Art in the Old Documents

lifeinsuranceimageKarlskrona rådhusrätt och magistrat FIIa:143 (1934-1934) Image 4080 (AID: v495505.b4080, NAD: SE/LLA/10122) Link.

Many of us researching our family history have browsed through thousands of pages of old documents searching for tidbits of information about our ancestors.  But sometimes, a document or image catches our attention. It can be an unusual name, the minister’s handwriting or a beautiful picture.

The image above comes from a 1934 estate inventory record in Karlskrona and shows the top part of a life insurance policy from the Fire and Life Insurance Company, SVEA.

Another fine image is found in the Träslöv’s parish church archive in the HV:2 series which include attachments to the banns and marriage book.

baptismal certificate
Träslöv HV:2 (1760-1889) Image 362 (AID: v93549.b362, NAD: SE/LLA/13420) Link.

This example is a baptismal certificate for Johan Edward Bernhard, son of Emil Johan Johnson and Anna.  He was born in Rumford, Rhode Island, USA on the 1st of May 1888 and  baptized on the 17th of June 1888. The certificate was preserved because the parents moved back to Sweden and lived in Träslöv.

Below is the image of the parent’s marriage certificate. The couple was married on the 20th of November 1886 in Rhode Island.

marriagecertificate
Träslöv HV:2 (1760-1889) Image 361 (AID: v93549.b361, NAD: SE/LLA/13420) Link.

Whenever you find a document or image that catches your interest, pause for a  moment and reflect. Just a little image or note can give you a better understanding of the times when your ancestors lived.

Link to the blog in Swedish.

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

Allmänna barnhuset (Public Orphanage of Stockholm)

The Public Orphanage of Stockholm (Allmänna barnhuset) records from earliest times to about 1880 are now available in ArkivDigital’s online archive.

You will find many record types in this archive providing information about the children and also about the wet nurses. You can find information about the latter in the volume, ammrulla, or wet nurse records. Many of the children at the Public Orphanage of Stockholm were placed in foster homes throughout Sweden and you can find out where they were placed in these records.

orphan record
Allmänna barnhuset D2FA:14 (1807-1808) Image 470 / page 6585 (AID: v749518.b470.s6585, NAD: SE/SSA/0809A) Link.

Above is an example of the orphanage record for Johan Fredrik Norberg who was admitted to the orphanage in October 1807 and his birth date is shown as the 15th of August 1801. His record number is 6584. He was placed with the farmer (bonden) Jonas Pehrsson in Brånstorp, Östra Skrukeby parish, Åkerbo härad in Östergotland county. You can locate Johan with the family he was placed with by doing the following:

  1. Click on search archive.
  2. Enter Östra Skrukeby in the search window and click search,
  3. Search for a household records volume that includes the year 1807 in the volume list for Östra Skrukeby.
  4. Select volume Östra Skrukeby AI:3 Household records (1806-1815).
  5. Open the book by double clicking the selected volume.
  6. Search for a place index and look for the place, Brånstorp.
  7. You will find that the records for Brånstorp begin on page 14.
  8. Go to page 14 and you will find Johan Fredrik Norberg as shown in the image below.
  9. You will notice that in front of his name is the notatation, Barnhus B, or orphanage child as shown in the image below.household orphan Östra Skrukeby AI:3 (1806-1815) Image 14 / page 14 (AID: v26463.b14.s14, NAD: SE/VALA/00489) Link.

You can read more in Swedish about orphanage records in ArkivDigital’s online archive by clicking here.

ArkivDigital

George Washington born in Nederkalix

While researching our family history, many of us have discovered unusual or odd names in our family or sometimes when browsing in the church book records we have encountered one.

In the parish of Nederkalix in Norrbotten county, a child born on March 6, 1880 was named George Washington.  The image of his birth record is shown below.george washingtonNederkalix CI:8 (1877-1894) Image 61 / page 58 (AID: v138293.b61.s58, NAD: SE/HLA/1010131)  Link.

George Washington’s parents were inspector, Axel Brattberg, and his wife, Maria Kant. All his siblings had ordinary names. As to why he was named George Washington after the first President of the United States, one can only speculate.  You can see the household examination record showing the family group at the following reference.
Nederkalix AI:10c (1879-1890) Image 196 / page 638 (AID: v138260.b196.s638, NAD: SE/HLA/1010131)  Link.

Have you discovered any of your Swedish ancestors named after a historical figure?

ArkivDigital

New Records Added in February

Produktkatalog

Many new exciting records were added to ArkivDigital’s online library during February.  Below are highlights of the new additions.

We continue to focus on photographing the estate inventories (bouppteckningarna) for the period from 1901 to 1940. The estate inventories for Göteborg och Bohus county are now available online to 1910. For Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties, the estate inventories are available up to 1920.

For those who are interested in military history, the collection “Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar” or “War Documents of the Great Northern War: War Prisoners” is now online. You can find this collection in the military archive. (Notice that there are two names in the archive list with the same name but they do include different volumes.) In this collection, you will find much information about the soldiers who were imprisoned in connection with Karl XII’s war or the Great Northern War.

For those interested in Malmö, we have added selected parts of the Poor Relief Board in Malmö (Fattigvårdsstyrelsen i Malmö) archive. In these volumes you will find not only information about paupers but information about foster children and much more.

Finally, we want to mention that we are beginning to add material from The Public Orphanage of Stockholm (Allmänna barnhusets) archive. The Public Orphanage of Stockholm was a place where children who were orphans or whose parents had difficulties in caring for them were placed in hopes of a better life. Many of these children were placed in foster homes throughout Sweden. This archive has an extensive collection of records and we will photograph a selection of these records.

Read more about our image database.

ArkivDigital

13 Children with 51 Unique Given Names

You can find lots of interesting information in ArkivDigital online. As we search for our ancestors, we see many names and we can see what names were popular at various times.  Sometimes, we even encounter some unusual names.

Many parents today find it difficult to decide what to name their children. Today in Sweden, it is common for a child to have two or three given or first names. In many families, one of the given names is a family name.

One  family that did not seem to have had any problems with finding names for their children is the Almlöf family who lived in Svenarum parish in Jönköping county at the turn of the century between the 1800’s and 1900’s.  Karl Hjalmar Knut Almlöf, a painter,who lived at Hook station/Masugnsbacken, was the father of 13 children and 12 lived to adulthood.

Each child received four first or given names.  There were 52 names given to the children and 51 were unique. One child who died of whooping cough at four months of age was named Syster Julia Elvira Victoria and the name Julia was reused for a daughter born in 1907 who was named Rut Julia Vera Emilia.

You find the first 12 children in the image below:

13 children with unique names

Svenarum AIIa:2 (1902-1907) Image 151 / page 141 (AID: v172326.b151.s141, NAD: SE/VALA/00358) Link

Names of the parents and children are:

Kurt Hjalmar Knut Almlöf     Painter (Målare)
H. (Hustru) Wife Johann Lovisa Johansdotter
Son Karl Emrik Mauritz Leonard
Son Gustaf Anton Erik Ossian
Son Gunnar Elam Anselm Napoleon
Son Knut Arvid Edvard Johannes
Son Axel Bertil Hjalmar Efraim
Daughter Elsa Lovisa Maria Olivia
Daughter Elin Laura Ingeborg Naemi
Daughter Anna Sofia Viola Elisabet
Son Bror Arnold Titus Elof
Daughter Syster Julia Elvira Victoria  died 19 December 1904
Daughter Ester Lisa Kristina Matilda
Daughter Rut Julia Vera Emilia
Son Sven Holger Fritiof Eugèn

You will find the parents and all 12 living children at the following image:
Svenarum AIIa:3 (1908-1914) Image 117 / page 107 (AID: v172327.b117.s107, NAD: SE/VALA/00358) Link

Note – This blog was previously published in Swedish on September 8, 2014. Link to the Swedish version.

On Monday, March 2, we will publish the English text of “Forska i Stockholms stad 1878-1926″ or Research in Stockholm City 1878-1926.

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