Birth record reading example with some abbreviations

Prior to the mid 1800’s, the birth books were not standardized and the format varies by minister and time. When looking at a birth book, it is always good to review the minister’s style and determine the format of the content.

Today we will look at a birth record from 1837 in the parish of Älvsbacka (Elvsbacka) parish in Värmland county. In the record below, you will see that the content of the birth record is divided into six boxes. In this record, the minister has recorded the birth date, baptismal date, child’s residence, names of parents, names of witnesses and residence, name of minister who baptized child, age of mother and child’s name.

alvsbacka birthÄlvsbacka (S) C:3 (1827-1860) Image 22 (AID: v9055.b22, NAD: SE/VA/13662) Link.

  • Box 1 – Birth and baptismal month – Juni (June)
  • Box 2 – Birth day 14 (June 14, 1837)
  • Box 3 – Baptismal day 15 (June 15, 1837)
  • Box 4 – Child’s residence in parish, name of parents, names and residence of baptismal witnesses and the name of minister who baptized the child
  • Box 5 – Age of mother – 36
  • Box 6 – Child’s name – Stina Maria

Box 4 Transcription:

Örtnåstorp, H. e. Henrik Andersson o. d. h. Cajsa Magnusdotters barn.
Faddrar:  H. e. Anders Henriksson o. d. h. Ingrid Andersdotter i Örtnås.
D. a. Comm Frykholm.

While most of the words in the birth record are names of persons or places and dates, there are some Swedish words. Also, in this record, the minister has used some abbreviations. Below in text order are the Swedish words and abbreviations.

  • H. e. – hemman ägare – farm owner
  • o – och – and
  • d – dess – his
  • hhustru – wife
  • barn – child
  • Faddrar – witnesses
  • i – at
  • dopt – baptized
  • a – af – by
  • Comm – Komminister – assistant pastor, curate

Complete English translation of Box 4:

Örtnåstorp, Farm owner – Henrik Andersson and his wife. Cajsa Magnusdotters child.
Witnesses- Farm owner Anders Henriksson and his wife Ingrid Andersdotter at Örtnås.
Baptized by Pastor Frykholm.

Sometimes the minister would use full words in one entry and then abbreviate the same words in another entry. If you were to look at another birth entry in the previous year, you will see that the minister has spelled out the phrase baptized by (dopt af) as seen in the image below. By looking at that record, then one can decipher the meaning for the abbreviation “D. a”.

full spelling doptÄlvsbacka (S) C:3 (1827-1860) Image 21 (AID: v9055.b21, NAD: SE/VA/13662) Link.

Click here to see a 1700’s birth record example.

Click here to see an 1800’s birth record example.

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What does NAD mean?

We have received a couple of questions from some of our English-speaking customers asking what does NAD mean in the ArkivDigital source citations? NAD is an abbreviation for the National Archive Database (Nationell Arkivdatabas). When anyone creates a source citation for an ArkivDigital record by clicking on the copy icon in the application and then selecting copy source identifier, there is a NAD reference in the citation.

source identifier 2The source citation for the above birth record in Brunskog parish in Värmland county created by using the copy source identifier function is: Brunskog (S) CI:3 (1782-1844) Image 76 / page 143 (AID: v5046.b76.s143, NAD: SE/VA/13065).

In this case the NAD reference code is SE/VA/13065. The code elements include a country code (SE) for Sweden, archive code (VA) an abbreviation for the Värmland regional archive and a collection code (13065) referring to the collection materials or in this case the church book collection for Brunskog parish.

You can also find the National Archive Database reference code in the parish archive info box in ArkivDigital. Whenever one looks for an archive such as a parish archive, one will see two tabs at the top of page: volumes and archive info as shown below.

archiveNAD

More information about the archive is displayed in the info box. For most Swedish archives, you will also see NAD with a reference code as shown in the image above. You can click on the reference code which is a direct link to the National Archive Database which lists all the volumes that exist in the archives for this collection.

This is a good tool to use to determine if a volume actually exists. For example, let us search for a death record in Brunskog parish for the year 1931. When we search for death books in ArkivDigital, we find that the books only go up to 1928.

brunskogdeath

To check if there is an original death book for 1931, click on the archive info box for Brunskog parish and click on the NAD reference code which provides a direct link to the National Archive Database. There we will see that the 1931 death records are included  in the volume FI:7 1928-1952 as shown in the image below.

brunskogsarchive

Since this volume has records that are protected by the 70-year privacy law, the book is not available in ArkivDigital.  However, you will find the death record extracts for 1931 in the SCB collection in ArkivDigital. Click here for more information about the SCB collection.

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Short cut to ArkivDigital’s web version

If you use the web browser, Google Chrome, you can add a short cut to the program on the desktop by doing the following:

Start and log in to the program at the following page: https://app.arkivdigital.se. If you were previously logged in and used the application you must first close all open volumes except for New archive search. Otherwise, these volumes will always open when you start the program from the short cut. In order to close the open volumes, click on Search archives.

  1. Click the blue arrow next to the box “Close all except favorites”. Select Close all. All open volumes are now closed.
  2. Open up New File Search.
  3. Return to the start menu.

short cut 1

Add the shortcut as follows:

  1. Click on the three vertical dots at the top right of the browser.
  2. Select More Tools.
  3. Select, Add to desktop.
  4. In the box that appears, you will see out logo and that is the way the icon will look when it is on the desktop. Click Add.

shortcut 2

If you don’t have Chrome installed on your computer, you can download it by clicking here.

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