Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Land of "Bruna Bönor" (or as we called it Bruna Burna!)

Bruna Bönor - Swedish Brown Beans

G-mom Masterman used to make this tangy/sweet dish on holidays....we called it Bruna Burna, but now I see we were WRONG! I remember Scott as a toddler just LOVED this dish, and screamed for more! Wonder if they still make this in Vreta Kloster :-)  RECIPE

Vreta Kloster is a town in southern Sweden, in the Östergötland province that G-mom Masterman’s mother’s family came from. The town is named for an ancient cloister or abbey that was built in 1100 and was the first nunnery in Sweden.

Ruins unearthed in early 1900s

Östergötland contains the second largest lake in Sweden, Vattern, and the 118 mile long Gota Canal, built in the early 1800’s to join the Baltic Sea with the largest lake, Vanern. Mostly agricultural land, the residents of Östergötland were tenant farmers, or crofters. Some wealthy landowners lived in Renaissance castles that are present today.

VK has been restored for the most part and is quite beautiful!

Interior and exterior


Front view of church, and handle on front door.

Our furthest back ancestors to reside there were Nils Johanson & Maja Matthedotter who were married at VK 1/31/1800. Their marriage record states: Tailor bachelor Nils Johanson of Perstorp on South  _?_ and maid Maria Matthesdotter of Skogstorp.

Their daughter Anna married Gustaf Nilsson and they had Nils Gustaf Gustafsson who married another VK native, Anna Sofia  Persdotter. They married there in June, 1868 and had 11 children, 5 of which died very young. They are the family in the below photograph, Jenny’s parents and three of her siblings.

Anna’s parents were from near VK; her father was a farmer and juryman, so a man of some dignity. Her mother died at 49, and her father married again the next year and fathered 3 more children. (Their great great grandson in Sweden has contacted me for more info.)

Nils & Anna were tenant farmers at several farms in the area, but finally purchased their own farm in partnership with a teacher. This partner apparently cheated them and they had to sell the farm, after which they bought a small cottage they named Tomtebo, near Mjolorp.

Their son Hjalmar graduated from the Swedish equivalent of West Point. He married twice and had 2 sons, Stig & Hans Torn (they took their mother’s maiden name when Hjalmar remarried) and a daughter from his 2nd wife, Anna Maria. (I corresponded with Anna Maria back when I started my research. She is G-mom’s first cousin, but much closer to my age.)
G-mom’s sister Helen visited Sweden twice and couldn’t say enough about what a wonderful person Hjalmar was.

Their daughter Gertrude graduated from the hospital university in Lonkoping. Not sure what happened to their other daughters.

Jenny Margreta Gustafsson

Jenny, G-mom's mother, came to the US in the mid 1890's and married Fred Peterson in Everett, Mass in 1901. They were married by a Justice of the Peace.

Interestingly, Jenny’s sister Annie came to the US and married George Peterson, Fred Peterson's brother! They had 2 children, Ethel Lillian and Henry W. Ethel was married 3 times, not sure of children. Henry had 3 children, but not sure where they wound up.

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