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Birger Lindqvist Seeks his Roots


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Picture courtesy GSF
The inveterate family and area researcher, Birger Lindqvist, lives at Falandersgatan 12 in Gamlakarleby. Even during the war he was interested in his ancestors’ origins. Today he is in his 83rd year and genealogy research continues to fascinate him. His genealogy starts in the 1500s, but for Birger research has no limits.

Karl Knutsson’s side-trip of the 1400s and the doings of the Viking Gorm the Old of the 900s are included in his investigation. Birger’s research goes farther back to Karl the Great (Charlemagne) who was proclaimed Emperor in 800 and died in 814. He looked up King Karl XII’s pedigree and found a relationship with the warrior king who won at Narva, fought at Poltava but was stopped by a bullet at Fredrikshald 1718.

A direct relationship goes via ancestors but descent and ancestry are not always the same thing. Birger completed his research material with an extensive coin collection. It includes not only Nordic coins, but also has rare specimens such as the “widow’s mite”.

To complete his own descent with multiple ancestors, Birger plowed through royal legends, read Snorre Sturlasson, Saxo and part of Herda. But it was when he received a brief analysis of his family line from the priest Max Otherdahl that he acquired the taste for genealogy research.

From Dawedzain to Lindqvist

The analysis showed that the family belonged to the oldest in the city of Gamlakarleby and that progenitor Petter Lindqvist arrived in the 1700s. Consequently a genealogy research was introduced that led to a family history that goes far back in time.

“In my research I have come to a progenitor, born at the close of the 1400s or beginning of 1500s and saw that the family from the beginning of the 1600s was noted with the name Dawedzain after the progenitor Dawedh’s first name. It was Anders Chydenius himself who changed the name according to the custom of the time. In the marriage certificate of 1 January 1786 Pehr Dawedzain is noted with the name Lindqvist,” says Birger.

Birger’s research is very extensive. He has made countless trips to the National Archives in Helsingfors and Stockholm. As a retired railroad worker he has a pass and he has taken advantage of that privilege. The hours and years he has devoted to research both at the library in the city and local history events, and with the archives and courts of the country cannot be counted.

All of his work is documented and everything has been detailed with the greatest accuracy and with expert knowledge. Birger is careful about reference to sources and nothing has been left to chance. Tens of files relate about the family and local history events and his diary deals with personal events and interesting elements in his life.

An illustrated photo album and scrapbook tell of a man who preserves the past, lives in the present, is curious about the future and thinks of the coming generations.

Family History with Contents

A family history strives not only to come forward from our forefathers to the present, it should awaken interest in the home district, to past generations who during the centuries worked hard, were oppressed, devasted by enemies, and suffered from hunger and epidemics.

Birger Lindqvist’s scientific achievement is interesting. His analysis consists not only of tables. His illustrations and clippings of actual events about his forefather’s lives and their way of living make the material worth reading and understandable.

An extensive coin collection completes his research work in an excellent way. The coins shed light on different time periods in history. Countless antique coins and exquisite examples from the time of Christ are included in the collection. Birger says: “I think that the antique coins give the history more life.” Before his war service, Birger sailed the seven seas on, among others, the Sigyn which presently is a museum ship in Åbo.

By Ole Granholm, “Österbottningen”, 16 March 2001

Translated by June Pelo

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