The Bohnstedt Line in Sweden and The Descendants of Johan Carl Fredrik "Fritz" Bohnstedt
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 Johan Carl Fredrik "Fritz" Bohnstedt, 1833
Bergman & Bohnstedt
In 1987 Per Anders Fogelström wrote a novel called Vita Bergens Barn which, in English, means "Children of the White Hills". The book is a fictional drama about the human struggles in the working class 18th and 19th centuries in Sweden, but it uses real people, companies, and historical events as background. Following are some short excerpts from that book translated into English by Eva (Sender) Bohnstedt:
The large buildings at Ballast Platsen contained for some years the firm "Bergman & Bohnstedt's" big Industrial plant. It had the city's first machine driven cotton spinning mill. The spindles were driven by power from one of the steamboat construction steam engines. The spinning machines were of a Belgian make. England, which was leading the industry did not allow any export. In order to supply the steam engine's need of fuel they had surrounded the plant with enormous wood piles stacked up against the house walls.'
Bergman & Bohnstedt's cotton had fast become very popular, maybe because many buyers had made out the name stamp "B & B" to mean "Best Cotton" [Bäst Bomull]. Around 300 persons were working at the company, most of them being under-aged. The industrial plant was viewed as the biggest and most distinguished of its kind in the whole country.
The story goes on to relate the incident of a big fire, those who were killed or injured, and the poverty inflicted upon those survivors who were unemployed as a result of the fire.
1. Vita Bergens Barn ("Children of the White Hills"), by Per Anders Fogelström, 1987
2. Artists concept of the 1842 fire in the Bohnstedt & Bergman plant by Swedish artist Carl Stefan Bennet. The work was titled Bohnstedt & Bergmans bomullsspinneri brinner 1842
The author does not specify who the "Bohnstedt" character was based upon. However, it does appear that the firm of Bergman & Bohnstedt was a real company that existed during the mid-1800's. In July of 2001 Tomas Nilson with the Department of History at the Göteborg (Gothenberg) University in Sweden wrote a non-fiction work entitled The Invisible Hand of Knowledge; Market Forces and the Diffusion of Technology and Knowledge from Britain to Sweden during the Eighteen-fifties: The Case of the Swedish Textile Industry. In it Nilson references Bergman & Bohnstedt:
A few years later (1836) one of the Malcolm brothers, Alexander, established his own workshop in the town of Norrköping. He soon got orders for his machinery. When the Stockholm based firm of Bergman & Bohnstedt decided to expand production in their cotton mill in the late 1830s, they turned to Malcolm's shop for the supply of additional machinery. Malcolm's shop also manufactured most of the machinery to the Trollhättan cotton mill, established 1841-42.
When Bergman & Bohnstedt started their business they ordered some of the machinery from a shop in Stockholm, owned by the Englishman John Barker. The power looms Barker supplied were not of his own construction but rather copies of machinery manufactured by Cockerills in Belgium.
Nilson cites two different Swedish works as source material:
Anteckningar om Sveriges bomullsspinnerier 1805-1877 by D.H. Bagge (1889), and Från hantverk till fabriksindustri. Svensk textiltillverkning 1820-1870 by Lennart Schön (1979).
The Bergman & Bohnstedt firm comes up again in A Stagnating Metropolis: the Economy and Demography of Stockholm, 1750-1850, by Johan Soderberg, Ulf Jonsson, and Christer Persson, while discussing the changes in the textile market:
Domestic textile production in rural Sweden became increasingly competitive during the century after 1750. As a result of agrarian economic growth the textile market was shifted spatially as well as socially, to the disadvantage of Stockholm. Areas in close touch with the growing rural demand were stimulated. Stockholm's position deteriorated not only when compared with factory production in a town like Norrköping but also when compared with domestic rural production, oriented towards coarser and cheaper qualities.
The changes in demand are illustrated by the firm of Bergman & Bohnstedt, the most advanced cotton spinning mill in the country during the time it was operating in Stockholm (1836-41). Modern spinning machines were used for the fine yarn, and weaving was mechanized too. After a fire in 1841 the company left the capital and founded a new mill outside the small town of Nyköping in the county of Södermanland. It is significant that the new establishment was equipped with machines for coarse yarn only, presumably in order to meet demand from domestic industry for this quality.
(The above excerpt says that the fire occured in 1841, but most other sources agree that the fire occurred in 1842)
A Stagnating Metropolis: the Economy and Demography of Stockholm, 1750-1850, by Johan Soderberg, Ulf Jonsson, and Christer Persson, 2002
So who was the "Bohnstedt" in Bohnstedt & Bergman? If he was from the family of Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, logic dictates that, based on time frame and the ages of the Carl Fredrik's family members, the only candidate which fits would be Carl Fredrik's eldest son, Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt. His father, Carl Fredrik, died in 1838, while "Bohnstedt & Bergman's were still operating. Carl Fredrik's son, Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt, lived until 1888, which means he lived more than long enough to fit the time frame. However, a Wikipedia entry for Bohnstedt & Bergman refers to the two company directors as "JC Bohnstedt" and "A Bergman". If this is accurate, it would eliminate Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt as a candidate. But what about his older brother, Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt? I had previously operated under the assumption that the order of his names was "Karl Fredrik Johan Bohnstedt" (KFJ Bohnstedt), mainly because this was how he was listed in the Ny Svensk Släktbok. But a number of other records from Sweden, such as baptism records, list him as "Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt" (JCF Bohnstedt), and a couple of these records list him as Johan Carl Bohnstedt (JC Bohnstedt).
Although Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt died in 1849, he was still alive when Bohnstedt & Bergman's cotton mill was operating in Stockholm. I came across one other item recently; a page from an 1896 work called Förteckning ofver komitébetänkanden afgifna under åren 1809-94 ("List of committee reports in the years 1809-94"). The page apparently refers to Bohnstedt as "the former committee member wholesale dealer JC Bohnstedt". The meaning of this single entry is not conclusive. It could mean that Bohnstedt had resigned as a committee member, but it could also mean that he was a former committee member because he died. So far, I cannot find any other candidate that would fit the profile of JC Bohnstedt of "Bohnstedt & Bergman".
The Bohnstedt Line in Stockholm
The Bohnstedt line as it exists today in Sweden descends from Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, the oldest son of Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt. Known by the nickname "Fritz", he inherited his father's business ventures upon his death in 1838 in Stockholm. The following year Fritz married Maria Matilda Moll in Stockholm.
1. Johan Carl Fredrik "Fritz" Bohnstedt
2. Maria Matilda (Moll) Bohnstedt, Fritz's wife.
From 1840 to 1846 Fritz and Maria had five children: Louisa (1840), Carl Fredrik (1841), Matilda (1843), Johan Emanuel (1844), and Viktor (1846). But it seems as if their family was followed by tragedy. Louisa died at the age of two, and Viktor died when he was just eight years old. Fritz and Maria's second child and oldest son, Karl Fredrik Bohnstedt, entered military service but died in 1863 in Hamburg, Germany at the age of 22 of causes unknown.
1. Pencil drawing of Johan Carl Fredrik "Fritz" Bohnstedt's wife, Maria Mathilda "Thilda" (Moll) Bohnstedt, 1839
2. Maria Matilda (Moll) Bohnstedt, Fritz's wife. The portrait was painted by Olof Johan Södermark
In 1860 Matilda married into German aristocracy by marrying Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand von Redlich in Hamburg. This opens the possibility that Matilda had traveled to Hamburg with her brother, Karl. One might also note that Fritz and Maria's youngest child, Viktor, died in Brückeburg, Germany in 1854, six years before Matilda was married. Is it possible that Fritz and Maria had relocated for a time to Germany with their family? And if so, for what reason?
Johan Carl Fredrik's and Maria's daughter, Mathilda Lovisa Charlotta von Redlich, is buried in Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery) in her husband's family plot (Block 3, Number 137). Along with Mathilda and her husband; Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand von Redlich, there are several other members of the von Redlich family buried in this family plot; Carl Wilhelm Hugo von Redlich, Axel Wilhelm von Redlich, Signe Jane Harriet von Redlich (Leidberg), Ingrid Karolina von Redlich, Maud Ingrid Holmgren, Ingrid Margareta Palmqvist (Melter), and Anne Ingrid Margaretha Palmqvist.
We know this: Karl Fredrik (the son) and Viktor were both buried in Stockholm, despite the fact that they died in Germany. Furthermore, Even though Matilda married a German, in Germany, and began her family there, she and her husband Heinrich also relocated back to Stockholm, Sweden.
Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt, Fritz and Maria's only remaining son, next carried the Bohnstedt family name. He married in 1888 in Stockholm to an American, Georgina (or Georgia) May Holbrook, who was born in 1855 in Boston, Massachusetts. According to records Johan owned the Erikssund Estate for several years. He may have made his living this way if Erikssund was still a functioning agricultural estate.
1-2. Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt
Johan Emanuel and his wife had only two children that we know of; Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt (1888), and Dagmar (1892). We know nothing of Dagmar's family except that she married Carl Edmond Febvrel, a banker in Göteborg (Gothenberg), Sweden.
The Swedish Bohnstedts in the 20th Century
Karl Married Charlotta Oscaria Ahlin, and they had five children during the period 1916 - 1924, all born in Sweden; Curt Fredrik (1916), Margot (1918), Dagmar (1920), Britt (1922) and Gunvor (1924). As the only son born to Karl and Elise it would fall to Curt to carry the Bohnstedt name.
1-2. Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt (Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt's son)
3. Elise Charlotta (Ahlin) Bohnstedt
Curt Fredrik Bohnstedt was a meteorologist, and, according to oral family history, functioned in this capacity as a civilian employee for the Swedish Air Force for quite a few years from about 1943 to about 1979. Curt and his wife had four children, two sons and two daughters. These were: Annika Birgitta Bohnstedt, born 1942 in Malmö, Sweden, just across the channel from København (Copenhagen), Denmark, Claes Fredrik Bohnstedt, born 1944 in Stockholm, Kerstin Margareta Bohnstedt, born in 1947 in Angelholm, north of Malmö, and Carl Lennart Bohnstedt, born in 1948, also in Malmö.
Curt Fredrik Bohnstedt and Ingvor Kerstin (Hedström) Bohnstedt
Annika married Ole Gerdin, but they had no children. Kerstin was married twice. In her first marriage to Inge Nilsson she had one daughter, Ulrika, and from her second marriage to Sune Nolerstedt she had two more children, Robert and Eric.
1-3. An entire line of Bohnstedts was buried together in Norra Begravningsplatsen (North Cemetery), in Stockholm, Sweden; Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and wife Maria, son Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt and wife Georgina, grandson Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and wife Charlotta, and great grandson Curt Fredrik Bohnstedt and wife Ingvor. The inscription reads: "Graf for ("Grave of") Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt [and] "Dess Maka" ("His spouse"). However, his wife's actual name is not listed. This may be due to the fact that after Johan Carl Fredrik's premature death in 1849, his wife, Maria, remarried in 1852 to Carl Adolf Sterky. She may be buried with him. Going down the marker are the names of Johan Carl Fredrik's male line of descendants. His son "J.E. Bohnstedt" (Johan Emanuel Bohnstedt), his wife, "Georgie Bohnstedt" (Georgina May Bohnstedt, born "Holbrook"), Johan Emanuel's son, "Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt" and his wife "Charlotta Bohnstedt" (Elisa Charlotta Oskarina Bohnstedt, born "Ahlin"), and last, Carl and Charlotta's son; "Curt Bohnstedt" (Curt Fredrik Bohnstedt) and his wife "Ingvor Bohnstedt". Cemetery records indicate that at least two other children from Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and his wife Maria are buried in this plot; Lovisa Charlotta Mathilde (born 1840 in Stockholm), and Viktor Ehrenfried (born 1846 in Stockholm). However, their names do not appear on the marker.
After serving in the Royal Swedish Air Force for one year as a medic Claes attended University in Stockholm, earning a Masters degree in Economics. He was married in 1968 in Kalmar, Sweden, to Ann-Sophie Ekströmer. They had two daughters, Eva, born in 1971 and Else, born in 1973. Both girls were born in Stockholm. Claes was married again in 1979 Göteborg, Sweden to Eva Sender, an optometrist. She and Claes had two children; Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, born in 1980 in Stockholm, and Sara Matilda Bohnstedt, born in 1982 in Göteborg, Sweden.
1-4. Curt and Ingvor's children: Annika Birgitta Bohnstedt, Claes Fredrik Bohnstedt, Kerstin Margareta (Bohnstedt) Nolerstedt, and Carl Lennart Bohnstedt
Claes has held business management positions in some of Sweden's best companies, including Managing Director of Luxottica's Göteborg branch, and more recently as Chief Executive Officer of Synologen. Claes's brother Carl, who used his middle name of Lennart, was educated at the University in Stockholm. He became a university teacher of physics and mathematics. He was married in 1969 to Anna Sellfridson. They had two children, Invor Paulina Bohnstedt, born in 1972 in Stockholm, and Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, born in 1974 in Stockholm.
1-2. Claes Bohnstedt's four children; Eva Susanna Bohnstedt, Else Sophie Bohnstedt, Johan Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and his wife Emma, and Sara Matilda Bohnstedt
At this writing Claes and Lennart have grandchildren who are carrying on the Bohnstedt name in Sweden. Although they each had only one son, it has become fairly common for women to take the Bohnstedt name because it is unusual, and to also give that name to their children as well, much like Danish tradition.
1-2. Carl Lennart and Ingvor Bohnstedt's children; Invor Paulina Bohnstedt-Borg, and Karl Fredrik Bohnstedt with his wife, Kristina
Claes's first daughter, Susanna, has two children; Benjamin, and Lisa, who both carry the Bohnstedt surname. Sophie has three children; Emilie, David and Elise, who carry the surname of both their father, Patrick Wahlberg, and their mother. Johan married Emma Vingø in 2014, and they have one daughter; Filippa. Lennart's two children, Paulina and Fredrik both married. Paulina married in 2005 to Bo Erik Borg, and their daughter, Linda, carries the surname Bohnstedt-Borg. Lennart's son, Fredrik, a software developer, married in 2002 in Stockholm to Kristina Claesson, and at this writing they have two children; a son, Alvin, and a daughter, Lova.
- Fogelström, Per Anders. Vita Bergens Barn. ("The Children of the White Hills") Bonnier. 1987 (ISBN 9100473154)
- Nilson, Tomas. The Invisible Hand of Knowledge; Market Forces and the Diffusion of Technology and Knowledge from Britain to Sweden during the Eighteen-fifties: The Case of the Swedish Textile Industry 2001
- Soderberg, Johan. Jonsson, Ulf. Persson, Christer. A Stagnating Metropolis : The Economy and Demography of Stockholm, 1750-1850. Cambridge University Press. 2003. (ISBN 0521531330)
- Thyselius, Erik. Förteckning ofver komitébetänkanden afgifna under åren 1809-94. Iduns Tryckeri Aktiebolag. 1896.
1-8 / Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, and the C.F. Bohnstedt Firm
1-39 / Genealogy 1-3: Sweden
5-4 / Appendix D: Ny Svensk Släktbok
https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Fredrik_Bohnstedt (Svensk/Swedish, mobile site)
https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohnstedt_%26_Bergmans_bomullsspinneri (Svensk/Swedish, mobile site)
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