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In this blog, you will find a record reading example for a birth record on Christmas Day 200 years ago. It is for a female child, Märta, born on Christmas Day in Arvika landsförsamling in Värmland county in 1814.
Arvika landsförsamling CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 49 / page 87 (AID: v4798.b49.s87, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link
The format of this birth record is divided into five columns. The first column gives the birth date, December 25th and the second column the baptismal date, December 26th.
The text section gives the residence, names of the child’s parents and the names of the baptismal witnesses.
Transcription of Main Text
W. Sund: Par: Drängen Brynte Persson och pigan Anna Hindriksdotter, Testes – Per Bengtsson och Nils Andersson samt Hustrurna Karin Persdotter och Maria Andersdotter från V. Sund.
Translation of Main Text
Västra Sund: Parents: Farmhand Brynte Persson and maid Anna Hindriksdotter, Witnesses – Per Bengtsson and Nils Andersson along with wives Karin Persdotter and Maria Andersdotter from Västra Sund.
The next column states the age range for the mother and in this case the mother’s age is between 25 and 30 years.
The last column on the right gives the child’s name, Märta. The letters, “o:ä” are an abbreviation for oäkta or illegitimate child. Note, in this record the name of the father is given whereas in most cases during this time period the father’s name is not shown in the birth record for an illegitimate child.
Notice that the residence, Västra Sund, is abbreviated as W. Sund for the child’s birth residence and V. Sund for the witnesses’ residence. The letters and V and W were often interchanged. Often a place name that begins with Västra (West) will be abbreviated with a W or V as shown in the above record.
It is important to note the place name where the child’s family lived because you will need that to locate the family in the corresponding household examination book. In this case, you will find the mother and child at the following reference near the bottom of the page: Arvika landsförsamling AI:8 (1811-1816) Image 119 / page 113 (AID: v9544.b119.s113, NAD: SE/VA/13011). Link
You will often find Latin words in Swedish church books especially in the earlier years. In this birth record, there are two Latin terms:
- Par. – an abbreviation for the Latin word, parentes or parents in English
- Testes – witnesses
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