A bit more than two years ago I learned that my surname and patrilineage are from the Fryksdalen area in Värmland province. The family had forgotten all about this, probably as a result of my great grandpa and my grandpa both dying young. (My people migrated to Stockholm around 1900 from all over southern Sweden, so Fryksdalen has contributed only 1/16 of my stock.)
This past weekend my wife and I took a trip to Fryksdalen to see the landscape around my ancestors’ hamlets — Persby and Östra Ingersby in Sunne parish, Svenserud and Bävik in Östra Ämtervik parish – and the churches where they celebrated their rites of passage. Turns out it’s a beautiful area, hilly to an extent that surprised me, being effectively the southern foothills of the great Scandy mountain range.
In addition to seeing the ancestral spots, we swam two of three Fryken lakes, took a guided tour of classic author Selma Lagerlöf’s home at Mårbacka, survived the crushing psychedelic art overload that is the Alma Löv Museum, and participated in Farmer’s Day at Gunnerud. Tractor racing, an informative study visit to 200 milch cows and roasted oat-flour pancakes with diced bacon! I also read a celebrated novel set in Sunne by Göran Tunström, Berömda män som varit i Sunne (1998) .
Here’s a photo album that will give you an idea of what the area is like.