Birth Record Reading Example

frossa birth recordForssa (D) C:1 (1682-1798) Image 59 / page 95 (AID: v55123.b59.s95, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Today, we will present a lesson in reading a birth record in the 1700’s. The above record is a birth record from 1762 in Forssa parish in Södermanland county. For many experienced researchers, this may appear to be clear and easy to read but for many new researchers this record may seem intimidating.

When looking at the birth records and the same can be said for marriage and death records one needs to become familiar with the minister’s format style for the record. In this case the minister has chosen the following format:

  1. Birth month
  2. Birth day
  3. Baptismal day
  4. Names of parents
  5. Name of the place of residence in the parish (e.g. farm, village, estate)
  6. Child’s Name
  7. Names of baptismal witnesses
  8. Entry number

In this case the child was born on the 12th of July 1762 and baptized on the 18th of July 1762. We know the year is 1762 because that is noted on the top of the page.

The minister has written the names of the parents: Per Andersson, h. Carin Persdotter. The abbreviation “h” is short for hustru or wife.

The place in the parish where the family lives is Stavsjöstugan. If you have difficulty in transcribing the place of residence, check to see if there is household book for that period and look in the place name index for a place that looks similar.

You will need the place name in the birth book to find the family in the household book. Below is the place name index for the corresponding household book You can see in the index at the bottom of the page that the household records for Stavsjöstugan begin on page 61. You will go to page 61 and then begin to look for the family.

The child’s name is Carin.

The names of the baptismal witnesses as written: Per Bengtsson i Spånga, dr. Carl Ericsson i Stavsjöstugan, hust. Maria Lars dtr i Spånga, pig. Cherstin Pers dtr ibidem.

The following abbreviations were used in recording the names of the witnesses:

  • i – in, at
  • dräng - farmhand
  • hust. –  abbreviation for hustru or wife
  • pig. – abbreviation for piga or maid
  • dtr – Often you will see “dtr” as an abbreviation for dotter or daughter in the name. The full names in this case are Maria Larsdotter and Cherstin Persdotter.
  • ibidem – Latin term meaning the same

The entry number 10 states that this was the 10th birth entry for the year.

You can see that one really doesn’t need to know Swedish to read the record. The record is primarily a table of names, dates and places. Yes, there are a few Swedish words but these words are used repeatedly in the church books so one just needs to become familiar with a few Swedish words to become comfortable reading the records.

ort name indexForssa (D) AI:2 (1757-1766) Image 5 (AID: v55102.b5, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Click here for more birth record reading examples.

ArkivDigital

Stockholm Folk Register Cards (1926-1939)

Folkregister

If you are researching in Stockholm city during the period of 1926-1939, you will find the Stockholm Folk Register Cards helpful. You will find one set of cards for the recorded deaths in Stockholm and another set of cards showing movement (utflyttade). These records are found in the archive, “Överståthållarämbetet, Skatteverket, Mantalsavdelningen, Folkregisterkort (ÖÄ)”

You can search for the records in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  • Go to ArkivDigital Online.
  • Open search window.
  • Click on advanced search.
  • Select Stockholms stad.
  • Select Överståthållarämbetet, Skatteverket, Mantalsavdelningen, Folkregisterkort (ÖÄ).
  • Or you can enter “folkregister” in the search box and search.

These cards are organized alphabetically for the entire city of Stockholm. You do not need to know the parish where the person lived. However, the sorting is by phonetic spelling. For example both Carlsson’s and Karlsson’s are included in the K’s.

The death cards can be used as a type of person register for the death books. On the front side, you will find the deceased person’s death date, birth date and birth place. On the back side of the card you will find the address where the person lived at the time of his death.

The cards showing the movement of persons are also interesting. The example images below show both sides of the card. The front side of the card shows the head of the household, his wife and child with their birth dates and birth parish. The back side of the card shows the date they moved and the parish where they moved to along with the address.

utfllytade1(Front side) Överståthållarämbetet, Skatteverket, Mantalsavdelningen, Folkregisterkort (ÖÄ) DVa2:1 (1926-1939) Image 490 (AID: v644688.b490, NAD: SE/SSA/6046) Link.

utflyttade2(Back side) Överståthållarämbetet, Skatteverket, Mantalsavdelningen, Folkregisterkort (ÖÄ) DVa2:1 (1926-1939) Image 500 (AID: v644688.b500, NAD: SE/SSA/6046) Link.

Read more about the Stockholm city folk register cards here.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Rosenstein and his Wife 1803

manskog drawingMangskog AI:6 (1786-1789) Image 84 / page 97 (AID: v12112.b84.s97, NAD: SE/VA/13359) Link.

The household examination records are a treasure for the Swedish researcher. These records were updated yearly and contain much detail about each household member. Using the household records along with other church book records, one can often trace a person’s whereabouts from birth to death or birth to emigration.

But occasionally as you browse through a book, you may be surprised to see a drawing or an image that will cause you to smile or even laugh.  Above is an image in the Mangskog household book (1786-1789) titled, “Rosenstein och hans Fru 1803” or “Rosenstein and his wife 1803”.

One wonders why the minister drew the picture of this couple or maybe his children found the book and made the drawings. You will find more delightful drawings in this book. Take a look on the following pages: 9, 12, 21, 42, 49, 61, 78, 135, 146 and finally the horses on page 152.

See blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Four wives in 4 years

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

A household record usually covers a period of 5 to 10 years. In the household book for Fjelie parish in Malmöhus county, we see that Nils Nilsson had four wives between 1826 and 1831. See above image.

Tenant Farmer (Arr. or Arrendator): Nils Nilsson, born 23rd August 1795 in Fjelie.
Wife (Hustru) Sissa Pehrsdotter, born 23rd April 1803 in Flädie. Died 26th  January 1827.
Wife (Hustru) Anna Jönsdotter born 18th April 1803 in Önnerup. Died 10th July 1828.
Wife (Hustru) Estred Larsdotter, born 27th March 1805 in Flädie. Died 18th January 1830.
Son Nils, born 10th July 1828 in Flädie.
Daughter Elna, born 11th March 1826 in Flädie. Died 11th June 1827.
Wife (Hustru) Kjerstena Christensdotter, born 3rd December 1808 in Flädie.
Daughter Sissa, born 13th August 1831 in Flädie.

Read entry 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