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Anna Lovisa Gustafson
(Greta's mother)


Anna Lovisa Karlson was the third of eight children. She was born on September 10, 1872, in Högsby, and was the eldest daughter of Johan August Karlsson and Emma Kristina Adamsdotter. Anna Lovisa belonged to the first generation of Swedish women to acquire independent status; they were no longer considered wards of their husband, fathers, or male guardians.

Shy, tolerant, hardworking, Anna was a careful person with a typically Scandinavian attitude about minding one's business. Not surprisingly, Greta Garbo's father, Karl Alfred, took notice of this gentle young woman with an attractive figure and light chestnut hair. In 1897 they met, matched, and were working together in the city; by year's end, Anna Lovisa was pregnant with their first child.

At the turn of the century in Stockholm, it was neither unusual nor socially unacceptable for a poor, unmarried couple to be living together. In April of 1898, Karl and Anna dutifully reported to the parish church that they had moved to Gotlandsgatan 4 in Södermalm; he listed his occupation as gardener's apprentice.

On April 24, Pastor Klefbeck made his first of three betrothal announcements to the Katarina congregation. The couple war married on the eighth of May. Ten weeks later on July 26, 1898, their son, Sven Alfred, was born at Sädra Maternity Hospital.

The Anna Lovisa Gustafson facts - summary

Original Name
Anna Lovisa Karlson

Anna Lovisa in her Södermalm Apartment

Date of Birth
September 10, 1872

Anna Portrait

Place of Birth
Lillsjödal, Drageryd in Sweden

She was a farmer's daughter.

Anna in the early 1920s

Date of Death

Place of Death
Westchester, New York/USA

Anna Lovisa (early 1940s)  with her grand-daughter Gray Gustafson.

Course of Death
(in Treatment)

Greta and her mother, Christmas 1928 in Sweden

Her Children
Sven Alfred (1898), Alva Maria (1903), Greta Lovisa (1905)

Her husband
Karl Alfred Gustafsson they met in 1897 and married in 1898

Her Father
Johan August Karlsson

Her Mother
Emma Kristina Adamsdotter

Her Brother and Sisters
She had seven brothers/sisters

The Anna Lovisa Gustafson trivia

 She had long blond lashes and blue eyes.

 Anna was the third of eight children.

 Her family lived in Smaland.

 A rumor was that she died in California/USA 1944.

 She is burried at Södra Skogskyrogåarden in Stockholm. I read that after she died, her body was cremated.
     After the war, Sven brought her Urn to Sweden and burried her.

 Garbo didn't attend her mothers funeral.

 Karl and Anna married on April of 1898.

 In 1898, Karl and Anna moved to Gotlandsgatan 4 in Södermalm/Stockholm. In late 1903, they moved to
    Blekingegatan 32 in Södermalm/Stockholm.

 In 1928 Anna Lovisa moved to a new apartment. After months of Greta and Sven trying to convince their mother
     for a better place. Sven found her a nice onebedroom apartment with a large kitchen at  Ringvägen 155.  It was
     only a few blocks from Blekingegatan.

 She came to California/USA in late 1939. Shortly after, she moved to Santa Fe in New Mexico.


The number one source for this Timeline is Karen Swenson's 1997 released Garbo biography Greta Garbo: A Life Apart. This is the best and most accurate book about Garbos-Life.

There's so much information in A Life Apart. Some of it is more subtle, correcting factual errors from other books and re-positioning popular myths. Unfortunately the book is only released in English-language.

More Family Related Pictures
Click  HERE!
The Gustafson's - Introduction
Karl Alfred Gustason 
Sven Alfred Gustafson 
Alva Maria Gustafson 


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