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Birger Alexander Lindqvist


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Picture courtesy GSF
One of Finland's respected genealogists,

Birger Lindqvist died in Gamlakarleby, Finland of leukemia at the age of 85.

Birger was an inveterate researcher for over 50 years, spending his summers searching old records in archives in Sweden and Finland. To complete his own descent with multiple ancestors, Birger plowed through royal legends, read Snorre Sturlasson, Saxo, and part of Herda. His ancestor, Pehr Dawidzain, was from one of the early families in Gamlakarleby. In 1786, Anders Chydenius himself changed the family's name to Lindqvist. Birger's research (see Birger Lindqvist Seeks his Roots) included his father's link to Charlemagne (Karl den Store), Gorm the Old, and various other kings. He wrote several books about his ancestry, including his Viking ancestors. The International Society for the Descendants of Charlemagne accepted him as a member based on his sources which proved his descent. In addition to his enormous genealogy collection, he also had an extensive collection of old coins from the time of Christ, including the "widow's mite." All of his work is documented and everything has been detailed with the greatest accuracy and with expert knowledge. Birger was careful about referencing sources and nothing was ever left to chance. His archive was an experience to behold. It consisted of family histories, newspaper articles, photos, history of Neristan, history of the winter and continuation wars, data on veterans from the front, etc. and everything was arranged systematically. Tens of files relate to the family and local historic events, and his diary dealt with personal events and interesting elements in his life. An illustrated photo album and scrapbook tell of a man who preserved the past, lived in the present, was curious about the future, and thought of the coming generations. He also maintained a continuing contact with emigrants and descendants of the Lindqvist family in Sweden, Denmark, England, and the USA.

Birger was the son of Eno and Signe Lindqvist. His father was in the Coast Guard and his grandfather was a sea captain. Birger went to sea after school and sailed both to South America and Africa. He returned to Finland when war broke out and served as a non-commissioned weapons officer with Nylands täcktruppsbataljon in the Winter War and the Continuation War, where he was wounded. He was decorated with several badges of distinction for his achievements at the front. After the war he was employed by the railroad and remained there until he retired. He married Ines Nätti, had two sons, and was widowed in 1984.

In addition to his interest in genealogy, Birger was a talented wood carver, two examples of which are beautifully ornamented Mora clocks (see Birger Lindqvist’s Unique Mora Clock). He had a fine physique, and during the 1980s he took part in local cross-country races. His health gave way in the past year, but he was enthusiastic and entertaining when he talked about past events.

He leaves sons Jean Lindqvist and Rainier Lindqvist, and his sisters Gertrud Björklund and Ebba Hämäläinen and relatives John A. Rosenhoj of Belgium, and Kenneth Björklund with daughter in Sweden.

From the obituary published in the Österbottningen newspaper, Karleby, Finland, October 28, 2003. Translated by [June Pelo]. Edited for use in The Quarterly. ' Photo from the Svenska Dagbladet, June 29, 1991.

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