Genealogy Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-07-20

My Relatives in Argentina - 

The Söderlund  Family

 

Helena Söderlund (nee Nordlander)

Helena Söderlund, maiden name Nordlander, is a sister to my grandmother (my father's mother) Gerda Högman. Helena emigrates from Sweden to Argentina with husband and children in July 1927. The destination harbour for the boat journey is Buenos Aires. The following text is a résumé of this. Kristina Helena Nordlander, born June 15, 1883, dead December 9, 1970. Moves to Viksjö, Ångermanland province 1904. She marries June 23, 1904 with Erik Söderlund, born October 14, 1879, dead November 5, 1955. Helena and Erik immigrate with the children to Argentina in 1927. They had three children: 1. Erik (1905–1986) 2. Emil (1906-1996) 3. Sylvia Helena (1917-2004 ) All children were born in Viksjö parish (Y), Sweden. Accompanying the Söderlund family on the journey to Argentina is the son Erik’s fiancée Sally Elonora Sundin, born August 5, 1910 in Viksjö, Ångermanland province, dead May 22, 2007 in Argentina. The couple later marry in July 11, 1936. Emil emigrates to the USA in February 1927 and settles down in California. The rest of the family emigrates to Argentina in July 1927. It was most common at the time to travel to Argentina via Brazil, but the Söderlund family went directly to Argentina. They went by ship from Hamburg, Germany to Buenos Aires. The family settles down in the Misiones district, near the city Oberá. Misiones is located in the northeast corner of Argentina, near the Brazilian border. In the Oberá area there was (is) a Swedish colony where most Swedes originate from the Norrland region in Sweden. The image shows Sarmiento Avenue, Oberá, 2005. The church in the background is the Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua (Roman Catholic). Wikipedia. In the Oberá area the family bought 104 hectare of land, mostly tropical forest, and after a while another 4400 hectare of land. Here they start a plantation where they above all grow yerba, a smaller tree which leaves are harvested and dried. The leaves are then used to brew maté, Argentina's national drink (a kind of tea). A plantation is called charca in Argentina. Two Swedish princes, Prince Wilhelm and Prince Lennart does at the end of the 1940’s a journey to Argentina where they visit several Swedish descendants. The result of their journey is later published in the book "Röda Jordens Svenskar" (Nordstedts förlag, 1948). The following quotation is from this book: The owners name is Erik Söderlund, a confident person from Ångermanland province in Sweden. He greets us at the doorstep of his spacious house - it is like coming to a well off freeholder in Östergötland province, Sweden. Tanned, genial and with a kind look from the gray eyes he sends out authority, being conscious about coming good crops from a rational managed charca. What he does not know about this business is not worth knowing. We make a tour of the house together with Mrs. Söderlund in the homely but well-run home, built from steady cedar wood planks. The furnishing reminds of Sweden. Later it is the son Erik’s turn to guide us through the plantation. Descendant chart, Helena Söderlund.

The Swedish Imigration to South America

There was a peak of immigrants to South America in 1891 which was followed by another peak in 1909. The destination was Brazil. The immigration to Brazil began as early as 1868. Between 1868 and 1871 about 10.000 people annually immigrated to the Rio Grande do Sul province in Brazil. Brazil had an immigration office in Malmö City, south of Sweden, and carried out an active policy to get people to immigrate to Brazil. Everyone interested in immigrating to Brazil were offered to buy land slots of 25 hectares on easy terms with a 5-years long installment but also a free passage. The immigrants were also granted bank loans for houses, tools and roads. A free passage attracted the ones that could not afford to buy tickets for a journey to the USA. All immigration to South America from Europe went from Hamburg, Germany. There was a great demand of both plantation workers and sawmill laborers in Brazil. So, not all of the immigrants went there to become settlers. Most immigrants arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Most settles then continued to Porto Alegre. From here they traveled by train inland as far as they could. From the end station they had to travel by oxcarts. The journey went to the Uruguay River were they made the last part of the journey by canoes on the river to their land slots in the middle of the tropical forest. It took a while before the Swedes could start the cultivation. First, they had clear the undergrowth, then cut down the trees. When the trees had dried up, they burnt the braches and twigs. Then they were ready to sow the seeds. However, there was a completely different situation to cultivate in the middle of the tropical forests of Brazil compared to Sweden. Some of the Swedish immigrants had no experience at all in farm work. The Swedes were lacking in practice of cultivating the crops that were used in Brazil, which moth was best for sowing, the subtropical climate where the seasons were different from Sweden. The life was very rough and at moments hopeless. Diseases like the yellow fever and dysentery were a great problem. They had problem with drought and swarms of locusts often destroyed the crops. Besides that the Uruguay River flooded now and then. The Swedish colony was hit by a disaster in October 1911 when the Uruguay River had a severe flooding which destroyed crops, houses, killed cattle, etc. The settlers then had to write a letter to the Swedish Government and ask for help. About 3,500 Swedes immigrated to Brazil between the years 1890 and 1913. Alone during the period 1909 to 1911 2,500 Swedes immigrated. About 900 of these returned to Sweden, mostly between 1911 and 1913. The Swedish immigration to Brazil between the years 1909 to 1911 was referred to as “the caravan of death” since about 20% died, mostly children.

To Argentina

In order to get better living conditions than they had in the tropical forests of Brazil many Swedes crossed the border to Argentina and Misiones province. Misiones is located between the Paraná River and the Uruguay River and is to a large extent covered in forests. The name Misiones can be derived back to the Jesuit missions founded during the 17th and 18th centuries. The first Swedes arrived in Misiones in 1902. They first settled down at Bonpland by the San Javier River about 15 km on the Argentinean side of the Brazilian border. To find better soil for cultivation they moved another 40 km into the rain forest until they found good soil, the famous red soil. This soil was perfect for the yerba mate trees. There was a smaller colony at this place in 1913 called Yerbal Viejo. At this point the Argentinean Government had much interest in increasing the yerba maté cultivation in Misiones province so the Swedes were now able to buy land or allotments to a very favorable price and therefore started yerba plantations. The road to this place was named Picada Suecia (the Swedish path) and is still called so. An increasing number of Swedes flocked to the area, an influx that continued until the 1940’s. Here they again had to begin clearing land, burn twigs and set plants. The plants they grow beside yerba were maize, beans, manioc and tobacco. However, it took a few years before the yerba mate were ready to be harvested. The Swedish colony was named Villa Svea. The Swedes lived on their chacras, plantations. The term chacra is also a square measure of 25 hectares. The first dwelling houses were only huts and sheds. However, once they had cared about the most urgent needs they started to build proper wooden houses. When the times got better they built stone houses which lasted better in this climate. The Scandinavian Society Svea was founded in 1915. The first Swedish congregation, Olaus Petri, was founded a couple of years later. The church services were held on Svea’s premises. In 1917 Svea got the permission to create a cemetery, The Swedish Churchyard, and in 1918 the congregation was legally and formally organized. The congregation got its first permanent parish minister in 1942 when pastor Janulf was employed. The parish church, Olaus Petri, was inaugurated in 1956, which is located in the central parts of the town Oberá. The sermons were held in Swedish until 1973 when the Swedish parish minister Sven Arne Flodell left the ministry. However, a couple of times per year you still can listen to sermons in Swedish in the church when a Swedish spoken pastor comes from Sao Paolo in Brazil to perform the sermons. A Swedish school was founded in 1922. The lessons were held in Swedish until 1952 when the school was closed. There were 927 Swedes living in the Oberá area in the 1940’s. The Swedish community Villa Svea was renamed to Oberá in 1928 when the new town was founded. Oberá was at the time the largest Swedish colony in South America. Many names on the town map still remind of the Swedish times. Misiones province capital, Posadas, is located about 100 km from Oberá. The city has 141,000 inhabitants (1998) and is located by the Paraná River. Posadas is an important harbor and a center for the cultivating of yerba maté, tea and tobacco.

Yerba - The Green Gold

The yerba maté plant (holly - Ilex paraguariensis) is a shrub or small tree growing up to 15 meters tall. The leaves are evergreen and 7–11 cm long and 3–5.5 cm wide, with a serrated margin. It grows wild in Misiones and became the most important crop that was cultivated. The leaves (and sometimes also the twigs) of the yerba shrub are used to make maté, a kind of bitter tea but also ordinary tea. The people in adjacent countries like Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay are also having the Yerba maté to drink. You drink yerba maté out of special cups with a spout (a metal straw called bombilla). The cups look like large tobacco pipes or hollowed gourds and are called maté cups or yerba maté gourds. The dried leaves are placed in the cup, then hot water is poured over it. Some people also add sugar to it. The flavor of brewed yerba maté is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. When the maté is brewed you pass the cup around. Just like coffee and tobacco, yerba mate is addictive. It was very profitable to cultivate the yerba maté during the 1930’s and 1940’s. However, in the middle of the 1940’s the Argentinean Government decided that all exports were to be handled by the State. Thereby the State got a monopoly on all exports why the cultivators now had to sell their yerba mate directly to the State. The price was set by the State who could then buy cheap and sell it with a much higher price. The profit went to the public treasury and was supposed to finance different social reforms. The cultivators had to wait a long time for payment of the crops which reduced their possibilities of running the yerba mate plantations.

Kartor / Maps

Söderlunds resa från Europa / The Söderlund family's journey from Europe.
Kartan nedan visar Oberá i Misiones provinsen som ligger i det nordöstra hörnet av Argentina, nära den brasilianska gränsen. The map below is showing Oberá in the province of Misiones at the northeast corner of Argentina, near the Brazilian border.

Fotografier / Photos

Helena Söderlund, med familj. På bilden står Helena i mitten med maken Erik Söderlund till höger. Mellan dem står sonen Erik och längst till vänster sonen Eriks hustru Sally (född Sundin). Mrs. Helena Söderlund, with her family. Mrs Söderlund is in the middle of the picture and her husband Erik Söderlund to her right. Between them are their son Erik and to the far left the son Erik's wife Sally (maiden name Sundin).
Sally Söderlund,  midsommarfirande 1990. Sally Söderlund, midsummer celebration in 1990
Från vänster, Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (f. Söderlund och svägerska med Sally), Sally Söderlund och Sallys dotter Maj-Britt Keenan, påsken 2000. From left, Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (maiden name Söderlund and sister-in- law to Sally), Sally Söderlund and Sally's daughter Maj-Britt Keenan, Easter 2000.
Från vänster, Sally Söderlund och Sallys dotter Maj-Britt Keenan, Sallys dotter Inger Salazar och sittande Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (f. Söderlund och svägerska med Sally). (Fotot är taget på Maj-Britts veranda år 2000) From left: Sally Söderlund and Sallys daughter Maj-Britt Keenan, Sallys daughter Inger Salazar and in fron of Inger: Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (maiden name Söderlund och sister-in-law to Sally). (The picture is taken at Maj-Britt's porch in 2000)
Sallys son Jan-Erik Söderlund. Sally's son Jan-Erik Söderlund.

Links

Ancestor chart to Gerda Högman and her sister Helena Söderlund (Nordlander) Descendant chart Nils Nordlander Emil Söderlund in USA Jojje Lintrup's homepage about Argentina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate http://www.guayaki.com/index.php?p=mate http://www.noborders.net/mate/ http://www.yerbamatedrinker.com/ 

Source References

Misiones, Svenskarna och den röda jorden, Solveig Giambanco, 1996. Mot löftets land, Den svenska utvandringen, Ulf Beijbom, 1995 Känn ditt land, nr 8 - Utvandringen, 1980. Top of page
xxxxx Swegen xxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Monument built for the city's 50th anniversary. Monumento por el cincuentenario de Oberá. Free image Wikipedia, 2007.
Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua (Roman Catholic). Iglesia de San Antonio, Oberá. Free image Wikipedia, 2007.
Genealogy Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-07-20

My Relatives in

Argentina - 

The Söderlund 

Family

 

Helena Söderlund (nee

Nordlander)

Helena Söderlund, maiden name Nordlander, is a sister to my grandmother (my father's mother) Gerda Högman. Helena emigrates from Sweden to Argentina with husband and children in July 1927. The destination harbour for the boat journey is Buenos Aires. The following text is a résumé of this. Kristina Helena Nordlander, born June 15, 1883, dead December 9, 1970. Moves to Viksjö, Ångermanland province 1904. She marries June 23, 1904 with Erik Söderlund, born October 14, 1879, dead November 5, 1955. Helena and Erik immigrate with the children to Argentina in 1927. They had three children: 1. Erik (1905–1986) 2. Emil (1906-1996) 3. Sylvia Helena (1917-2004 ) All children were born in Viksjö parish (Y), Sweden. Accompanying the Söderlund family on the journey to Argentina is the son Erik’s fiancée Sally Elonora Sundin, born August 5, 1910 in Viksjö, Ångermanland province, dead May 22, 2007 in Argentina. The couple later marry in July 11, 1936. Emil emigrates to the USA in February 1927 and settles down in California. The rest of the family emigrates to Argentina in July 1927. It was most common at the time to travel to Argentina via Brazil, but the Söderlund family went directly to Argentina. They went by ship from Hamburg, Germany to Buenos Aires. The family settles down in the Misiones district, near the city Oberá. Misiones is located in the northeast corner of Argentina, near the Brazilian border. In the Oberá area there was (is) a Swedish colony where most Swedes originate from the Norrland region in Sweden. The image shows Sarmiento Avenue, Oberá, 2005. The church in the background is the Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua (Roman Catholic). Wikipedia. In the Oberá area the family bought 104 hectare of land, mostly tropical forest, and after a while another 4400 hectare of land. Here they start a plantation where they above all grow yerba, a smaller tree which leaves are harvested and dried. The leaves are then used to brew maté, Argentina's national drink (a kind of tea). A plantation is called charca in Argentina. Two Swedish princes, Prince Wilhelm and Prince Lennart does at the end of the 1940’s a journey to Argentina where they visit several Swedish descendants. The result of their journey is later published in the book "Röda Jordens Svenskar" (Nordstedts förlag, 1948). The following quotation is from this book: The owners name is Erik Söderlund, a confident person from Ångermanland province in Sweden. He greets us at the doorstep of his spacious house - it is like coming to a well off freeholder in Östergötland province, Sweden. Tanned, genial and with a kind look from the gray eyes he sends out authority, being conscious about coming good crops from a rational managed charca. What he does not know about this business is not worth knowing. We make a tour of the house together with Mrs. Söderlund in the homely but well-run home, built from steady cedar wood planks. The furnishing reminds of Sweden. Later it is the son Erik’s turn to guide us through the plantation. Descendant chart, Helena Söderlund.

The Swedish Imigration to South

America

There was a peak of immigrants to South America in 1891 which was followed by another peak in 1909. The destination was Brazil. The immigration to Brazil began as early as 1868. Between 1868 and 1871 about 10.000 people annually immigrated to the Rio Grande do Sul province in Brazil. Brazil had an immigration office in Malmö City, south of Sweden, and carried out an active policy to get people to immigrate to Brazil. Everyone interested in immigrating to Brazil were offered to buy land slots of 25 hectares on easy terms with a 5- years long installment but also a free passage. The immigrants were also granted bank loans for houses, tools and roads. A free passage attracted the ones that could not afford to buy tickets for a journey to the USA. All immigration to South America from Europe went from Hamburg, Germany. There was a great demand of both plantation workers and sawmill laborers in Brazil. So, not all of the immigrants went there to become settlers. Most immigrants arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Most settles then continued to Porto Alegre. From here they traveled by train inland as far as they could. From the end station they had to travel by oxcarts. The journey went to the Uruguay River were they made the last part of the journey by canoes on the river to their land slots in the middle of the tropical forest. It took a while before the Swedes could start the cultivation. First, they had clear the undergrowth, then cut down the trees. When the trees had dried up, they burnt the braches and twigs. Then they were ready to sow the seeds. However, there was a completely different situation to cultivate in the middle of the tropical forests of Brazil compared to Sweden. Some of the Swedish immigrants had no experience at all in farm work. The Swedes were lacking in practice of cultivating the crops that were used in Brazil, which moth was best for sowing, the subtropical climate where the seasons were different from Sweden. The life was very rough and at moments hopeless. Diseases like the yellow fever and dysentery were a great problem. They had problem with drought and swarms of locusts often destroyed the crops. Besides that the Uruguay River flooded now and then. The Swedish colony was hit by a disaster in October 1911 when the Uruguay River had a severe flooding which destroyed crops, houses, killed cattle, etc. The settlers then had to write a letter to the Swedish Government and ask for help. About 3,500 Swedes immigrated to Brazil between the years 1890 and 1913. Alone during the period 1909 to 1911 2,500 Swedes immigrated. About 900 of these returned to Sweden, mostly between 1911 and 1913. The Swedish immigration to Brazil between the years 1909 to 1911 was referred to as “the caravan of death” since about 20% died, mostly children.

To Argentina

In order to get better living conditions than they had in the tropical forests of Brazil many Swedes crossed the border to Argentina and Misiones province. Misiones is located between the Paraná River and the Uruguay River and is to a large extent covered in forests. The name Misiones can be derived back to the Jesuit missions founded during the 17th and 18th centuries. The first Swedes arrived in Misiones in 1902. They first settled down at Bonpland by the San Javier River about 15 km on the Argentinean side of the Brazilian border. To find better soil for cultivation they moved another 40 km into the rain forest until they found good soil, the famous red soil. This soil was perfect for the yerba mate trees. There was a smaller colony at this place in 1913 called Yerbal Viejo. At this point the Argentinean Government had much interest in increasing the yerba maté cultivation in Misiones province so the Swedes were now able to buy land or allotments to a very favorable price and therefore started yerba plantations. The road to this place was named Picada Suecia (the Swedish path)  and is still called so. An increasing number of Swedes flocked to the area, an influx that continued until the 1940’s. Here they again had to begin clearing land, burn twigs and set plants. The plants they grow beside yerba were maize, beans, manioc and tobacco. However, it took a few years before the yerba mate were ready to be harvested. The Swedish colony was named Villa Svea. The Swedes lived on their chacras, plantations. The term chacra is also a square measure of 25 hectares. The first dwelling houses were only huts and sheds. However, once they had cared about the most urgent needs they started to build proper wooden houses. When the times got better they built stone houses which lasted better in this climate. The Scandinavian Society Svea was founded in 1915. The first Swedish congregation, Olaus Petri, was founded a couple of years later. The church services were held on Svea’s premises. In 1917 Svea got the permission to create a cemetery, The Swedish Churchyard, and in 1918 the congregation was legally and formally organized. The congregation got its first permanent parish minister in 1942 when pastor Janulf was employed. The parish church, Olaus Petri, was inaugurated in 1956, which is located in the central parts of the town Oberá. The sermons were held in Swedish until 1973 when the Swedish parish minister Sven Arne Flodell left the ministry. However, a couple of times per year you still can listen to sermons in Swedish in the church when a Swedish spoken pastor comes from Sao Paolo in Brazil to perform the sermons. A Swedish school was founded in 1922. The lessons were held in Swedish until 1952 when the school was closed. There were 927 Swedes living in the Oberá area in the 1940’s. The Swedish community Villa Svea was renamed to Oberá in 1928 when the new town was founded. Oberá was at the time the largest Swedish colony in South America. Many names on the town map still remind of the Swedish times. Misiones province capital, Posadas, is located about 100 km from Oberá. The city has 141,000 inhabitants (1998) and is located by the Paraná River. Posadas is an important harbor and a center for the cultivating of yerba maté, tea and tobacco.

Yerba - The Green Gold

The yerba maté plant (holly - Ilex paraguariensis) is a shrub or small tree growing up to 15 meters tall. The leaves are evergreen and 7–11 cm long and 3–5.5 cm wide, with a serrated margin. It grows wild in Misiones and became the most important crop that was cultivated. The leaves (and sometimes also the twigs) of the yerba shrub are used to make maté, a kind of bitter tea but also ordinary tea. The people in adjacent countries like Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay are also having the Yerba maté to drink. You drink yerba maté out of special cups with a spout (a metal straw called bombilla). The cups look like large tobacco pipes or hollowed gourds and are called maté cups or yerba maté gourds. The dried leaves are placed in the cup, then hot water is poured over it. Some people also add sugar to it. The flavor of brewed yerba maté is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. When the maté is brewed you pass the cup around. Just like coffee and tobacco, yerba mate is addictive. It was very profitable to cultivate the yerba maté during the 1930’s and 1940’s. However, in the middle of the 1940’s the Argentinean Government decided that all exports were to be handled by the State. Thereby the State got a monopoly on all exports why the cultivators now had to sell their yerba mate directly to the State. The price was set by the State who could then buy cheap and sell it with a much higher price. The profit went to the public treasury and was supposed to finance different social reforms. The cultivators had to wait a long time for payment of the crops which reduced their possibilities of running the yerba mate plantations.

Kartor / Maps

Söderlunds resa från Europa / The Söderlund family's journey from Europe.
Kartan nedan visar Oberá i Misiones provinsen som ligger i det nordöstra hörnet av Argentina, nära den brasilianska gränsen. The map below is showing Oberá in the province of Misiones at the northeast corner of Argentina, near the Brazilian border.

Fotografier / Photos

Helena Söderlund, med familj. På bilden står Helena i mitten med maken Erik Söderlund till höger. Mellan dem står sonen Erik och längst till vänster sonen Eriks hustru Sally (född Sundin). Mrs. Helena Söderlund, with her family. Mrs Söderlund is in the middle of the picture and her husband Erik Söderlund to her right. Between them are their son Erik and to the far left the son Erik's wife Sally (maiden name Sundin).
Sally Söderlund,  midsommarfirande 1990. Sally Söderlund, midsummer celebration in 1990
Från vänster, Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (f. Söderlund och svägerska med Sally), Sally Söderlund och Sallys dotter Maj-Britt Keenan, påsken 2000. From left, Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (maiden name Söderlund and sister-in-law to Sally), Sally Söderlund and Sally's daughter Maj-Britt Keenan, Easter 2000.
Från vänster, Sally Söderlund och Sallys dotter Maj- Britt Keenan, Sallys dotter Inger Salazar och sittande Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (f. Söderlund och svägerska med Sally). (Fotot är taget på Maj-Britts veranda år 2000) From left: Sally Söderlund and Sallys daughter Maj- Britt Keenan, Sallys daughter Inger Salazar and in fron of Inger: Sylvia Dinesen-Jensen  (maiden name Söderlund och sister-in-law to Sally). (The picture is taken at Maj-Britt's porch in 2000)
Sallys son Jan-Erik Söderlund. Sally's son Jan-Erik Söderlund.

Links

Ancestor chart to Gerda Högman and her sister Helena Söderlund (Nordlander) Descendant chart Nils Nordlander Emil Söderlund in USA Jojje Lintrup's homepage about Argentina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate http://www.guayaki.com/index.php?p=mate http://www.noborders.net/mate/ http://www.yerbamatedrinker.com/ 

Source References

Misiones, Svenskarna och den röda jorden, Solveig Giambanco, 1996. Mot löftets land, Den svenska utvandringen, Ulf Beijbom, 1995 Känn ditt land, nr 8 - Utvandringen, 1980. Top of page
Monument built for the city's 50th anniversary. Monumento por el cincuentenario de Oberá. Free image Wikipedia, 2007.
Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua (Roman Catholic). Iglesia de San Antonio, Oberá. Free image Wikipedia, 2007.