His motherís name was Margreta; she was 24 at the time of the birth of her son, and unmarried. That is actually all we know about her. We do not know much about Johanssonís early childhood either, but we can take for granted that it was rather destitute. Stockholm was a very squalid place in those days; one traveler described it Ēas almost Siberian in characterĒ.
Schooling was not made compulsory until 1842, and before that poor children normally did not go to school at all. Small boys could, of course, get some kind of apprentice job, the smaller they were the more sought after they were to become chimney sweep assistants. Small children were made to crawl along flues sweeping them clean. Another weird livelihood open to them was ďSinging for corpses;Ē children sang at funerals for a few coppers. But that small boys would want to become ballet dancers was then probably even more farfetched than it is today. So we have absolutely no idea how the young boy Johansson was to be accepted into the Stockholm Opera ballet school 1 July 1829, shortly after his twelfth birthday.
How did he come to audition? I can't help wondering if someone "found" him somehow and encouraged his tuition. Apparently he was extremely gifted, but that alone doesn't explain how he ended up in the theater. Or does it?
I suppose that the opera ballet school attended to it's pupil's education beyond "pas", and that accounts somewhat for his language skills... presumably the opera encouraged a culture amongst it's denizens where more than one language was bandied about. The operas at that time in Sweden weren't all presented in Swedish were they? (that would surprise me).