|Date of Birth||February 18, 1871|
|Place of Birth||Vankiva, Kristianstad (SkГҐne)|
|Next of Kin||Johanna Lovisa Scholin, wife, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Contractor|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||March 1, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||45|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 9, 1933|
|Age at Death||62|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Ola Sonesson was born on 18 February 1871 in Vankiva, Kristianstad (later renamed SkГҐne) in Sweden. He was the last child, born very late in life, of Sone Nilsson and Hanna Kristensdotter. Known older siblings were Per, Nils, Sven, and Johanna although there were likely more. Following the traditional naming pattern of Sweden, originally Ola’s surname was Sonesson, son of Sone. However with so many people having the same names, in the late 1800’s families were encouraged to choose one surname, often taking them from nature, and Ola eventually chose Sjölin (sjö=lake, lin=flax). When he married Johanna Lovisa PГҐlsson on 9 December 1892 in nearby Hov, his name was given as Ola Sonesson Sjölin on the marriage record. Johanna, born on 12 July 1871 in Hov, was the daughter of PГҐl Larsson and Petronella Svensdotter.
Ola and Johanna gave birth to two daughters, Klara Alfrida (1893) and Rut Emilie (1895)(later anglicized to Ruth Emily) in Malmöhus before deciding to immigrate to Canada. They left the parish on 19 March 1897, on their way to Ottawa. Upon arrival in Canada Ola’s name was anglicized to Ole Scholin. Sadly, three year old Klara died on 11 May and is interred in the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. That September the couple gave birth to Karin Walfida. By the time of the 1901 census the family had relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario where Ole found work on the construction of the town’s waterworks, appointed foreman in charge of extensions and connections in 1899. Children born in Rat Portage/Kenora were Edith (1901), Herman (1907-1907), Oscar (1909) and Stanley Edward (1910-1912). Dying in early childhood, Herman and Stanley are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.
With occupation given as contractor, his wife Johanna in Kenora as next of kin, and previous military service as 4 years with the Cavalry in Sweden, Ole signed his attestation papers with the 197th (Vikings of Canada) Battalion in Winnipeg on 1 March 1916. The battalion was being raised among the Scandinavians of western Canada with men of Scandinavian birth or descent answering the call of their adopted country. Later found medically unfit, Ole was discharged from service on 14 December 1916 in Winnipeg.
After the war Ole and the family continued to live in Kenora, with daughters Ruth marrying Alger Heppelle, Karin marrying Albin Quistberg, and Edith marrying Frank Jackson. Sadly Ruth died in 1919 followed by Johanna in 1923. Ole died on 9 September 1933 in St Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery with Johanna, grave unmarked. Ruth and Edith (d 1957) are also interred in the cemetery.
By Judy Stockham
Ole’s grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.