Certificate of Poverty (Fattigbevis) in Stockholm City

certificate of povertyStockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:31 (1903-1904) Image 150 / page 8 (AID: v494721.b150.s8, NAD: SE/SSA/0145a) Link.

In the Stockholm city court archives (Stockholms rådhusrätts arkiv), you will find volumes named certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) in addition to estate inventories (bouppteckningar). For individuals who didn’t have any assets at the time of their death, the heirs would submit a certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) to the court.

The above image is an example of a certificate of poverty for Johan Albin Haughton who died on the 7th of February 1903 at the age of 31 years, 2 months and 9 days. His widow submitted a certificate of poverty.

Boet uppgafs af den aflidnes enka under edlig förpliktelse, att detsamma vid dödstillfället befans i ett sådant skick, att begrafningsomkostnaderna och skulder öfverstego tillgångarne.

Under oath, the widow of the deceased stated that the deceased’s estate at the time of his death was in such a bad state that the burial costs and debts exceeded the assets.

The primary difference between an estate inventory and a certificate of poverty is that there is no detailed inventory of the assets and debts in a certificate of poverty other than a statement noting that the debts were greater than the assets. However, the largest benefit for a researcher is that the heirs of the deceased are named like they are in an estate inventory. If you can’t find an estate inventory for a person, you should investigate or determine if a certificate of poverty was preserved.

The certificates of poverty for Stockholm city court are found in these archives:

  1. Stockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelningen. Certificate of poverty (Fattigbevis) for the years 1756-1924 are included in the EIId series.
  2. Stockholms rådhusrätt, bouppteckningsaved. Certificate of poverty (Fattigbevis) for the years 1925-1933 are included in the E3 series.

In both archives, you will find special name register volumes for the certificates of poverty. In some of the certificate of poverty volumes, you will find in addition a separate register for the actual volume/actual year.

Read more about the certificates of poverty.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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Introduction to the Certificate of Poverty (Fattigbevis)

The certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) was an application by a deceased’s surviving relative requesting to waive the performance of the estate inventory (bouppteckning) because the deceased’s estate was of little value or worthless. This certificate has genealogical value because it usually lists the immediate relatives. The certificate of poverty usually contains the following:

  1. Information about the deceased – name, age and death date
  2. Names of immediate surviving relatives
  3. Statement requesting waiver of the estate inventory
  4. Signatures of applicant and witnesses

fattigcertificateStockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:29b (1899-1899) Image 460 / page 40 (AID: v554426.b460.s40, NAD: SE/SSA/0145a)  Link

Above is an image of a certificate of poverty that shows the deceased’s son, Alfred Gottfrid Sundgren, is living in Omaha, Nebraska.

You will find certificates of poverty for Stockholm for the years of 1756 to 1910 on ArkivDigital.  Click here to read more about certificates of poverty and how to search for these records on ArkivDigital.

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