I’m Annika Höstmad, a Swedish genealogist, member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the owner of Find a Swede.
Find a Swede aims to guide descendants of Swedes to their heritage through curiosity, effective methods, and in-depth research.
My own journey in family history has a clear starting point. It was September 2009. A job interview out of town took me by my late grandparents’ home. It was the first time in over a decade. For the next three months I would pass it twice every weekend. As the memories of family stories came back, I wanted to know the truth and turned to the records.
As a beginner I got my clues from family trees online. Since then I’ve studied records and methods, both at the university and through public and professional conferences. And discovered countless life stories along the way.
Through a DNA test, I’ve had the fortune to find distant cousins outside of Sweden. As fun as it was to connect, some of them struggled with their Swedish genealogy. It’s no wonder. I started Find a Swede to provide correct and relevant context, so that you can understand your ancestor’s life in Sweden.
Who I work with
I work with descendants of Swedes around the world to help you understand your family history.
Shortcut to Sweden
If you’re curious about your Swedish family history, I have a bi-weekly newsletter just for you. It’s an introduction to Swedish genealogy with the context that makes sense of it. Or as I like to say; connect to your Swedish ancestry when your only clue is that one guy from Småland. Sign up.
Let’s Find a Swede
For you that want to crack a brick wall, I offer a done with you program. This is a program where you get direct help and feedback on your research over eight weeks. Learn more.
I research your Swedish ancestor and present their life through records, photos and maps. Details coming soon. In the meantime, send us an email.
Anders emigrated from Dalsland in Älvsborg County in 1863. Six months before emigrating, he served 28 days on bread and water. Anders had been convicted of spreading misleading doctrine and distributing the Holy Communion. He and his family were Mormons. All this can be confirmed through the records. The trials were referenced in the newspapers.
This was before passenger lists were kept in Swedish ports, so in order to document his emigration, I went through the newspapers. They mention that a few days after the family left their home, there’s was a gathering of Mormons outside of Gothenburg. There’s a good chance the family attended that meeting. It was early spring and the river boats were just about to start going. It’s quite possible that the family walked the 18 hours to get to the gathering. The newspapers even detailed how the group took the train to Gothenburg, before their departure to America.
The journey itself can be confirmed by a letter to a Gothenburg newspaper. A woman described how her former husband was changed by joining the Mormons, to the point where she was granted a divorce, which was uncommon at the time. She then goes on to tell how her ex tried to kidnap their child when emigrating.
Together with the regular records, custom maps, contemporary maps, and photographs, my client got a glimpse of Anders’ life in Sweden and the conditions for his emigration.
Find a Swede is based on the conviction that everyone has the right to search their personal history. Whether we’re searching our past to uncover a family secret or from pure curiosity.