2/08/2013

The three sisters

The three sisters

Photo probably dating to the first years of the 1870s. On the back is written:
"Ida, Hilda, Manda
Runsten södra"
which isn't much to go on - but turned out to be enough to identify them completely.

They were three sisters from the small village of Södra Runsten, Runsten parish, Öland, Sweden. They were the daughters of Anders Knutsson (May 25th 1824-November 25th 1895) and his second wife Stina Maria, whom he had married December 7th 1855 - just two months after he had lost his first wife.

The girls are:
oldest, and in the middle of the photo, Hilda Albertina Gustava, born December 16th 1856. She moved to Ljungby, Sweden, December 6th 1879.

middle, and to the left in the photo, Ida Olivia Kristina, born June 3rd 1860. She emigrated to North America August 6th 1887.

youngest of the girls, to the right in the photo, Amanda "Manda" Carolina, born January 14th 1863. She left her home in October 1899, and just like her older sister emigrated to North America. When she left her last name was noted as "Knutsson", meaning she had left the old custom of having her father's name + daughter (in this case it would have been Andersdotter) and adopted the newer (and now prevailing) custom of taking the father's last name and using it as her own.

It is hard to tell exactly how old the girls are in this photo, but I think it most likely dates to before 1874, partly based on their looks and partly based on that they had a brother, Knut Ossian, born December 26th 1873. The brother would eventually take over the farm, after their father's death - and he married Frida Lydia Johansson (born July 23rd 1880) on July 24th 1900 - a year after the last of his sisters had left home for good.

Note the matching dresses and the lace collars (probably removable) and the belt-buckles - and the earrings on Hilda - these girls were probably comparably well off.

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