Two blacksmiths in same parish had stillborn babies on same day

Sometimes by chance, unusual events seem to happen around the same time. In an earlier blog, we described two triplet births that happened in the same parish with only a few months between the births.

That a stillborn child would be born to two men with the same occupation on the same day in the same parish is highly unlikely. But this happened in 1798 in Burlöv parish in Skåne.

smedenstillbirthsBurlöv CI:4 (1775-1816) Image 91 / page 92 (AID: v106310.b91.s92, NAD: SE/LLA/13050) Link.

Den 26 januari fick smeden Bengt Andersson och hans hustru Kjerstina Nilsdotter tvillingar, varav den ena var dödfödd. Samma dag fick smeden Pär Ahlström och hans hustru Elna Bengtsdotter en dödfödd son.

On the 26th of January, twins were born to the blacksmith Bengt Andersson and Kjerstina Nilsdotter. One of the twins was stillborn. On the same day, a stillborn son was born to blacksmith, Pär Ahlström and his wife, Elna Bengtsdotter.

At this time the number of stillborn children in Sweden was approximately 27 per 1,000 births. Today, it is about 4 per 1,000. During the second half of the 1700’s, there were approximately 70,00 births per year. The number increased during the first decades of the 1800’s so that by the middle of the 1800’s there were as many births yearly as there are today despite that the population was much smaller. According to the official statistics, there were 2,160 stillbirths in 1798 in Sweden.  While stillbirths were not unusual, still the combination of the above circumstances can be described as being a unique event.

This article was written by Örjan Hedenberg for ArkivDigital and originally published in Swedish. Click here to read in Swedish.

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Triplets (Trillingar)

Twins occur now and then. According to the Swedish language encyclopedia, (Nationalencyklopedin), twins account for 1 in 85 births. Triplets are considerably less common, 1 in 70,000 births. Therefore, it is rather surprising to see two sets of triplets born in the same parish with only 3 ½ months between them. This happened in the same village in Mjällyby parish in Blekinge county in the years 1731 and 1732.

On November 9, 1731 the triplets, Sissa, Åke and Lars, were born to Ingemar Larsson and Sissa Åkesdotter in Istaby. (See image below.)

november-tripletsMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 31 / page 53 (AID: v96434.b31.s53, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

On February 27, 1732 the triplets, Karna, Kiersta and Berta ware born to Bengt Olsson and Anna Svensdotter in Istaby.

february-27-imageMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 32 / page 55 (AID: v96434.b32.s55, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

There is a gap in the records in the death book from August 1731 to April 1732 so it is difficult to see if all the children survived. Triplets are often born prematurely and weigh less than ordinary children and at this time the prognosis for survival was not great. However, these triplets were baptized at the ordinary times and there is no notation that they received emergency baptisms.

It is likely that they died within a month after their birth. The writer has not found them in the later church books from Mjällby.

This article was written by Örjan Hedenberg for ArkivDigital and originally published in Swedish. Click here to read the article in Swedish.

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Life-long companions

lina and eric birth recordSäfsnäs (W) C:3 (1801-1844) Image 71 (AID: v132067.b71, NAD: SE/ULA/11506) Link.

As more people are living longer, it is not unusual to see more couples celebrating 60 years of marriage or their diamond anniversary. We have a couple of examples in the church books where couples have literally followed each other from the cradle to the grave.

One case is from Säfsnäs in Dalarna.  There are two children, Lena Stina Larsdotter and Eric Jansson who were born in 1812. They are listed next to each other in the birth and baptismal book, respectively numbers 59 and 60 as shown in the above image.

The two married and they are shown with children in the household record below.

eric and lena household recordSäfsnäs (W) AI:12 (1845-1854) Image 93 / page 88 (AID: v132047.b93.s88, NAD: SE/ULA/11506) Link.

Eric took the name Hök after Hökhöjden where he was born and where the couple first lived. He died in Mörttjärn on August 25, 1882. The couple had followed each other for 70 years.

The other case is from Västland in Uppland, where in1813 the children Maja Stina Löfgren (nr. 36) and Lars Persson (nr. 37) were born.

matts and maja birth recordVästland (C) C:4 (1803-1837) Image 44 (AID: v127256.b44, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

lars birth recordVästland (C) C:4 (1803-1837) Image 45 (AID: v127256.b45, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

Likewise, this couple married. In the household record below, however, Maja Stina’s birth month is noted incorrectly, August instead of September.

household record lars and wifeVästland (C) AI:12 (1846-1850) Image 266 / page 249 (AID: v127235.b266.s249, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

Lars took the name Wesslander (after Västland) and became a foundry worker at the Västland foundry. When he died on March 1871, he and his wife had followed each other for 58 years.

Maybe one can find more cases similar to these.

The original article was written by Örjan Hedenberg. Click here for original post in Swedish.

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Russians who worked on the Göta Canal

Gota canal russiansGöta kanalbolag EII:8 (1813-1813) Image 67 / page 60 (AID: v89674.b67.s60, NAD: SE/VALA/02660) Link.

We previously published a blog about the Göta Canal Company’s archive in ArkivDigital. (Link to blog entry.)  In that blog, we pointed out a list of Russians in the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet) who signed up to work on the canal so that they could return to Russia. You can find more information about these Russians who helped build the canal in several archival sources.

Approximately 60,000 men worked on building the canal between 1810 and 1832. The majority of these were Swedish soldiers from sixteen different regiments along with two naval companies. In addition a company of Russian deserters (pionjärkompaniet) also worked on the canal.

In the volume Göta kanalbolag EII: 8 on pages 58-65, you will find an inspection roll for the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet). The roll was created at the mustering at Forsviks bruk on the 29th of May 1813. Above is an image of a page from the roll. The record shows the name, age and height of each person in the company. Occasionally in the remarks column are notes indicating if the person was ill or given special orders.

Even in the church books, you can find information about these Russians.The image below is a birth record from 1814 in the Bällefors C: 5 volume. In this birth book, you can find a number of children with Russian fathers.

ballefors birthBällefors (R) C:5 (1807-1852) Image 32 (AID: v28848.b32, NAD: SE/GLA/13073) Link.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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Rosenstein and his Wife 1803

manskog drawingMangskog AI:6 (1786-1789) Image 84 / page 97 (AID: v12112.b84.s97, NAD: SE/VA/13359) Link.

The household examination records are a treasure for the Swedish researcher. These records were updated yearly and contain much detail about each household member. Using the household records along with other church book records, one can often trace a person’s whereabouts from birth to death or birth to emigration.

But occasionally as you browse through a book, you may be surprised to see a drawing or an image that will cause you to smile or even laugh.  Above is an image in the Mangskog household book (1786-1789) titled, “Rosenstein och hans Fru 1803” or “Rosenstein and his wife 1803”.

One wonders why the minister drew the picture of this couple or maybe his children found the book and made the drawings. You will find more delightful drawings in this book. Take a look on the following pages: 9, 12, 21, 42, 49, 61, 78, 135, 146 and finally the horses on page 152.

See blog entry in Swedish.

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Burial Costs

Burial costsOrusts och Tjörns häradsrätt FII:18 (1850-1853) Image 248 / page 491 (AID: v13493.b248.s491, NAD: SE/GLA/11080) Link.

The estate inventories (bouppteckningarna) are a wonderful source for finding information about a deceased’s heirs and the names of guardians for children not of legal age. This information in found in the ingress or preamble of the estate inventory.  When one browses through the estate inventory, one can form a deeper understanding of one’s ancestor’s life by viewing their possessions such as two spoons, four pigs and a clock or other items.

At the end of the inventory, the deceased’s debts (skulder) are listed. In addition, the burial costs are usually included. Sometimes, if you read carefully, you can recreate the burial event as if you were present.

In the estate inventory for Samuel Andersson as shown in the above image, you can discover what was served to the funeral guests at Orust in 1850.

“5 kannor brännvin, 1 kanna konjak, 1/2 kanna vin, kaffebönor och socker, pudersocker och skorpor, malt, korn och råg, 2 kalvar, smör, fläsk och ägg. Allt tillagat av kokerskan”.

5 pitchers of brandy, 1 pitcher of cognac, ½ pitcher of wine, coffee beans and sugar, powdered sugar and biscuits, malt, barley and rye, veal, butter, bacon and eggs. Everything prepared by a cook.

We wish to thank Lisbeth Zachs for this tip.

Link to blog entry in Swedish.

Read more about estate inventories.

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Special Note in the Household Record’s Comments Column

special noteFunbo AI:9b (1824-1830) Image 116 / page 110 (AID: v124432.b116.s110, NAD: SE/ULA/10291) Link.

Sometimes the ministers would write small notes in the church books in the special circumstances or comments column (omständigheter) about an individual. In the above image, the notation about Eric Andersson catches one’s attention.

The minister wrote next to Eric Andersson’s name “ganska svårt ofärdig, men dock starkt aflande” or “rather seriously crippled but still seriously procreating”. Maybe the minister was not so pleased that the Eric had so many children or how should one interpret the minister’s note?

Link to original blog in Swedish.

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Estate Inventory more than 300 pages!

bouppteckning ingressÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 220 / page 8 (AID: v748972.b220.s8, NAD: SE/ULA/12685)
Link to image.

Upon a person’s death an estate inventory (bouppteckning) was created. This document consists of an ingress or preamble which gives information about the deceased and the names of the heirs. Following the preamble is the inventory listing all the deceased’s assets and debts. The estate inventory is a wonderful document for proving genealogical relationships as well as helping one gain a better understanding of one’s ancestor life.

The number of pages within an estate inventory varies greatly from only a couple of pages to sometimes hundreds of pages. One example of an extensive inventory is the estate inventory for the wholesale merchant, Adolf Ferdinand Hagström from Svarthäll in Kung Karl’s parish. His estate inventory totals 305 pages.

Adolf Ferdinand Hagström died on the 20th of August 1909 at Sofiahemmet in Stockholm at age 55. His death is recorded in the death book for Kung Karl’s parish.  Only a month earlier his wife, Augusta Charlotta Andersson died. The couple had no children and the heirs of Adolf’s estate were his mother and his siblings. The above image shows the ingress or preamble naming Adolf’s mother and siblings as the heirs.

When one browses this estate inventory, it is almost like venturing more than 100 years back in time and touring his house room by room. Since he was a wholesale merchant, the estate inventory also details the merchandise he had in stock. Below is an image showing some of the liquor that was in stock. Lots of aquavit!

branvinÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 690 (AID: v748972.b690, NAD: SE/ULA/12685) Link.

The assets of the estate were 1,135,609.69 Swedish kronor and the debts were 536, 306.61 kronor resulting in the net value of estate being 599, 308.08 kronor. See image below.

net valueÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 3230 (AID: v748972.b3230, NAD: SE/ULA/12685) Link.

Learn more about Swedish estate inventories.

Read original article in Swedish.

Other Sources
Adolf Ferdinand Hagström’s death record
Kung Karl F:3 (1895-1909) Image 790 / page 73 (AID: v72960.b790.s73, NAD: SE/ULA/10669) Link.

Congregation book showing Adolf Ferdinand Hagström’s residence at time of death
Kung Karl AIIa:6 (1907-1920) Image 1250 / page 570 (AID: v261754.b1250.s570, NAD: SE/ULA/10669) Link.

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Allmänna barnhuset (Public Orphanage of Stockholm)

The Public Orphanage of Stockholm (Allmänna barnhuset) records from earliest times to about 1880 are now available in ArkivDigital’s online archive.

You will find many record types in this archive providing information about the children and also about the wet nurses. You can find information about the latter in the volume, ammrulla, or wet nurse records. Many of the children at the Public Orphanage of Stockholm were placed in foster homes throughout Sweden and you can find out where they were placed in these records.

orphan record
Allmänna barnhuset D2FA:14 (1807-1808) Image 470 / page 6585 (AID: v749518.b470.s6585, NAD: SE/SSA/0809A) Link.

Above is an example of the orphanage record for Johan Fredrik Norberg who was admitted to the orphanage in October 1807 and his birth date is shown as the 15th of August 1801. His record number is 6584. He was placed with the farmer (bonden) Jonas Pehrsson in Brånstorp, Östra Skrukeby parish, Åkerbo härad in Östergotland county. You can locate Johan with the family he was placed with by doing the following:

  1. Click on search archive.
  2. Enter Östra Skrukeby in the search window and click search,
  3. Search for a household records volume that includes the year 1807 in the volume list for Östra Skrukeby.
  4. Select volume Östra Skrukeby AI:3 Household records (1806-1815).
  5. Open the book by double clicking the selected volume.
  6. Search for a place index and look for the place, Brånstorp.
  7. You will find that the records for Brånstorp begin on page 14.
  8. Go to page 14 and you will find Johan Fredrik Norberg as shown in the image below.
  9. You will notice that in front of his name is the notatation, Barnhus B, or orphanage child as shown in the image below.household orphan Östra Skrukeby AI:3 (1806-1815) Image 14 / page 14 (AID: v26463.b14.s14, NAD: SE/VALA/00489) Link.

You can read more in Swedish about orphanage records in ArkivDigital’s online archive by clicking here.

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13 Children with 51 Unique Given Names

You can find lots of interesting information in ArkivDigital online. As we search for our ancestors, we see many names and we can see what names were popular at various times.  Sometimes, we even encounter some unusual names.

Many parents today find it difficult to decide what to name their children. Today in Sweden, it is common for a child to have two or three given or first names. In many families, one of the given names is a family name.

One  family that did not seem to have had any problems with finding names for their children is the Almlöf family who lived in Svenarum parish in Jönköping county at the turn of the century between the 1800’s and 1900’s.  Karl Hjalmar Knut Almlöf, a painter,who lived at Hook station/Masugnsbacken, was the father of 13 children and 12 lived to adulthood.

Each child received four first or given names.  There were 52 names given to the children and 51 were unique. One child who died of whooping cough at four months of age was named Syster Julia Elvira Victoria and the name Julia was reused for a daughter born in 1907 who was named Rut Julia Vera Emilia.

You find the first 12 children in the image below:

13 children with unique names

Svenarum AIIa:2 (1902-1907) Image 151 / page 141 (AID: v172326.b151.s141, NAD: SE/VALA/00358) Link

Names of the parents and children are:

Kurt Hjalmar Knut Almlöf     Painter (Målare)
H. (Hustru) Wife Johann Lovisa Johansdotter
Son Karl Emrik Mauritz Leonard
Son Gustaf Anton Erik Ossian
Son Gunnar Elam Anselm Napoleon
Son Knut Arvid Edvard Johannes
Son Axel Bertil Hjalmar Efraim
Daughter Elsa Lovisa Maria Olivia
Daughter Elin Laura Ingeborg Naemi
Daughter Anna Sofia Viola Elisabet
Son Bror Arnold Titus Elof
Daughter Syster Julia Elvira Victoria  died 19 December 1904
Daughter Ester Lisa Kristina Matilda
Daughter Rut Julia Vera Emilia
Son Sven Holger Fritiof Eugèn

You will find the parents and all 12 living children at the following image:
Svenarum AIIa:3 (1908-1914) Image 117 / page 107 (AID: v172327.b117.s107, NAD: SE/VALA/00358) Link

Note – This blog was previously published in Swedish on September 8, 2014. Link to the Swedish version.

On Monday, March 2, we will publish the English text of “Forska i Stockholms stad 1878-1926″ or Research in Stockholm City 1878-1926.

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