Estate Inventory (Bouppteckning) Reading Example

Many persons with Swedish ancestry who don’t speak Swedish have commented that they feel comfortable researching in the Swedish church books but the estate inventories seem so much more intimidating because there is much more Swedish text.  Yes, it is true that they contain much Swedish text but they provide such a wealth of information, it is worth the time to learn how to better understand these records.

The Swedish estate inventories (bouppteckningar) provide genealogical information and help one gain a better understanding of one’s ancestor’s life. The estate inventory details the assets and debts of the deceased.

The estate inventory is divided in two primary divisions: the ingress or preamble and the inventory of the deceased’s assets and debts. In this blog we will look at the ingress or preamble. The ingress provides genealogical information such as the name of the deceased and names of the deceased’s heirs. Many times the ingress can be helpful in solving genealogical mysteries such as proving genealogical relationships or locating the whereabouts of an heir.

In most estate inventories, the format of the ingress is similar.  You will generally find the following information:

  1. Date the estate inventory was performed.
  2. Name of the deceased.
  3. Place of the deceased’s death.
  4. Date of deceased’s death.
  5. Names of heirs.
  6. Name of guardian for minors or persons who emigrated.

Below is an image the ingress or preamble of an estate inventory followed by a transcription and an English translation.Estate Inventory Karl Johan Ögren Aska, Dals och Bobergs domsaga FII:2 (1909-1909) Image 140 / page 3 (AID: v513944.b140.s3, NAD: SE/VALA/01625)
Link

Transcription
År 1908 den 19 December förrattades bouppteckning efter Husägaren Karl Johan Ögren från Säby ägor hvilken aflidit därstädes den 23 sistlidne September och såsom sterbhusdelagäre efterlämnat sonsöner: Gustaf Robert Ögren i Jamestown, N. Y. Nord America och Karl August Ögren äfven boende i Jamestown. Båda myndiga.

Deras rätt bevakades enligt fullmakt af Kyrkoherden David Johansson i Örberga.
Boet upgafts under edlig förpliktelse av sonhustrun Änka Klara Ögren samt antecknades och värderas i följande ordning.

Translation
On the 19th of December, 1908, an estate inventory was performed for homeowner, Karl Johan Ögren who lived at Säby ägor. He died there on September 23. The co-heirs of the estate were the grandsons: Gustaf Robert Ögren in Jamestown, New York, North American and Karl August Ögren also living in Jamestown. Both were of legal age.

Their rights (of inheritance) were protected by a power of attorney by Pastor David Johansson in Örberga.
Under oath, the estate inventory was conducted in accordance with the law by the daughter-in-law, Widow Klara Ögren.  The recording of the inventory and value of each item follows.

In this case, we learn that the heirs were living in Jamestown, New York, a place where many Swedes settled.

Click here for more information about estate inventories including a short Swedish-English glossary of commonly used words in the estate inventories.

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