Household record search and reading example

In a previous blog, we searched for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter who was born on the 13th of July 1841 in Västra Torsås parish in Kronoberg county.  In the birth record, we discovered her parents were Anders Nilsson and Ingrid Magnisdotter and that they resided at a place in the parish named Långasten.

Today, we will search for the family in the household records. Each pastor was required to take a yearly accounting of all members in his parish and test them for their religious understanding. In order to do this accounting, the minister made lists of all the people living in the parish, household by household. These records were kept in large books and each volume covers a series of years.  The number of years vary by parish and time. Many of these books begin in the late 1700’s but they do exist earlier for some parishes. By using the household records and congregation books, one can often trace a person from birth to death or birth to emigration.

search for household record

To search for the household records for 1841:

  • Return to the archive for Västra Torsås as shown in the above image.
  • Search for a household records volume that includes 1841.
  • Highlight the book Västra Torsås AI:6 1840-1847.
  • Double click and open the book.
  • Look for a place name index (ortsregister). This is usually in the front of the book but sometimes is in the back. Not all household records books have an index. In those cases you will need to page through the book to locate the place.

place name indexVästra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 8 (AID: v21256.b8, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

  • Search for the Elin’s residence, Långasten, in the place name index and you see that the records for this place begin on page 396 and 401 as shown in the above image.
  • Go to page 396 and begin your search for the family.

household imageVästra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 409 / page 396 (AID: v21256.b409.s396, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

You will find the family on page 396. In the first column on the top line is the place name, No. 69 Långasten. The first column shows the family member names living in the household during the period the book covers.

The major column headings on this household record are:

  • Födelse  –  Birth
  • Flyttningar – Moving (Moves in and out)
  • Läser  –   Read
  • Nattvardsgång -  Communion
  • Husförhör – Household examination
  • Omständigheter – Special circumstances or special remarks

Under the birth (födelse) column you will see the sub-columns, dag, år and ort which respectively mean day, year and place. In these columns, you will find the birth dates and birth places for each member of the household. In this case you notice that only the birth year is shown for the father while complete birth dates are shown for the rest of the family.

Below is a list of all the household members’ names and birth dates:

Name                                      Birth Date
B. M. Anders Nilssson           1798  (B. is an abbreviation for bonde or famer; M. – husband)
H. Ingjerd Magnisdotter      13 April 1797 (H. is an abbreviation for hustru or wife)
o ä D. Stina Johansdotter     11 March 1820 (Ingjerd’s illegitimate daughter)
o ä S. Magus Olsson               28 April 1845 (Stina’s illegitimate son)
S. Nils Andersson                     7 November 1827 (S. is the abbreviation for son)
D. Ingrid                                  28 January 1830 (D. is the abbreviation for daughter)
D. Catherina                            24 December 1838
D. Elin                                       13 July 1841

Usually, you will find the name of the parish in the birth place column. Sometimes, it will be a village name or sometimes the county name or a country. But in most cases, it is the parish name. In this case there is no entry and that usually but not always means the birth was recorded in the same parish as the household record so in this case, Västra Torsås. We do know that is true for Elin’s birth record. To search for the birth records for other members in the family, we should first look for their birth records in Västra Torsås.

The moving in and moving out columns (flyttningar) are very important columns. The columns indicate if the person has moved into or out of this place during the period the household records book covers or in this case 1840-1847.  The moving in columns include the year (år) and from location (ifrån) and the moving to columns are year (år) and to place (till).

You will notice that there is an entry in the moving to column for Stina Johansdotter and her son Magnus Olsson. It states that they moved to a place that is shown on page 373 in the same book in 1848. Also, you will note their names are crossed out. A cross out indicates a person has moved or died.  In order to find them at their new residence, go to page 373 in the same book. You will find them at the following reference in ArkivDigital:  Västra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 386 / page 373 (AID: v21256.b386.s373, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

There are no entries in the moving in or moving out columns for the other members of the household. Since there are no notations of a move, we can assume that they lived in the same place, No. 69 Långasten, in the previous household records book and in the subsequent one.  We can trace the family both backwards and forward by looking for the place, Långasten, in the place name index in the previous and subsequent household records books and look for the family in the same manner as we did in this book.

The last column, Omständigheter or special circumstances, can offer some additional information about your ancestor. In this case, you will see the following noted for Stina Johansdotter:

Transcription
Lysn. d. 6/5 48  med Torp. Jöns Svensson

Translation
Banns of marriage date 6 of May 1848 for marriage with Torpare (Crofter) Jöns Svensson

Click here for more information about household records plus a record example in the Swedish genealogy section of our website.

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