Residence: a Study in Swedish Records

By | September 30, 2014
Editor – Our guest blogger today is Blake Christensen. Blake works as a computer programmer in Kansas. His wife is a professional genealogist. He claims that not much of her expertise has rubbed off on him, but he tries.

Evidentia comes with many claim types. One of the claim types is ‘Residence’. Why do a residence study? Most genealogy sources are location based, so knowing where your ancestor lived is essential to discovering information about him.

I recently performed a residence study for one my relations. Anna Katrina is the sister of my great, great, great grandfather from Sweden.

Swedish research is blessed with an (over) abundance of records. In addition to birth (or baptism), death, and marriage records, there are also move in and move out records as well as household records that contain running accounting of everyone living in a parish. These records are created in the Parish and are contained in books with each book spanning several years.

The Swedish state archive website (ArkivDigital) contains high resolution color images of these Parish books.

What did I know?

I knew some things about Anna Katrina from records I received from my relatives, but there is much I didn’t know. The following table summarizes what I knew about her residences.

When Where (Parish) What
19 Jan 1821 Träslöv Birth
20 Nov 1837 Varberg Move In
1838 Lindberg Move In
31 Dec 1842 Lindberg Birth of Son
2 Nov 1843 Lindberg Marriage
3 Nov 1843 Fagared Move Out (Lindberg)
1839-1845 Lindberg Household
1845-1853 Lindberg Household

I also knew some information about her mother, grandparents and that her siblings moved to Denmark in about 1856. In addition, I knew the name of her spouse, Johan Hendric Petersson of Fagared, and her son Johan Bernard Johansson.

As you can see there are gaps in the chronology and some conflicting information. Nothing is shown of her life after birth until age 16. There is nothing about her after age 32. In 1843 she is shown both as moving out of Lindberg and living in Lindberg.

Lindberg-AI-6-1845-1852-Image-67-page-62
Like a typical inexperienced genealogist. I decided to start my search with the last information that I had. I searched in the next book of household records for Lindberg Parsh (1853-1856). I found a record for her with a note that she moved to Kvibille. I searched some Kvibille records (move in and household) but did not find her. I next spent some time looking for her husband in Fagared. No luck. I then looked in later Lindberg records to see if she moved back. Still no luck.

I didn’t make any more progress until I went back and examined the records I already had and made sure that I knew what information was there. This is about the time I started entering information into Evidentia. I also went through and made sure I had household and move in and out records for the time periods where I already knew Anna Katrina’s location.

Swedish Towns and Parishes2

Somewhere in this process, I found that Anna Katrina had moved into Lindberg from Sollefteå. I don’t remember if I found the move information in the household record or the ‘move in’ record first. Both records are valuable in that they were written at the time by someone who would likely have spoken with Anna Katrina. I could tell it was her since the birth date was the one that has always been used on her official records and her husband’s name was listed as well as her birth place. This was a breakthrough. I searched in Sollefteå, found Anna Katrina, her husband and another child. I used a time-line/table to make sure I knew where the gaps in my information were and I used Evidentia to make sure I extracted and analyzed all the information that would be useful.

What I now know:

Location Year Event
Träslöv  1821 Birth
Träslöv 1823-1827 Anders Olsson household
Träslöv 1827 [household] Move out  (to Warberg)
Varberg  1827-1831 and 31-32  Lars Svensson Household
Träslöv 1833-1835 Lars Svennson household
Träslöv 1837 Move out  (to Warberg)
Varberg 1837 Move in (from Träslöv)  [Not her?]
Lindberg 1838 Move in (from Varberg?)
Lindberg 1842-1843 Lars Svensson household
Lindberg 1842 Birth of son
Lindberg 1843 Marriage
1843 Move out (to Fagared)
Sollefteå  1843-47 Johan Hendr Petersson Household
Lindberg 1851 Move in (from Sollefteå)
Lindberg 1851-1852 own household
Lindberg 1853-1856 own household
Lindberg 1856 Move out (to Kvibille [Did not find arrival])

What did I learn from this experience?

Building a table or time line was very useful. It made it very apparent where knowledge gaps where.

It is worthwhile to be disciplined in going over and recording the information in the sources found. Evidentia is designed to help with that process.

The residence study is still ongoing. Going forward I should record the searches performed with negative results. It may also be useful to record information on the location of some of her siblings. It seems most likely that she would return to a place she has already been, or go where her siblings or spouse are living.