Monday, October 5, 2015

Military Monday - Military Service in Sweden

A big thank you to the Swedish American Genealogy Group on Facebook.

One of my unexpected finds in Dad's secret stash was this photo of my great-grandfather, Carl Johan Anderson, in military uniform.

Carl Johan Anderson - Back row, center.

Also in one of these envelopes was a rudimentary will and letter that included a bit about his early life including the fact that when he "was 21 years old I was taken for Military Service to "Frista Hed" in year 1887. Service lasted 21 days."

Wikipedia told me that compulsory military service in Sweden didn't start until 1901 and 21 days seemed a bit of a short stint to me, so I went to the Swedish American Genealogy Group and they were able to help. It seems that at this time men 21-25 years old were required to do 42 days over two years.  My grandfather never did the second 21 days, it appears, because he left for America in late March of the following year.

One of the members of the Facebook group also helped me with a little research. And found me a link to a blog (in Swedish) with photos from the camp where Carl Johan trained.  I love that group. If you are ever in need of assistance with Swedish research, you will more than likely find it there!


  1. What a great picture! I also have ancestors who were in the Swedish military.

    1. Thanks, Beth. My head is still spinning from all of the wonderful finds in my dad's stash. Were your ancestors career military? My great grandfather wrote that one of his grandfathers was in the military during the war with Finland at the beginning of the 1800s but I haven't looked into that yet.

  2. Fascinating information, Anna. And what a wonderful find - I love old photos of our relatives! No Swedish ancestors as far as I know, but I've been told by many people that there's "lots of friendly help for Swedish genealogy" - groups of various kinds.

  3. Awesome photo! I have Swedish ancestry too, but I don't know if any of my ancestors served in the military.

    Aren't genealogy Facebook groups wonderful? I belong to several and actually reached out for some help today and within a very short period of time my questions were answered.

    1. They are great, after I posted this I got even more help as people in other time zones added their links and knowledge.

  4. Anna,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!


There was an error in this gadget