Research and Writing 


 Books published 

Maiden of the Titanic

Minnesota Swedes

 Swedes in Moline  Illinois

Swedish-American Research Material 

Moline Swedish Friendship Association

Bjurtjarn Theatre Group

Midwest Writing Center, Davenport, IA


Some of Lilly's other books:

Bror Johansson's Chicago, 1985 (In Swedish and English)

I Emigranternas spår: Människor vi mött, 1959-1995   (In the footsteps of the emigrants: People we met. A travelogue in Swedish, 2002.  

Minnesota Swedes: The Emigrants from Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County, 1855-1912. (Vol. I, 1996 Out of print). See Kindle edition. 

Rockford Swedes: American Stories. Coauthored (1993 Out of


See Kindle edition, 2016




A Century of Song: American Union of Swedish Singers 1892-1992 (1992)


A Pioneer Lutheran Ministry: L. P. Esbjorn and his Family in Andover, Illinois (1988)

Minnesota Swedes Vol. I
The Emigration from Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County, 1855-1912
Second Edition, Revised.
Paper back, $14.95
Kindle $5.99. 

Rockford Swedes: American Stories

Second Edition Revised 

Kindle Edition

May be downloaded to any devise.

Published in 2016 

Second Love After 50

Contemporary novel set in Illinois. 

Paperback $10.95

Kindle edition


Lilly Setterdahl began her writing career by writing research articles about the Swedish emigration to America.  In 2007, Lilly won a novel writing competition and as a result her first novel, Maiden of the Titanic, was published. The sequel, Hero of the Titanic, came out in 2011, also published by the Midwest Writing Center, Davenport, Iowa. Her Growing Up in Sweden came out in 2008, and her Chicago Swedes: They spoke from the heart, in 2010. See In 1912, Not my time to die: Titanic and the Swedes on board, was published by Nordstjernan, New York, in time for the 100th  anniversary of sinking of the Titanic. See In 2014, Nobel Monitor Lodge No. 130 of Cleveland published her book, True Immigrant Stories, The Swedes of Cleveland, Ohio, 1873-2013.

Lilly has also authored stories for children and a historical novel, Banbrytaren  (The trail blazer) published as  a serial novel in a Swedish family magazine.

 April 15, 2012 was the publication date of Lilly's



ISBN: 978-0-9672176-8-0 published by:

 Nordstjernan, New York ~ Swedish News, Inc., New Canaan, Conn.

7x10" 296 pages, $19.95 paperback.


The book presents a brief, but thorough history of the Titanic, and gives an array of information about the tragedy as reported by the press of the day--the American, the Swedish, and most importantly the Swedish-American press.


 It describes the conditions in Sweden in 1912, the reasons for the emigration and profiles the 123 Swedes on board.

The stories of the 34 survivors cover some 100 pages. The author has researched the intriguing lives of the survivors to a greater extent than anyone else. She has translated eye-witness accounts, letters, newspaper reports, and interviews  that give new insight in what happened on that tragic night one hundred years ago when the biggest steamer built-to-date foundered on its maiden voyage.


Families are separated, or decide to die together. The personal stories are vivid and heart-breaking, but not without happy endings. This well-referenced and illustrated book about the third-largest ethnic group on the Titanic is the first of its kind published outside of Sweden.

 True Immigrant Stories: The Swedes of Cleveland, Ohio, 1873-2013

In this book, Lilly Setterdahl describes how the Swedish settlement

began in the late 19th century and continued well into the late 20th

century. Skilled ironworkers formed the nucleus of the enclave and

encouraged friends and relatives to join them. They came directly from

Sweden—from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, or Canada. They founded

churches, organizations, and businesses. Some educated themselves to

become doctors, dentists, engineers, and professor. The oral histories in

this book highlight the immigrants’ background in Sweden, voyage to

America, first jobs, struggles, and achievements.

This is the second edition, revised, of my first Minnesota Swedes that was published in 1996.
Subtitle: The Emigration from Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County 1855-1912.
Main headings: Trolle Ljungby, The Setting; Background History; The Emigration; Swedes in Goodhue County; Assimilation; Comparison with Isanti County; Letters 1855-1881; Interviews (40).

Rockford Swedes: American Stories contains the stories of 25 Swedish Americans, some of whom had strong connections to Rockford’s prominent furniture industry. One person says that his father lost “a million and a half” in the Great Depression. While most seem to have had a happy family life, one woman describes her father as abusive. We learn about the “socialist Sunday school” that some children attended, and about the Swedish parti­cipation in city government.  The first edition of Rockford Swedes was published in 1993. Since then these  voices have been silenced by death. Fortunately, thanks to the preserved recordings, they can still be heard on tapes at two archives, one in the United States and one in Sweden. This volume also contains images of the storytellers and a complete guide to the more than 300 interviews that Lennart Setterdahl conducted with Rockford Swedes from 1985 until 1992.  

Second Love After 50 is a contemporary love story that centers around the 52-year old widow, Andrea Holm. The action begins during a springtime storm with a three-car accident. A young driver plows into Charles's large sedan causing Charles to careen into Andrea's compact car.

My 20th Book:
Katrin, almost American
A Swedish Immigration Novel set in the 1900s.
Published by Nordstjernan, NY May 1, 2017. $15.85. 
Lilly Setterdahl's Swedish-Immigration Novel Plays like a movie. The story begins in Sweden after World War I when Katrin asumes her first job. The young girl  turns down a marriage proposal because she wants to see the world. She pulls us into a life of longing for both the unknown and the familiar, conflicts, and illusive love until she decides where she belongs. Her strong attachment to her childhood home, parents, brothers and sisters carries over in her love and concern for her own family. The reader will find to be entertaining, educational, and as relevant in today's world as in the 20 the century.