Saltpeter Collector (Salpetersjudare) Important job for manufacturing gunpowder

saltpeter1Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:2 (1764-1804) Image 212 (AID: v50440.b212, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Occasionally at conferences in North America, a customer has asked,” I have an ancestor who was a salpetersjudare?  What is that occupation?” It is a saltpeter collector or sometimes referred to as saltpeter maker.

As the Swedish army increasingly used rifles and cannons, there was a great need for gunpowder. Gunpowder consisted of 75% saltpeter. Large concentrations of saltpeter were found in the soil under farm buildings and stables. Since saltpeter was so important in the production of gunpowder, it came to be that the soil under many farm buildings was declared to be royal property. In the beginning the farmers collected and delivered the saltpeter themselves, but soon a new profession was created, saltpeter collectors.

The saltpeter collectors traveled around to the farms and dug up the floors of the barns or stables and collected the soil and then boiled and seethed it for about six or seven days. Then the pure saltpeter was transported to the gunpowder factory where gunpowder was produced.

In the series Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet, there are three volumes with muster rolls for the saltpeter collectors or makers (salpetersjudarna) from 1693 – 1805. These muster rolls are organized in the same way as the ones for cavalrymen and soldiers.

To search for these archives enter the search words: Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet in the search box.

The image at the top of the page is the muster roll for the saltpeter collectors of Skåne and Blekinge counties. The mustering was held on the 29th of April 1778.

salpeter2Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:1 (1693-1757) Image 92 (AID: v50439.b92, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Sometimes you will find more information about a person who was a saltpeter collector. In the above image you see in the third row Anders Erichsson from Lerdala parish in Skaraborg county. He was born in 1699 and became a saltpeter collector in 1721. On the right side there is a note giving more information about him.

Siuk af et hug i wänstra knäet och bewitnades af des Cammerater at wara oduglig. Recommenderas till afskied, medan han och intet kunnat giöra något arbete för åhr 1726.

Disabled by a stab in the left knee and testimony by his comrades stated that he was unfit. Recommended for discharge, meanwhile he wasn’t able to work in 1726.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Navy (flottan) documents – an overview

boatmandec1Rullor flottan 1635-1915 Ib:70 (1810-1810) Image 250 (AID: v390213.b250, NAD: SE/KrA/0503036) Link.

ArkivDigital has photographed many documents which include information about naval (flottan) employees. This blog gives a short overview of the sources that are available in ArkivDigital.

To research a person who served in the Navy (flottan), one begins by looking at what is available in the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915. The seamen (båtsmännen) have their own series of records, Rullor båtsmanskompanier (volumes IV: 1-79). In this series, you will find different types of records regarding the seamen including the general muster rolls. The seamen muster rolls are organized in the same manner as the muster rolls for soldiers. (Link to blog about general muster rolls.) In these muster rolls, one can follow a sailor’s career from enlistment to discharge.

In the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, there are many other types of records. The archive is divided into a number of diverse record series such as: rolls for companies in Karlskrona, Stockholm and Göteborg (Rullor Karlskrona, Stockholm och Göteborg), rolls for non-commissioned officers (Underofficersrullor), rolls for the company of young sailor boys (Rullor skeppsgossekompanier), rolls of seaman companies (Rullor matroskompanier), rolls of the companies in Finland (Finska rullor), rolls for navigators and civil workers in the pilot service (Lotsrullor) as well as a large number of various rolls for officers and crew at the Stockholm station.

botsman1201secondRullor flottan 1635-1915 XII:16 (1791-1791) Image 113 (AID: v398912.b113, NAD: SE/KrA/0503036) Link.

In the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, one not only finds information about the seamen but much more. The archive includes records series for various workgroups such as carpenters and other tradesmen. One workgroup that has its own series is the pilots (lotsarna) or navigators in the piloting service The image above is from a lotsrulla from the year 1791.

In addition to the archive, Rullor flottan 1635-1915, there are a number of other archives and records that provide information about the Navy (flottan).  Below is a list of the most important sources found in ArkivDigital.

Seaman Records (Båtsmansrullor): In the late 1800’s, a little book was created for each seaman and these books contain much more detailed information than the general muster rolls thus allowing one to easily follow the seaman’s career. You can find the boatman rolls in ArkivDigital in the various archives for Karlskrona Station and Stockholm Station in the military archive. Read more here. These records are now completely available in ArkivDigital.

Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor)The Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor) offer information about a ship’s sailings as well as who served on the vessel. These records are found in the following archive, Flottans arkiv: Amiralitetskollegiets med efterföljares kontor, Arméns flotta, loggböcker, rullor m.m.: Sjöexpeditioner, skeppsmönsterrullor 1689-1873Read more here.

Service Records (Meritförteckningar): In the archive, Meritförteckningar flottan, you can find detailed information both about officers and non-commissioned officers. You can follow each person’s military career including information such as education, promotions, peace time activities together with completed expeditions and other trips.

Pension documents (Pensionshandlingar): In the archive, Flottans pensionskassa, you will find records for the personnel who received a pension (gratial).  Read more here.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor)

Navy muster rollsFlottans arkiv: Amiralitetskollegiets med efterföljares kontor, Arméns flotta, loggböcker, rullor m.m.: Sjöexpeditioner, skeppsmönsterrullor 1689-1873 B:68 (1808-1808) Image 2230 (AID: v743669.b2230, NAD: SE/KrA/0503035) Link.

For those who are interested in learning more about sailors or other persons who served in the Navy, the Naval Ship Muster Rolls (Skeppsmönsterrullor) offer information about a ship’s sailings as well as who served on the vessel. These muster rolls, which we have photographed, begin in the year 1689 and end in the year 1873.

The image above is from an 1808 Naval ship muster roll and references the crew on the ship, Dristigheten. The image shows sailors from the Second Södra Möre (beginning of the list starts on the previous page) and the Third Södra Möre Naval companies (båtsmanskompanier). The column on the far right, “Annotationer öfver afgången” or “Remarks about departure” is of special interest. Here you will find notes as to why a crew member left the ship such as transferred to another ship, became ill or died.

You will find the Naval ship muster rolls (skeppsmönsterrullorna) in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  • Go to the search window.
  • Select advanced options.
  • Select archive type: military.
  • Select the following archive: “Flottans arkiv: Amiralitetskollegiets med efterföljares kontor, Arméns flotta, loggböcker, rullor m.m.: Sjöexpeditioner, skeppsmönsterrullor 1689-1873”.

Link to the original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Research Soldiers in the General Muster Rolls – Example Jan Fräs

gmbookcoverGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 123 (1841-1845) Image 20 (AID: v372940a.b20, NAD: SE/KrA/0023)  Link.

The primary records for researching soldiers and officers from the 1680’s to the 1880’s are the general muster rolls. Earlier we wrote two blogs about the general muster rolls:  General Muster Rolls and General Muster Roll Column Headings. Today, we will show you how to follow a soldier’s military career in the muster rolls.

The general musters were usually held every three to five years. The muster rolls are organized by regiments and companies within each regiment. Each military rote within a company has its own number and sometimes it is called the soldier number. In the church book or household record, often the only information you will see for the soldier is the village or torp and parish where he lived. In order to locate the regiment and company the soldier served with you can use the publication “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket” or “Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” by Claes Lorentz Grill or “The Grill”. You can find more information about how to use “The Grill” in ArkivDigital by clicking here.

1841-1845muster rollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 123 (1841-1845) Image 3750 (AID: v372940a.b3750, NAD: SE/KrA/0023)  Link.

In this case, we shall follow the military career of Jan Fräs in the general muster rolls. He was a soldier at rote number 41 in Gustaf’s company in the Dal Regiment (Dalregementets). The above image is showing him in the Dal Regiment’s general muster roll for 1845. In the image we see that he enrolled in the military on the 21st of December 1841. He is 27 years old, has served in the military for 3 ½ years, is approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall and that he is married (gift). This record gives his patronymic name, Jan Andersson. In the far right hand column, there is a note that he was present and approved at the general muster.  (Note pr. is an abbreviation for the Latin word praesens meaning present.)

1849 Muster RollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 124 (1849-1852) Image 1580 (AID: v372941a.b1580, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The above image is from the general muster roll for 1849. This is also a good example showing the detail you can find in the rolls. This one has more detail than the one in 1845. In the 1845 roll, the soldier’s name, Fräs, is only shown in the rote name column but in this roll, we find out where the rote was located: Fagerbackens by in Stora Tuna parish in Falu county. In the text below Jan Fräs’s name, we find information about his birth date and birth parish.

förut kallad Jan Andersson född i St. Tuna Socken af Fahlu Län den 18 December 1818. Antagen den 21 December 1841.

Previously named Jan Andersson born in Stora Tuna parish in Falu county on the 18th of December 1818. Enrolled on the 21st of December 1841.

In the 1852 general muster there is no new information presented. It is noted that he was present at the muster. The 1856 muster roll indicates that he was not present because he was sick in the hospital “sjuk på sjukhuset”. See image below.

sick at the hospita

Generalmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 125 (1856-1856) Image 1820 (AID: v372942.b1820, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

Jan was not at the muster in 1859 but he was at home. A doctor’s certificate dated the 9th of May 1859 was attached to his record in the general muster roll showing that he was still recovering from pneumonia and therefore was not able to be present. See text and image below.

Att Soldaten No 41 Fräs vid Gustafs compagnie af Kong. Dal-Regementet, hvilken genomgått en lunginflammation, ännu icke är så tillfrisknad att jag anser honom kunna inställa sig vid samlingen för Jernvägs Commenderingen, intygas. Barkgärdet den 9 Maij 1859.

doctor's certificateGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 126 (1859-1863) Image 1610 (AID: v372943b.b1610, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

In the 1863 muster roll, we see the end of Jan’s career as a soldier. The notation in the last column states,”Begär och får afsked för intygad sjuklighet. Tjent väl.”  He requested to be discharged because of ill health and was granted an honorable discharge.  See image below.1863 General muster rollGeneralmönsterrullor – Dalregementet 126 (1859-1863) Image 5930 (AID: v372943b.b5930, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

Link to the original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

New Records Added in January

Produktkatalog

During January, our online archive has been updated with about 600,000 new records or about 1.2 million pages of historical records. You will find many new volumes accessible online.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
As during the past autumn, we continue to focus on photographing the estate inventories for the period from 1901 to 1940. The estate inventories for Blekinge and Halland counties are now available online up to 1930. For Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties, the estate inventories to 1920 are now available and volumes between 1921 and 1930 are now being added.  Estate inventories for Värmland county up to 1910 are now available and volumes for the years 1911 to 1920 are being added.  In addition, many estate inventories have been added for most of the other counties.

Prison Lists and Supreme Court Protocols
Two other projects that have been ongoing for a longer period are the photographing of the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists for the period 1750-1814 are now available online as well as the Supreme Court protocols for the period 1694-1769.

Military Records
In the Army Pension Archive (Arméns pensionskassas), most of the merit, seniority and service records (meritband) of commissioned and non-commissioned officers up to 1883 are available online. Some individual volumes are missing but will be added in the near future. Currently, we are photographing the muster rolls 1620-1723 which you can find in the archive, Rullor 1623-1723.

Read more about our image database.

ArkivDigital