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!