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

Navy (flottan) documents – an overview

boatmandec1Rullor flottan 1635-1915 Ib:70 (1810-1810) Image 250 (AID: v390213.b250, NAD: SE/KrA/0503036) Link.

ArkivDigital has photographed many documents which include information about naval (flottan) employees. This blog gives a short overview of the sources that are available in ArkivDigital.

To research a person who served in the Navy (flottan), one begins by looking at what is available in the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915. The seamen (båtsmännen) have their own series of records, Rullor båtsmanskompanier (volumes IV: 1-79). In this series, you will find different types of records regarding the seamen including the general muster rolls. The seamen muster rolls are organized in the same manner as the muster rolls for soldiers. (Link to blog about general muster rolls.) In these muster rolls, one can follow a sailor’s career from enlistment to discharge.

In the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, there are many other types of records. The archive is divided into a number of diverse record series such as: rolls for companies in Karlskrona, Stockholm and Göteborg (Rullor Karlskrona, Stockholm och Göteborg), rolls for non-commissioned officers (Underofficersrullor), rolls for the company of young sailor boys (Rullor skeppsgossekompanier), rolls of seaman companies (Rullor matroskompanier), rolls of the companies in Finland (Finska rullor), rolls for navigators and civil workers in the pilot service (Lotsrullor) as well as a large number of various rolls for officers and crew at the Stockholm station.

botsman1201secondRullor flottan 1635-1915 XII:16 (1791-1791) Image 113 (AID: v398912.b113, NAD: SE/KrA/0503036) Link.

In the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, one not only finds information about the seamen but much more. The archive includes records series for various workgroups such as carpenters and other tradesmen. One workgroup that has its own series is the pilots (lotsarna) or navigators in the piloting service The image above is from a lotsrulla from the year 1791.

In addition to the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, there are a number of other archives and records that provide information about the Navy (flottan).  Below is a list of the most important sources found in ArkivDigital.

Seaman Records (Båtsmansrullor): In the late 1800’s, a little book was created for each seaman and these books contain much more detailed information than the general muster rolls thus allowing one to easily follow the seaman’s career. You can find the boatman rolls in ArkivDigital in the various archives for Karlskrona Station and Stockholm Station in the military archive. Read more here. These records are now completely available in ArkivDigital.

Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor)The Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor) offer information about a ship’s sailings as well as who served on the vessel. These records are found in the following archive, Flottans arkiv: Amiralitetskollegiets med efterföljares kontor, Arméns flotta, loggböcker, rullor m.m.: Sjöexpeditioner, skeppsmönsterrullor 1689-1873Read more here.

Service Records (Meritförteckningar): In the archive, Meritförteckningar flottan, you can find detailed information both about officers and non-commissioned officers. You can follow each person’s military career including information such as education, promotions, peace time activities together with completed expeditions and other trips.

Pension documents (Pensionshandlingar): In the archive, Flottans pensionskassa, you will find records for the personnel who received a pension (gratial).  Read more here.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

New Records Added to ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog
During June and July, many new records have been added to ArkivDigital’s online library. We have begun to add some new record types, continued to add estate inventories (bouppteckningar) and completed the photographing of a couple record sets.

SCB Extracts
The first set of new materials that we are beginning to add are the Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) or SCB extracts from the birth, marriage and death books. The SCB extracts are transcriptions from the original church books but not all the information from the original books was transferred to the extracts. The advantage with the SCB extracts is that we are able to publish these up to 1944. Because of the law of privacy we are seldom able to add the original books up to this date. We have added most of the records to ArkivDigital for 1944. We will then work our ways backward to publish as many SCB extracts to fill in the gaps where we do not have the original books.

The easiest way to search for the SCB extracts is to enter “SCB” in the search box. The volumes are organized by county thus requiring one to browse through the book to find the correct parish. We plan to begin the indexing of these books so that it will be easy to locate each parish.

“Stamkort” for Military Conscripts
The second set of new records that we are beginning to add is the service card (stamkort) for each military conscript.   Each conscript or serviceman had his own “stamkort” where you will find information about his service beginning with his enrollment, usually between 20 and 21 years of age, up to his discharge which normally happened at age 47.  Currently, only a small number of volumes are available in ArkivDigital. However, we plan to add the service cards or “stamkort” for all men who were enrolled between the years 1902 and 1941.

The simplest way to search for the stamkort in ArkivDigital is to enter “stamkort” in the search box. You will be directed to a page where you will find more information about the stamkort  in the info box. Currently this information is in Swedish.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
We continue to prioritize adding estate inventories (bouppteckningar) beginning in 1900 and forward. During the last two months, new volumes were added for most counties.

Completed Projects
We have now completed projects for photographing the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and also the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists from the Office of Chancellor of Justice are available for the period 1750-1825 and the Supreme Court protocols are available for the period 1694-1800.

Read more about our image database.

ArkivDigital

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.

ArkivDigital