Gärdserum Church

A few days ago I wrote about the Baptist church in Champaign, Illinois where my great grandparents Wilford Luce and Essie Wilson were married in 1898. Almost immediately I ran across a bookmark where I saved a link to information about the (Lutheran) church in Gärdserum, Sweden where another set of great grandparents Adolf Svanström and Josefina Klasson were married in 1886.

You can see a picture of the Gärdserum church here. and some cool pictures from inside the church here. The Gärdserum church was built 1851-1854, which means the present building is the one where my great grandparents were married. It replaced an older church, going back to the 13th century. Gärdserum was originally a ridkyrka or “riding church” because it was an annex to the church at Ukna and the priest rode over to conduct services.

When I was looking for the church in Champaign, there were the usual issues with American churches. That often involves, as it did for me, trying to figure out the church from a partial record. I had the marriage license and the name of the minister, then I had to work from there to find the church.

In Sweden, as often in Europe, the search is simpler. This marriage was recorded at Gärdserum, so I know it was solemnized in the church at Gärdserum. Gärdserum is an old, historic church so there was a high chance it still exists, and so it does.

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