Swedish Military Blogs

We receive many questions about Swedish military research at conferences and trade shows in North America. Many North Americans discover that one of their ancestors was in the Swedish military serving in the infantry, cavalry or as a båtsman in the Swedish Navy and wish to discover more about their ancestor’s military service.

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many military records from the 1600’s to the 20th century. In our blog, you will find articles about some of the military records in ArkivDigital as well as a few tutorials in how to research your Swedish military ancestor. Today we present a summary of the Swedish military blogs you can find in our English blog.

military recordsGeneralmönsterrullor – Värmlands regemente (S) 216 (1851-1855) Image 2300 (AID: v46609a.b2300, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

  • Military Rolls (1620-1723)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/military-rolls-rullor-1620-1723/ (Link)
  • Researching in the General Muster Rolls
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/research-soldiers-in-the-general-muster-rolls-example-jan-fras/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/statistical-digest-of-the-swedish-army-system-grill/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/general-muster-rolls/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/general-muster-roll-column-headings/ (Link)
  • Naval (Flottan)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/navy-flottan-documents-an-overview/(Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/boatman-rolls-batsmansrullor-a-unique-source/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/naval-ship-muster-rolls-skeppsmonsterrullor/ (Link)
  • Military Pension Records
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/soldier-pension-documents-pensioner-olof-ceder/ (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/more-military-pension-documents-in-arkivdigital/ (Link)
  • Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Service Records
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/armys-pension-funds-list-of-qualifications-armens-pensionskassas-meritband/ (Link)
  • Great Northern War Documents
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/swedish-soldiers-captured-at-poltava-what-can-one-discover-about-them/ (Link)

ArkivDigital

Saltpeter Collector (Salpetersjudare) Important job for manufacturing gunpowder

saltpeter1Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:2 (1764-1804) Image 212 (AID: v50440.b212, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Occasionally at conferences in North America, a customer has asked,” I have an ancestor who was a salpetersjudare?  What is that occupation?” It is a saltpeter collector or sometimes referred to as saltpeter maker.

As the Swedish army increasingly used rifles and cannons, there was a great need for gunpowder. Gunpowder consisted of 75% saltpeter. Large concentrations of saltpeter were found in the soil under farm buildings and stables. Since saltpeter was so important in the production of gunpowder, it came to be that the soil under many farm buildings was declared to be royal property. In the beginning the farmers collected and delivered the saltpeter themselves, but soon a new profession was created, saltpeter collectors.

The saltpeter collectors traveled around to the farms and dug up the floors of the barns or stables and collected the soil and then boiled and seethed it for about six or seven days. Then the pure saltpeter was transported to the gunpowder factory where gunpowder was produced.

In the series Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet, there are three volumes with muster rolls for the saltpeter collectors or makers (salpetersjudarna) from 1693 – 1805. These muster rolls are organized in the same way as the ones for cavalrymen and soldiers.

To search for these archives enter the search words: Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet in the search box.

The image at the top of the page is the muster roll for the saltpeter collectors of Skåne and Blekinge counties. The mustering was held on the 29th of April 1778.

salpeter2Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:1 (1693-1757) Image 92 (AID: v50439.b92, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Sometimes you will find more information about a person who was a saltpeter collector. In the above image you see in the third row Anders Erichsson from Lerdala parish in Skaraborg county. He was born in 1699 and became a saltpeter collector in 1721. On the right side there is a note giving more information about him.

Siuk af et hug i wänstra knäet och bewitnades af des Cammerater at wara oduglig. Recommenderas till afskied, medan han och intet kunnat giöra något arbete för åhr 1726.

Disabled by a stab in the left knee and testimony by his comrades stated that he was unfit. Recommended for discharge, meanwhile he wasn’t able to work in 1726.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Marriage Record Example

Marriage record readingBringetofta BI:2 (1751-1839) Image 298 / page 589 (AID: v33277.b298.s589, NAD: SE/VALA/00047)  Link.

Many people at conferences have asked for more record transcriptions.  Today’s blog presents an example of a marriage record with a transcription and an English translation.

Above is a marriage record from Bringetofta parish in Jönköping. The content and format of a marriage record varies by time and minister. In most records, you will find the dates of banns for the marriage, marriage date and names of the bridal couple. The above marriage record is for Petter Andersson and Catharina Pehrsdotter who were married on the 26th of May in 1806 in Bringetofta parish.

This minister noted the following information in the marriage record: entry number, date of first banns, groom’s name and place of residence, bride’s name and residence, marriage date, minister’s name and information about the morning gift.

Transcription
N.9  Den 26 april utfärdades Lysning för Drängen Petter
Andersson i Drageryd Mellang. och Pigan Catharina
Pehrsdtr i Drageryd Mellang.
Vigde den 26 Maj 1806 And. Ljung
Morgongåfva efter Lag

English Translation
Number 9.  On the 26th of April, the marriage banns were issued for farmhand Petter Andersson living at Drageryd Mellangården and maid Catharina Pehrsdotter living at Drageryd Mellangården. Married on the 26th of May 1806 (by) Anders Ljung.
Morning gift according to the law.

While most of the text includes dates and names of persons and places, there are a few Swedish words that are common in many marriage records. Below are the common Swedish words with the English translations;

Swedish       English
den                  on the
drängen          the farmhand
efter lag          according to the law
för                    for
i                        in, at
lag                    law
lysning            banns
morgongåfva  morning gift
och                   and
pigan               the maid
utfärdade        issued

Additional Comments
Before a marriage was performed, the couple’s intention to get married was announced three times and these postings are called banns of marriage. If no objections were presented to the marriage, the couple was free to marry. The marriage records are organized in chronological order by the banns date.

It was customary, and for a period of time the law, for the groom to present his bride a morning gift (morgongåfva) at the marriage which was hers to keep forever. It could not be legally shared with her children as other parts of the estate at the time of her husband’s death.  Many times the marriage record will note the actual  morning gift that was given to the bride or as in this record the notation was recorded as “morgongåfva efter lag” or morning gift according to the law.

Click here to see more examples of marriage records.

ArkivDigital

Birth record search and reading example

At many conferences in North America, many will stop by our booth and state that they have Swedish ancestry but are intimidated by the Swedish records because they are in Swedish. We explain that the church books are mostly tables of names, dates and places with headings and terms that are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, one finds it can be easy to work with the records even though one does not speak Swedish.

Today, we will search for a birth record and show that most of the record contains names, dates and place names. In order to search for a birth record, one needs the child’s Swedish name, birth parish and the birth date. Our search will be for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter born on the 13th of July, 1841 in the parish of Västra Torsås in Kronoberg county.

To begin the search, go to ArkivDigital and click on Search Archive. There are several methods for searching:

  • One method is to just enter Västra Torsås in the search box and click search. You will need to type in the Swedish characters.
  • Since we know the county, you can select advanced options and select county and then Kronoberg. You will now see a list of all the archives for Kronoberg county. Scroll down until you find Västra Torsås and then highlight the entry.
  • On the right side, you will see a volume list for Västra Torsås as shown in the image below.

search window

  • Search for the birth and christening records book that includes the year 1841.
  • Select the birth and christenings volume:  Västra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848).
  • Double click to open the book.
  • Search for a table of contents in the beginning of the book. Many volumes include multiple types of records.
  • In this volume, you will find a table of contents (Innehåll) (see image below).

birth contentsVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 3 (AID: v29905.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The table of contents shows the following entries:

  • Födelse- och dopbok 1815-1843 or birth and baptism book
  • ”              ”       ”             1844-1848
  • Lysnings- och vigselbok 1815-1848 or banns and marriage book
  • Död-och begravningsbok 1815-1848 or death and burial book

On the far right side, you will see the page numbers for each record type. Since we are looking for a birth record in 1841, we see that the birth records between 1815 and 1843 begin on page 5 and end on page 430. We now need to look for the birth records for the year 1841. One can estimate a page number and go directly to a page and then page forward or backwards until you find the records for 1841. Once you find the year 1841, then you search for the birth date, July 13th.  You will find Elin’s birth record on page 407.

elin birth recordVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 207 / page 407 (AID: v29905.b207.s407, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The content and format of the birth records do vary by time and minister.  The format for this book is the following:

  • Column 1 – Child’s name
  • Column 2 – Birth date
  • Column 3 – Baptismal date
  • Column 4 – Parents’ names and residence followed by the names of the baptismal witnesses
  • Column 5 – Mother’s age

Record Transcription
Elin   13 14  Föräld. B. Anders Nilsson H. Ingrid Magnisdotter i Långasten   44
                      Vittnen Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson i Sjöby  H. Nil
                      la Nilsdotter i Källhult Pig. Maria Simonsdtr. i Sjöby

Record Translation
The child, Elin, was born on July 13, 1841 and baptized on July 14, 1841. Her parents were farmer Anders Nilsson and his wife Ingrid Magnisdotter residing at Långasten. The baptismal witnesses were Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson at Sjöby, wife Nilla Nilsdotter at Källhult and maid Maria Simonsdotter at Sjöby. Elin’s mother age is 44 years old.

As you can see this record contains primarily dates, names and place names. The only Swedish words in this birth record are:

B.              abbreviation for bonde or farmer
Föräld.     abbreviation for föräldrar or parents
H.              abbreviation for hustru or wife
i                 at, by
Pig.           abbreviation for piga or maid
Vittnen    witnesses

You can find more birth record examples on our website by clicking here.

In a future blog, we will show you how to locate Elin with her family in the household examination book for the year 1841.

ArkivDigital