In March 1912, a celebration of joy is held, but also a sad event in Långebro in Horns parish, Östergötaland in Sweden. The party is for the newlyweds Ernest Danbom and Sigrid Brogren who are on their honeymoon in Sweden but also a "bleak event" for those who have decided to emigrate from Sweden. 


Not even God could sink Titanic

The Titanic disaster is perhaps the most famous ship accident of all time. While the Titanic was a symbol of technological advancement, it also became a symbol of human supremacy and produced the superstition that is was unsinkable. 

When I was a child, I heard the story of the magnificent ship Titanic that had tragically ended on its journey with both crew and passengers. When I first heard about Titanic, I got the feeling of déjà vu, which I couldn't quite put my finger on. I tried to find information about the ship and its history, but I was referred to flawed encyclopedia. 

When I then grew up and found out that I had had relatives who had been on the Titanic, I understood my experience of déjà vu! But who were they, where did they come from and what happened to them? After many years as a genealogist, I decided I just had to tell their story. To find answers, I have travelled in their footsteps both in Sweden and in the US and have also visited living relatives. 

Here I tell their family history.



" Anna Nysten woke up in the middle of the night by a horrible thud, and the impact on the ship almost made her fall out of the bed. A little while later, the purser told her and the women on her deck to remain calm, because nothing of any consequence had happened. When the purser later reappeared, the women were urged to dress warmly and put on their lifejackets. While the women were waiting, Anna could feel how the ship leaned more and more. After waiting for over one hour, the women were told to go upstairs to the main deck. Anna took her food basket, and on the way up, she had to step over the belongings of other passenger. When she finally entered the main deck, confused people were everywhere. She walked over to the lifeboats that were located on both sides of the main deck " 


Sigrid Brogren och Ernest Danbom

Ernest Danbom was born in 1877 outside Stanton, Iowa. His Swedish-born parents where August Danbom and Anna Kari (Anna Chatarina) Jönsdotter. The family had moved to Stanton a few years earlier after living in New Sweden (Lockridge, Iowa. 

Sigrid Danbom born Brogren, was born in 1884 in Långebro, Horn parish in Sweden. She emigrated to North America in 1905 with her sister Sussana and her children, who would later settle down in Winnipeg, Canada. She met Ernest and the got married and travelled to Sweden on there honeymoon in 1910. Sigrid became pregnant and they decided to hold off on their trip back to North America. Because of the cow strike, they had to reschedule their tickets to the Titanic.

Photograph: Coloured by Jay Ashby

Together with the Danbom family, the Andersson family also travelled from Kisa. The family consisted of Sigrid's sister Alfrida, her husband Anders and their five children Ebba, Ingeborg, Ellis, Elisabeth and Sigvard. The family moved out of Kulla Bäck and had solved the ticket to a sister in Winnipeg, Canada.

Photograph: Coloured by Jay Ashby

Anna Nysten, a friend of the families, had also decided to go on the trip. She travelled from Västra Eneby in Östergötland County. According to reports, she was going to see her sister in New Jersey, but this was not true as her sister then emigrated after Anna.

Photograph: Coloured by Jay Ashby


The book maintains over 50 photos, copys of churchrecords and over 250 people in it. Some people occur only once while others several times based on their history in the book. Interspersed with de family history over Danbom, Nysten and Andersson, you can also follow the birth of the Titanic, the construction, when she leaves Belfast and her journey. You will also find several stories around the Titanic. These are Millvina Dean and Sidney Goodwin from England, Lillian Asplund, Alma Pålsson with family and Edvard and Gerda Lindell Bengtsson from Sweden.

I also highlight additional people in this book who have in one way or another influenced emigration from Sweden and these are SMS Sven Magnus Svensson, Gustaf Unonius, Eric Jansson and Peter Carlsson Cassel.  


SMS Sven Magnus Svensson

1816-1896

SMS, Sven Magnus Svensson was from Barkeryd parish, Jönköpings län. When Sven was 20 years old, in 1836, he left Sweden for an uncertain future to North America. Sven Magnus was an entrepreneur, acquired large tracts of land in Texas and invited Swedes to work for free for two years for a ticket over to the holy land. He raised cattle and later on started his bank S. M. Swenson & Son, which in 1929 became the First National City Bank of New York.

Gustaf Unonius

                                                                  1810-1902

Gustaf Unonius föddes 1810 i Helsingfors, Finland. Hans föräldrar kom från Sverige och så småningom återvände de tillbaka. Som 31 åring, 1841 utvandrade Gustaf tillsammans med sin fru och andra vänner och bosatte sig i Pine Lake, Wisconsin. Här döpte de platsen till New Upsala och tanken var att starta ett kulturellt och intellektuellt center. Så småningom lämnade de New Upsala och bosatte sig i Chicago där Gustaf fick anställning.

Eric Jansson

1808-1850

Eric Jansson was born in Biskopskulla parish in Uppsala Län. At the age of 38, in 1846, for religious reasons, Eric and his wife and children fled to North America. Eric was the founder of Eric Janismen whose followers emigrated to the Swedish colony of Bishop Hill, Illinois to join there leader. Many people from Sweden emigrated to Bishop Hill because of him. Eric was killed by his sisters husband.

Peter Carlsson Cassel

                                                                 1790-1857

Peter Carlsson Cassel was born in 1790 in Asby parish, Östergötland Län. At the age of 55, in 1845, Peter emigrated with his wife and children as well as additional relatives to him with a company of 21 people. The company had actually planned to go to Pine Lake, Wisconsin, where Gustaf Unonius had moved four years earlier. Landing in New York, they learn that the best land was in Iowa, so they changed their previous plans. After arriving in Jeffersson County, they settled down and named the place, New Sweden.

Anna-Karri Danbom

                                                                  1835-1915

Anna Chatarina Jönsdotter who was the mother of Ernest Danbom. She was born in 1835 in Rödja village in Barkeryd parish, Jönköping County. When Anna was 26 years old, she left her parents' home to move to Västra Ryd in Östergötaland. Four days later, she is listened to in her new home sock and a month later she is married. At the age of 31, in 1868, she emigrated with her husband, his four children and the couple's three children together for a new life in North America. Four weeks after arriving in New Sweden, Anna's husband dies and she remains alone in a completely new country, without family and responsible for six children.


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eISBN: 978-1-64153-287-7, ISBN: 978-1-64153-288-4 

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