Political farmers – Maria Catharina Ahlfort and her descendants
After being disinherited, Maria Catharina Ahlfort and her husband settled down in a small soldier’s cottage, until her brother helped her to a farm where their family subsequently prospered. Several of their children and grandchildren became politicians, although most were farmers. With time, this part of the family grew to some thousands of descendants.
When Maria Catharina Ahlfort was finally allowed by court to marry her father’s farmhand Jonas Andersson, her father was forced to go back on his wishes and find a living for them. Jonas was willing to join the army, so he set them up in the soldier’s cottage Mosstugan under Skyttlingebäck in Askeryd parish, whither they moved in 1731. Jonas acquired the soldier’s surname Ekstrand, while Maria seized to be called Ahlfort; from that day she was normally simply referred to by her patronymic as Ericsdotter. This change is probably reflective of her father’s unwillingness to let her inherit, or even be part of the family at all. Even so, many of her descendants continue to be aware of their connection with the esteemed Alfort family at Liljeholmen, even to this day.
As mentioned earlier, Maria did get her inheritance in the end, or rather her seven children did. This would have made a huge difference for them, and it is probable that it was this more than anything which enabled the family to grow so large and prosperous over the following generations. Their daughters Hedevig and Ulrica both married soon after receiving the inheritance on their grandmother’s death. They both seem to have taken the surname Edman on this occasion, probably in order to advertise the higher status that their newly acquired fortunes had given them. However, it is unclear whether this was an official change of name, since it does not seem to have been much used later.
icon-arrow-right The next section “A soldier and a farmer” is about the couple’s family life in their tiny cottage.