Many tax registers in ArkivDigital

Old tax registers or population registers (mantalslängder) may not sound like a particular exciting research source. And many who look at tax registers are not easily impressed. Mostly just names, columns and numbers.

However, as we go back in time, the information in the household records becomes less detailed and the household records often do not exist in the late 1700’s or in prior times. It is at this time that the tax registers become a valuable source for the family researcher. Particularly useful are the tax or population registers (mantalslängderna), which begin around 1630.

The tax registers or population registers were created annually and are, like the household records, organized topographically by parish and village or farm. A single volume does not say so much. But when one follows the registers through a succession of years, one can follow developments and changes on a farm or village. This data can then be combined with the birth, marriage and death records, and often one can see the changes within a family nearly as clearly as if the household records had been preserved. The information in the tax registers or population registers varies over time and in different areas of the country.

tax register october 2017At the time around the change of the century between the 1700’s and 1800’s, there is often good information in the columns in the tax register. In the above tax register which refers to Nätra parish in the year, 1803, you will columns for taxes referring to pocket watches (fickur) (gold or silver) and the use of silk (sidentyg).

In ArkivDigital, you can find tax registers or population registers for all of Sweden from the beginning up until the 1800’s (often 1820). Several copies of tax registers or population registers (mantalslängder) were created and they are preserved in different archives. Thus, they can sometimes be difficult to find.

The first series are found with the local authorities. You can search for these in the following archives in the English interface in ArkivDigital:

  • District registrar (Swedish – häradsskrivare)
  • Alternative archives
    • Kronokamrer
    • Kronokassör
    • Mantalskontor
    • Taxation Authority (Swedish – Uppbördsverk)
    • Kommunalborgmästare
    • Crown bailiff (Swedish – kronofogde)

The second series is at the regional level or county level in the regional archives or search for the country archives in the English interface.

The third series are at the national level in Stockholm. In the English interface, search in the chamber archive. Or you can enter mantalslängder 1642–1820 or länsräkenskaper in the search box. For Stockholm city, you can find population registers and other tax register in the Överståthållarämbetets archive.

Concerning the third series of the tax registers or population registers those named Mantalslängder 1642-1820, we are prioritizing photographing volumes for the counties and years that are missing in the other series. This is an ongoing project and more volumes will be added online. For the first two series, the photographing is now complete.

ArkivDigital is working currently to make it simpler to find all these tax or population registers.

Read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Research in Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö (church books burned)

voxtorpimage1Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi FIa:25 (1850-1851) Image 20 (AID: v299119.b20, NAD: SE/VALA/01961) Link.

It is a great disappointment for a researcher to discover that many of the church books do not exist for the parish his or her ancestor came from. Sometimes there are gaps in the records or an entire series is missing. Sometimes, one knows the reason why the records no longer exist such as a fire but sometimes there is only a note saying the there are no records.

If your ancestors are from Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes in Småland, you will be initially disappointed  because many of the church books were destroyed in a fire in 1869. A story is told that the minister’s maid was in the parsonage cooking pork over the open fireplace. Someone called out for assistance because a cow was calving. The maid ran to help and completely forgot about the pork and the open fire.  While the maid was helping with the calving, the fire spread and the parsonage and the church books burned. By luck a few books and household records from 1861 were preserved as well as the birth, marriage and death books for 1825-1860 for Värnamo parish.

But just because the church books no longer exist does not mean that one cannot research further. One should look for other documents. There may be some tax registers, court records and estate inventories that are available. It may take some time and it is not always easy to research in these documents, but with a little patience one can find some additional information.

Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes are located in Östbo härad or district and it is sometimes said that “an accident seldom comes alone”.  There was a fire at the  Östbo district court in 1834.  This means that there are no estate inventories, court records or other documents in that archive that can be used.  Fortunately  for the court records, there are extracts or duplicate records. The court was required to make  extracts or copies of the original court records and submit it to the Göta Court of Appeals once a year.   In ArkivDigital’s online library, these are available only for the years 1603 to 1750 for Östbo härad (some gaps do exist).

What now remains for that time period are the tax registers/population registers (mantalslängderna). These were produced each year and while they are not as detailed as the household records, one can easily follow a family on a farm year by year. The more recent one comes in time,  the more information one finds in the population registers.

We hope to photograph the population registers and other documents for the parishes where the church books are missing. For some parishes we have already done this. In ArkivDigital population registers for Östbo härad are now available up to and including 1861. Actually, this is the only way one can do family research for Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes.

In ArkivDigital, you can find these populations registers:

  • 1686-1820 (gaps exist) in Jönköping läns landskontor.
  • 1758-1861 (gaps exist) in Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi.

To search in the Jönköping läns landskontor archive using the English interface:

  • Go to ArkivDigital search.
  • Select advance options.
  • Select archive type, country office.
  • Select Jönköping läns landskontor.

To search in the Häradsskrivaren in Östbo fögderi archive using the English interface:

  • Go to ArkivDigital search.
  • Select advance options.
  • Select archive type, district registrar.
  • Select Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi.

voxtorpimage3Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi FIa:25 (1850-1851) Image 2770 (AID: v299119.b2770, NAD: SE/VALA/01961) Link.

The image above is the population register for Värnamo in 1850 showing Alandsryd Skattegård.  Anders Jönsson (born 1800) and his wife (hustru) born 1805 together with Johan (born 1837), Isak (born 1844), Anna (born 1833), Stina (born 1840) and farmhand (dräng) Johan (born 1832) are shown as living in the first section of the farm listing.  Following is the  lodger(inhyses), Jöns (born 1767) and his wife (born 1785). Seeing that Anders last name is Jönsson, it is possible that the lodger, Jöns, and his wife are his parents.

One can’t conclude that this is correct without researching more records. Maybe it’s his father, but Jöns wife is probably not the mother because she would have been only 15 when Anders was born. Maybe Jöns remarried or it may be Anders wife’s parents or even someone completely different. More research is necessary before one can resolve the mystery.

Link to blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)

The tax/population registers (mantalslängderna) are an important replacement source in cases where the parish records have been destroyed.  Even in cases where the church records have not been destroyed, the household examination records only go back to the early 1800’s or late 1700’s in many parishes.

The tax/population registers exist from the middle of the 1600’s and while they are not as detailed as the household examination records; they do provide the possibility to continue to follow a family backwards.

Several copies of the tax registers were created. ArkivDigital is photographing the two copies which are preserved at the regional archives primarily the district/city registers and the county rural copies.

The original copy of the tax register exists in the district (häradsskrivarnas) archive. This is the copy that one should use since as a rule it is the one that generally contains the most information. The district office was responsible for the tax registers for the rural areas.  For the cities, you can find original copies of the tax registers in the city hall and magistrates archive, crown treasurer’s archive (kronokassörens arkiv), crown accountancy (kronokamrerarens) or tax collection (uppbördsverkets) archives.

Below is an image of a 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish in Jönköpng county.

Svenarum mantal Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 158 / page 299 (AID: v400751b.b158.s299, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link

To search for the above record, one method is:

  1. Click on advanced options in the ArkivDigital program.
  2. Search by archive type.
  3. In the archive selection, select country office.
  4. Select Jönköpings läns landskontor.
  5. Open the population register volume that includes the year 1787.
  6. Open the volume and look for a place or parish index.
  7. You will find a place index at the following reference: Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 3 (AID: v400751b.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link
  8. The place index states that the tax register for Svenarum for 1787 begins on page 298.
  9. Go to page 298 and you will find the beginning page for the 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish as shown above.

For most counties, the copies of the tax registers up to 1820 from the regional archives are now available on ArkivDigital. These records are found in the district registrar or country office archives.

ArkivDigital