Smothered by the mother

Sometimes, when one is browsing in the old church books, one sees a notice that makes one stop and think. One tries to imagine what life was like during that time and especially some of the feelings our ancestors experienced. For example – the pain a couple must have felt losing their small children. But then there are others types of notes in the records which note events that are more tragic.

arvik-1Arvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 37 / page 61 (AID: v4798a.b37.s61, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

The above image is a birth record from 1811 from the Arvika city parish (Arvika stadsförsamling). The record is the birth record for a daughter, Anna Lena, who was born on the 25th of September. Her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. But on the right, the priest has crossed out Anna Lena’s name and written “förqvafd vådl. av modern 17/12 1811” or smothered accidentally by the mother on the 17th of December 1811. This is also mentioned in the death record.

mattson-and-lenaArvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 134 / page 255 (AID: v4798a.b134.s255, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

17/12 dog och den 22/12 begrovs. Gateqvarn. Flickan Anna Lena Nilsdotter, f.1811 21/9. Föräldrar: Mölnaren Nils Matsson och hustru Lena Åsberg. Vådeligen af mdren förqvafd i sömnen.

The above death record states that the girl Anna Lena Nilsdotter living at Gateqvarn died on the 17th of December (1811) and was buried on the 22nd of December (1811). She was born on the 21st of September 1811 and her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. The cause of death was smothered in sleep accidentally by the mother.

We may never know the actual reason for this tragedy. But it is probable that there can be many different reasons that this small child died. Another question is how do we interpret the term, vådeligen or accidental. Was it an accident, or was it something else?

There exists an absolution register (absolutionslängd) for the period 1625-1650 from Östra and Västra Göinge in north Skåne. In this register, the dean has listed those who have received absolution (the priest gives absolution to a person for his/her sins) and many of the notes concern cases where a child has died. What is especially interesting in this record in this book is that the name for the both the man and woman is noted. During this period, it was rare to see a woman’s name.

1632-recordÖstra Göinge kontrakts prostarkiv (L) FIV:1 (1625-1650) Image 13 (AID: v103010.b13, NAD: SE/LLA/13583) Link.

The above note dated on the 22nd of June 1632 Kongens (The king owned the farm that the couple lived on).

Söffren Jepsön i Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Pige 9 Ugier.
til fattige 10 mk

Söffren Jepsön in Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Young girl 9 weeks
(donation) to the poor 10 mk (mark)

Read the original 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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Photographing of modern church books – several counties are complete

modern church bookA page out of the Junosuando congregation book for the years 1935-1945 (AIIa:4), one of the many new church book volumes which have recently been added in ArkivDigital.
Link.

At the end of January, we announced some exciting news in a blog post. The National Swedish Archives changed a decision which had previously prohibited ArkivDigital from photographing some church books after 1935, (see previous blog entry). This opened up a long awaited opportunity for us, namely to photograph the modern church books up to and including the law of privacy limits (currently the year 1945). During the late winter, spring and summer, we have been busy photographing parish congregation books, moving in/out registers, birth, marriage and books. As a result of this work, 20 of the 25 counties are now complete.

Completed counties: Blekinge, Gotland, Gävleborg, Halland, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kopparberg, Kristianstad, Kronoberg, Malmöhus, Norrbotten, Stockholm, Södermanland, Värmland, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Västmanland and Örebro.

Counties with photographing in progress: Göteborg och Bohuslän, Skaraborg, Uppsala and Östergötland.

For the remaining county, Älvsborg, we will soon begin to photograph these books.

You can find more detail as to what volumes are available in ArkivDigital such as the modern church books and other types of volumes on our website, (link to website page).

We want to emphasize that that there are different privacy rules for different series which influence which volumes we can photograph. In an earlier blog, (see earlier blog) we outlined some of the privacy rules for various types of church books, (see third and fourth paragraphs).

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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Name Registers in Parish Archives

borasregister

In a previous blog entry, we pointed out name registers (släktnamnsregister) in ArkivDigital for those who research in Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg, Värmland or Västernorrland counties. If one is searching for a person who has a non-patronymic name meaning a name that does not end with a “son” or “dotter”, these registers can be very helpful. Examples of groups of people who had a non-patronymic name were the nobility, priests and not least the many soldiers.

However, you will also find name registers for parish books in some parish archives which also include both patronymic and non-patronymic names. Whenever you research a parish, it is always recommended to browse the archive to see what types of volumes are included in the archive. Occasionally, you will see “register” or “personregister” volumes. For example, if you browse the Borås parish/congregation archive in Älvsborg county, you will see name registers for birth, marriage, death and household records. In this parish, there are name registers for the household records between 1745 and 1860 as shown in the above image. These can be very helpful in the search process.

Below is an example of a page from the household record register book for Borås for the years 1745 – 1754. To the right of the person is the page number where you can find the person in the household record book for the years 1745-1754.

household register imageBorås (P) HFReg:1 (1745-1754) Image 74 / page 70 (AID: v188594.b74.s70, NAD: SE/GLA/13048) Link.

Examples of a few other parish archives where you will find name registers for church books are:

  • Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet – Gävleborg
  • Göteborgs Karl Johan – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Göteborgs Kristine – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Uppsala domkyrkoförsamling – Uppsala

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Gammalsvenskby’s church books now available in ArkivDigital

Gammalsvenskbys kyrkoböckeGammalsvenskby (Ukraina) (Ut) 8 (1920-1921) Image 160 / page 64 (AID: v99903.b160.s64, NAD: SE/ViLA/23094) Link.

In the Baltic Sea, west of Estonia’s mainland is the island of Dagö. There was a Swedish speaking peasant settlement on Dagö that was believed to have been founded in the 1200’s. Other Swedish settlements existed along Estonia’s coast and nearby islands. Dagö belonged to Sweden from 1563 to 1721 and was an important Swedish territory in Estonia.

Under the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Dagö was ceded to Russia. In 1781, the Russian Empress Catherine II forced the resettlement of about 1,000 Dagö-Swedes to Ukraine. Many died during the long march but those who survived founded the community of Gammalsvenskby.

Despite nearly no contact with Sweden, the population of Gammalsvenskby preserved their traditions and Lutheran faith. They even retained the old “östsvenska” dialect. Towards the end of the 1800’s some contact with Sweden was restored and in 1885 a new Swedish church opened.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917 and a devastating famine, many Swedish colonists requested to leave the Soviet Union and return to Sweden. In 1929, 881 villagers arrived in Sweden; only a few chose to remain in Ukraine. Most of the returnees settled in Gotland.

Along with the returnees came the Gammalsvenskby’s church books. Pastor Kristofer Hoas was responsible for seeing  that these books were sent to Sweden. Up until his death in 1941, Pastor Hoas continued to send the church books to Sweden. In 1947, the archive was transferred to the county archives (today’s regional archive) in Visby, where we have recently photographed the documents.

You can find the Gammalsvenskby’s church books in ArkivDigital by entering Gammalsvenskby in the search box.

Read the original blog entry in Swedish.

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More records for Älvdalen parish in ArkivDigital

0294-ÄlvdalenArkivDigital at the Älvdalen archive

Many parishes in Dalarna were exempt from delivering their church records to the Regional Archive in Uppsala. As late as year 2000, a large number of the church books still remained in the original parishes. However, in recent years all the parishes have delivered their church books to the regional archive except for Älvdalen parish.

A number of years ago, ArkivDigital visited Älvdalen and photographed many of the church books (household/congregation books, migration registers, and birth, marriage and death books) from the earliest times to about 1939.  At that time we also photographed a selection of other documents, including confirmation records, communion records and parish meeting protocols.

Recently, ArkivDigital again visited Älvdalen. On this visit, church records up to the current year of privacy limits, 1945, were photographed. Privacy laws are not as restrictive for the marriage records and migration registers so these records are more current. We had added migration records up to 1971 and marriage records up to 1963. In addition, we have photographed a number of church account books.

All the records we photographed on our visit to Älvdalen are now available online. The documents are mostly found in the parish archive for Älvdalen (which also includes Evertsberg), but for the period from 1918 there is a separate archive for the Åsens church books.

Read original blog in Swedish.

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Mothers’ acknowledgments of births in Maria Magdalena parish

envelopeMaria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 980 (AID: v826540.b980, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Many researchers have been excited to find an ancestor’s birth record only to be disappointed to discover that the mother is “oäkta” or unmarried and that the father is unknown. But the disappointment is even greater if one discovers that both parents are unknown. However, in some cases there may be hope. For those of you who have found unknown mothers in the Maria Magdalena parish birth records in Stockholm, we want to point out four volumes with maternal acknowledgments of births that are available in ArkivDigital.

The four volumes are named Maria Magdalena HIIIc: 1-4 and they cover the period 1897-1917. The volumes contain envelopes which in most cases have been sealed until recently. The Stockholm city archives have now opened the sealed envelopes and have given us the opportunity to photograph the contents.

In the image at the top of the page we see the front page of an envelope referring to Alma Maria born on the 23rd of July 1897.  In the recently opened envelope, there is a page with the following text.

mothercertificate2Maria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 990 (AID: v826540.b990, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Undertecknad boende härstädes Bellmansgatan 16, 1 tr opp. erkänner sig härmed vara moder till flickebarnet Alma Maria född den 23 Juli 1897 och döpt den 27 Julis. år. intygas Stockholm den 27 Juli 1897 Mathilda Alma Sandberg född den 20 Juli 1871.

The undersigned who is residing at Bellmansgatan 16, 1st floor up, acknowledges that she is the mother of the female child, Alma Maria, born on the 23rd of July 1897 and baptized on the 27th of July of the same year. Certified in Stockholm on the 27th of July by Mathilda Alma Sandberg born on the 20th of July 1871.

In this record of acknowledgment, we see the mother’s name and birth date. In other acknowledgments, details of the mother’s birth parish are noted and sometimes even the father’s name. The majority of these photographed envelopes have recently been unsealed by the Stockholm city archives. However, some were unsealed long ago and in some of these cases there is documentation about when and who requested the opening of the envelope.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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Modern church records photographing status – more counties are now available

newphotographHärlöv (G) AIIa:3 (1923-1941) Image 310 / page 18 (AID: v166757.b310.s18, NAD: SE/VALA/00156)  Link.

About a month ago, we published a blog (see blog entry) giving an update on the photographing of the modern church books up to the time of privacy law limits (currently 1945). At that time, we announced that the photographing was complete for the modern church books in Gotland, Jämtland, Stockholm and Värmland counties. 

Now five more counties are available: Blekinge, Halland, Kopparberg, Kristianstad and Malmöhus. Photographing is in progress for additional counties and new records are continuously being added.

Click here to see what is available in ArkivDigital.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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Sara Jönsdotter lived 106 years

oldageNederluleå C:2 (1726-1742) Image 294 / page 531 (AID: v138428.b294.s531, NAD: SE/HLA/1010132) Link.

Occasionally we see examples of persons living  a remarkably long life in the church books. In the 1741 death book for Nederluleå’s parish, the priest wrote the following notes about Sara Jönsdotter.

”Mycket ålderstigna Pigan Sara Jönsd:r ifrån Måttsund. Född 1635. Fadren Jöns Erichsson. Modren hust: Sara N.d:r afled genom döden d:1 Augusti. Begrafdes på kyrkogården d:8 ejusd. Warit 15 år blind, men dock under sin blindhet spunnit finaste garn. Thes höga ålder är 106 år.”

The very elderly maid Sara Jönsdotter from Måttsund. Born in 1635. Her father was Jöns Erichsson and her mother was Sara N. dotter. Died on the 1st of August. Buried in the church cemetery on the 8th of the same month. Was blind for 15 years, but still spun the finest yarn despite being blind.  Was the high age of 106 years.

We wish to thank Björn Rydh for the tip.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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Swedish American Church documents provide genealogical information

 

hanepictureWe have written previously about the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital. (See previous blog entry). Besides the church books, there are anniversary documents for many congregations and these publications often contain historical information about the congregation’s founding as well as genealogical information about some of the early church members. This information can help one jump the pond and trace the family in the Swedish church books. For many North Americans, one source for finding out where their ancestor came from in Sweden is often a Swedish American church book.

One interesting document is the one produced for the Centennial Anniversary of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bucklin, Missouri in 1970. Here you will find historical information for several families. One example is for Andrew Fredrick Hane’s family.

The text below states that he was born on “June 23, 1828 in Ostergutland, Sweden” and that he immigrated to American in 1880 with his wife Maria, born on “October 15, 1840, Grosmark, Varmland, Sweden” with four children. At the top of the page, you will find an image of Andrew, Maria and a child.

andrewhanetext
Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 13 / page 13 (AID: v811754.b13.s13) Link.

We can find information about the family in the Swedish church books by using Maria as our starting point. The text provides information about Maria’s birth date, birth parish and immigration year. When one looks at the American records, often there is an Americanization of Swedish person and place names. In this case Grosmark, Varmland refers to Gräsmark, Värmland. As well, the county of Östergotland was spelled Ostergutland.

To search for Maria in the Swedish church books, we will begin by looking for her birth record.

  • Go to the search window.
  • Select the county archive and select Värmland.
  • Select the parish, Gräsmark.
  • Look for the birth volume that contains the year 1840.
  • Search for a birth record for Maria on October 15, 1840.
  • You will find record at the following reference: Gräsmark CI:5 (1838-1859) Image 18 / page 29 (AID: v6598.b18.s29, NAD: SE/VA/13165) (Link).

By tracing Maria in the church books forward, you will find that she marries Anders Fredrik Hane and they have several children and in 1880 the family immigrates to North American from Skedevi, Östergotland. You can see the notation about the move to North America in the household record shown below.

hane moving out recordSkedevi AI:25 (1880-1887) Image 128 / page 118 (AID: v29036.b128.s118, NAD: SE/VALA/00332) Link.

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