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Saturday, September 20, 2014

52 Ancestors #38: Peter Eriksson Hedenberg, Swedish Cavalryman

     Peter was born 29 Dec 1754 in the parish of Hultsjo, Jonkoping, Sweden. His father was Erik Persson and therefore he was Peter Eriksson in the Swedish patronymic naming system. His mother was Ingrid Persdotter. He had an older sister and brother and two older half sisters.

     On 4 Aug 1778, Peter joined the Swedish army.  He was a Ryttare or cavalryman (mounted soldier). He served until about 1802 and took part in a famous Swedish battle called the Battle of Svenskund in 1790. This was a major victory for the Swedes against the Russians. While in the Army, Peter took Hedenberg as his Soldier name.  Because of the patronymic system and the fact that a small number of first names were used most men took "soldier names" when they joined the Army to avoid confusion. Peter kept Hedenberg the rest of his life and his sons also used it. His grandson, Johannes Petersson, son of Peter Petersson Hedenberg, refused to use Hedenberg and went by Peterson. This was much to the dismay of his grandsons who found themselves with a very common name in Minnesota (Peterson) and so changed it to Lambert. As far as I can tell, Hedenberg is from "Hed" meaning heather or moor and "berg" meaning rock, mountain or hill.  So, "heather hill."

    In about 1778, Peter married Ingrid Johansdotter and they had three daughters. She died in May 1792.  On May 12, 1793, Peter married Sara Persdotter in Granhult, Kronoberg.  He is listed as a Ryttare from Notteback, she is from Hvitshult. At first they lived at the Ryttaretorp in Granhult but eventually he bought a farm in Hvitshult and is listed as living there in his after death inventory. He and Sara had four sons and one daughter.

     Peter died on 23 Nov 1842, one month shy of 88 years old. He is listed in the inventory as an "undantagsmannen" which means a previous farm owner living on pension from the former farm. He seems to have been a man of some substance and has a long list of items in his inventory. Over a century later, in 1857 when my grandfather visited Sweden his farm was still referred to as "Hedenberg's Hanne". Unfortunately, today there is little left of his original farm except the land.


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