The daughters’ dowries

Dowryitems
Orusts och Tjörns häradsrätt FII:18 (1850-1853) Image 1328 / page 2643 (AID: v13493.b1328.s2643, NAD: SE/GLA/11080) Link.

We have received an interesting tip about an estate inventory (bouppteckning) from Lisbeth Zachs.  Among the items valued in this estate inventory were the dowries of two daughters.

The estate inventory for the deceased widow Börta Andersdotter was performed on the 5th of February 1853. According to the ingress or preamble, the heirs were her son, Bengt Svensson who was 20 years old and four daughters: Chatarina married to E. Nilsson, Helena married to Anders Olsson, Anna Britta who was married to Rutger Olsson along with Regina Svensdotter who was unmarried.

At the top of the page is an image of the part of the estate inventory that lists the daughters’ dowries (hemgifter).

Among the items listed in Anna Britta’s dowry were: one cow (ko), two sheep (får), one feather bed (bolster) and one poster bed (stoplesäng). The cow and the feather bed were the most valuable items.

Daughter Chatarina’s dowry was the same as Anna Britta’s except she didn’t have a poster bed or a chest (kista). However, her dowry did also include a kettle (kittel).

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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Burial Costs

Burial costsOrusts och Tjörns häradsrätt FII:18 (1850-1853) Image 248 / page 491 (AID: v13493.b248.s491, NAD: SE/GLA/11080) Link.

The estate inventories (bouppteckningarna) are a wonderful source for finding information about a deceased’s heirs and the names of guardians for children not of legal age. This information in found in the ingress or preamble of the estate inventory.  When one browses through the estate inventory, one can form a deeper understanding of one’s ancestor’s life by viewing their possessions such as two spoons, four pigs and a clock or other items.

At the end of the inventory, the deceased’s debts (skulder) are listed. In addition, the burial costs are usually included. Sometimes, if you read carefully, you can recreate the burial event as if you were present.

In the estate inventory for Samuel Andersson as shown in the above image, you can discover what was served to the funeral guests at Orust in 1850.

“5 kannor brännvin, 1 kanna konjak, 1/2 kanna vin, kaffebönor och socker, pudersocker och skorpor, malt, korn och råg, 2 kalvar, smör, fläsk och ägg. Allt tillagat av kokerskan”.

5 pitchers of brandy, 1 pitcher of cognac, ½ pitcher of wine, coffee beans and sugar, powdered sugar and biscuits, malt, barley and rye, veal, butter, bacon and eggs. Everything prepared by a cook.

We wish to thank Lisbeth Zachs for this tip.

Link to blog entry in Swedish.

Read more about estate inventories.

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Estate Inventory more than 300 pages!

bouppteckning ingressÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 220 / page 8 (AID: v748972.b220.s8, NAD: SE/ULA/12685)
Link to image.

Upon a person’s death an estate inventory (bouppteckning) was created. This document consists of an ingress or preamble which gives information about the deceased and the names of the heirs. Following the preamble is the inventory listing all the deceased’s assets and debts. The estate inventory is a wonderful document for proving genealogical relationships as well as helping one gain a better understanding of one’s ancestor life.

The number of pages within an estate inventory varies greatly from only a couple of pages to sometimes hundreds of pages. One example of an extensive inventory is the estate inventory for the wholesale merchant, Adolf Ferdinand Hagström from Svarthäll in Kung Karl’s parish. His estate inventory totals 305 pages.

Adolf Ferdinand Hagström died on the 20th of August 1909 at Sofiahemmet in Stockholm at age 55. His death is recorded in the death book for Kung Karl’s parish.  Only a month earlier his wife, Augusta Charlotta Andersson died. The couple had no children and the heirs of Adolf’s estate were his mother and his siblings. The above image shows the ingress or preamble naming Adolf’s mother and siblings as the heirs.

When one browses this estate inventory, it is almost like venturing more than 100 years back in time and touring his house room by room. Since he was a wholesale merchant, the estate inventory also details the merchandise he had in stock. Below is an image showing some of the liquor that was in stock. Lots of aquavit!

branvinÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 690 (AID: v748972.b690, NAD: SE/ULA/12685) Link.

The assets of the estate were 1,135,609.69 Swedish kronor and the debts were 536, 306.61 kronor resulting in the net value of estate being 599, 308.08 kronor. See image below.

net valueÅkerbo och Skinnskattebergs tingslags häradsrätt FII:5 (1912-1912) Image 3230 (AID: v748972.b3230, NAD: SE/ULA/12685) Link.

Learn more about Swedish estate inventories.

Read original article in Swedish.

Other Sources
Adolf Ferdinand Hagström’s death record
Kung Karl F:3 (1895-1909) Image 790 / page 73 (AID: v72960.b790.s73, NAD: SE/ULA/10669) Link.

Congregation book showing Adolf Ferdinand Hagström’s residence at time of death
Kung Karl AIIa:6 (1907-1920) Image 1250 / page 570 (AID: v261754.b1250.s570, NAD: SE/ULA/10669) Link.

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Estate Inventory (Bouppteckning) Reading Example

Many persons with Swedish ancestry who don’t speak Swedish have commented that they feel comfortable researching in the Swedish church books but the estate inventories seem so much more intimidating because there is much more Swedish text.  Yes, it is true that they contain much Swedish text but they provide such a wealth of information, it is worth the time to learn how to better understand these records.

The Swedish estate inventories (bouppteckningar) provide genealogical information and help one gain a better understanding of one’s ancestor’s life. The estate inventory details the assets and debts of the deceased.

The estate inventory is divided in two primary divisions: the ingress or preamble and the inventory of the deceased’s assets and debts. In this blog we will look at the ingress or preamble. The ingress provides genealogical information such as the name of the deceased and names of the deceased’s heirs. Many times the ingress can be helpful in solving genealogical mysteries such as proving genealogical relationships or locating the whereabouts of an heir.

In most estate inventories, the format of the ingress is similar.  You will generally find the following information:

  1. Date the estate inventory was performed.
  2. Name of the deceased.
  3. Place of the deceased’s death.
  4. Date of deceased’s death.
  5. Names of heirs.
  6. Name of guardian for minors or persons who emigrated.

Below is an image the ingress or preamble of an estate inventory followed by a transcription and an English translation.Estate Inventory Karl Johan Ögren Aska, Dals och Bobergs domsaga FII:2 (1909-1909) Image 140 / page 3 (AID: v513944.b140.s3, NAD: SE/VALA/01625)
Link

Transcription
År 1908 den 19 December förrattades bouppteckning efter Husägaren Karl Johan Ögren från Säby ägor hvilken aflidit därstädes den 23 sistlidne September och såsom sterbhusdelagäre efterlämnat sonsöner: Gustaf Robert Ögren i Jamestown, N. Y. Nord America och Karl August Ögren äfven boende i Jamestown. Båda myndiga.

Deras rätt bevakades enligt fullmakt af Kyrkoherden David Johansson i Örberga.
Boet upgafts under edlig förpliktelse av sonhustrun Änka Klara Ögren samt antecknades och värderas i följande ordning.

Translation
On the 19th of December, 1908, an estate inventory was performed for homeowner, Karl Johan Ögren who lived at Säby ägor. He died there on September 23. The co-heirs of the estate were the grandsons: Gustaf Robert Ögren in Jamestown, New York, North American and Karl August Ögren also living in Jamestown. Both were of legal age.

Their rights (of inheritance) were protected by a power of attorney by Pastor David Johansson in Örberga.
Under oath, the estate inventory was conducted in accordance with the law by the daughter-in-law, Widow Klara Ögren.  The recording of the inventory and value of each item follows.

In this case, we learn that the heirs were living in Jamestown, New York, a place where many Swedes settled.

Click here for more information about estate inventories including a short Swedish-English glossary of commonly used words in the estate inventories.

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