When Dagny Carlsson of Sweden attended a computer class for senior citizens at the age of 99, the instructor asked her what her goals were. “I want to be a blogger,” she replied.
At 107 years of age, Dagny is now the oldest blogger in the world. “When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a writer,” she explains. The Internet has given her the opportunity to live out that dream: her blog has been visited around 4 million times.
“When you are young you don’t care much about your origins,” she says, “but when you are older, you start to wonder where you came from and why you have become the person that you are.”
So Dagny was delighted to take a MyHeritage DNA test and find out more about her family history. We visited her in her home in Stockholm to reveal her DNA results and some interesting information we’d found about her family history, and to discuss her childhood memories, the world past and present, and her advice for living a good, long life. You can watch the full video of our fascinating conversation with her here:
Dagny was born on May 8, 1912, in Kristianstad, Sweden. Her earliest memories are from the period of World War I.
A generation earlier, Dagny’s father was only 6 years old when his mother died in 1891, and his father — Erik Persson — was left to raise 5 children aged 4 to 10 by himself. Tragically, the family had also lost little Anna, only 2 years old, earlier that year. In 1893, Erik married Hanna Hansdotter, who already had 3 children of her own, and they went on to have 4 more children together.
We made an intriguing discovery about Erik Persson’s maternal grandfather (Dagny’s great-great-grandfather) Tuve Sköld: we found a military record that says that he served in the Carabinier Regiment during the final phase of the Napoleonic War, in 1813–1814. It is likely that Dagny’s great-great-grandfather fought in that war.
How does Dagny feel to hear that? “It is very exciting and I feel proud,” she says.
Dagny believed that her family origins were exclusively Swedish, but it turns out that she has a little Eastern European, too: she is 96.6% Scandinavian and 3.4% Eastern European.
“Very interesting!” says Dagny. “I didn’t think I had origins outside Scandinavia.”
A swiftly changing world
We asked Dagny if there is anything that exists today that she never thought would be possible when she was growing up.
“I never thought we would be able to fly,” she replies, “and I never thought that we would land on the moon! We used to say about things that were impossible, that they were as impossible as flying to the moon. But even that became possible.”
The secret to a good, long life
So what is Dagny’s secret for being so healthy and active at the impressive age of 107?
“The secret to a good long life is that you have a good starting point and healthy genes,” she says, “and that you keep moving. You need to use both your head and your feet to stay healthy.”
What advice would she give to young people today? “My best tips are that you should move a lot, eat properly and sleep at night, and not go out partying and being careless. But first and foremost you need to be healthy. If you are sick you will not be able to continue the same way.”
With the new year just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to take Dagny’s advice to heart. At the ripe old age of 107, she knows the importance of staying healthy — and of knowing where you come from.
What steps will you take this year to live your best life?
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Source: My Heritage