Place Names in the Church Books

Place names in the church books can be names of farms, villages, parishes, counties, countries, abbreviations or even Latin terms.

At a recent conference in North America, the following question was asked: What are the birth places for Fredrik Leopold Hartung and members of his family as shown in the household record in Ystads Sankta Maria parish in Malmöhus county for the years 1882-1887?  Below is the record in question which is an example of a record with various types of place names.

hartungYstads Sankta Maria (M) AI:49 (1882-1887) Image 205 / page 1084 (AID: v111988.b205.s1084, NAD: SE/LLA/13489) Link.

Line 1 – Skomakeriarb. (Shoemaker worker) Fredrik Leopold Hartung’s birth place is Tyskland or Germany. In this case, the birth place is a name of a country. Tyskland is Swedish for Germany.

Line 2 – Hu (an abbreviation for hustru or wife) Charlotta Josefina Klein’s birth place is shown as YSM. This is an abbreviation of the parish, Ystads Sankta Maria. You will find her birth record at the following reference in ArkivDigital: Ystads Sankta Maria (M) C:11 (1827-1845) Image 42 / page 38 (AID: v112010.b42.s38, NAD: SE/LLA/13489).

Note – Her birth date is actually the 20th of April 1834 versus  April 4,1834 as shown in the household record. That will be another blog in the future to show how the correct birth record was found.

Line 3 – Son Carl Fredrik’s, porslinsmål. or abbreviation for porslinsmålare or porcelain painter, birth place is noted as ibm. Ibm is a Latin abbreviation for ibidem or in the same place. In this case, he was born in the same place that was noted above for his mother or Ystads Sankta Maria parish. You will find his birth record in ArkivDigital at the following reference:  Ystads Sankta Maria (M) C:17 (1863-1872) Image 187 / page 184 (AID: v112016.b187.s184, NAD: SE/LLA/13489)

Line 4 – Foster daughter, Charlotta Pettersson and her birth place is noted as YSP or Ystads Sankt Petri. Her birth record can be found in ArkivDigital at the following reference: Ystads Sankt Petri (M) C:8 (1877-1884) Image 30 / page 28 (AID: v111936.b30.s28, NAD: SE/LLA/13490).

In the above household record, we discovered place names in the following formats:

  • Name of a country
  • An abbreviation of a parish name
  • Latin term

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A Midsummer Maypole

midsommarUndenäs C:1 (1689-1711) Image 94 / page 88 (AID: v16209.b94.s88, NAD: SE/GLA/13601) Link to image in ArkivDigital.

In the death books, one usually finds the cause of death for an individual.  While there are many causes, one often sees old age, tuberculosis, an unknown illness or the Latin medical term. The cause of death found in the record above is unusual but interesting because it shows that Midsummer has a long tradition in Sweden.

Swedish transcription
”1694. Lars i Skallebo ihiälslagen af en Missommar stångh d.16 Augusti och begrofs på kyrkog: d.26 ejusdem.”

English Translation
Lars in Skallebo was killed by a Midsummer maypole on the 16th of August and was buried in the church yard on the 26th of the same month.

We at ArkivDigital wish all a wonderful Midsummer. Glad Midsommar!

Original article in Swedish.

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Christmas 1814 – Birth Record Reading Example

All of us at ArkivDigital wish you much success in your genealogy research and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

In this blog, you will find a record reading example for a birth record on Christmas Day 200 years ago. It is for a female child, Märta, born on Christmas Day in Arvika landsförsamling in Värmland county in 1814.

Christmasimage

Arvika landsförsamling CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 49 / page 87 (AID: v4798.b49.s87, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link

The format of this birth record is divided into five columns. The first column gives the birth date, December 25th and the second column the baptismal date, December 26th.

The text section gives the residence, names of the child’s parents and the names of the baptismal witnesses.

Transcription of Main Text
W. Sund: Par: Drängen Brynte Persson och pigan Anna Hindriksdotter, Testes – Per Bengtsson och Nils Andersson samt Hustrurna Karin Persdotter och Maria Andersdotter från V. Sund.

Translation of Main Text
Västra Sund: Parents: Farmhand Brynte Persson and maid Anna Hindriksdotter, Witnesses – Per Bengtsson and Nils Andersson along with wives Karin Persdotter and Maria Andersdotter from Västra Sund.

The next column states the age range for the mother and in this case the mother’s age is between 25 and 30 years.

The last column on the right gives the child’s name, Märta. The letters, “o:ä” are an abbreviation for oäkta or illegitimate child. Note, in this record the name of the father is given whereas in most cases during this time period the father’s name is not shown in the birth record for an illegitimate child.

Additional Tips
Notice that the residence, Västra Sund, is abbreviated as W. Sund for the child’s birth residence and V. Sund for the witnesses’ residence. The letters and V and W were often interchanged. Often a place name that begins with Västra (West) will be abbreviated with a W or V as shown in the above record. 

It is important to note the place name where the child’s family lived because you will need that to locate the family in the corresponding household examination book. In this case, you will find the mother and child at the following reference near the bottom of the page: Arvika landsförsamling AI:8 (1811-1816) Image 119 / page 113 (AID: v9544.b119.s113, NAD: SE/VA/13011).  Link

You will often find Latin words in Swedish church books especially in the earlier years. In this birth record, there are two Latin terms:

  1. Par. – an abbreviation for the Latin word, parentes or parents in English
  2. Testes – witnesses

See more birth record examples.

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