His real name was Johan Jonatan and Jussi just a nickname that he got from his grandmother when he was a child.
|Jussi (upper right) with his father and brothers.|
Later the brothers also became quite known and successful as singers, but Jussi became the real superstar and is still, more than 50 years after his death, considered as one of the best opera-singers in the world.
When I started out with genealogy in 1982 and was 16 years old, I had of course heard of Jussi Björling, even if I actually did not listen much to opera or that kind of music.
I guess the most famous song here in Sweden that we associate to Jussi is "Till havs" (here is a youtube video when he sings this in Swedish television 1953.)
After some years of genealogical research I found out that I actually was related to Jussi Björling. And as most genealogists I find it very exciting when finding a relative that are known since there are usually lots of pictures and documentation available.
My mother and Jussi Björling are 6th cousins and our common ancestor was the shoemaker Johan Parman (1673-1744).and his wife Katarina Waller (1700-1773).
Their daughters Anna and Maria both came to Voxna parish in Hälsingland and from them our lineage looks like this;
Anna Parman (1725-1788) - Lars Norberg (1751-1827) - Margareta Norberg (1784-1864) - Lars Björn (1809-1896) - Lars Johan Björling (1842-1909) - Karl David Björling (1873-1926) - Johan Jonatan "Jussi" Björling (1911-1960)
My mother Agneta´s line;
Maria Parman (1730-1808) - Johannes Larsson (1762-?) - Stina Johansdotter (1803-1887) - Per Trygg (184-1916) - Sara Kristina Trygg (1874-1925) - Edit Svedlund (1915-2005) - Agneta (1948-)
The surname Björling came out of the surname Björn (Bear in Swedish) and as stories tell the name Björn was in this case worn by an extremely strong man and that this physical strength really was passed down his lineage. And Jussi was known also for his great physical strength, winning many matches of arm-wrestling...
If you ever visit Sweden and Borlänge, please check out the "Jussi Björling Museum" they have there.