July 16, 2013 – My Upcoming Book: “The High Family’s Swedish Ancestors and Heritage: 1520-1867”

Even though the last family book I wrote, The High Family: 1726-2007 (Second Edition), was over 600 pages, the current book that I’m writing will by far exceed it as the most ambitious family history I’ve ever written. This book will focus exclusively on the Swedish ancestors of Gustaf High, my great-great-grandfather, and give a comprehensive and vivid picture of what their lives were like. Over the past two years of working on this project, I have grown quite a bit as a genealogist, and this work will really show that. I’ve revised and tweaked my work numerous times in an effort to develop the very best writing design in sharing family histories. Once I have finished with this book, I dare say that it will be one of the most in-depth and diverse chronicles of Swedish ancestry out there!

May of 2011 marked the start of my work on this massive undertaking. I enlisted the services of Swedish Heart Genealogy


, ran by a woman named Rhonda, and sent her all of the information that I had on my Swedish ancestors. Since then, Rhonda has helped me tremendously. Next, I subscribed to Arkiv Digital, a service that contains high-resolution images of over 6 million Swedish records. Since I don’t know Swedish, it took me awhile to be able to navigate through the different records. After a while however, I started to develop an understanding of them and can now find most of the records associated with my ancestors by myself. There are 4 main improvements in the way I incorporate records into my new book:

• I now try to include every known record associated with an ancestor.
• All of the records from Arkiv Digital are in color, unlike the black and white photocopies I previously had.
• My records are accompanied with Swedish transcriptions and English translations. These give authenticity to my work and my readers can now read the records themselves to verify my findings.
• Every record and source is now indexed through footnotes.

A month later in June, I embarked on my first international genealogy endeavor when I traveled to Sweden to visit several places associated with my paternal grandfather’s ancestors. In addition to visiting several old farms and churches associated with my ancestors, I also visited several museums, such as The Nordic Museum and Skansen in Stockholm, the museum in Eksjö, and the Gamlagården in Mellerude, which provided me with very informative insights on how my Swedish ancestors lived. I also had the privilege of meeting with several knowledgeable local researchers and historians who shared with me numerous fascinating tidbits of information on my ancestors. As I traveled throughout Sweden, I took numerous pictures of the places associated with my ancestors. I also carried a notebook and pen around and frequently jotted down several notes on what I learned from the researchers who accompanied me.

My trip to Sweden fueled me with passion for my Swedish ancestors and I was excited to learn more about them. Over the past two years, I have uncovered the identities of several more of Gustaf High’s ancestors. The amount of ancestors I will have listed has more than doubled and I can now trace my lineage as far back as 1520 to my 11th-great-grandfather, Per i Äng.

It’d take me several pages to fully describe all of the nifty features of my new book, but here are some of them:

• Extremely detailed and comprehensive profiles on my ancestors. Each profile now includes every known record associated with the specific ancestor, and is at least 10 times larger in length (from 2-4 pages to 20-40 pages each).
• The book will feature one of the most visually impressive and rhetorically diverse formats ever presented in an ancestry book.
• The book is steeped in contextual information and contains an abundant amount of material on the historical backdrop of the age they lived in.
• In addition to files on ancestors, I have also written files for every known place associated with them, such as the parishes they lived in, the churches they attended, and the farms they lived at.
• Dozens of old maps from the 17th-19th Centuries of the farms my ancestors lived.
• Several supporting documents, such as inventory estates, interesting stories, and intriguing folktales from the parishes my ancestors lived.

In short, this book is a literary museum of my Swedish ancestors’ heritage which promises to be not only of interest to my relatives, but to Swedish genealogy enthusiasts everywhere. Samples of this book can be found on my Samples page. In the future, I plan on uploading more samples from my book to this site.


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