Gammalsvenskby’s church books now available in ArkivDigital

Gammalsvenskbys kyrkoböckeGammalsvenskby (Ukraina) (Ut) 8 (1920-1921) Image 160 / page 64 (AID: v99903.b160.s64, NAD: SE/ViLA/23094) Link.

In the Baltic Sea, west of Estonia’s mainland is the island of Dagö. There was a Swedish speaking peasant settlement on Dagö that was believed to have been founded in the 1200’s. Other Swedish settlements existed along Estonia’s coast and nearby islands. Dagö belonged to Sweden from 1563 to 1721 and was an important Swedish territory in Estonia.

Under the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Dagö was ceded to Russia. In 1781, the Russian Empress Catherine II forced the resettlement of about 1,000 Dagö-Swedes to Ukraine. Many died during the long march but those who survived founded the community of Gammalsvenskby.

Despite nearly no contact with Sweden, the population of Gammalsvenskby preserved their traditions and Lutheran faith. They even retained the old “östsvenska” dialect. Towards the end of the 1800’s some contact with Sweden was restored and in 1885 a new Swedish church opened.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917 and a devastating famine, many Swedish colonists requested to leave the Soviet Union and return to Sweden. In 1929, 881 villagers arrived in Sweden; only a few chose to remain in Ukraine. Most of the returnees settled in Gotland.

Along with the returnees came the Gammalsvenskby’s church books. Pastor Kristofer Hoas was responsible for seeing  that these books were sent to Sweden. Up until his death in 1941, Pastor Hoas continued to send the church books to Sweden. In 1947, the archive was transferred to the county archives (today’s regional archive) in Visby, where we have recently photographed the documents.

You can find the Gammalsvenskby’s church books in ArkivDigital by entering Gammalsvenskby in the search box.

Read the original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Swedish soldiers captured at Poltava – What can one discover about them?

After the Swedish defeat at Poltava in 1709, many members of the Swedish army were captured and imprisoned in Russia. Is it possible to find information about the individual prisoners?

The short answer is yes. For those who are interested about war prisoners during the 1700’s, we recommend that you take a look at the archive:  ”Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar” or “War Documents of the Great Northern War: War Prisoners”.  Note that there are two archives with the same name but they include different volumes.

We want to especially point out the two name register volumes: Reg:1 and Reg:2. These records cover admittedly only a portion of the volumes that we photographed, but they are still of great value since one is able to find a reference to a number of volumes and pages for most persons. Register LarsKrigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar Reg:1 (0-9999) Image 791 (AID: v787880.b791, NAD: SE/KrA/038814B)  Link.

Above is the index card for First Lieutenant Lars Gröning. The first reference, I: 39, refers to the volume 14B: 1, page 39.  Lars is found in a roll that shows all of the prisoners in Russia from the Battle of Poltava. On this page, it notes that Lars was held a prisoner in Tobolsk, a city in western Siberia.  You will find Lars in the middle of the page on the right in the image below. lars page 39Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar 14B:1 (0-9999) Image 270 / page 39 (AID: v787699.b270.s39, NAD: SE/KrA/038814B) Link.

On July 14, 1722, Lars returned home to Sweden. This information appears in volume 14B:3, page 20 which the reference III: 20 on the index card refers to.  Lars is shown in the image below.

Lars page 20 Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar 14B:3 (0-9999) Image 290 / page 20 (AID: v787701.b290.s20, NAD: SE/KrA/038814B) Link.

By following the other references listed on the index card, we can find additional information about the long stay Lars involuntarily spent in Tobolsk.

Click here to see original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital