Siamese twins sex unknown (year 1749)

The following record is recorded in the Västerstad death book in 1749. (Click here for original article in Swedish.)

siamese-twinsVästerstad CI:1 (1736-1789) Image 116 / page 115 (AID: v110359.b116.s115, NAD: SE/LLA/13469) Link.

”1749 Aug 14 och begrofs 22 Augusti. Twå oäkta dödfödda Twillingar, som woro sammanwuxna med bukarna, dessutom wanskapta till buk, länder, lår och ben, så att man ei kunde se af hwad kön de woro. De föddes d:14 Augsti. Modren är qwinfolket Karna Nilsdotter från Wästra Wedåkra. Barnafadren är Soldaten af Hamiltons regemente Nils Österberg.”

Death on August 14th and buried on August 22nd. Two illegitimate stillborn twins, who were joined together at the belly and additionally malformed to the belly, loin, thigh and leg so that one could not tell what sex they were. They were born on the 14th of August. The mother is Karna Nilsdotter from Wästra Wedåkra. The father of the children is a soldier from Hamilton’s regiment, Nils Österberg.

ArkivDigital

Smothered by the mother

Sometimes, when one is browsing in the old church books, one sees a notice that makes one stop and think. One tries to imagine what life was like during that time and especially some of the feelings our ancestors experienced. For example – the pain a couple must have felt losing their small children. But then there are others types of notes in the records which note events that are more tragic.

arvik-1Arvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 37 / page 61 (AID: v4798a.b37.s61, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

The above image is a birth record from 1811 from the Arvika city parish (Arvika stadsförsamling). The record is the birth record for a daughter, Anna Lena, who was born on the 25th of September. Her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. But on the right, the priest has crossed out Anna Lena’s name and written “förqvafd vådl. av modern 17/12 1811” or smothered accidentally by the mother on the 17th of December 1811. This is also mentioned in the death record.

mattson-and-lenaArvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 134 / page 255 (AID: v4798a.b134.s255, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

17/12 dog och den 22/12 begrovs. Gateqvarn. Flickan Anna Lena Nilsdotter, f.1811 21/9. Föräldrar: Mölnaren Nils Matsson och hustru Lena Åsberg. Vådeligen af mdren förqvafd i sömnen.

The above death record states that the girl Anna Lena Nilsdotter living at Gateqvarn died on the 17th of December (1811) and was buried on the 22nd of December (1811). She was born on the 21st of September 1811 and her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. The cause of death was smothered in sleep accidentally by the mother.

We may never know the actual reason for this tragedy. But it is probable that there can be many different reasons that this small child died. Another question is how do we interpret the term, vådeligen or accidental. Was it an accident, or was it something else?

There exists an absolution register (absolutionslängd) for the period 1625-1650 from Östra and Västra Göinge in north Skåne. In this register, the dean has listed those who have received absolution (the priest gives absolution to a person for his/her sins) and many of the notes concern cases where a child has died. What is especially interesting in this record in this book is that the name for the both the man and woman is noted. During this period, it was rare to see a woman’s name.

1632-recordÖstra Göinge kontrakts prostarkiv (L) FIV:1 (1625-1650) Image 13 (AID: v103010.b13, NAD: SE/LLA/13583) Link.

The above note dated on the 22nd of June 1632 Kongens (The king owned the farm that the couple lived on).

Söffren Jepsön i Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Pige 9 Ugier.
til fattige 10 mk

Söffren Jepsön in Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Young girl 9 weeks
(donation) to the poor 10 mk (mark)

Read the original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Mothers’ acknowledgments of births in Maria Magdalena parish

envelopeMaria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 980 (AID: v826540.b980, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Many researchers have been excited to find an ancestor’s birth record only to be disappointed to discover that the mother is “oäkta” or unmarried and that the father is unknown. But the disappointment is even greater if one discovers that both parents are unknown. However, in some cases there may be hope. For those of you who have found unknown mothers in the Maria Magdalena parish birth records in Stockholm, we want to point out four volumes with maternal acknowledgments of births that are available in ArkivDigital.

The four volumes are named Maria Magdalena HIIIc: 1-4 and they cover the period 1897-1917. The volumes contain envelopes which in most cases have been sealed until recently. The Stockholm city archives have now opened the sealed envelopes and have given us the opportunity to photograph the contents.

In the image at the top of the page we see the front page of an envelope referring to Alma Maria born on the 23rd of July 1897.  In the recently opened envelope, there is a page with the following text.

mothercertificate2Maria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 990 (AID: v826540.b990, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Undertecknad boende härstädes Bellmansgatan 16, 1 tr opp. erkänner sig härmed vara moder till flickebarnet Alma Maria född den 23 Juli 1897 och döpt den 27 Julis. år. intygas Stockholm den 27 Juli 1897 Mathilda Alma Sandberg född den 20 Juli 1871.

The undersigned who is residing at Bellmansgatan 16, 1st floor up, acknowledges that she is the mother of the female child, Alma Maria, born on the 23rd of July 1897 and baptized on the 27th of July of the same year. Certified in Stockholm on the 27th of July by Mathilda Alma Sandberg born on the 20th of July 1871.

In this record of acknowledgment, we see the mother’s name and birth date. In other acknowledgments, details of the mother’s birth parish are noted and sometimes even the father’s name. The majority of these photographed envelopes have recently been unsealed by the Stockholm city archives. However, some were unsealed long ago and in some of these cases there is documentation about when and who requested the opening of the envelope.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Sara Jönsdotter lived 106 years

oldageNederluleå C:2 (1726-1742) Image 294 / page 531 (AID: v138428.b294.s531, NAD: SE/HLA/1010132) Link.

Occasionally we see examples of persons living  a remarkably long life in the church books. In the 1741 death book for Nederluleå’s parish, the priest wrote the following notes about Sara Jönsdotter.

”Mycket ålderstigna Pigan Sara Jönsd:r ifrån Måttsund. Född 1635. Fadren Jöns Erichsson. Modren hust: Sara N.d:r afled genom döden d:1 Augusti. Begrafdes på kyrkogården d:8 ejusd. Warit 15 år blind, men dock under sin blindhet spunnit finaste garn. Thes höga ålder är 106 år.”

The very elderly maid Sara Jönsdotter from Måttsund. Born in 1635. Her father was Jöns Erichsson and her mother was Sara N. dotter. Died on the 1st of August. Buried in the church cemetery on the 8th of the same month. Was blind for 15 years, but still spun the finest yarn despite being blind.  Was the high age of 106 years.

We wish to thank Björn Rydh for the tip.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

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.

ArkivDigital

Birth record search and reading example

At many conferences in North America, many will stop by our booth and state that they have Swedish ancestry but are intimidated by the Swedish records because they are in Swedish. We explain that the church books are mostly tables of names, dates and places with headings and terms that are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, one finds it can be easy to work with the records even though one does not speak Swedish.

Today, we will search for a birth record and show that most of the record contains names, dates and place names. In order to search for a birth record, one needs the child’s Swedish name, birth parish and the birth date. Our search will be for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter born on the 13th of July, 1841 in the parish of Västra Torsås in Kronoberg county.

To begin the search, go to ArkivDigital and click on Search Archive. There are several methods for searching:

  • One method is to just enter Västra Torsås in the search box and click search. You will need to type in the Swedish characters.
  • Since we know the county, you can select advanced options and select county and then Kronoberg. You will now see a list of all the archives for Kronoberg county. Scroll down until you find Västra Torsås and then highlight the entry.
  • On the right side, you will see a volume list for Västra Torsås as shown in the image below.

search window

  • Search for the birth and christening records book that includes the year 1841.
  • Select the birth and christenings volume:  Västra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848).
  • Double click to open the book.
  • Search for a table of contents in the beginning of the book. Many volumes include multiple types of records.
  • In this volume, you will find a table of contents (Innehåll) (see image below).

birth contentsVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 3 (AID: v29905.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The table of contents shows the following entries:

  • Födelse- och dopbok 1815-1843 or birth and baptism book
  • ”              ”       ”             1844-1848
  • Lysnings- och vigselbok 1815-1848 or banns and marriage book
  • Död-och begravningsbok 1815-1848 or death and burial book

On the far right side, you will see the page numbers for each record type. Since we are looking for a birth record in 1841, we see that the birth records between 1815 and 1843 begin on page 5 and end on page 430. We now need to look for the birth records for the year 1841. One can estimate a page number and go directly to a page and then page forward or backwards until you find the records for 1841. Once you find the year 1841, then you search for the birth date, July 13th.  You will find Elin’s birth record on page 407.

elin birth recordVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 207 / page 407 (AID: v29905.b207.s407, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The content and format of the birth records do vary by time and minister.  The format for this book is the following:

  • Column 1 – Child’s name
  • Column 2 – Birth date
  • Column 3 – Baptismal date
  • Column 4 – Parents’ names and residence followed by the names of the baptismal witnesses
  • Column 5 – Mother’s age

Record Transcription
Elin   13 14  Föräld. B. Anders Nilsson H. Ingrid Magnisdotter i Långasten   44
                      Vittnen Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson i Sjöby  H. Nil
                      la Nilsdotter i Källhult Pig. Maria Simonsdtr. i Sjöby

Record Translation
The child, Elin, was born on July 13, 1841 and baptized on July 14, 1841. Her parents were farmer Anders Nilsson and his wife Ingrid Magnisdotter residing at Långasten. The baptismal witnesses were Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson at Sjöby, wife Nilla Nilsdotter at Källhult and maid Maria Simonsdotter at Sjöby. Elin’s mother age is 44 years old.

As you can see this record contains primarily dates, names and place names. The only Swedish words in this birth record are:

B.              abbreviation for bonde or farmer
Föräld.     abbreviation for föräldrar or parents
H.              abbreviation for hustru or wife
i                 at, by
Pig.           abbreviation for piga or maid
Vittnen    witnesses

You can find more birth record examples on our website by clicking here.

In a future blog, we will show you how to locate Elin with her family in the household examination book for the year 1841.

ArkivDigital

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.

ArkivDigital