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1. Joseph was born in Laq Qui Parle County.  Did Arnt/Ragnild live there for a time, or was Joseph just born there?
2. Is Karen Blakstad (sister of Ragnild, the same person as Kari Blakstad who adopted Joseph Swee (Blakstad)?
3. What last name did Christine Swee Ulevig take when she was adopted by Ida Ulevig Tongen?
4. Is there a "story" behind each of these adoptions?.

KENYON — Mrs. Alma Broin, age 102, of Faribault, and a former resident of Kenyon, died on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at the St. Lucas Care Center in Faribault.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 14, 2008, at 2:30 p.m. at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenyon with the Rev. Luther Mathsen officiating. Interment will take place in the Kenyon Cemetery.

Visitation will be held on Monday one hour prior to the services at the church.

Alma Josephine Swee, the daughter of Henry and Laura (Smith) Swee, was born on May 5, 1906, in Cherry Grove Township, Goodhue County. She attended country school. On Sept. 4, 1924, she was united in marriage to John Broin. He preceded her in death in 1972. After their marriage, she assisted her husband on the farm until they moved to Minneapolis. While living in Minneapolis Mrs. Broin worked at Honeywell until they moved back to the Kenyon area. At which time Alma began working at the Kenyon School as secretary to the Kenyon School superintendent and did the church bulletins at First Lutheran Church when the Rev. Syverud was serving the church. Later, Mrs. Broin began working at the Faribault State School until her retirement some 40 years ago.

Mrs. Broin loved to play many different card games, especially Rook. She loved lutefisk, and the family had to have it at Christmas. Alma enjoyed going to garage sales, and finding a bargain. Her family was very important to her.

She is survived by two children, Mrs. Audrey (Melroy) “Bud” Sunde of Faribault and Ordean (Leigh) Broin of New Jersey; seven grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; 31 great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives.

She is preceded in death by her husband; parents; son, Ardell (Hank) Broin; great-granddaughter, Pamela Stadler; 10 brothers and sisters, Luella Swee, Lillian Kluender, Lena Bestul, Allen, Clarence, Ragner, Earl, Eddie, Melvin and Herman Swee.


Arnt and Ragnild had 17 children including Joseph Swee who was adopted by Kari Blakstad as was his sister Mette Ingmar (Mattie) Swee. Joseph Blakstad married my aunt Jonetta Satrum, so I am actually related to that family from both my Satrum family and my Svee family.

Christine Swee Ulevig was adopted by Ida Ulevig Tongen.  Arnt and Ragnihilde had 5 children who were deaf/mute. 

A July 25, 2000 letter from Joyce and Darlene Johnson of Wanamingo, Minnesota described Arnt Swee's parents and included information on each of 16 children.  It included a letter which had been sent to them by Alma Broin, daughter of Henry Swee on August 26, 1981.  My list below has 17 children so we need to resolve the differences.  The Broin letter also makes reference to names, dates and situations as she knew them and not as they actually were in Norway or America.  We should take this letter as information to be verified and not necessarily as fact, but all of it helps to tell the stories of their lives.

I have converted the Johnson's and Broin letters into a single PDF file so others can review it.  If you need a copy of Adobe Reader, click on the logo below.  I have taken the Broin letter notes and included information from it in the list of children below.  While the letter refers to certain people being alive and in particular locations, I have changed the text to reflect that 27 years later than the content of the Broin letter, many have died.  I suppose if someone lived to a great age, we should change the text on this page from "lived" to "lives".  If you spot any errors let me know.

Click Here To Get Adobe Reader


1.  JOHAN P. SWEE,   b. 27 Jun 1877.

 2. GUSTAV A. SWEE, b. 15 Jan 1882.

Gustav never married.  He bought the home farm a week before his dad died.  Gustav bought a nice home in Wanamingo, Minnesota and lived there a number of years.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

Gustav Swee

Gustav Swee 1882-1966

3.   PETER G. SWEE,          b. 11 Oct 1883.
Peter was a cheesemaker at Roscoe, Minnesota for a number of years.  He died of cancer that developed from a small cut in his hand.  His wife, Grace, was in a rest home and was very ill and died February 26, 1975.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.
Peter G. Swee
Peter G. Swee 1883-1941
Grace Swee  1881-1975

4.   EMILY GURINE SWEE,  b. 24 Nov 1884.

Emily was deaf.  She married and lived in Chicago, Illinois.  She had 2 daughters and their husbands were lino-type operators for the Chicago Tribune.  Beatrice worked for Marshall Fields (department store) in the office for 40 years.  Jeanne was a secretary too and her 5 children all hear and talk.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

5.   JOSEPHINE A. SWEE,   b. 13 Apr 1886.

Josephine married Andrew Blakstad. They had 5 children. They farmed near the Blakstad farm.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

6.   ANNA A. SWEE,            b. 12 Jan 1888.

Anna lived in Wanamingo, Minnesota.  She had 3 daughters.  Her son died at the age of 6 from a brain tumor.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

7.   ALBERT A. SWEE,        b. 24 Aug 1889.

Albert Swee
Albert and Ida Swee
Albert Swee
Ida Marie King
November 15,1887 -
November 18,1930
Albert Swee
Aug 24, 1889 -
December 21, 1966


"Because neither his parents nor his numerous siblings ever learned sign language, Albert knew little about his heritage.  There was little chance for any meaningful exchange of information.  Albert attended the State School for the Deaf from about age 8 to 20 and only during summer vacation or holidays did he have contact with his family". - Source Richard Swee. 7-24-2008.

"A farmer and a cheesemaker at Fairbault, Minnesota.  Ida died of pneumonia and left 6 children.  The family raised the children and educated them and all have fine jobs." Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

Albert registered for the draft on June 15, 1917, claiming an exemption indicating his deafness and stating that he was a 27 year old natural born citizen who was a farm laborer working in Cherry Grove, Goodhue County, for Arnt Swee.  <Click Here> for an image of the document. This is one place where we find the actual signature of Albert. Even though the farm was near Wanamingo, the address listed was RFD No.4, West Concord, Minnesota.

8. CHRISTINE SWEE,        b. 25 Mar 1892.
Christina Married a farmer, John Ulevig and she died of a heart attack shortly after the birth of the 6th child. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

9.  ROSELLA B. SWEE,      b. 20 Oct 1893; d. Chicago.

Rosella was deaf.  She married and lived in Chicago, Illinois.  She died after appendix surgery.  Her son was 3 years old and lived with Christine until she died.  Donald is the one who teaches at Gauledet College in Washington D.C.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

10. ADOLPH SWEE,            b. 26 Jun 1896.

Adolph was deaf.  He worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan for many years.  He married later in life and was a carpenter in Delhi, Iowa.  He died about 1994. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

11. SIGURD SWEE,             b. 09 Sep 1899.

12  HENRY SWEE,              b. 1871, Norway; d. 1923.

*Several of the notes on this page come from a letter from Alma Broin.  Alma was the daughter of Henry.  Later other Swee members may be added to this site.  Alma's obituary is posted in the left column of this page until a different location is selected.

Henry ran large farms between Wanamingo and Kenyon, Minnesota.  He died quite young at the age of 52 of pneumonia. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.


Mattie was taken by Carrie blakstad.  She married and lived near the home farm and had 3 children. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

14  MARTIN INGMAR SWEE, b. 1881; d. 1950.

Martin died suddenly of a heart attack after his 96th birthday.  He never wa sick a day in his life. He had 3 children. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

15   MARTIN GUNERIOUS SWEE, b. 11 Nov 1878; d. 15 Nov 1878.

Died young.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.


Sydney was deaf.  He was living in California and appeard to have a kind of sclerosis but refused to go to a doctor.  We ws designing furniture.  His daughter was a teacher. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981. Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

17 JOSEPH SWEE (JOSEPH BLAKSTAD), b. 11 Nov 1890, LaQui Parle County, Minnesota; d. 12 Mar 1975, Goodhue County, Minnesota.

Joseph was taken in by Carrie Blakstad and lived on Carrie's farm.  He was in the rest home in Zumbrota, Minnesota.  Source: Alma Broin letter August 26,1981.

NOTES ABOUT SWEE CHILDREN:  The Broin letter listed 16 children:


Her list included one name JOHN who I did not have on my list.  Her note says: "John- Lawyer in Montana - had one adopted son.  He died of cancer.  He came to Mayos (clinic) too late to receive lasting help".


Her list did not mention Sigurd, and Johan who I had on my list.

John can't be the Johan I have in my list. As Johan would have been 104 at the writing of the Broin letter.   

 © Jon Satrum