Family Object

   Family Migration Object Write-Up   

            My family object is my great-grandmother’s “Flyttningsbetyg,” which is the document that she was given 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden when she decided to leave the country and go to America.  One of these was needed by anyone entering the United States from Sweden to show that the Swedish government acknowledged that the immigrant left willingly.  This has great meaning to my family and me because if she had not decided to journey to America, our family would not be American today.

            The first Swedes began migrating to North America in 1683 and did not leave as a result of religious reasons, as many other European immigrants did.  Instead, the Swedes were colonizers that were seeking new land.  Most came to the new land because they were farmers seeking their own land, and better farming conditions.  My great-grandmother left in 1905 which was during the height of the Swedish migration.  In fact, in 1910, there were 1.4 million first and second generation Swedish immigrants living in the United States.  Compare that to Sweden’s population at that time, which was only 5.5 million, and one can see what a huge influence migration had on the country during that time.


Statistics by Ulf Beijbom.  Courtesy of The House of Emigrants, Vaxjo, Sweden.



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by Jay Gehrke

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