As we got to the west side of Trelleborg and drove to the golf course clubhouse, waiting inside to meet us were nine cousins and spouses, plus two more who joined us later!
Mo and I were pleasantly surprised (and a bit overwhelmed) and I think Kerstin was as well. Our cousin Ulf had apparently spread the word; in addition to the great turnout, the golf course even had the US flag flying out front for us alongside the Swedish flag! We got acquainted over a pleasant buffet meal and worked on learning everyone’s names.
One of our first stops following lunch was the cemetery in Maglarp where my great grandparents and other relatives are buried.
great grandparents Lars and Anna Maria Jönsson, and great aunt Sofia
Another stop was at the Old Church of Maglarp, a medieval wonder where my grandfather and his siblings were baptised. Part of the structure is many hundreds of years old (as is the baptismal font), and the pulpit is from the 1500’s and may be the oldest in Sweden.
pulpit from Old Church of Maglarp
Cousin Åke lead a casual walking tour through Maglarp (now Kurland), where current and past Larsson relations’ homes were identified, and then we gathered again for coffee and sweets (spettekaka!) while photographs and family tree printouts were on exhibit. There was also a setup for projecting a laptop display, so I was happy to dig out the ol’ flash drive and present some of the information I had as well as “introduce” some of the US family to those present.
treats and (family) trees
We continued to visit for some time (about classic cars, Viking re-enacting, Swedish delicacies, and many other topics), computer files and photos were exchanged, and we made sure we had each other’s contact information so that we could keep up our research and our new friendships. We won’t soon forget our time together!