Military rolls (rullor) 1620-1723

Often in researching our Swedish ancestors, we discover an ancestor who was a cavalryman (ryttare) or soldier (soldat). Or even possibly an officer. We want to know more about our ancestor’s military life. The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are an important source for military research. These begin in the late 1600’s and continue until the end of the 1800’s. You can find the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital by entering rullor in the search box. There you will see some earlier rolls of military records. There is an archive named “Rullor 1620-1723” In this archive, there are hundreds of volumes. So far, we have photographed the documents 1620-1659 and then some individual volumes after that. There is an ongoing project at the  Military Archives of Sweden to digitize these documents.

Below are some tips for searching in these records.

If your ancestor is an ordinary cavalryman or soldier, a little more searching is required before you find the correct source. Knowing that a cavalryman belonged to a cavalry regiment and a soldier belonged to an infantry regiment is a good start. That way you know which type of regiment to search. They are often grouped by the name of the regiment after county/province (län/landskap). If you have more information about him for example the name of his commander one can find some helps via a name register. If your ancestor was an officer, you can look for him directly in the name register (personregister).

In the series or archive “Rullor 1620-1723”, you will find 15 volumes called Personregister at the top of the volume list. If you hold your mouse over (i) or click once on the volume, you will get more information on which names are included in the volume. Let us say that we are searching for Lars Jakobsson who we know was a second lieutenant (fänrik) in the 1640’s, we will find a name register card for him.

registerlarsskooRullor 1620-1723 PersonReg:6 (1620-1699) Image 3015 (AID: v793063.b3015, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

The references point to the year and volume. In addition, we get references to other volumes where we can find more information about his military career. Thus in these records, we have a good summary of the military careers of all the Swedish military officers for most of the 1600’s. If in the upper right hand corner stands the number “1”, that means that there are more register cards for this person, something to think about.

The card shows us that Lars Jakobsson Skoo was a second lieutenant in the Åbo regiment. Since Finland was part of Sweden at this time, records for the Finnish regiments are included in this material. He changes regiments and becomes a second lieutenant in the Björnborg regiment and if one looks at the next card, we see that he becomes a lieutenant (löjtnant). References at the top are for the year 1641 and volume 12. The next step is to search in the volume list for the 12th volume in the year 1641 or volume 1641:12.

search rullor

Check in the beginning of the volume to see if there is a register of regiments and companies.  After some searching, we find the right regiment and company and even Lars Jacobsson.

larsjohansson1641Rullor 1620-1723 1641:12 (1641-1641) Image 130 / page 8 (AID: v751076.b130.s8, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

To the right of his name is written, Gamble Ryttmästaren Jacob Nilssons son, hafuer tient i Tyssland för een gemen Ryttare, under Sal: Johan Muncks Comp. (Old calvary captain Jacob Nilsson’s son, who served in Germany as a regular cavalryman, in Sal: Johan Munck’s Company).

The officers are always listed first followed by the regular soldiers. In this case, on the right side you can see a list of soldiers. If your ancestor was a private or regular soldier, this is where you would look.

Read original article in Swedish.

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ArkivDigital’s employees celebrate success in Lyrestad!

FestArkivDigital’s personnel outside the corporate headquarters in Lyrestad, Sweden.

This year ArkivDigital celebrated 10 years as a company. Naturally, we wanted to celebrate this event with all our employees!

Yesterday, Thursday, December 3rd, all our employees were invited to a meeting at our company headquarters in Lyrestad closing with a julbord (Christmas table) and festivities at the beautiful Norrqvarn Hotel and Conference Center next to the Göta Canal.

It was an extremely enjoyable gathering for all!

There was much mingling in the company headquarters. Colleagues who met for the first time got to know each other and there were many happy reunions between employees who work in different locations who seldom have the opportunity to meet. In the afternoon, Managing Director, Mikael Karlsson, and Chairman of the Board, Jan Aronson, presented to the group a summary of the past 10 years and the exciting plans for the company’s future. Then all proceeded to Norrqvarn for the evening festivities.

The elegantly prepared julbord included pickled herring, potatoes, Swedish meatballs, lutefisk and many other dishes that are associated with a traditional julbord. There was much eating, drinking and lots of laughter around the tables until the wee hours.

We wish to thank all our employees for a very special day and evening!

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General Muster Roll Column Headings

In a previous blog, we presented some information about the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital, the most commonly used records for military research. In this blog, we will present an English translation of the headings on the muster roll that are shown in the image below.

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The column heading showing the soldier’s name in Swedish is:
Manskapets förra och nuvarande namn, födelseort och tid, antagningsdatum, samt sedan sista General-Mönstring med detsamma skedda förändringar.

English
Soldier’s previous and current name, birth place and date, service entry date, together with the changes since the last general muster roll.

Below are the other column headings:

Swedish                                                                                    English
Nummer.                                                                                     Number
Regementet                                                                                Regiment
Kompaniet                                                                                  Company
Rotarnes Namn och belägenhet.                                           Name and place of  rote
Lefnadsår.                                                                                  Age
Tjensteår vid annat regemente.                                            Service years at another regiment
Summa tjensteår.                                                                     Total Service Years
Längd.                                                                                         Height
Fot.                                                                                               Feet
Tum.                                                                                            Inch
Gift eller ogift.                                                                           Married or unmarried

Sista General-Mönstrings annotationer.                 Last general muster inspection notes.
Närvarande General-Mönstrings anteckningar.  Current general muster inspection notes

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General Muster Rolls

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are the primary records  one uses to research Swedish soldiers who served in the military between the 1680’s and 1880’s. The muster rolls were kept by the respective regiments between every three to five years. In these rolls, you will find information about all soldiers and officers, regiment by regiment, company by company.

In the general muster roll, one can follow  soldiers and officers from the time they entered the service until their discharge. Types of information you will find in the muster rolls include: soldier’s name, both their soldier name and earlier name, birth date or age, number of years in the service, height and marital status. One learns if the soldier was promoted and sometimes one learns about commendations.  At the end of the soldier’s career, the reason for his discharge is often stated.

The above image gives information about the soldier, Jonas Käck, who served in the Hälsinge regiment in 1863. He served for the rote, Sörfly, in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county. He was previously named Jon Jonsson and was born in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county on July 9, 1818. He entered the military on December 10, 1840. At the time of the 1863 muster, he was 44 years old and had served in the military for 22 4/12 years.  He was 6 feet and 1.5 inches tall.

The general muster rolls for both the allotted  (indelta) and enlisted (värvade) Swedish regiments are available in ArkivDigital’s online library. You can find these records by:

  • Access ArkivDigital online
  • Select advanced options
  • Select archive type, military

An alternative search method is to enter “generalmönsterrullor” in the search box and click search.

Click here to read article about the general muster rolls in Swedish.

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“Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” “Grill”

Many persons who research their family history discover an ancestor who was a soldier. When one finds a soldier ancestor, one wants to find out what additional information one can find out about this person in the military records or primarily the general muster rolls. But where does one look in the muster rolls?   Often the church book does not provide any information about which regiment or company the soldier served in.

In order to find an entry point in the general muster rolls, the publication “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket” or “Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” by Claes Lorentz Grill (1817-1907) is a great help. Many researchers refer to this wok as the “Grill”.

“Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket”  was produced in four volumes during the years 1855-1858.

  1. ”Rusthålls-regementene” (1855)  – Calvary regiments
  2. ”Rothålls-regementene” (1856) – Infantry regiments
  3. ”Båtsmans-kompanierne” (1858)  – Navy companies
  4. ”Extra roteringen” (1857) – Extra districts

In ArkivDigital, you will find the four publications in the archive, “Printed literature”, where the volume names are Grill: 1-4.  Also, there is a parish register to the volumes and this is named, “GrillReg: 1”.

For each General Muster Roll archive (Generalmönsterrullor), there is a link to the actual part of the Grill applicable for that regiment. When you select the volume, the text will display the page numbers in the info box where you can find information about this particular regiment as shown in the picture below.

grillinfo

Example on using Grill
Let us assume that we are searching for a soldier who we know from the church records lived in Hinnäs in Stora Malm’s parish.

  1. Click on advanced search.
  2. Select archive type and select the printed literature archive.
  3. Search in the parish register: Tryckt litteratur GrillReg:1 volume.
  4. Search for Stora Malm and you will see “II 38” which directs us to page 38 in the volume Grill: 2.
  5. Open the volume for Grill: 2 and go to page 38. There you will discover that Hinnäs in Stora Malm parish belonged to the Södermanland regiment, Livkompaniet and is rote number 3. (See image below.)

storamalmTryckt litteratur Grill:2 (1856-1856) Image 240 / page 39 (AID: v792654.b240.s39, NAD: SE/AD/00001)  Link

We now have a starting point where we can begin to search for the soldier in the muster rolls for the Södermanland Regiment.

This article was previously published in the Swedish blog on March 13, 2015.  Read the Swedish version.

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ArkivDigital one of the ”101 Best Family History Websites”

ArkivDigital is proud to announce that we have been named as one of the “101 Best Family History Websites” by Family Tree Magazine.

Family Tree Magazine is North America’s leading genealogy magazine, helping readers discover and preserve their family history. Each year, Family Tree Magazine publishes the 101 Best Websites for family history.

This edition guides genealogists to the top websites where they can make progress with their family history research. It also honors the individuals and organizations who create those sites.

This year, the list of outstanding websites has been broken down into fifteen categories and ArkivDigital has been selected as one of the “Best of Continental European Genealogy Websites”. You can find the full list of the 101 Best Genealogy Websites for family history here.

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