Searching for estate inventories in ArkivDigital

The estate inventories (bouppteckningar) are one of the most important records for genealogists. These records can prove genealogical relationships as well as listing the names of the deceased’s heirs. Also, the estate inventory lists all the assets and debts of the deceased enabling one to get a better understanding of one’s ancestor’s life.

ArkivDigital has estate inventories for all of Sweden from the earliest times (early 1700s and even a few from the 1600s) up to 1950 and for many counties up to 1960.

In order to find an estate inventory, you need to know the parish where the person died and the district or city court that the parish belonged to. Today there are three primary methods for searching:

  1. National estate inventory index search.
  2. View photographed estate inventory register.
  3. Searching in the volume.

National estate inventory index search
ArkivDigital is currently building a national estate inventory index for all of Sweden. Currently it is mostly complete for older times but is less complete for the latter 1800s and forward. To find out what district and city courts and years have been indexed, go to the following link: https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/bouppteckningar

To illustrate how to access the national estate inventory in ArkivDigital, we will search for the estate inventory for Jan Hindrik Wiväg who died April 2, 1847 in Älvsbacka parish in Värmland county.

  1. Go to app.arkivdigital.se.
  2. Select index source.
  3. Select the index, estate inventory, under index source.
  4. In this case, we will use simple search and enter Hindrik Wiväg in the search box and click search. One could have entered Jan Hindrik Wiväg.
  5. There are two matches in the result list.
  6. Select the one for Jan Hindrik Wiväg.

national estate inventory search

After you selected a match on the result list, you will see an index record as shown below and you can click on the link that will go directly to the estate inventory.

jan hindrik estate inventory

Photographed estate inventory registers
If you don’t find the person in the national estate inventory index, look for a photographed estate inventory register for the court. We will look for the estate inventory for Elna Larsdotter who died February 9, 1838, in Slöinge parish, in Halland county. In order to find out what court district, Slöinge parish belonged, you go to archive search and enter Slöinge in the archive holder search button. Open the archive and scroll down to estate inventories. Click on that and search for estate inventory registers. You will find one that covers the years 1684 to 1848. Open volume and search for Elna Larsdotter. The names are listed by surname in alphabetical order. You will find an entry that gives the year, volume and page number.

estate inventory photographed register

In this case, the entry states that you can find the estate inventory in volume 32 for the year 1838 and on page 185.

Then return to the archive Årstads häradsrätt and look for volume 32, open the volume and go to page 185.

elna larsdotter ei

Searching in the estate inventory volume
If you haven’t found the estate inventory by an index search and no estate inventory register exists, you will need to go the volume beginning with the deceased’s death date and browse forward. You may want to search up to two to three years after the date of death. In the latter 1800s and 1900s, there is a very strong likelihood of finding an estate inventory record but one must be patient and persistent in browsing through the volumes.

Estate Inventories for the nobility
Most of the estate inventories are found in the district and city courts but there are exceptions. The estate inventories for the nobility were given to the Court of Appeals (hovrätten) up until 1917. You will find the estate inventories for Götaland in the Göta hovrätt, for Svealand and Norrland in the Svea hovrätt and for Skåne and Blekinge in the Hovrätten för Skåne och Blekinge.

Click here for more information about estate inventories.

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Newspaper clipping in the household record

newspaper clippingJung AI:14 (1892-1899) Image 119 / page 109a (AID: v11092.b119.s109a, NAD: SE/GLA/13260)  Link.

If one happens to browse in the household record volume Jung AI: 14, you may be surprised to see a pasted newspaper clipping on a page. Think about this, if all the priests had the sense to do the same, it would have saved much time for additional searching to satisfy’s one curiosity about a crime an individual committed.

The image above shows Olof Andersson living in Kartegården, born on the 16th of October 1848 in Skarstad parish. In the special remarks column, the following notes were written.

Häktad för bedrägeri 1895. Prestbetyg 1896 1/10 sändt till kronolänsmannen. Dömd 1895 till straffarbete. Förlust af medborgerl. förtroende f. alltid.
Undergått straffarbete för bedrägeri och mened i 3 år från d.8/5 95-8/5 98. Medborgerligt förtroende för alltid förlustig.

Arrested for fraud in 1895. Vicar’s certificate sent to the sheriff on the 1st of October 1896. Sentenced in 1895 to hard labor. Loss of civic trust forever.
Sentenced to hard labor for fraud and perjury for 3 years from the 8th of May 1895 to the 8th of May 1898. Civic trust lost forever.

Usually there are some detailed notes in the household records when someone has committed a crime. But in this case the priest has also pasted in a newspaper article about Olof and his deceitful behavior. The article provides more background and ends with Olof being sentenced to five years hard labor. But there is a second article that states Olof appealed to the Court of Appeals where he was acquitted of the fraud but found guilty of perjury and sentenced to three years of hard labor and perpetual loss of civic trust instead.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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