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

New Records Added to ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog
During June and July, many new records have been added to ArkivDigital’s online library. We have begun to add some new record types, continued to add estate inventories (bouppteckningar) and completed the photographing of a couple record sets.

SCB Extracts
The first set of new materials that we are beginning to add are the Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) or SCB extracts from the birth, marriage and death books. The SCB extracts are transcriptions from the original church books but not all the information from the original books was transferred to the extracts. The advantage with the SCB extracts is that we are able to publish these up to 1944. Because of the law of privacy we are seldom able to add the original books up to this date. We have added most of the records to ArkivDigital for 1944. We will then work our ways backward to publish as many SCB extracts to fill in the gaps where we do not have the original books.

The easiest way to search for the SCB extracts is to enter “SCB” in the search box. The volumes are organized by county thus requiring one to browse through the book to find the correct parish. We plan to begin the indexing of these books so that it will be easy to locate each parish.

“Stamkort” for Military Conscripts
The second set of new records that we are beginning to add is the service card (stamkort) for each military conscript.   Each conscript or serviceman had his own “stamkort” where you will find information about his service beginning with his enrollment, usually between 20 and 21 years of age, up to his discharge which normally happened at age 47.  Currently, only a small number of volumes are available in ArkivDigital. However, we plan to add the service cards or “stamkort” for all men who were enrolled between the years 1902 and 1941.

The simplest way to search for the stamkort in ArkivDigital is to enter “stamkort” in the search box. You will be directed to a page where you will find more information about the stamkort  in the info box. Currently this information is in Swedish.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
We continue to prioritize adding estate inventories (bouppteckningar) beginning in 1900 and forward. During the last two months, new volumes were added for most counties.

Completed Projects
We have now completed projects for photographing the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and also the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists from the Office of Chancellor of Justice are available for the period 1750-1825 and the Supreme Court protocols are available for the period 1694-1800.

Read more about our image database.

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Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)

The tax/population registers (mantalslängderna) are an important replacement source in cases where the parish records have been destroyed.  Even in cases where the church records have not been destroyed, the household examination records only go back to the early 1800’s or late 1700’s in many parishes.

The tax/population registers exist from the middle of the 1600’s and while they are not as detailed as the household examination records; they do provide the possibility to continue to follow a family backwards.

Several copies of the tax registers were created. ArkivDigital is photographing the two copies which are preserved at the regional archives primarily the district/city registers and the county rural copies.

The original copy of the tax register exists in the district (häradsskrivarnas) archive. This is the copy that one should use since as a rule it is the one that generally contains the most information. The district office was responsible for the tax registers for the rural areas.  For the cities, you can find original copies of the tax registers in the city hall and magistrates archive, crown treasurer’s archive (kronokassörens arkiv), crown accountancy (kronokamrerarens) or tax collection (uppbördsverkets) archives.

Below is an image of a 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish in Jönköpng county.

Svenarum mantal Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 158 / page 299 (AID: v400751b.b158.s299, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link

To search for the above record, one method is:

  1. Click on advanced options in the ArkivDigital program.
  2. Search by archive type.
  3. In the archive selection, select country office.
  4. Select Jönköpings läns landskontor.
  5. Open the population register volume that includes the year 1787.
  6. Open the volume and look for a place or parish index.
  7. You will find a place index at the following reference: Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 3 (AID: v400751b.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link
  8. The place index states that the tax register for Svenarum for 1787 begins on page 298.
  9. Go to page 298 and you will find the beginning page for the 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish as shown above.

For most counties, the copies of the tax registers up to 1820 from the regional archives are now available on ArkivDigital. These records are found in the district registrar or country office archives.

ArkivDigital