One of my most interesting brickwall is my 2nd great grandfather Pehr Wilhelm Lundin who disappeared.
When I heard of him, my relatives had found out enough about him that it was fairly easy to trace him from his birth in Stockholm in 1843 and his ill single mother, to his foster parents in Småland, to Västerås where he was an apprentice tailor and finally to nearby Sala where he started a family.
Then he was gone. Pehr attended the communion in May 1869 and that was it. He had run away. Fourteen years later his wife was divorced and remarried.
The divorce documents mention the theory that had been passed on: That he had likely left for America. The emigration peaked around the time when Pehr dissapeared due to drought and starvation in Sweden.
Another theory was that he had been robbed and murdered. The story says that he carried money from the local school.
I had mostly given up when I got a reply on a Facebook post that a Peter Wilhelm Lundén died in Stockholm in 1872. Some of the documents wrote his name that way and a new register of deaths had just been released. After some double checking my family and I could conclude that it was him.
A discussion on Facebook, a new death register and a helpful stranger was the key to coming further.
This is what I found in Stockholm: In November 1869, a few months after leaving his family, Pehr was working as a tailor in central Stockholm, near the royal castle. Within three years he had married a college and died of TB.
His marriage records also led me to fill another gap in his timeline. After leaving his apprenticeship in Västerås he left to an undisclosed location. This was perfectly normal for a young craftsman. But it was a year later that he settled in Sala.
The new records revealed that he was already on the run. Just months before he married my second great grandmother had departed from an employment as a police in Stockholm. I still expect something new to pop up about this ancestor.
The small cottage is likely Pehr’s first home in Kungsholm Parish, where he lived with his brother and their mom, another brickwall who took ages to find in the birth records.
The photo was taken 70 years after the birth of my ancestor, right before the neighborhood was torn down and the city was built. Now to find his father…