Anders Svensson and Ulla Jonasdotter

Edith Anderson's parents, Anders and Ulla Svensson, about 1905.

Anders Svensson
11 August 1863 - 1 March 1940
Birthplace: Torpet Åsarne, Helghult, Sweden
son of Sven Magnus Larsson and Sara Christina Tobiasdotter

Edith Anderson's father was Anders Svensson. He was born on August 11, 1863 on a small homestead in Helghult, Sweden named Åsarne. Anders was just five years when his father, Sven Magnus Larsson, died and he was just short of eleven years old when his mother Sara died.

It is said that when Anders' mother was dying in 1874 he was sent to get his sister who was working at a bakery in Halmstad. He was supposed to tell her to come home. They gave him a loaf of bread to eat and told him to follow the Bolma Railway tracks until he came to Halmstad and then ask around until he found her. It was 55 kilometers in to Halmstad.

After the death of his mother he was taken in as a foster son by 55 year old Anders Josef Magnusson and his wife Anna Maria in Linås. Anders Josef and Anna Maria had three children of their own, born 1843, 1851 and 1859.

Anders Svensson lived with this family in Linås until he moved to Söndrum on 12 April 12, 1885 at the age of 22 to work as a stonecutter at the Söndrum quarry.

It was in Söndrum that he met his wife Ulla Jonasdotter.

Granddaughter Inga Andersson recalls: "He had a goat. Maybe that was common in Småland, but here in Söndrum he was the only one that had one. He took it with him when he went to work. He let it graze somewhere while he was working in the quarry. He may have milked it, but I never saw him do it."

Anders was a quiet, very mild person who got along well with children. Granddaughter Inga relates this about him, " When we were young, if we went up a gave his beard a little tug he would sort of give a quick bark and snap his mouth in the direction of your hand like he was going to bite. So we thought it was great fun to do that. That's one thing he did."

Edith Andersson said of her father, "He had a very sad childhood, did not know his father, never spoke of him, only of his mother. He was very mild and good to us children. He liked to read books. He was very interested in history. He had long narrow feet and small hands. He was tall, blond, never got bald, and trimmed his whiskers every Sunday morning."

Ulla Jonasdotter
23 March 1867 - 13 April 1952
Birthplace: Bolmaryd, Nöttja, Sweden
daughter of Jonas Svensson and Anna Carlsdotter

Ulla moved to Halmstad from Nöttja on January 27, 1886.

People referred to her as Ulla Broberg, Broberg being a military name used by an ancestor two generations previously.

"Ulla's mother died when Ulla was only 6 years old, but Ulla's grandmother lived with them and Ulla recalled sitting on her knee and being told, 'you are seven and I am seventy'" (Edith Andersson)

"My grandmother Ulla was a good baker. She had even worked as a baker before she got married. She had a brick oven with iron doors in the kitchen that she heated up by burning twigs in it until it was real hot then she scraped out the ashes and then it was ready to use. That's the way ovens were in those days. She baked real big loaves and she baked a lot of them all at one time. There weren't so many people that still baked large scale like that anymore in the 30's. People would smell the scent of fresh bread and neighbors would come by to buy some if they needed any. This was so common that there was a little rhyme they used to say, 'Ulla bakar bröd och säljer, Anders gapar stort och sväljer' (approximately: Ulla bakes and then makes deals, Anders' mouth is made for meals) If there was any bread left over she would pack it down in rye or oats or whatever it was in a big chest at the top of the stairs and that would keep it fresh. I guess the grain kept the humidity at just the right level." (Inga Andersson)

Another version of the rhyme: "Ulla bakar bröd och säljer, Anders tuggar, äter, sväljer"

"When she killed chickens she'd grab them by the feet and then swing them around in a circle until they were dizzy then she quickly put them down on the chopping block and whack off their heads" (Inga Andersson)

"They had a garden and during the summer she would take vegetables down to the market to sell." (Inga Andersson)

"Ulla was a very happy and cheerful person." (Gurli Eriksson)

"Anders never got a word in edgewise around Ulla." (Birgit Hansson)

"She just laughed and laughed. She always laughed. She was very gentle. That's what I remember about her." (Birgit Hansson)

Obituary from Hallands Postens familjenytt, 1952:
"En gammal känd söndrumsbo, änkefru Ulla Svensson, Stenhuggeriet, avled på påskdagen i den höga åldern av nyss fyllda 85 år. Hon var född i Nöttja i Småland och kom i 16-årsåldern till Halmstad, där hon hade plats hos baggare Salomon Johansson på Norr tills hon i 20-årsåldern ingick äktenskap med stenhuggaren Anders Svensson, som kort därpå fick arbete vid stenbrottet i Söndrum. Fru Svensson har alltsedan varit bosatt i Stenhuggeriet där hon med sitt blida and gladlynta väsen var omtyckt och avhållen av alla. Änka sedan 1940 sörjes den bortgångna av sex barn, Ivan konstnär i Göteborg, Julius stenhuggare i Bohuslän, Edit gift med maskinisten Aug. Andersson i Worchester, USA, Hilda gift med hr Albin Åkergren, Hälsingborg, Fredrik stenhuggare i Söndrum, Alice husföreståndare i Göteborg och fostersonen Stig som jämte sin hustru har vårdat den gamla de senaste åren. Hon sörjes även av barnbarn och barnbarnsbarn."