Two blacksmiths in same parish had stillborn babies on same day

Sometimes by chance, unusual events seem to happen around the same time. In an earlier blog, we described two triplet births that happened in the same parish with only a few months between the births.

That a stillborn child would be born to two men with the same occupation on the same day in the same parish is highly unlikely. But this happened in 1798 in Burlöv parish in Skåne.

smedenstillbirthsBurlöv CI:4 (1775-1816) Image 91 / page 92 (AID: v106310.b91.s92, NAD: SE/LLA/13050) Link.

Den 26 januari fick smeden Bengt Andersson och hans hustru Kjerstina Nilsdotter tvillingar, varav den ena var dödfödd. Samma dag fick smeden Pär Ahlström och hans hustru Elna Bengtsdotter en dödfödd son.

On the 26th of January, twins were born to the blacksmith Bengt Andersson and Kjerstina Nilsdotter. One of the twins was stillborn. On the same day, a stillborn son was born to blacksmith, Pär Ahlström and his wife, Elna Bengtsdotter.

At this time the number of stillborn children in Sweden was approximately 27 per 1,000 births. Today, it is about 4 per 1,000. During the second half of the 1700’s, there were approximately 70,00 births per year. The number increased during the first decades of the 1800’s so that by the middle of the 1800’s there were as many births yearly as there are today despite that the population was much smaller. According to the official statistics, there were 2,160 stillbirths in 1798 in Sweden.  While stillbirths were not unusual, still the combination of the above circumstances can be described as being a unique event.

This article was written by Örjan Hedenberg for ArkivDigital and originally published in Swedish. Click here to read in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Triplets (Trillingar)

Twins occur now and then. According to the Swedish language encyclopedia, (Nationalencyklopedin), twins account for 1 in 85 births. Triplets are considerably less common, 1 in 70,000 births. Therefore, it is rather surprising to see two sets of triplets born in the same parish with only 3 ½ months between them. This happened in the same village in Mjällyby parish in Blekinge county in the years 1731 and 1732.

On November 9, 1731 the triplets, Sissa, Åke and Lars, were born to Ingemar Larsson and Sissa Åkesdotter in Istaby. (See image below.)

november-tripletsMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 31 / page 53 (AID: v96434.b31.s53, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

On February 27, 1732 the triplets, Karna, Kiersta and Berta ware born to Bengt Olsson and Anna Svensdotter in Istaby.

february-27-imageMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 32 / page 55 (AID: v96434.b32.s55, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

There is a gap in the records in the death book from August 1731 to April 1732 so it is difficult to see if all the children survived. Triplets are often born prematurely and weigh less than ordinary children and at this time the prognosis for survival was not great. However, these triplets were baptized at the ordinary times and there is no notation that they received emergency baptisms.

It is likely that they died within a month after their birth. The writer has not found them in the later church books from Mjällby.

This article was written by Örjan Hedenberg for ArkivDigital and originally published in Swedish. Click here to read the article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital