Research in Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö (church books burned)

voxtorpimage1Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi FIa:25 (1850-1851) Image 20 (AID: v299119.b20, NAD: SE/VALA/01961) Link.

It is a great disappointment for a researcher to discover that many of the church books do not exist for the parish his or her ancestor came from. Sometimes there are gaps in the records or an entire series is missing. Sometimes, one knows the reason why the records no longer exist such as a fire but sometimes there is only a note saying the there are no records.

If your ancestors are from Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes in Småland, you will be initially disappointed  because many of the church books were destroyed in a fire in 1869. A story is told that the minister’s maid was in the parsonage cooking pork over the open fireplace. Someone called out for assistance because a cow was calving. The maid ran to help and completely forgot about the pork and the open fire.  While the maid was helping with the calving, the fire spread and the parsonage and the church books burned. By luck a few books and household records from 1861 were preserved as well as the birth, marriage and death books for 1825-1860 for Värnamo parish.

But just because the church books no longer exist does not mean that one cannot research further. One should look for other documents. There may be some tax registers, court records and estate inventories that are available. It may take some time and it is not always easy to research in these documents, but with a little patience one can find some additional information.

Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes are located in Östbo härad or district and it is sometimes said that “an accident seldom comes alone”.  There was a fire at the  Östbo district court in 1834.  This means that there are no estate inventories, court records or other documents in that archive that can be used.  Fortunately  for the court records, there are extracts or duplicate records. The court was required to make  extracts or copies of the original court records and submit it to the Göta Court of Appeals once a year.   In ArkivDigital’s online library, these are available only for the years 1603 to 1750 for Östbo härad (some gaps do exist).

What now remains for that time period are the tax registers/population registers (mantalslängderna). These were produced each year and while they are not as detailed as the household records, one can easily follow a family on a farm year by year. The more recent one comes in time,  the more information one finds in the population registers.

We hope to photograph the population registers and other documents for the parishes where the church books are missing. For some parishes we have already done this. In ArkivDigital population registers for Östbo härad are now available up to and including 1861. Actually, this is the only way one can do family research for Värnamo, Voxtorp and Tånnö parishes.

In ArkivDigital, you can find these populations registers:

  • 1686-1820 (gaps exist) in Jönköping läns landskontor.
  • 1758-1861 (gaps exist) in Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi.

To search in the Jönköping läns landskontor archive using the English interface:

  • Go to ArkivDigital search.
  • Select advance options.
  • Select archive type, country office.
  • Select Jönköping läns landskontor.

To search in the Häradsskrivaren in Östbo fögderi archive using the English interface:

  • Go to ArkivDigital search.
  • Select advance options.
  • Select archive type, district registrar.
  • Select Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi.

voxtorpimage3Häradsskrivaren i Östbo fögderi FIa:25 (1850-1851) Image 2770 (AID: v299119.b2770, NAD: SE/VALA/01961) Link.

The image above is the population register for Värnamo in 1850 showing Alandsryd Skattegård.  Anders Jönsson (born 1800) and his wife (hustru) born 1805 together with Johan (born 1837), Isak (born 1844), Anna (born 1833), Stina (born 1840) and farmhand (dräng) Johan (born 1832) are shown as living in the first section of the farm listing.  Following is the  lodger(inhyses), Jöns (born 1767) and his wife (born 1785). Seeing that Anders last name is Jönsson, it is possible that the lodger, Jöns, and his wife are his parents.

One can’t conclude that this is correct without researching more records. Maybe it’s his father, but Jöns wife is probably not the mother because she would have been only 15 when Anders was born. Maybe Jöns remarried or it may be Anders wife’s parents or even someone completely different. More research is necessary before one can resolve the mystery.

Link to blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

4 Wives in 4 Years! What is the story?

Four wivesFjelie AI:5 (1826-1831) Image 185 / page 182 (AID: v109258.b185.s182, NAD: SE/LLA/13084) Link.

We previously posted a blog (previous blog entry) about Nils Nilsson from Fjelie parish who had four wives in four years as shown in the above household record image. We have received several questions asking what were the marriage dates and the causes of death for the deceased wives.

Below are the answers to the questions as well as the sources for the information.

Wife #1
Nils Nilsson married Sissa  Persdotter on the 26th of June 1825 and she died on the 26th of January 1827 from tuberculosis (lungsot).

Marriage Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 103 / page 193 (AID: v109307.b103.s193, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.
Death Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 144 / page 273 (AID: v109307.b144.s273, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.

Wife #2
Nils Nilsson married Anna Jönsdotter the 2nd of November 1827 and she died in child birth (barnsbörd) on the 10th of July 1828.

Marriage Source: Fjelie CI:2 (1780-1844) Image 171 / page 325 (AID: v109275.b171.s325, NAD: SE/LLA/13084) Link.
Death Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 145 / page 275 (AID: v109307.b145.s275, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.

Wife #3
Nils Nilsson married Estred Larsdotter on the 19th of February 1829 and she died from a miscarriage (missfall) on the 18th of January 1830.

Marriage Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 104 / page 195 (AID: v109307.b104.s195, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.
Death Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 146 / page 277 (AID: v109307.b146.s277, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.

Wife #4
Nils Nilsson married Kjerstena Christensdotter on the 1st of October 1830.

Marriage Source: Flädie CI:2 (1780-1861) Image 105 / page 197 (AID: v109307.b105.s197, NAD: SE/LLA/13091) Link.

Search for the death records.
You will notice that all the death records are in the parish of Flädie. Since the household record for 1826-1831 is recorded in Fjelie parish, one would usually look for the death record in Fjelie parish. When one searches for for the death records in Fjelie parish, one can’t find them.

When this occurs, one should look at the info box for the Fjelie parish and see if it belonged to a pastorat of multiple parishes. The pastorat is a geographical area that a minister has responsibility for within the Swedish Lutheran Church. The information may be recorded  in one of the other parishes within the pastorat.

infoboxFjelie

By looking at the info box as shown above, we see that Fjelie was an annex parish (annexförsamling) in Lomma, Fjälie (Fjelie) and Flädie pastorat.  By looking for death records in the Flädie parish archive, we find the death records. The family actually lives in Flädie parish but the household records between 1812-1831 for Flädie parish were written in the Fjelie parish household books.

Read more about Mother Parish and Annex Parishes (Moder- och annexförsamlingar).

ArkivDigital

Swedish Family Register (Svensk Slägtkalender)

familyregister imageSvensk Slägtkalender 13 (1905-1905) Image 47 / page 79 (AID: v773686.b47.s79, NAD: SE/SSK/13013) Link.

The Swedish Family Register (Svensk Slägtkalender) is available in ArkivDigital’s online library. This work comprising of 14 volumes includes family registers for approximately 1400 commoners or persons not belonging to the nobility. This series of books is often considered a standard genealogical work for commoners.

The first four volumes (1885-1888) have the title, Svensk Slägkalender, while the following volumes (1889-1908) are named, Svenska ättartal. This work was published by the archivist, Victor Örnberg (1839-1908) and is popularly referred to as Örnberg’s ättartal or just Örnberg.

You can find the Swedish Family Register (Svensk Slägtkalender) volumes in ArkivDigital in the archive, Svensk Slägtkalender.  You can search for these volumes by entering “Svensk Slägtkalender” in the search box and click search or you can select “advanced options” and search for personarkiv in the archive type selection. Volume 15 includes a name register for all 14 volumes.  Below is an image of the search window showing the archive and volumes.

SwedishFamilyRegisterSearch

The image at the top of page out of the thirteenth volume shows a register for the Carlström family.

Read the original article 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.

ArkivDigital

Army’s pension fund’s list of qualifications “Arméns pensionskassas meritband”

meritbandArméns pensionskassa: Överstyrelsen, Arméns pensionskassa  E5:60 (1817-1821) Image 6580 / page 635 (AID: v779034.b6580.s635, NAD: SE/KrA/0078A004Ö) Link.

Do you have a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in your ancestry who belonged to the Swedish army? Or do you have an interest in military history and would like to follow an officer’s career? If the answer is yes to either question, you may find the list of qualifications (meritband) in the Army Pension Archive (arméns pensionskassas överstyrelses arkiv) of great interest.

Both the officers and non-commissioned officers sent in merit and service lists to the pension fund (pensionskassan) continually throughout their military career.  These lists were banded together into a meritband or a list of qualifications.  Since an individual sent in several lists, you may find different qualification lists or meritband for the same person.

The meritband began in 1757 and there are now records up to 1883 in the Army Pension Archive (arméns pensionskassas överstyrelses arkiv) on ArkivDigital. You can search for these records in ArkivDigital by:

  • Select advanced options in the search window
  • Select archive type: military archives
  • Select arméns pensionskassas överstyrelses arkiv

You will find name indexes for these records in the volumes E5: 198-206.

The above image is an example of a document out of a meritband or a list of qualifications for Sergeant Gust. P. von Wulfschmidt. In the record, we see that his military career began in 1796 when he was accepted as a volunteer, in 1801 he was promoted to being responsible for the armory (rustmästare) and that in 1812 he became a sergeant. There is also information that he received orders for duty in Norway and on the Göta Canal.

In addition to the meritband, you can find military service documents in the archive “Meritförteckningar”. Here you will documents prior to 1757, from the 1600’s and forward. Beginning in 1757 the records in the archive “Meritförteckningar” and the meritband in the “arméns pensionskassas” archive complement each other.

Read the original article 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

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

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

Via Handelsaffär (A General Store) in Hackvad

ArkivDigital is much more than just church books. We have many types of records that can help you gain a better understanding of how your ancestor lived.  One interesting source is an accounts book for the general store (Via Handelsaffär) in Hackvad in Örebro county. In our online library, you will find an account book for the years 1882-1886. Karl Johan Nilsson, the shopkeeper of Via Handelsaffär, recorded the names of all who shopped at the store listing the items purchased and the amounts paid.  So, if you happen to have ancestors who lived near Hackvad at this time; you may have ancestors who shopped in this store.

Hackvad Journal

Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad Journal:1 (1882-1886) Image 80 / page 12 (AID: v785801.b80.s12)  Link

In the above image, we can see that the farmhand (drängen) Joh. Emil Carlsson purchased the following items on the 2nd of February 1883:

  • rakknif (shaver)
  • borste (brush)
  • tvål (soap)

On the 10th of February, he purchased 6 pairs of socks (par strumpor).

Also, you can find some pictures of Karl Johan Nilsson and Via Handelsaffär in the volume, Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad Historik:1.

You can find these volumes, by using the advanced search function in ArkivDigital online and selecting archive type, private archives.  Then select the archive, Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad.

ArkivDigital