturday morning 18 Americans were gathered at Lommaryd church cemetery. Six of them received facts about their relationship to the soldier ancestors of the Kroon family.


During (2006-08-05) Saturday morning 18 American citizens visited the cemetery at Lommaryd. Six of the members went to search for their roots in the Kroon family in Lommaryd. The visitors came from Texas, California, and Connecticut.

Organizer and tour guide was Charlen Hansson Jordan from Texas. She was also functioning as interpreter. Ann-Britt Carlsson from Barkeryd was her assistant.

Ann Johannesson told us about her dynamic Kroon family ancestors and showed the gravestone of her grandmother and grandfather from the family Kroon.

The Lommaryd family of Kroon

Ann Johannesson pointed out some background facts and welcomed the overseas guests to the cemetery at Lommaryd. She talked about the ancestors of the Kroon family. Six of the visitors were descendants of soldiers from the time of Karl IX, the King of Sweden in the early 17th Century.

Verner Johansson was already making contacts in the 1950’s
Ann Johannesson is a cousin of Verner Johansson, local editor of the Tranås-Posten in Hullaryd. He contacted the descendants of the original local emigrant families and Ann showed us copies of this correspondence. Verner commenced writing for TP after his retirement. He was 93 years old when he died in 1999. Ann Johannesson and Kerstin Davidsson with her two children, living at Restad manor-house, are the only surviving descendants of the families.

Organiser and tour guide was Charlen Hansson Jordan from Texas, who was also the interpreter. Here together with her friend and assistant Ann-Britt Carlsson Bankeryd.


Ann-Britt Carlsson from Barkeryd told us how she met Charlen Hansson Jordan in Texas 1998. “In that year Barkeryd’s church choir toured Texas and Minnesota in the USA. We were singing in various churches. In Texas I met with Charlen for the first time. During the year 2001 we made another tour to five different states and we met again”.

Charlen, who lives outside Austin, Texas, then decided to try and arrange a conducted tour for people who wanted to try and find their roots in Sweden. She advertised in a small newspaper: “Are you interested in joining us for a visit to Sweden…?”

“I did not receive a single answer” she informed Tranås-Posten. “However, my idea that such a journey should come to fruition became known to people and, finally, here we are!”

Attracted 700 emigrants from Barkeryd
Ann-Britt Carlsson from Barkeryd told us about Sven Magnus Swenson who was the first emigrant. After skilful acquisitions of landed property he had created a farm outside of Austin. It was bigger than the province of Blekinge and needed a large amount of manpower. He began thinking of his friends back in Sweden, the hard working “smålänningar”, and started to attract their interest by purchasing the tickets for their journey over the sea. The only condition was working for a year on his farm. As a result he drained Barkeryd of 700 capable people.

Text and photo: Bevan Berthelsen

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Frinnaryd in the north of Småland

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