What is it with Hjälmseryd?

When continuing some research this day about Swedes who fought for the American Expeditionary Forces at the Western Front in the Great War, I discovered yet another individiual born in Hjälmseryds perish, near Lammhult but in Jönköping County, in Sweden.

Looking through the casualty cards from AEF, I discover another Johnson, John Edwin Johansson, born in Hjälmseryds Perish october 28, 1894. His father August Johannes Johansson and his mother Anna Sofia Johnsdotter then living at the farm Sevedstorp west of Hjälmseryd village. On the map below it is near Släthult.

I rekognize the place to be quite near some of the other places that we earlier know from the Swede Gust E Ahl, alias John Gustaf Edvin Ahl, and Andrew M Johnson alias Anders Magni Magnusson. Gust is from the farm Bodatorp and Andrew is from the farm Slättö, and now we also have John from Sevedstorp, north from the other two places.

Before I know the exact place for John, I know from the casualty card that his mother is stated to live in Lilla Mon, Gustav Adolf in Hobo Sweden, which I know as Habo, as I live quite near the place. Some facts at ancestry suggests that John is born in Habo as well, but probably assumed to be from the info on the card. I dont find him in that perish, and I have to look further with help from his father, which I find through info from Find-a-grave.com

In combination with some info from Ancestry I make the conclusion that John is also born i Hjälmseryd, after having checked the information in the Swedish archive Riksarkivet. In Riksarkivet the name states to be Johan Edvin. But when searching further on and find the church book about when he is born, it states that the name is John, not Johan. Very confusing. I get the year 1894 from Riksarkivet when I find all the family members to be the same names as in Find-a-grave.com, which also states october, but it states october 2nd. It turns out to be october 28th. This is a clear point to that information in some archives that has been put in by persons, has to be confirmed now and then, you cant rely on every detail, that is for sure.

When looking in the church book I see a name that I recognize. The name above John Edvin. It turns out to be Gust E Ahl, that is also born in October the same year. Imagine that these two individuals went to USA, not at the same year, but ended up in USA but different states, joined the AEF for some reason, probably for the reason that both of the became American citizens, and ended up to fight in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. It is a bit amazing.

I so want to know if the knew eachother, but right now I dont have the exact facts about when John moved to Älvsborg county. I will try to get more info about that by looking in the church books again, I will find it there.

I know that John lived in Västra Götaland County when he choosed to emigrate to USA, and that he was about six years old at that time, so probably John and Gust didnt know about eachother then, but maybe they met in the Army?

John became naturlized in USA in 1916, and I know from before that Andrew and Gust went to the states in 1913. In the end all three ended up in Meuse-Argonne region and they tragically died in the period between September 28th and October 9th 1918. The distance between the divisions were around 6 km, could have been less or more depending their specific place in the divisions. The distance is assessed to be from the middle of the area where their divisions were. You can find more info by looking in the link “Virtual Tour on Map” in the main menu on this home page.

I live just about 45-50 minutes from the area where all three of these individuals grew up, and I will come back with more information later on. Below you can see those pictures I found about Johns family. Maybe I will find more individuals from Hjälmseryd who went over to USA and became soldiers in the AEF. I will let you know.

3 Replies to “What is it with Hjälmseryd?”

  1. fantastic exploration and extra fun, as it is my hometown, at the same time a tragic story. great respect for your work

  2. Hello! Nice work and VERY interesting! I am building a family tree that includes a family group that comes from Anders Peterson B 28 Dec 1828 in Hjälmseryd and his wife, Christina Jonasdotter Ström, B 23 Oct 1839, also in Hjälmseryd. One of their daughters came to America and was the great grandmother of the friend I am building the tree for.
    My question is this. Do you have any information on the revival that began in 1842 in Hjälmseryd and then spread all over Jönköping county? It was called the Crier Revival or sometimes referred to as the Preaching Disease. It began with one young maid named Anna Stina Andersdotter who would have been a teenager in 1842. One of my educated Swedish cousins wrote a short paper on this event, but I would like to write a historical novel about it so I need more information. My GGG grandparents, Gustav Angel (1779 – 1848) and Gustava Lagergren (1791 – 1869) participated in and helped to document this revival from their home in Ryssby.
    My own Cederberg family originated with Karl Cederberg, born in 1718 in Virestad, about 100km south of Hjälmseryd.
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi!
      Thank you very nice for your post! I know a lot of people in Hjälmseryd and I will of course check this up, and see if I can find anything! I havent heard of it before!
      I will talk to my friends as soon as possible and will come back to you when I know something about it!

      If there is anything else you want to know about any family member from the Swedish Church books, just let me know!

      Take care!

      Best regards,


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