What does the abbreviation “E.M.” mean?

While the death record layout in the church books is fairly standardized after the mid- nineteenth century, there are often notes or abbreviations in the remarks section that you don’t see in every parish book. One example is in the death record for Erik Beder Johansson who died on January 25, 1921 in Ronneby parish in Blekinge county. In the special remarks column (särskilda anteckningar), there is a notation “E. m. född 1891”. The question is, “What does the abbreviation, “E.m.” mean? Also, many of the other death records in this parish have the same abbreviation in the remarks column.

em remarksRonneby (K) FI:9 (1912-1930) Image 1550 / Page 416 (AID: v115658a.b1550.s416, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

The abbreviation, “E.m.” stands for “Efterlevande Make/Maka” or surviving spouse or in this case it means that the deceased’s surviving spouse was born in 1891.

You can find an English translation of the column headings by clicking here.

The contents in the above death record are:

  • Entry # – 11
  • Death date – January 25
  • Sex – Male
  • Deceased’s Occupation, Name and Residence – Bruksarbetare (Foundry man or mill worker) Erik Beder Johansson at N. 2 Häggatorp
  • Deceased’s birth date – 2 May 1892
  • Marital Status – Married
  • Cross-reference to page in congregation book – (page #) 993
  • Cause of death – Lungsot (Tuberculosis)
  • Burial date – January 30th
  • Special remarks – (E.m. född 1891) Surviving spouse born in 1891

You can find more information about the family on page 993 in the corresponding congregation book. Return to the archive for Ronneby and search for the congregation book that includes records for the year 1921 and go to page 993. There you will find a notation of Erik Beder Johansson’s death and also that his spouse, Lilly Sofia Olsson’s birth date is noted as the 28th of June 1891. The household record is shown below.

Em household recordRonneby (K) AIIb:14 (1910-1926) Image 990 / Page 993 (AID: v115633b.b990.s993, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

Click here to read more information about Swedish church books.

ArkivDigital

Newspaper clipping in the household record

newspaper clippingJung AI:14 (1892-1899) Image 119 / page 109a (AID: v11092.b119.s109a, NAD: SE/GLA/13260)  Link.

If one happens to browse in the household record volume Jung AI: 14, you may be surprised to see a pasted newspaper clipping on a page. Think about this, if all the priests had the sense to do the same, it would have saved much time for additional searching to satisfy’s one curiosity about a crime an individual committed.

The image above shows Olof Andersson living in Kartegården, born on the 16th of October 1848 in Skarstad parish. In the special remarks column, the following notes were written.

Häktad för bedrägeri 1895. Prestbetyg 1896 1/10 sändt till kronolänsmannen. Dömd 1895 till straffarbete. Förlust af medborgerl. förtroende f. alltid.
Undergått straffarbete för bedrägeri och mened i 3 år från d.8/5 95-8/5 98. Medborgerligt förtroende för alltid förlustig.

Arrested for fraud in 1895. Vicar’s certificate sent to the sheriff on the 1st of October 1896. Sentenced in 1895 to hard labor. Loss of civic trust forever.
Sentenced to hard labor for fraud and perjury for 3 years from the 8th of May 1895 to the 8th of May 1898. Civic trust lost forever.

Usually there are some detailed notes in the household records when someone has committed a crime. But in this case the priest has also pasted in a newspaper article about Olof and his deceitful behavior. The article provides more background and ends with Olof being sentenced to five years hard labor. But there is a second article that states Olof appealed to the Court of Appeals where he was acquitted of the fraud but found guilty of perjury and sentenced to three years of hard labor and perpetual loss of civic trust instead.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

What is the cause of death?

parasitedeath recordKiaby FI:1 (1861-1879) Image 4 / page 3 (AID: v99958.b4.s3, NAD: SE/LLA/13205)  Link.

Often the minister recorded the cause of death in the death book, but we must remember that the ministers were not medically trained. Frequently, it was a symptom which was recorded as the cause of death.

In the above image, entry number 3 is for the widow, Nilla Månsdotter, who died on February 15, 1862 in Kiaby parish at the age of 77 years, 4 months and 15 days. She was buried on the 23rd of February. No cause of death was recorded in the cause of death column but the minister wrote the following notation in the special remarks column, “Behäfted med svårata ohyra i magen” or “infected with abdominal parasites”.

Click here to view a death record example with column heading translations.

Link to the blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital