Trip to Sweden and Norway 2014
Gagnef July 10 to July 13

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    travel to Tromso 3
    Tromso 4
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    Our 3 week trip involved travel from extreme southern Sweden through to extreme northern Norway and was all about people connections and family history. The totally custom trip was planned over about 6 months without the aid of travel agents or packaged tours. Coordination with relatives and friends was by email and Facebook connections. Travel tickets and hotel bookings were arranged by direct Internet search and by using booking sites. Microsoft OneNote was used to organize the planning information and calendar. We packed light so that we could walk a distance with our stuff in and out of public transport in one go. Gary used 2 medium wheeled suitcases plus a good sized backpack and Grace used a small wheeled suitcase, a purse and a totebag (later changed out for a small backpack). We washed clothes twice on the trip. Two smart phones, a digital camera and an IPad Mini were used for communication, photos and reference on the trip. We informed our bank and credit card companies that charges would come from Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

    The catalyst for the whole trip was to attend a 3 day Anders Anderson reunion in Tromso Norway. Tromso with a population of 67000 people is known as the gateway to the Arctic and has been known as the Paris of the North. The Anders Anderson reunion for Gary was to connect with the homeland and people of Grandmother Halfrida Sebulonsen, who left for East Lake Lillian Minnesota in 1900 at the age of 13. Many Norwegians had emigrated to Lake Lillian from the Tromso area starting in 1862 - 1864. Also for Gary we traveled to Gagnef Sweden and connected with relatives of Grandfather August Erickson. Many Swedes emigrated from the Gagnef area in Dalarna to Lake Lillian starting in 1869.

    The trip for Grace was to visit relatives and follow the notes and photos left by her mother Ida and father Alex Swanson when they visited southern Sweden in 1978.

    This section is a continuation of our adventures in Southern Sweden.

    Borlange Gagnef Moje Larsveden

    We drove East and North about 5 hours from Lidköping to the city of Borlange in the very beautiful Lan of Dalarna.

    At Borlange, we stayed 3 nights at the Borlange Scandic hotel as a base to explore the nearby small town of Gagnef and to visit the Ragnar Nyberg family. The area near Gagnef is of interest to Gary because it is where many Swedes emigrated from to settle in Lake Lillian township, Kandiyohi County, MN starting in 1869.


    Larsved Olof Matsson, a great grandfather of Gary, was one of those pioneers and he came from the neighborhood of Larssveden which is located in the smaller village of Moje, just to the east of Gagnef.

    His brother Larsved Mats Matsson did not emigrate. So now Ragnar Nyberg is a descendant of Larsved Mats Matsson and lives on the place north of Lake Mojessjön that Olof, at the age of 41, left with his wife and children in 1869 .

    The original house was at the location of the small circle and the larger circle shows Ragnar's house in Larssveden. It was made with some of the lumber of the original. A small northern part of the 1.2 km long Lake Mojessjön is shown at lower left.

    Ragnar is a retired school teacher with a photo gallery website and very interested in family history and the world around him.

    He and his wife Margareta have adult children and grandchildren.

    The streets through the Moje village are paved one lane wide and weave closely by old barns, garages and well maintained red painted houses. It is a friendly place where you must take turns on the road and pull to the side where you can to let your neighbors pass by. A copper mine at nearby Falun provided the long lasting red ingredient for the popular paint.

    Gagnef Kyrka

    Ragnar took us to the Gagnef Kyrka in the morning. It is surrounded by a very large old Kyrkogard (cemetery) set on high land overlooking the scenic Osterdalalven (Dal river) valley.

    We went back to the house and took some pictures.


    In the afternoon we drove about 27 km NW to Yxbodarna near lake Yxen off route 570 and up a long narrow one lane unpaved driveway through the woods and hills to their Swedish fäbod or mountain chalet.

    The chalet was a log cabin built in 1870 by ancestors of Ragnar's wife, Margareta.

    We had a wonderful meal at the fäbod prepared by Ragnar's wife Margareta with their daughter, Johanna Nobelius, and her children Fanny and Karl Alfred.

    The main meal was served inside and the dessert was outside in sunny, comfortable weather on a very heavy, large picnic table that had been made with thick and wide lumber from one of the very tall trees nearby.

    Also on the place was a barn and shed that had been used to care for dairy cattle in the summer. The purpose of the summer farm in the mountain was so the cattle could be away from the home farm and graze in the woods while the limited land at home could grow enough hay and grain to store for the winter. When that system was in use it was usually the young girls who would stay the summer in the fäbod, do the milking chores and make cheese. The Larsved Matsson's had taken their cattle 30 km or 2 travel days to Gässtjärnsberget south of Mockfjärd. The boys stayed home and helped with the haying and grain farming (with the horses?) in those days.

    We viewed the original log cabin from Ragnar's Moje Matsson place that had been disassembled and was in process of being reconstructed at the fäbod, It was sited to be more compatible with the old Fäbod buildings and was made slightly smaller to trim off weather damaged corners.

    Later we went with Ragnar to Leksand to see Johanna's husband, Mats Nobelius, and the Sommarland Resort complex that he has.

    And to Johanna and Mats home.

    Day 2 in Gagnef

    Next day was to be on our own for driving in Dalarna to sight see in the area and see the old copper mine at Falun. That did not happen but we enjoyed an unplanned and very good day visiting with Gunnar Kärrbom and his parents. He was visiting his parents in the Moje neighborhood and learned from Ragnar that we had connections to Lake Lillian. He had been to Lake Lillian several times and knows the Linn family. Gunnar is a Vicar at kyrkas near Vasteras and his father is a retired Gagnef Banker.

    We did some more sights back at Gagnef Kryka and looked at the river .

    Ragnar came by on his bike.

    We had a very pleasant lunch with Lars and Lisbeth Karrbom on their deck overlooking Lake Moje and a field of rye near harvest.

    Grace and I back in Borlange that evening.

    Next day, Sunday morning, was for exploring Borlange, returning the Hertz car at the Gustav Wasa Best Western Hotel, and walking from there to the nearby train station.

    Train Travel

    This story continues next by trains to Ostersund, Trondheim and Bodo and by ship to Tromso

    Page Links to continue the trip
    travel to Tromso 3
    Tromso 4
    back to Southern Sweden 1

    We are so happy and thankful for the friends and relatives that helped to make this a very memorable trip for us.

    Gary and Grace Gauer 2014