Russians who worked on the Göta Canal

Gota canal russiansGöta kanalbolag EII:8 (1813-1813) Image 67 / page 60 (AID: v89674.b67.s60, NAD: SE/VALA/02660) Link.

We previously published a blog about the Göta Canal Company’s archive in ArkivDigital. (Link to blog entry.)  In that blog, we pointed out a list of Russians in the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet) who signed up to work on the canal so that they could return to Russia. You can find more information about these Russians who helped build the canal in several archival sources.

Approximately 60,000 men worked on building the canal between 1810 and 1832. The majority of these were Swedish soldiers from sixteen different regiments along with two naval companies. In addition a company of Russian deserters (pionjärkompaniet) also worked on the canal.

In the volume Göta kanalbolag EII: 8 on pages 58-65, you will find an inspection roll for the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet). The roll was created at the mustering at Forsviks bruk on the 29th of May 1813. Above is an image of a page from the roll. The record shows the name, age and height of each person in the company. Occasionally in the remarks column are notes indicating if the person was ill or given special orders.

Even in the church books, you can find information about these Russians.The image below is a birth record from 1814 in the Bällefors C: 5 volume. In this birth book, you can find a number of children with Russian fathers.

ballefors birthBällefors (R) C:5 (1807-1852) Image 32 (AID: v28848.b32, NAD: SE/GLA/13073) Link.

Read 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

General Muster Rolls

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are the primary records  one uses to research Swedish soldiers who served in the military between the 1680’s and 1880’s. The muster rolls were kept by the respective regiments between every three to five years. In these rolls, you will find information about all soldiers and officers, regiment by regiment, company by company.

In the general muster roll, one can follow  soldiers and officers from the time they entered the service until their discharge. Types of information you will find in the muster rolls include: soldier’s name, both their soldier name and earlier name, birth date or age, number of years in the service, height and marital status. One learns if the soldier was promoted and sometimes one learns about commendations.  At the end of the soldier’s career, the reason for his discharge is often stated.

The above image gives information about the soldier, Jonas Käck, who served in the Hälsinge regiment in 1863. He served for the rote, Sörfly, in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county. He was previously named Jon Jonsson and was born in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county on July 9, 1818. He entered the military on December 10, 1840. At the time of the 1863 muster, he was 44 years old and had served in the military for 22 4/12 years.  He was 6 feet and 1.5 inches tall.

The general muster rolls for both the allotted  (indelta) and enlisted (värvade) Swedish regiments are available in ArkivDigital’s online library. You can find these records by:

  • Access ArkivDigital online
  • Select advanced options
  • Select archive type, military

An alternative search method is to enter “generalmönsterrullor” in the search box and click search.

Click here to read article about the general muster rolls in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Many New Records in ArkivDigital

ProduktkatalogArkivDigital’s online library continues to grow at a fast tempo. There are now about 1,200 volumes or 51 million images of Swedish historical records available. Recent new additions to ArkivDigital include: estate inventories, population/tax registers, military records and other types of records.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
Currently, we are focusing much of our time photographing estate inventories beginning in the 1900’s.  The estate inventories for Blekinge county from 1911 to 1920 are now accessible online.  We are currently adding estate inventories for Halland,  Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties for the same period and many of these  are now available. Estate inventories for Östergotland county from 1901 to 1910 are also being added.

Population/Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)
The county population/tax registers from the earliest times to the year 1820 for Uppsala county are now available. County population/tax registers for the same period for Västmanland county are being added.  District taxation registers, (häradsskrivarens) or copy of tax/census records, from the earliest times to about the year 1820 are also being added to the online archive. The district taxation registers for Jönköping are now available and photographing is in progress for Kronoberg county.

Military Records
For those who are interested in military research, the archive “Meritförteckningar” is now complete. This archive includes merit and service records for officers and non-commissioned officers of various Swedish and Finnish Regiments from the 1614 to 1903.

In the Army Pension Archive (Arméns pensionskassas), we are currently adding merit, seniority, and service records (meritband) of commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the years 1757 to 1860.

Other Records
The Prisoner lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice from 1750 to 1800 are now online. The Supreme Court Protocols from earliest times to 1736 are now available.

Click here to find out what records are available online.

ArkivDigital