Mankell Family History

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Johan Herman Mankell in Sweden

In 1816, after his departure from the Moravian church in Christiansfeld because of controversies, Johan went to Stockholm and then to Kalmar Sweden where he was appointed director of music with a military regiment. His wife, Johanna, decided to seek a divorce and wanted custody of their children, but Johan did not sign the divorce papers. It appears the dispute revolved around financial matters. Remember that Johanna came from a rich family. Several years passed during which Johan demanded money from his wife; she didn’t agree and he refused to sign the divorce papers. Reventlow writes:
The whole thing was a difficult and painful matter and also unbearable for the wife, who could not get rid of him. In 1818 he was forbidden to show up at the church, and his contact to his wife and children was hindered—so much so that he received no answer when he sent money. In 1824 the family was divorced, supposedly because he found a new woman. Mrs. Mankell was spoken of as a widow afterwards.

Their children remained in Christiansfeld Denmark with their mother, who died there in 1839. At some point, these children (Carl Abraham, Wilhelm, Georg, Gustav, and Friederica) all joined their father in Sweden. None remained in Denmark.

In 1824, when he was 61 years old, Johan married Helena Svedman and fathered 5 more children before his death in 1835.

Bibliography: Reventlow, p. 679-680; Svensk Biographisk Lexikon, p. 57.

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Last updated: February 20, 2008