MyHeritage — the official sponsor of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 — is all about bringing people together. And sometimes that means looking way into your past and discovering connections you never knew existed. In recent months they’ve been giving Eurovision stars the opportunity to discover their own family history through their DNA test kits. And now Charlotte Perrelli, the Swedish songstress who took the Eurovision crown in 1999, has revealed her very own MyHeritage journey. Her family history includes a strong military presence — we love a man in uniform! — with a few surprises thrown in. For instance: Who knew she had a little Balkan Girl in her?
You can read about Charlotte’s MyHeritage results on their official blog and web site. We’ve also summarised some of the findings below.
Charlotte Perrelli’s MyHeritage DNA results
Charlotte’s results show that she is 44.3% Scandinavian and 43.9% North and West European. The Swedish blood is strong, which might explain why she is such a schlager queen. More surprisingly, Charlotte found out that she is also 5.4% Balkan, 3.6% Finnish, and 2.8% Greek! That’s right, Sweden’s Eurovision winner has Mediterranean realness running through her veins.
MyHeritage was able to trace Charlotte’s family history across seven generations, all the way back to her 5th great-grandfather, using records from SuperSearch™. The results reveal Charlotte’s historic connections to her homeland and a long line of ancestors who made their own contributions to Sweden (which didn’t involve bringing home Eurovision trophies).
Charlotte’s military family history
The first of Charlotte’s family to bring awards home to Sweden was Henrik Nilsson Ingelberg, her 5th great-grandfather. He was awarded a medal for “bravery at sea” during the Swedish-Russian war of 1788–1790. Born in 1750, Henrik joined the army aged 22. In 1778, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and served in the army for the rest of his life, which was 29 years in total.
Henrik’s son Olof Hindrichsson Ingelberg, Charlotte’s 4th great-grandfather, joined the Kalmar Regiment in 1801, following in Henrik’s footsteps just months after his death. Olof also rose through the ranks to become Corporal. Charlotte’s other 4th great-grandfather, Sven Andersson Åberg, was also a military man, fighting for Sweden in a number of battles during the Napoleonic Wars, which ended at the Battle of Waterloo — yep, THAT Waterloo which gave ABBA a great song title.
Charlotte’s 3rd great-grandfather, Carl Fredrik, also served in the Swedish Army. Most recently, Charlotte’s two grandfathers Sture Erik Villiam Nilsson and Erik Helmer Korner fought against the Nazis in the Second World War.
Which of Charlotte’s ancestors was a political man?
Charlotte’s maternal great-grandfather, Anders Gustav Nilsson Korner, served Sweden politically rather than in the Army. He worked as a juryman at the Konga district court, an estate administrator, and cashier of the Sparbank, a local savings bank, for Kronoborg county in Hoghult. He also worked as chairman of the city council, chairman of the local agricultural society, and chairman of the city childcare, which has provided organised childcare for Swedish families since the middle of the 19th century.
MyHeritage equally studied records of the female members of Charlotte’s family, noticing two generations of women who tragically died in childbirth. Bearing in mind, 1 in every 14 women died in childbirth during the mid to late 18th century.
Lisa Svensson, Charlotte’s 3rd great-grandmother, died in 1845 a week after she gave birth to her daughter Johanna. She was only 21 years old. Johanna grew up and gave birth to her own daughter, Anna Karolina, however she died five days later. Four years beforehand, Johanna lost her husband to pneumonia in 1873.
Anna Karolina survived and thrived, continuing Perrelli’s family line.
As we gear up for Eurovision in Tel Aviv, get ready to discover your own heritage. Perhaps you’ll find undiscovered connections from around the continent — and the song contest!