A shorter extract now, wherein seventeen-year-old Augusta studies dressmaking in Malmö so that she’ll have a marketable skill before embarking on her solo journey to America. Read more
Posts from the ‘family history’ Category
Augusta Parsons Hylander’s memories of 19th-century Swedish life, part four: Christmas and Midsummer
This section is a bit of a digression within Augusta’s story – she turns aside from the account of her imminent emigration in order to describe Sturup village life and Swedish festive traditions. Read more
“Women’s history and feminist history are often used interchangeably but this serves to play down the specific approach of feminist historians.”
Just found this piece by academic June Hannam on the Making History website, and thought I’d link it here. Among other things, she clarifies how the feminist approach to history in general is distinct from the subject of women’s history. Read more
Augusta Parsons Hylander’s memories of 19th-century Swedish life, part three: “Our home was broken up by my father’s death. That changed everything”
September 20, still 1959
This is written in Hamilton, back from Brooksville, Maine. I am sitting in my room here at Ray and Gay’s house [Gay was Augusta's daughter], writing at the big desk that came to us from Sweden after my husband’s sister Maria died. It is a beautiful desk, now considered a valuable antique. My husband’s father built it himself. The slanted front comes down to form a good writing surface, and inside are eight small drawers, four on each side. Read more
Certain aspects of the life Augusta describes here seem rather like some sort of mad endurance challenge: the frequent lengthy walks to and from church (her church, in Börringe, is pictured here); the memorizing of entire testaments for confirmation, as well as two-hour sermons each week for her father’s approval; the responsibility of caring for her much-loved mother after a “bad shock” (what was that, then? Desperate to know, but I probably never will); and, of course, the arduous daily routine of rising at 4:00 AM to see her father off to the brick factory before knuckling down to do all the housework and domestic management. Read more
“The house had a thatched roof which blew off occasionally”: memories of a 19th-century Swedish girlhood
See here for the background to Augusta’s story, as well as links to all related posts.
Sturup, the hamlet of about fifteen houses where Augusta grew up, no longer exists as such*; it was within the footprint of what is now Malmö Airport. I can find nothing online about its history, which seems to make her memoir of her time as a little farm girl there all the more valuable and worth preserving.
*[Edit: true, but Augusta's homestead is apparently still extant! See comment from Susan Hylander Duncan at the foot of this post]
I love this snapshot of my grandmother and her friend Rita. Read more
Today, new mothers get feeding guidelines and post-natal depression questionnaires. In 1918, they got this.
I mean, holy crap, right? Where to start?
Much of what I know about Jane Dummer, who was my 9th great-grandmother and one of the first settlers of Newbury, Massachusetts, comes from the writings of her son Samuel Sewall. He was a prolific diarist, Salem witch trial judge (oops), and early advocate of abolition and women’s rights. Read more