Monday, January 21, 2013

A royal connection

In an early letter, Todd Lindahl recalled a story about one of Gustaf Elg´s daughters cooking for royalty back in Sweden. I took this with a grain of salt at the time, but it appears there was some substance to this family tradition!

Gustaf and Maria Sofia´s first child was Emma Elisabeth Elg, born in Liljendal in 1857. I have now discovered a parish record which shows that in 1884, Emma Elisabeth moves to Gefle, an old merchant town on the Baltic coast. She is employed as a servant in the household of colonel Carl Bror Munck. Munck is commander the Helsingland infantry regiment, but he is also a member of the staff of King Oscar II, and his wife is a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, Victoria. Their royal duties were performed on a rotating basis, so he was able to fill his post as commander at the same time (until 1885, a regiment only trained for 42 days a year). It is not unlikely that he would have acted as host if a member of the royal family visited the city.

As you can see from the photo, Munck was quite an impressive figure in his dress uniform. The medals are for services to the king, Sweden has not been at war since 1814.

Emma emigrated to Minnesota with the rest of her family in 1892, where she married Harold Soderquist, another Swede. Emma passed away in 1915, in Fergus Falls.

Emma and Harold, with son Herbert, in 1902.
This must have been one of the first automobiles in Fergus Falls!