Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt, and the Bohnstedt Nobility

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


Pencil drawing of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt, 1834


A Man With Vision

Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt faced his own economic troubles shortly after taking over the Riddarhytte mining company from his father. Copper production, which had become the backbone of his father's mining business, began to show some decline due to the decreasing quantity and mineral quality of the ore being extracted, so that when the price of copper fell, profits at Riddarhyttan dropped drastically.

1. Bust of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt
2. Pencil drawing of Hilda Vivika (Cassel) Bohnstedt, Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt's wife, 1839

Teodor begin to be pessimistic of the future of the copper works and considered closing it and exchanging it for bar-iron production. However, the iron ore being extracted at the time was not of a quality to make the new bar-iron operation feasible. After this Teodor and his partner decided to quit the mining business altogether. In 1846 Riddarhyttan was sold to a Mr. Vedberg, a factory owner, and Karl Johan Ohlson for a relatively small amount, considering the amount of money that Teodor's father had already invested in the facility.

1-2. Rinkesta Estate south of Ärla, Sweden, owned by Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt

By this time Teodor had already purchased the Rinkesta Estate in East Rekarne and took up residence there. Teodor proved to be a better agriculturist than a mining manager and was an outstanding figure in agriculture in his district, having pioneered methods of land reclamation, a skill which may have been enhanced by his education in mining science and mineralogy.

Rinkesta Estate south of Ärla, Sweden

Teodor also played an active part in community affairs and played a leading role in his district's agricultural Society and the Rekarne Economic administration. He was appointed to the Riksdag (parliament) from 1847 to 1848, and took an active role in parliamentary negotiations. In 1848 the Swedish government requested credit for acquiring arms during the Danish crisis with Germany. Although Teodor supported granting the credit, he spoke against any direct Swedish involvement which might risk Sweden going to war against Germany, with whom Sweden had traditionally had friendly and profitable relations.  Another topic very important to Teodor was the improvement of the position of women in society. He moved for government grants to establish educational institutions for young women, and he declared his support of opening up more careers for women, especially in medicine.


The Bohnstedt Nobility

In the 1998 Printed Edition of this work I referred to the "Bohnstedt Knighthood", implying and perhaps even stating that Teodor had been knighted or been given a knighthood by the Swedish crown. This is not precisely accurate.

The Swedish system of nobility arranged the noble classes in the following hierarchical manner: There are Princely families, Ducal families, Marquesses or Markgrafs families, Countly families, Baronial families and untitled noble families. Obviously the other European nations had similar noble ranking systems. When a king is crowned it is quite common for several prominent citizens to be raised to nobility, at least to the lower tier of untitled nobility. The class of Untitled Nobility might be approximately equivalent to an English Knighthood, but is not called as such in Sweden.

1. Coat-of Arms of Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt. The original Swedish Bohnstedt coat-of-arms, found in Swedish heraldic archives. The palm tree on the shield is symbolic of productivity. The objects in the crest are a hammer and torch which seem to relate specifically to the mining industry. The leaves in the crest might be representative of the agricultural enterprises of Teodor Bohnstedt, or might simply be a repetition of the palm leaves from the shield. The second and third images image is a color interpretation of the same coat-of-arms. 
2. Contemporary representation of the Swedish Bohnstedt Coat-of-Arms.

In 1860, upon the coronation of Karl XV as King of Sweden, several wealthy, influential men were raised to the level of Untitled Nobility, including Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt. After being ennobled Teodor took the addition of "von" to his last name, the von Bohnstedt noble family was registered in government records with the number 2334, and his coat-of-arms was placed in the Riddar-huset, or "House of Nobility". As a member of nobility he continued to take part in parliamentary negotiations.

Click to Enlarge
1. The Nobilities of Europe by Melville Henry Massue, 2000, lists Bohnstedts (descendants of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt) in Sweden as untitled noble family number 2334.
2. Teodor Ludvig von Bohnsedt's eldest son, Carl Edvard Ludvig von Bohnstedt

The Army of Gustavus Adolphus, by Richard Brzezinski and Richard Hook, which discusses the Swedish military in the 1600's and 1700's, includes what appears to be a monochrome photograph of a painting of of Sweden's King Gustavus Adolphus on horseback. The caption under the picture says "from the collection of Baroness M. Bohnstedt". After trying unsuccessfully to figure out who in the Bohnstedt family could have been baroness (or a baron) I came to the conclusion that "Baroness M. Bohnstedt" may actually have been Selma Elisabet Marianne von Bohnstedt, a granddaughter of Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt.

1-4. Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, the brother of Karl Edvard Ludvig von Bohnstedt

Marianne was not a baroness, but as a descendant of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt was member of this family of untitled nobility. It's possible that the author simply lacked sufficient understanding of the hierarchy of the Swedish nobility and called her a "baroness". Henric Ankarcrona, whose great-aunt was Marianne, also believes that this woman was the individual mentioned as being the owner of the painting.

1.  The Hjälmarsnäs Estate in St. Mellösa parish, Örebro County, Sweden, owned by Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt.
2-3. Knut Fredrik Ludvig von Bohnstedt, the son of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt

Unfortunately, the Bohnstedt noble line was not to continue. Teodor had two sons; Carl Edvard Ludvig, and Knut Eugen. Per tradition Teodor's title was passed to his eldest son, Karl, upon his death in 1888. Karl, however, had no sons, and only one daughter, and he died in 1919 in Stockholm. Even if the title had been passed to Teodor's younger son, Knut, the noble line still would not have survived; Knut himself had only one son, Knut Fredrik Ludvig von Bohnstedt, a cavalry officer, who died as a young man in 1908 without children. Allegedly he was kicked to death by a rogue horse.

Click to Enlarge
1. The Army of Gustavus Adolphus (2): Cavalry, by Richard Brzezinski and Richard Hook, 1993
2. B/W photo of a painting of King Gustav Adolf from
The Army of Gustavus Adolphus, owned at one time by Selma Elisabet Marianne von Bohnstedt

Although the Bohnstedt noble line in Sweden ended, other Bohnstedt lines still continue in Sweden, descending from Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt, a son of Karl Fredrik Johan Bohnstedt (Teodor's older brother), and can be found in Göteborg (Gothenburg) and Stockholm. The story of this family line is told next in The Bohnstedt Line in Sweden and The Descendants of Karl Fredrik Johan Bohnstedt.

1. Painting of Hilda Augusta Helene von Bohnstedt, a daughter of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, and a granddaughter of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt.  She married Sten Johan Teodor Claes Ankarcrona.
2. Selma Elisabet Marianne von Bohnstedt, a daughter of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, and a granddaughter of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt
3. Karl-Fredrik Bohnstedt von Horn was the son of Selma Elisabet Marianne von Bohnstedt. Robert emigrated to Brazil in 1957. However, he eventually returned to Sweden; he died there and was buried in Stockholm in his parent's family plot.


Bohnstedts väg ("Bohnstedt's Way")

23-26. Bohnstedts väg ("Bohnstedt Way", or "Bohnstedt Road") in Ärla, Sweden. In image #25 Lennart Bohnstedt is standing under the street sign.

The Rinkesta estate is located about 1-2 miles south of Ärla, Sweden.  In Ärla there is a street named "Bohnstedts väg" (Bohnstedts vaeg), which literally translated means "Bohnstedt's Way" or "Bohnstedt Way".  I have no doubt that it was named for Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt.


Final Resting Places

When Teodor passed away he was buried in the Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery), in Stockholm, Sweden.  The grave marker also carried the names of Teodor's wife; Hilda Vivica, his son; Carl Edvard Ludvig Bohnstedt and his wife Marianne, Edvard and Marianne's daughter; Anna Hilda Marianne (who is listed on the marker as "Mary"), Teodor's daughter' Vivica Louise, who died when she was twelve years old, and Teodor's daughter; Selma Helena, who is listed as "Ellen".  Ellen is listed with her married name of Arfwedson.  However, from some unknown reason, her husband, Henrik Gerard Arfwedson, is not buried with her.

27-30. The grave of Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt and some of his family in Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery), in Stockholm, Sweden. Going around the marker clockwise;
Side 1: "Th. Ludvig Bohnstedt" (Theodor/Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt), and his wife "Hilda Vivica Bohnstedt", born "Cassel".
Side 2: Teodor's oldest son; "C. Edvard L. Bohnstedt" (Carl Edvard Ludvig Bohnstedt) and his wife "Marianne Bohnstedt", born "Aakerhielm".
Side 3: Edvard and Marianne's daughter; "Mary Bohnstedt" (Anna Hilda Marianne Bohnstedt).
Side 4: Teodor's third child; "Vivica Louise Bohnstedt", who died at the age of twelve, and Teodor's fourth child; "Ellen Arfwedson" (Selma Helena Bohnstedt).

In another plot in the Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery), in Stockholm is the grave of Teodor Bohnstedt's father; Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and mother; Maria Louisa Albertina (Moll) Bohnstedt.  Buried in the same plot are Teodor Bohnstedt's second son (and Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt's grandson) Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, Knut's wife; Selma Magdalena, Knut's daughter Selma Vivica Louise von Bohnstedt (who died as a baby in 1878), and Knut's only son, Knut Fredrik Ludvig von Bohnstedt, who died at the young age of twenty six as a cavalry officer.

31-32. The grave of Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt (the ancestor of the Swedish Bohnstedt line), his wife Maria Louise, Carl Fredrik's grandson Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, Knut's wife, and two of Knut's children.
33.  The details of the grave maker, top to bottom, left to right:
- C.Fr. Bohnstedt (Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt), 1776-1838
- Lov. Alb. Bohnstedt (Maria Louisa|Lovisa Albertina ((Moll)) Bohnstedt), 1785-1882 (Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt's wife)
- Fritz Bohnstedt (Knut Fredrik Ludvig "Fritz" von Bohnstedt), 1882-1908 (son of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt)
- Knut Bohnstedt (Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt), 1841-1916 (son of Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt (grandson of Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, and father of Knut Fredrik Ludvig von Bohnstedt)
- Selma Bohnstedt (Selma Magdalena (Cassel) Bohnstedt), 1852-1922 (wife of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt)
-  Vivica Bohnstedt (Selma Vivica Louise|Lovisa von Bohnstedt), 1877-1878 (Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt's daughter)

The grave number for this plot in the Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery), in Stockholm is 277.  According to "Iréne", a "Findagrave" volunteer in the Stockholm, Sweden, area, there were two children buried in the same plot, and they were buried there in 1881. She found these names in the records. They carried the Bohnstedt name, but there was no first name.  Likewise, these two children are not listed on the grave marker for this plot.  This implies that the children were never given first names, and the only plausible reason for that is that they were still-born.  If they were still-born they were born, as well as died, in 1881.

Since they were buried under the Bohnstedt name their father most likely had the Bohnstedt name. The Bohnstedt males from this Swedish Bohnstedt line who reached adult age, and who were of the proper age and generation to have fathered children in 1881 were:

1. Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt, 1844-1926
2. Carl Edvard Ludvig von Bohnstedt, 1840-1919
3. Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, 1841-1916

Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt was married to Georgina Holbrook in 1888, seven years AFTER the mystery child(ren) died.  Carl Edvard Ludvig von Bohnstedt was married in 1886 to Charlotta Aakerhielm, five years after the mystery child died.

This leaves only Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, who was married in 1875.  Knut's first child (that we know of) was born in 1877, the second in 1878, and the third in 1882, and the fourth in 1884.  Given the spacing of the births of the other children, there is a noticeable gap between the second and third children. There should be another child in between, born about 1879-1881.

And as it is with solving puzzles, we should also consider the surrounding colors and patterns of the nearby pieces. In this case, the first child of Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt's and his wife, Selma Vivica Louise, died the year after she was born. It's possible that she may have had difficult pregnancies and child-birthing. If so, it would add more circumstantial evidence to the idea that the unnamed child was from Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt and his wife.

Finally, these two children were buried in the grave plot with Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt, his wife, and two of his children (and Knut Eugen's grandfather; Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt).  If these two children were from Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt or Carl Edvard Ludvig von Bohnstedt, they would more likely have been buried in one of the other two Bohnstedt family grave plots, NOT with Knut Fredrik von Bohnstedt.  Again, this gives evidence that the parents were Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt and his wife Selma Magdalena.

35. The burial place of Hilda Augusta Helene (von Bohnstedt) Ankarcrona and her family in Norra Begravningsplatsen ("North Cemetery"), Stockholm, Sweden.
36-37.  Burial place of Selma Elisabet Marianne (von Bohnstedt) von Horn in Norra Begravningsplatsen ("North Cemetery"), Stockholm, Sweden.  This is a von Horn burial plot.  The marker on the right-hand side lists the family of Selma (von Bohnstedt) Ankarcrona and her husband; Leopold Robert von Horn.

I believe that Knut Eugen von Bohnstedt's two daughters, Hilda and Selma, married into Swedish noble families. Hilda married in 1898 to Sten Johan Teodor Claes Ankarcrona. Lists of Swedish noble families list the Ankarcrona family under the category "Adliga ätter (Untitled Nobility".

There are two Ankarcrona families listed, one is No. 1534, and the other is 1965. Although I believe it likely that Hilda married into one of these two Ankarcrona families, I have yet to determine exactly which one she married into. As for Selma, she married in 1904 to Leopold Robert von Horn. As with Hilda I suspect that Selma married into a Swedish family of untitled nobility. But there several Horn/von Horn families listed, and so far, I have not been able to determine whether Leopold von Horn belonged to one of the Horn/von Horn noble families in Sweden.



Book References:
- Ruvigny, Melville H. The Nobilities of Europe. Adamant Media Corporation. 2000 (ISBN 1402185618)
- Brzezinski, Richard; Hook, Richard. The Army of Gustavus Adolphus (2): Cavalry. Osprey Publishing. 1993 (ISBN 1855323508)


See Also:
1-39 /
Genealogy 1-3: Sweden
1-10 /
Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-of-Arms; Swedish Bohnstedt Arms
5-4 /
Appendix D: Ny Svensk Släktbok


Online Resources
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Ludvig_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish)
https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Ludvig_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish, mobile site)
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish)
https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish, mobile site)
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish)
https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish, mobile site)


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