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Ella Hecksher was born on May 12, 1882 in Stockholm, Sweden. She was the daughter of Legal Counsel, National Financial and Consul General Isidor Heckscher and his wife Rosa Meyer. She was also the sister of the famous economic historian, Professor Eli F. Heckscher.
Between 1922 and 1924 Ella Heckscher was employed as a genealogist and assistant to Physician and Researcher, Professor Herman Bernhard Lundborg at the Swedish National Institute for Racial Biology, studying eugenics and human genetics in Uppsala. At that time Miss Heckscher opened her own genealogical research business in Uppsala. Miss Heckscher ran the business during the years of 1918 to 1949. To broaden the research support, she hired a number of employees, mainly at the various regional archives of Sweden. As a renowned genealogist, her business became a valuable resource to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. This was especially true before the church membership had access to the Swedish records on microfilm. A large part of the genealogical cases in the Ella Hecksher archive were commissioned from the members of this ecclesiastical organization.
Towards the end of her business activities, she shared responsibility with Dr. L. Häusler, a Jewish refugee who came to Sweden from Germany at the end of World War II. Due to disputes between Miss Hecksher and Dr. Häusler the business was divided. At that time copies of the research requests and indexes were separated from the main collection. Miss Heckscher died on June 24, 1964 in Uppsala, Sweden.
That same year Henning Aschan took over the business and the Agency and its archives were moved to Lund. In 1976 the first part of the Ella Heckscher collection was donated to the Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö (correspondence with the North American clients, E-I series with the associated indexes.) Due to water leakage in a storage unit, most of the remaining documents were promptly transported to Växjö. When the remaining collection arrived on November 25, 1983, it was found that a number of boxes were severely damaged by water and mildew and were discarded at that time. Although an original master index to the collection has been lost, a topographical search index for the collection was kept. This index is organized according to the regional archive areas and the component parishes.
As a note, a portion of the collection originally came from a similar genealogical business ran by a Herman Södersteen (a pastor of Askersund who was occasionally hired by Miss Heckscher.) According to Mr. Aschan, the Södersteen collection was purchased by Miss Heckscher. Additional documents related to the Agency's activities in Lund and a few remaining documents from the Södersteen collection are still with Mr. Aschan.
The Emigrant Institute (Utvandrarnas Hus), Växjö, Sweden.
Johansson, Lars-Göran. Ella Heckschers Genealogiska Byrå I Uppsala (narrative with collection), The Swedish Emigrant Institute, 2009
Swedish Wikipedia, 2009
Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, Swedish Death Index 4 (1947-2006), 2007
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