Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Matilda Hertel Segh

Matilda Hertel was born in 1853 in Herrestad parish, Ostergot lands, Sweden. She married August Jonasson Segh in 1871 and they settled in Vadstena (Wadstena). After 2 years of marriage, August and Matilda (now 30 years old) became parents of twin sons. Karl Oscar Fromhold Segh and Gustaf Adolf Segh were born on November 6, 1873 in s:t Per parish in Ostergotland, Sweden.

Around July, 1874, when the twin boys were 9 months old, Matilda became pregnant again, and on April 18, 1875 another son, Johan August Segh, was born. Around January 1876, Matilda was pregnant again. Her twin sons would have just turned 2 years old, and Johna was about 9 months old at that time. On September 9, 1876, a fourth son, Axel Edward Segh was born. Now Matilda had 4 sons, all under the age of 3 years old!

Nine months later, Marilda was pregnant again with twins. On March 14, 1878 a daughter, Matilda Sofie Segh was born, It was reported that she was a twin, however, her twin must not have survived. Now she had 4 year old twins, and almost 3 year old, a 1 1/2 year old and a new baby. Sadly, baby Matilda died August 1st at age 4 1/2 months old. Around October of that year, Matilda was pregnant with twins again. In January of 1879, Matilda and August's son, Axel, died at 2 1/2 years old. She delivered another daughter, Elin Mia Segh, on July 11, 1879, and again , it was reported that she was a twin, but the other twin did not survive. Tragedy struck the family when baby Elin died in September at almost 2 months old.

It is incredible to think that all within 6 years, Matilda had 5 pregnancies, 8 children, and 5 of the 8 children had died. By this time, Karl and Gustaf were almost 6 years old and Johan was 4 1/2 years old.

August Segh died in 1901. It appears that Matilda lived with her son, Johan until she died. Her son Gustaf died in 1908, and his twin Karl, died in 1933. Matilda died in 1934, having survived 7 of her 8 children. Johan remained in Vadstena until his death in 1952. He was a single man.

I am struck by all of the hardships and tragedies that Matilda must have gone through. She lost at least 5 children very early, and 2 more later. Her oldest son, Karl, left for America in 1892 and she never saw him again.

Interestingly, Karl Oscar appears to be the only one of Matilda's children who had children. Matilda had 6 grandchildren that she was never able to meet. Such a sad story!

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