Birth Record Reading Example

frossa birth recordForssa (D) C:1 (1682-1798) Image 59 / page 95 (AID: v55123.b59.s95, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Today, we will present a lesson in reading a birth record in the 1700’s. The above record is a birth record from 1762 in Forssa parish in Södermanland county. For many experienced researchers, this may appear to be clear and easy to read but for many new researchers this record may seem intimidating.

When looking at the birth records and the same can be said for marriage and death records one needs to become familiar with the minister’s format style for the record. In this case the minister has chosen the following format:

  1. Birth month
  2. Birth day
  3. Baptismal day
  4. Names of parents
  5. Name of the place of residence in the parish (e.g. farm, village, estate)
  6. Child’s Name
  7. Names of baptismal witnesses
  8. Entry number

In this case the child was born on the 12th of July 1762 and baptized on the 18th of July 1762. We know the year is 1762 because that is noted on the top of the page.

The minister has written the names of the parents: Per Andersson, h. Carin Persdotter. The abbreviation “h” is short for hustru or wife.

The place in the parish where the family lives is Stavsjöstugan. If you have difficulty in transcribing the place of residence, check to see if there is household book for that period and look in the place name index for a place that looks similar.

You will need the place name in the birth book to find the family in the household book. Below is the place name index for the corresponding household book You can see in the index at the bottom of the page that the household records for Stavsjöstugan begin on page 61. You will go to page 61 and then begin to look for the family.

The child’s name is Carin.

The names of the baptismal witnesses as written: Per Bengtsson i Spånga, dr. Carl Ericsson i Stavsjöstugan, hust. Maria Lars dtr i Spånga, pig. Cherstin Pers dtr ibidem.

The following abbreviations were used in recording the names of the witnesses:

  • i – in, at
  • dräng - farmhand
  • hust. –  abbreviation for hustru or wife
  • pig. – abbreviation for piga or maid
  • dtr – Often you will see “dtr” as an abbreviation for dotter or daughter in the name. The full names in this case are Maria Larsdotter and Cherstin Persdotter.
  • ibidem – Latin term meaning the same

The entry number 10 states that this was the 10th birth entry for the year.

You can see that one really doesn’t need to know Swedish to read the record. The record is primarily a table of names, dates and places. Yes, there are a few Swedish words but these words are used repeatedly in the church books so one just needs to become familiar with a few Swedish words to become comfortable reading the records.

ort name indexForssa (D) AI:2 (1757-1766) Image 5 (AID: v55102.b5, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Click here for more birth record reading examples.

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28 Baptismal Witnesses

unungeUnunge CI:10 (1895-1916) Image 920 / page 85a (AID: v274930.b920.s85a, NAD: SE/SSA/1579)  Link.

It is highly recommended that one records all the information that you find in the church books about your family. Often, this information will prove to be very beneficial in further research.  Most importantly, one should record the names of the baptismal witnesses on a birth record. These names can provide leads in researching other family members or solving genealogical mysteries.

There are usually 2 to 3 men and 2 to 3 men who are baptismal witnesses. Sometimes there are more. But could 28 witnesses be a record?

On January 12, 1907, the girl Birgit Gerda Maria Eleonora was baptized in the parish of Ununge.  In the birth book as shown in the image above, the entry states that she was born on the 15th of November 1906 in Adolf Fredrik parish in Stockholm. Her parents were office manager, Niels Jakob Holst and his wife, Aina Gerda Birgitta Erika Söderström.

Since the four rows allotted for the names of the witnesses were not enough for writing the names of the 28 witnesses, the minister has written the names on an attached list.

A certificate was sent to Maria Magdalena parish where she was recorded and here (image below) the priest has neatly written all 28 names in the space allotted for the names of the witnesses.

maria magdelenaMaria Magdalena CIa:28 (1905-1906) Image 3020 / page 262 (AID: v88249.b3020.s262, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Read the original article in Swedish.

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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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