Rinaldo Family Discoveries at Augustana College

Been a few days and several hundred miles on this family history journey since Augustana College, but here is the second part of the last post. The focus is my great-grandmother, immigrant from Sweden, Maria Christina Rinaldo. Let me begin first with information acquired through ArkivDigital in 2015, and the Swedish AD Seminar in Lindsborg, KS, of the same year.

  • First and foremost, “Rinaldo” is a military name. Different from patronymics and farm names, these were given to soldiers when there were too many of the same surname in a regiment or company. According to the person helping me with my research in 2015, soldiers and their children would either keep their military names, or revert back to the patronymic or farm name, when service terminated. Apparently, our ancestors retained the military name. More fun!
  • Maria Christina Rinaldo was born 30 July 1842 in Vimmerby Parish, Kalmar county, Sweden, to Johan Rinaldo (b. 4 February 1810, Vimmerby) and Stina Carin Calsdotter (b. 11 October 1822, Vimmerby). She was baptized/christened on 7 August 1842. (Witness/Godparent information still needs translation.)
  • She was living with her parents and a brother, Carl Johan (b.  30 May 1844, Vimmerby) in the farm village of Hjerpekullen.
  • Maria Christina was moved out of the Frödinge parish records on 18 April 1869. She was traveling as a “Pigan,” meaning maid/maid servant from Ahlstade (now Alsta) to North America.
  • I learned that the Rinaldo surname was actually a military name. Her grandfather’s military record in 1817 shows that Corp. Jonas Rinaldo was 5’10” tall and married. At the time, he was serving for/from Hamratorp. He had served over 14 years. (Other notations on the muster roll have not been translated yet.)
  • A Swedish household record for Maria’s grandfather, Jonas Rinaldo, for 1818-1820, shows him living in soldier’s cottage, no. 101, in Hamratorp, with wife Anna Nilsdr. (most likely a second wife), and four children: Anna, born in Frödinge, and three others born in Vimmerby–Karin, Lars, and Nils Johan (Maria Christina’s father). More translation of this record is needed, also.

At the Swedish Immigrant Research Center, I learned a little more.

  • The word “trumslagare” before her father’s name on her birth record means “drummer.”
  • Also from her birth record, her mother, Stina Carin Carlsdotter, was 19 years old at the time of Maria’s birth.
  • From the emigration database, Emibas, we found a record of emigration for her brother Carl Johan. He emigrated 1 January 1868 “from Solnebo, Vimmerby landsförs, Kalmar län (Småland) to Nordamerika.” (Source: Emibas migration file ID: Vimmerby landsförs H 1868 059; citing Household Examination Roll, p. 303.)
  • In an attempt to locate Maria Christina’s passenger record, several Rinaldos from Vimmerby ended up in Jamestown, NY.

Genealogy is a never-ending journey that takes us to unexpected places. I love this journey and look forward to discovering more as I move forward. The last two days have been about Norwegian research. More on that later.

2 thoughts on “Rinaldo Family Discoveries at Augustana College

  1. Marilyn, you would be a great detective! Thanks so much for sharing. In my
    mind, Rinaldo was either Spanish or Italian. So much for what I know or think
    I know!!!

    1. I know, Judy. That was what we all thought. Genealoical research is very interesting stuff. I am always learning something new.

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