Swedish Military Blogs

We receive many questions about Swedish military research at conferences and trade shows in North America. Many North Americans discover that one of their ancestors was in the Swedish military serving in the infantry, cavalry or as a båtsman in the Swedish Navy and wish to discover more about their ancestor’s military service.

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many military records from the 1600’s to the 20th century. In our blog, you will find articles about some of the military records in ArkivDigital as well as a few tutorials in how to research your Swedish military ancestor. Today we present a summary of the Swedish military blogs you can find in our English blog.

military recordsGeneralmönsterrullor – Värmlands regemente (S) 216 (1851-1855) Image 2300 (AID: v46609a.b2300, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

  • Military Rolls (1620-1723)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/military-rolls-rullor-1620-1723/ (Link)
  • Researching in the General Muster Rolls
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/research-soldiers-in-the-general-muster-rolls-example-jan-fras/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/statistical-digest-of-the-swedish-army-system-grill/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/general-muster-rolls/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/general-muster-roll-column-headings/ (Link)
  • Naval (Flottan)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/navy-flottan-documents-an-overview/(Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/boatman-rolls-batsmansrullor-a-unique-source/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/naval-ship-muster-rolls-skeppsmonsterrullor/ (Link)
  • Military Pension Records
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/soldier-pension-documents-pensioner-olof-ceder/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/more-military-pension-documents-in-arkivdigital/ (Link)
  • Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Service Records
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/armys-pension-funds-list-of-qualifications-armens-pensionskassas-meritband/ (Link)
  • Great Northern War Documents
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/swedish-soldiers-captured-at-poltava-what-can-one-discover-about-them/ (Link)

ArkivDigital

Research Soldiers in the General Muster Rolls – Example Jan Fräs

gmbookcoverGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 123 (1841-1845) Image 20 (AID: v372940a.b20, NAD: SE/KrA/0023)  Link.

The primary records for researching soldiers and officers from the 1680’s to the 1880’s are the general muster rolls. Earlier we wrote two blogs about the general muster rolls:  General Muster Rolls and General Muster Roll Column Headings. Today, we will show you how to follow a soldier’s military career in the muster rolls.

The general musters were usually held every three to five years. The muster rolls are organized by regiments and companies within each regiment. Each military rote within a company has its own number and sometimes it is called the soldier number. In the church book or household record, often the only information you will see for the soldier is the village or torp and parish where he lived. In order to locate the regiment and company the soldier served with you can use the publication “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket” or “Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” by Claes Lorentz Grill or “The Grill”. You can find more information about how to use “The Grill” in ArkivDigital by clicking here.

1841-1845muster rollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 123 (1841-1845) Image 3750 (AID: v372940a.b3750, NAD: SE/KrA/0023)  Link.

In this case, we shall follow the military career of Jan Fräs in the general muster rolls. He was a soldier at rote number 41 in Gustaf’s company in the Dal Regiment (Dalregementets). The above image is showing him in the Dal Regiment’s general muster roll for 1845. In the image we see that he enrolled in the military on the 21st of December 1841. He is 27 years old, has served in the military for 3 ½ years, is approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall and that he is married (gift). This record gives his patronymic name, Jan Andersson. In the far right hand column, there is a note that he was present and approved at the general muster.  (Note pr. is an abbreviation for the Latin word praesens meaning present.)

1849 Muster RollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 124 (1849-1852) Image 1580 (AID: v372941a.b1580, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The above image is from the general muster roll for 1849. This is also a good example showing the detail you can find in the rolls. This one has more detail than the one in 1845. In the 1845 roll, the soldier’s name, Fräs, is only shown in the rote name column but in this roll, we find out where the rote was located: Fagerbackens by in Stora Tuna parish in Falu county. In the text below Jan Fräs’s name, we find information about his birth date and birth parish.

förut kallad Jan Andersson född i St. Tuna Socken af Fahlu Län den 18 December 1818. Antagen den 21 December 1841.

Previously named Jan Andersson born in Stora Tuna parish in Falu county on the 18th of December 1818. Enrolled on the 21st of December 1841.

In the 1852 general muster there is no new information presented. It is noted that he was present at the muster. The 1856 muster roll indicates that he was not present because he was sick in the hospital “sjuk på sjukhuset”. See image below.

sick at the hospita

Generalmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 125 (1856-1856) Image 1820 (AID: v372942.b1820, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

Jan was not at the muster in 1859 but he was at home. A doctor’s certificate dated the 9th of May 1859 was attached to his record in the general muster roll showing that he was still recovering from pneumonia and therefore was not able to be present. See text and image below.

Att Soldaten No 41 Fräs vid Gustafs compagnie af Kong. Dal-Regementet, hvilken genomgått en lunginflammation, ännu icke är så tillfrisknad att jag anser honom kunna inställa sig vid samlingen för Jernvägs Commenderingen, intygas. Barkgärdet den 9 Maij 1859.

doctor's certificateGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 126 (1859-1863) Image 1610 (AID: v372943b.b1610, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

In the 1863 muster roll, we see the end of Jan’s career as a soldier. The notation in the last column states,”Begär och får afsked för intygad sjuklighet. Tjent väl.”  He requested to be discharged because of ill health and was granted an honorable discharge.  See image below.1863 General muster rollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 126 (1859-1863) Image 5930 (AID: v372943b.b5930, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

Link to the original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

General Muster Roll Column Headings

In a previous blog, we presented some information about the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital, the most commonly used records for military research. In this blog, we will present an English translation of the headings on the muster roll that are shown in the image below.

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The column heading showing the soldier’s name in Swedish is:
Manskapets förra och nuvarande namn, födelseort och tid, antagningsdatum, samt sedan sista General-Mönstring med detsamma skedda förändringar.

English
Soldier’s previous and current name, birth place and date, service entry date, together with the changes since the last general muster roll.

Below are the other column headings:

Swedish                                                                                    English
Nummer.                                                                                     Number
Regementet                                                                                Regiment
Kompaniet                                                                                  Company
Rotarnes Namn och belägenhet.                                           Name and place of  rote
Lefnadsår.                                                                                  Age
Tjensteår vid annat regemente.                                            Service years at another regiment
Summa tjensteår.                                                                     Total Service Years
Längd.                                                                                         Height
Fot.                                                                                               Feet
Tum.                                                                                            Inch
Gift eller ogift.                                                                           Married or unmarried

Sista General-Mönstrings annotationer.                 Last general muster inspection notes.
Närvarande General-Mönstrings anteckningar.  Current general muster inspection notes

ArkivDigital

General Muster Rolls

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are the primary records  one uses to research Swedish soldiers who served in the military between the 1680’s and 1880’s. The muster rolls were kept by the respective regiments between every three to five years. In these rolls, you will find information about all soldiers and officers, regiment by regiment, company by company.

In the general muster roll, one can follow  soldiers and officers from the time they entered the service until their discharge. Types of information you will find in the muster rolls include: soldier’s name, both their soldier name and earlier name, birth date or age, number of years in the service, height and marital status. One learns if the soldier was promoted and sometimes one learns about commendations.  At the end of the soldier’s career, the reason for his discharge is often stated.

The above image gives information about the soldier, Jonas Käck, who served in the Hälsinge regiment in 1863. He served for the rote, Sörfly, in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county. He was previously named Jon Jonsson and was born in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county on July 9, 1818. He entered the military on December 10, 1840. At the time of the 1863 muster, he was 44 years old and had served in the military for 22 4/12 years.  He was 6 feet and 1.5 inches tall.

The general muster rolls for both the allotted  (indelta) and enlisted (värvade) Swedish regiments are available in ArkivDigital’s online library. You can find these records by:

  • Access ArkivDigital online
  • Select advanced options
  • Select archive type, military

An alternative search method is to enter “generalmönsterrullor” in the search box and click search.

Click here to read article about the general muster rolls in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

“Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” “Grill”

Many persons who research their family history discover an ancestor who was a soldier. When one finds a soldier ancestor, one wants to find out what additional information one can find out about this person in the military records or primarily the general muster rolls. But where does one look in the muster rolls?   Often the church book does not provide any information about which regiment or company the soldier served in.

In order to find an entry point in the general muster rolls, the publication “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket” or “Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” by Claes Lorentz Grill (1817-1907) is a great help. Many researchers refer to this wok as the “Grill”.

“Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket”  was produced in four volumes during the years 1855-1858.

  1. ”Rusthålls-regementene” (1855)  – Calvary regiments
  2. ”Rothålls-regementene” (1856) – Infantry regiments
  3. ”Båtsmans-kompanierne” (1858)  – Navy companies
  4. ”Extra roteringen” (1857) – Extra districts

In ArkivDigital, you will find the four publications in the archive, “Printed literature”, where the volume names are Grill: 1-4.  Also, there is a parish register to the volumes and this is named, “GrillReg: 1”.

For each General Muster Roll archive (Generalmönsterrullor), there is a link to the actual part of the Grill applicable for that regiment. When you select the volume, the text will display the page numbers in the info box where you can find information about this particular regiment as shown in the picture below.

grillinfo

Example on using Grill
Let us assume that we are searching for a soldier who we know from the church records lived in Hinnäs in Stora Malm’s parish.

  1. Click on advanced search.
  2. Select archive type and select the printed literature archive.
  3. Search in the parish register: Tryckt litteratur GrillReg:1 volume.
  4. Search for Stora Malm and you will see “II 38” which directs us to page 38 in the volume Grill: 2.
  5. Open the volume for Grill: 2 and go to page 38. There you will discover that Hinnäs in Stora Malm parish belonged to the Södermanland regiment, Livkompaniet and is rote number 3. (See image below.)

storamalmTryckt litteratur Grill:2 (1856-1856) Image 240 / page 39 (AID: v792654.b240.s39, NAD: SE/AD/00001)  Link

We now have a starting point where we can begin to search for the soldier in the muster rolls for the Södermanland Regiment.

This article was previously published in the Swedish blog on March 13, 2015.  Read the Swedish version.

ArkivDigital