Searching for estate inventories in ArkivDigital

The estate inventories (bouppteckningar) are one of the most important records for genealogists. These records can prove genealogical relationships as well as listing the names of the deceased’s heirs. Also, the estate inventory lists all the assets and debts of the deceased enabling one to get a better understanding of one’s ancestor’s life.

ArkivDigital has estate inventories for all of Sweden from the earliest times (early 1700s and even a few from the 1600s) up to 1950 and for many counties up to 1960.

In order to find an estate inventory, you need to know the parish where the person died and the district or city court that the parish belonged to. Today there are three primary methods for searching:

  1. National estate inventory index search.
  2. View photographed estate inventory register.
  3. Searching in the volume.

National estate inventory index search
ArkivDigital is currently building a national estate inventory index for all of Sweden. Currently it is mostly complete for older times but is less complete for the latter 1800s and forward. To find out what district and city courts and years have been indexed, go to the following link: https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/bouppteckningar

To illustrate how to access the national estate inventory in ArkivDigital, we will search for the estate inventory for Jan Hindrik Wiväg who died April 2, 1847 in Älvsbacka parish in Värmland county.

  1. Go to app.arkivdigital.se.
  2. Select index source.
  3. Select the index, estate inventory, under index source.
  4. In this case, we will use simple search and enter Hindrik Wiväg in the search box and click search. One could have entered Jan Hindrik Wiväg.
  5. There are two matches in the result list.
  6. Select the one for Jan Hindrik Wiväg.

national estate inventory search

After you selected a match on the result list, you will see an index record as shown below and you can click on the link that will go directly to the estate inventory.

jan hindrik estate inventory

Photographed estate inventory registers
If you don’t find the person in the national estate inventory index, look for a photographed estate inventory register for the court. We will look for the estate inventory for Elna Larsdotter who died February 9, 1838, in Slöinge parish, in Halland county. In order to find out what court district, Slöinge parish belonged, you go to archive search and enter Slöinge in the archive holder search button. Open the archive and scroll down to estate inventories. Click on that and search for estate inventory registers. You will find one that covers the years 1684 to 1848. Open volume and search for Elna Larsdotter. The names are listed by surname in alphabetical order. You will find an entry that gives the year, volume and page number.

estate inventory photographed register

In this case, the entry states that you can find the estate inventory in volume 32 for the year 1838 and on page 185.

Then return to the archive Årstads häradsrätt and look for volume 32, open the volume and go to page 185.

elna larsdotter ei

Searching in the estate inventory volume
If you haven’t found the estate inventory by an index search and no estate inventory register exists, you will need to go the volume beginning with the deceased’s death date and browse forward. You may want to search up to two to three years after the date of death. In the latter 1800s and 1900s, there is a very strong likelihood of finding an estate inventory record but one must be patient and persistent in browsing through the volumes.

Estate Inventories for the nobility
Most of the estate inventories are found in the district and city courts but there are exceptions. The estate inventories for the nobility were given to the Court of Appeals (hovrätten) up until 1917. You will find the estate inventories for Götaland in the Göta hovrätt, for Svealand and Norrland in the Svea hovrätt and for Skåne and Blekinge in the Hovrätten för Skåne och Blekinge.

Click here for more information about estate inventories.

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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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ArkivDigital Tip – “Show image in separate window”

Many researchers like to view two images or records at the same time so that they can compare the information. Within ArkivDigital, there is a nice feature that allows one to show an image in a separate window so that one can view two records simultaneously.

In the image below, we see the birth record for Jan Hindrik born on July 26, 1812 in Älvsbacka parish in Värmland county. His parents are Hindrik Vieveg and Sara Brita Kohler. The family is living at the place, Plåthammaren, in the parish. The baptismal witnesses are: Gottlieb Vieveg, Brita Jonsdotter, Jan Vieveg and Anna Lena Elg.

If we wish to compare this birth record with a household record, we can do this by showing the birth record in a separate window.

ADTip5 Älvsbacka C:2 (1788-1829) Image 92 / page 171 (AID: v9054.b92.s171, NAD: SE/VA/13662)  Link.

To open the image in a separate window, do the following:

  • Right click with your mouse on the image tab.
  • A shortcut menu will open.
  • Select: Show in separate window.

The image below shows the separate window that opens when you select “Show in  separate window”.

ADtip2

We can now open the household record showing the family group and view both records to compare the information as shown in the image below.

ADtip3Älvsbacka AI:5 (1811-1816) Image 12 / page 6 (AID: v9031.b12.s6, NAD: SE/VA/13662) Link.

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