Charlotte Perrelli’s 1999 Eurovision win brought honor and glory to Sweden. As it turns out, she comes from a distinguished line of ancestors who likewise brought honor to Sweden. With the help of MyHeritage DNA, MyHeritage family tree data, and records from SuperSearch™, we were able to trace Charlotte’s family’s contribution to Swedish history through seven generations, all the way back to her 5th great-grandfather. Our family history research revealed that Charlotte comes from a long line of men and women devoted to serving their homeland, going back as far as the late 18th century.
MyHeritage even had the privilege of taking Charlotte’s cheek swab DNA sample in person, at her home in Sweden!
A history of public service
Charlotte expressed her dedication to her country through music; six of her ancestors did so by serving in the military.
Henrik Nilsson Ingelberg, 5th great-grandfather
The earliest recorded soldier in Charlotte’s family was her 5th great-grandfather, Henrik Nilsson Ingelberg. He was born in 1750, and joined the army in 1772 at the age of 22. After six years in service, in 1778, he was promoted to the rank of corporal, and continued serving in the army for the rest of his life — 29 years in total. During the Swedish-Russian war of 1788–1790, he was awarded a medal for “bravery at sea.”
Olof Hindrichsson Ingelberg, 4th great-grandfather
After Henrik died, his son Olof followed in his footsteps. Olof joined the army just a few months after Henrik’s death in 1801, serving in the same regiment as his father — the Kalmar regiment — for 32 years. Olof also became a corporal, no doubt committed to continuing his father’s legacy as a devoted warrior for Sweden.
Sven Andersson Åberg, 4th great-grandfather
Sven Andersson Åberg was Charlotte’s 4th great-grandfather. His daughter, Ingrid Maria Svensdotter, married Olof’s son, Carl Fredrik.
Sven joined the Swedish army, which was part of the alliance against Napoleon, in 1802. He fought in a number of battles in the Napoleonic Wars, which lasted from 1803 until the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Carl Fredrik Åberg, 3rd great-grandfather
Olof’s son, Carl Fredrik, was Charlotte’s 3rd great-grandfather. He became the third generation to serve in Sweden’s army.
Carl Fredrik and Ingrid Maria lived together in a soldiercroft — a residence for soldiers and their families — at number 125 Ålebäcksås. Each family was allocated a certain amount of land. While the soldiers were away with the army, the wife was charged with the task of managing the land and the home. So while Carl Fredrik was fighting to defend his land, Ingrid Maria was tending it.
Sture Erik Villiam Nilsson, paternal grandfather
The most recent family members to serve in the army were Charlotte’s two grandfathers. Both fought against the Nazis during the Second World War.
Charlotte’s paternal grandfather, Sture, was born in Hovmantorp, Kronoberg in 1902. Sture completed his military service in 1922, then worked as a glazier before serving again in World War II. Sture’s military record tells us that he was part of the local defense and the aircraft warning service.
Erik Helmer Korner, maternal grandfather
Charlotte’s maternal grandfather, Erik Helmer Korner, was born in Nöbbele, Kronoberg in 1912. He served in the infantry from 1932–1935, and then during the Second World War. Erik’s military record shows that he was a skilled soldier: In 1932–1933, he was awarded grade 3+ for his performance, the highest possible grade. In 1934-1935 he was awarded grade 2+, and in 1939 he was again graded 3+.
Anders Gustav Nilsson Korner, great-grandfather
While the aforementioned family members of Charlotte’s served their homeland as soldiers and soldiers’ wives, some of her ancestors served their country in other ways. Anders Gustav Korner, Charlotte’s maternal great-grandfather, was an important figure in his community, devoting his life to serving his fellow Swedes. He was the chairman of the city council, chairman of the local agricultural society, and chairman of the city childcare. Sweden provided organized childcare since the middle of the 19th century, and as you can see, it was taken very seriously. Anders Gustav was also a juryman at the Konga district court, an estate administrator, and the cashier of the Sparbank for Kronoborg county in Hoghult. The Sparbank was a type of local savings bank set up to help farmers keep their savings.
The tragic stories of women in Charlotte Perrelli’s family tree
Alongside the deep sense of duty and service that emerges from Charlotte’s family tree, there is also some tragedy. During the mid to late 18th century, one in every 14 women died in childbirth, and two of Charlotte’s ancestors succumbed to this unfortunate fate.
Lisa Svensson, 3rd great-grandmother
In 1845, Charlotte’s 3rd great-grandmother, Lisa Svensson, got pregnant out of wedlock. On January 25th, 1846, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl… but sadly, Lisa, who was only 21, died a week later.
Lisa named her baby Johanna Charlotta — which might be the origin of Charlotte’s own first name. Johanna’s father, Johann, took the baby in and changed her name to Johanna Mathilda. Johann got married the next year, and he and his wife brought up little Johanna.
Johanna Johannsdotter, great-great-grandmother
Johanna grew up healthy and was blessed with a happy marriage, but she lost her husband to pneumonia in 1873. Four years later, she gave birth to a baby girl out of wedlock. Johanna died five days after giving birth.
Before she passed away, Johanna named her baby girl Anna Karolina. Anna was strong enough to survive and thrive, and she continued the family line.
Charlotte’s MyHeritage DNA Results
Charlotte’s MyHeritage DNA test shows that she is 44.3% Scandinavian and 43.9% North and West European, which reinforces her family’s strong connection to the region. Charlotte is also 5.4% Balkan and 3.6% Finnish, and most surprising of all, 2.8% of her ethnic origins are Greek!
Although we didn’t find any close family members, Charlotte has over 2,000 relatives from 28 different countries worldwide that she can now reach out to directly from the MyHeritage platform.
The research that MyHeritage carried out to discover Charlotte’s family history and DNA results deepened our understanding of Charlotte’s connection to her homeland. Knowing that Charlotte comes from a family that contributed so much to Sweden for so many generations, we can appreciate even more what it meant to her to win the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden in 1999. We’re sure her ancestors would have been proud.