August and Josef

A history of two brothers

Hammar family page

This website is dedicated to the two brothers August and Josef Hammar. Here we collect letters, documents and pictures from their lives and also information about their relatives. The site is mainly a site for us descendants of August and Josef to share material an communicate but also a source for people around the net to learn more about all contemporary history the brothers experienced.

The brothers were sons of the reverend August Hammar and Elin Jakobina Juliana Ask. They grew up in Nosaby in southern Sweden.


August graduated as a mining engineer and subsequently emigrated to South Africa where he became witness to and participated in the Anglo-Zulu War. He later became a land surveyor and instrumental in mapping parts of southern Africa. He married Elizabeth Lamb and settled in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. His descendants still live in South Africa.


Josef studied medicine and became a doctor. He participated in A G Nathorst's expedition to north east Greenland in 1899 and later that year he went on to South Africa and worked with a Red Cross ambulance on the Boer side in the Boer War (at the end he visited his brother in Pietermaritzburg). In 1904 he was sent as a military attaché to the Russian-Japanese War where he witnessed the siege of Port Arthur. After a career a military surgeon in the Swedish army he emigrated to Algeria in 1926 where he bought a fruit farm.

Latest posts

Josef now on Wikipedia (english)

For some time now I've been working on a Wiki-article about Josef Hammar. It is now done and active on The work has been interesting. As Wiki doesn't accept private reference material as letters, diaries etc. I had to search extensively for available sources and turned up some for me yet unknown. For example a […]

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Were they all men?

It is easy to think that the family history presented on this website is all about men: August and Josef, two adventurous men, are in focus . But we have reason to believe there were strong women in the family. Their sister Bina seems to have been one. But this story is even more interesting […]

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Josef Hammar and the Sylvander family in Marseille

When Josef Hammar returned to Europe from the Russo-Japanese war in 1905 he came by ship passing many harbours in Asia. When he arrived in Marseille he visited the Adolf Sylvander family. Josefs sister Bina was married to Adolfs brother Anders Wilhelm. That is where he must have met his future wife Hulda Sylvander, then at […]

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