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Daniel descended from aristocracy: new book

James Savage · 8 Jun 2010, 16:25

Published: 08 Jun 2010 16:25 GMT+02:00

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A book released this week by genealogist Björn Engström shows that Daniel is descended from both Swedish and Finnish aristocracy. His distant relatives include senior royal retainers, members of parliament, a former president of Finland and a woman convicted of witchcraft, the book reveals.

Westling was brought up in Ockelbo in the province of Gästrikland, where his father is a retired social services chief and his mother a retired postal worker.

Many of his ancestors come from the same part of central Sweden, and include blacksmiths, smallholders and soldiers.

But Westling is not the first member of his extended family to get close to royalty - his distant relative Christoffer Johansson was a senior courtier at the court of Karl IX, and was present at his coronation in 1550.

Westling also has some political blood coursing through his veins:

“There is an unusual number of Riksdag (parliament) members in his family. There were four Riksdag members among his ancestors in the 16th and 17th century. Back then, the Riksdag would only meet for one or two weeks a year when the king needed support for something or other,” Engström told The Local.

He is also descended from the aristocratic Svinhufvud family. Engström has traced his ancestry to Jöns Svinhufvud in the 14th century.

“They were part of the early Swedish aristocracy and leaders of mining society. The mines were Sweden’s treasure chest,” Engström told The Local.

The link means that Daniel is a very distant relative of Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, president of Finland in the 1930s.

That is not Westling’s only connection with Finland. Like many Swedes, he also has many ‘Forest Finns’ among his ancestors. Forest Finns originated in Finland but moved to Sweden, often maintaining their language and their culture for many generations. The Forest Finns usually pursued ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture, in which forests were cut down and burned to provide arable and pasture land.

“One of these ancestors is reported to have died in battle in Finland in 1597 and his widow came to Sweden,” Engström.

Many of the Forest Finns had Russian ancestry, so it is possible that Daniel is part-Russian.

“There’s sure to be a bit of Russian blood there,” says Engström.

One of his ancestors was certainly born in Russia:

Story continues below…

“His ancestor Margaretha Ragvaldsdotter was born in Moscow in 1699. I suspect she was of Swedish descent; its possible that she was from one of the Swedish colonies in Russia.”

Engström had comforting words for Westling’s new in-laws: Daniel’s family has a high moral standing:

“If you look at his ancestors as a whole, they’re an unusually honest family. There are very few criminal convictions. Someone was convicted of drunkenness in 1817, and his great-great-great-great grandfather was convicted of not caring for his children. Another ancestor was convicted of witchcraft, but she was not drowned like many others - she was later pardoned.”

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:49 June 8, 2010 by Davey-jo
Gosh,how so very very exciting. They pay people to write this fawning pap?
17:58 June 8, 2010 by mjennin2
Spare yourself the time of reading this enthralling article (::sarcasm::) by reading this one-liner:

"The link means that Daniel is a very distant relative of Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, president of Finland in the 1930s."

Or, even shorter, "VERY DISTANT relative".

They say that everyone in America is 6 connections away from being related to Kevin Bacon. Therefore, I am sure a great majority of scandinavians are all *very distant* relatives of [insert dead royal guy...or girl...or cousin of guy or girl...or monkey's uncle's dog's trainer for guy or girl]

In all honesty, I think the main takeaway from this article is that our friend Daniel is in SERIOUS need of a new hair style, STAT.
18:53 June 8, 2010 by Tiddler
He would look more attractive in a gimp's mask.
19:55 June 8, 2010 by locaxy
Anyone who cares about this is a moron. And the article is pure dribble.

There. I said it.
20:09 June 8, 2010 by NickM
This is nothing but a very lame effort to prove he is worthy of title of "King of Sweden" when his wife becomes Queen.

Why don't the Royals just come out with it and say he's not royal enough to marry their daughter?
20:48 June 8, 2010 by ooh456
Royals are clowns. They should have to wear big red noses.
22:56 June 8, 2010 by diegoveggie
who cares?
02:44 June 9, 2010 by Mack
Among one of the worst articles I have seen on the local. Oooo he may have Russian blood from a Swede born in Russia >300 years ago ?

By the look of him the article, would have been best "Daniel descended from inbred ugly people" ... oh wait it did say that.
06:22 June 9, 2010 by sweco1
Which ex-President of Finland is he somewhat related to?
09:14 June 9, 2010 by uunbeliever
Neato, it's like "Spaceballs" where the moron finds out he is royalty and gets to marry the princess. The big difference, though, is that Daphne Zuniga is attractive.
09:57 June 9, 2010 by salalah
If he is noble, then I am the President of the US
10:13 June 10, 2010 by InterceptorZone
Another book is about to appear : Daniel descended from Chris..
10:39 June 10, 2010 by salalah
06:13 June 14, 2010 by cattie
Hey, geneologists do the exact same thing in the USA during presidential elections. It is sort of a geneologists opportunity to do some PR and show their stuff. It was found that Obama is a very distant cousin to John McCain. Because of the mulitpicities of ancestors after five or six generations, MOST ethnically English people can trace a lineage to back to one royal dynasty or another, however most must go back dozens of generations. A Swede with a family tree tracing back to ethnic Swedes and Finns. Not really any surprises there if you know Swedish history.
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