Birth Record Reading Example

frossa birth recordForssa (D) C:1 (1682-1798) Image 59 / page 95 (AID: v55123.b59.s95, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Today, we will present a lesson in reading a birth record in the 1700’s. The above record is a birth record from 1762 in Forssa parish in Södermanland county. For many experienced researchers, this may appear to be clear and easy to read but for many new researchers this record may seem intimidating.

When looking at the birth records and the same can be said for marriage and death records one needs to become familiar with the minister’s format style for the record. In this case the minister has chosen the following format:

  1. Birth month
  2. Birth day
  3. Baptismal day
  4. Names of parents
  5. Name of the place of residence in the parish (e.g. farm, village, estate)
  6. Child’s Name
  7. Names of baptismal witnesses
  8. Entry number

In this case the child was born on the 12th of July 1762 and baptized on the 18th of July 1762. We know the year is 1762 because that is noted on the top of the page.

The minister has written the names of the parents: Per Andersson, h. Carin Persdotter. The abbreviation “h” is short for hustru or wife.

The place in the parish where the family lives is Stavsjöstugan. If you have difficulty in transcribing the place of residence, check to see if there is household book for that period and look in the place name index for a place that looks similar.

You will need the place name in the birth book to find the family in the household book. Below is the place name index for the corresponding household book You can see in the index at the bottom of the page that the household records for Stavsjöstugan begin on page 61. You will go to page 61 and then begin to look for the family.

The child’s name is Carin.

The names of the baptismal witnesses as written: Per Bengtsson i Spånga, dr. Carl Ericsson i Stavsjöstugan, hust. Maria Lars dtr i Spånga, pig. Cherstin Pers dtr ibidem.

The following abbreviations were used in recording the names of the witnesses:

  • i – in, at
  • dräng - farmhand
  • hust. –  abbreviation for hustru or wife
  • pig. – abbreviation for piga or maid
  • dtr – Often you will see “dtr” as an abbreviation for dotter or daughter in the name. The full names in this case are Maria Larsdotter and Cherstin Persdotter.
  • ibidem – Latin term meaning the same

The entry number 10 states that this was the 10th birth entry for the year.

You can see that one really doesn’t need to know Swedish to read the record. The record is primarily a table of names, dates and places. Yes, there are a few Swedish words but these words are used repeatedly in the church books so one just needs to become familiar with a few Swedish words to become comfortable reading the records.

ort name indexForssa (D) AI:2 (1757-1766) Image 5 (AID: v55102.b5, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Click here for more birth record reading examples.

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Marriage Record Example

Marriage record readingBringetofta BI:2 (1751-1839) Image 298 / page 589 (AID: v33277.b298.s589, NAD: SE/VALA/00047)  Link.

Many people at conferences have asked for more record transcriptions.  Today’s blog presents an example of a marriage record with a transcription and an English translation.

Above is a marriage record from Bringetofta parish in Jönköping. The content and format of a marriage record varies by time and minister. In most records, you will find the dates of banns for the marriage, marriage date and names of the bridal couple. The above marriage record is for Petter Andersson and Catharina Pehrsdotter who were married on the 26th of May in 1806 in Bringetofta parish.

This minister noted the following information in the marriage record: entry number, date of first banns, groom’s name and place of residence, bride’s name and residence, marriage date, minister’s name and information about the morning gift.

Transcription
N.9  Den 26 april utfärdades Lysning för Drängen Petter
Andersson i Drageryd Mellang. och Pigan Catharina
Pehrsdtr i Drageryd Mellang.
Vigde den 26 Maj 1806 And. Ljung
Morgongåfva efter Lag

English Translation
Number 9.  On the 26th of April, the marriage banns were issued for farmhand Petter Andersson living at Drageryd Mellangården and maid Catharina Pehrsdotter living at Drageryd Mellangården. Married on the 26th of May 1806 (by) Anders Ljung.
Morning gift according to the law.

While most of the text includes dates and names of persons and places, there are a few Swedish words that are common in many marriage records. Below are the common Swedish words with the English translations;

Swedish       English
den                  on the
drängen          the farmhand
efter lag          according to the law
för                    for
i                        in, at
lag                    law
lysning            banns
morgongåfva  morning gift
och                   and
pigan               the maid
utfärdade        issued

Additional Comments
Before a marriage was performed, the couple’s intention to get married was announced three times and these postings are called banns of marriage. If no objections were presented to the marriage, the couple was free to marry. The marriage records are organized in chronological order by the banns date.

It was customary, and for a period of time the law, for the groom to present his bride a morning gift (morgongåfva) at the marriage which was hers to keep forever. It could not be legally shared with her children as other parts of the estate at the time of her husband’s death.  Many times the marriage record will note the actual  morning gift that was given to the bride or as in this record the notation was recorded as “morgongåfva efter lag” or morning gift according to the law.

Click here to see more examples of marriage records.

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