Maggie Spetnagel 2014-03-08

Can we find birth records for my ancestors?

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Problem # 1. Sara Börjesdotter.

The problem is how to find her birth record. The starting point is the 1806-1815 Household Examination Record. It shows that she was born in 1757 Wexiö (Växjö), Kronobergs län. No birth date is given (Encl 1). Moving back one period we can see that she was born 1757-10-07. Here no birth place is given. At this time Sara and her husband, Samuel Nilsson, have six children (Encl 2). Further back we find that Sara´s birth date is confirmed. The family has moved in from Herresjö in 1792 (Encl 3).

There is no Sara Börjesdotter in the birth records for Växjö 1757. As Maggie has pointed out there is a Sara Börjesdotter b. 1758-10-22. Could she be the one we are looking for? “Our” Sara dies 1819-10-12 in Östra Torsås at the age of 62 (Encl 4). Given that she was born 1757-10-07 the age of 62 is correct. She would have turned 62 just 5 days before her death. On the other hand, if she was born 1758-10-22 she would have been only 60 when she died.

There are no HERs for the period 1730-1783 for Växjö so we cannot find Sara´s family there. Given that Sara´s oldest daughter, Ingrid, was born 1788 Sara should have been married 1787 or 1788. We find her marriage record as of 1787-06-24 in Växjö. At the time of the marriage she is a housemaid at Bräckanslöf (Encl 5). There are HERs covering 1787 for Växjö so maybe we can find Sara there? The Village index states that Bäckanslöv starts on p 156. There is no Sara Börjesdotter there. But there is a housemaid named Brita Börjesdotter, working for Jonas Börjesson and his wife Caisa Bengtsdotter. There are no birthdates or –years given for anyone of these three individuals. Is Brita actually Sara? Or is Brita a relative of Jonas? His sister? May be we can find Sara´s parents via Jonas? After all, Börjesson and Börjesdotter are not very common names (Encl 6).

Moving forward one period we find that Jonas Börjesson was born 1752. His wife was born 1751 (Encl 7). I could not find any Jonas Börjesson born 1752 in Växjö. But I did find one born in October 13, 1751. The father is Börje Broddesson, the same person who is the father of the Sara Börjesson b. 1758-10-22! (Encl 8).

Now I decided to go to DISBYT to see if anybody else has researched this family. I put in Jonas Börjesson and found a researcher named Katarina Holmertz. She has Jonas Börjesson and his parents, Börje Broddesson and Sara Månsdotter (Encl 9). So, are Jonas and Sara Börjesdotter siblings then? We now click on Börje Broddesson and now we can see that he was married three times and he had Sara with his third wife (Encl 10-12). Katarina does not know who Sara Börjesdotter´s mother is. Furthermore, Brita Börjesdotter, b. 1762 is Sara´s younger sister. Sara and Jonas is then half-siblings.

Katarina Holmertz also has Samuel Nilsson´s parents (Encl 13).

How can we know that we have found the correct Sara Börjesdotter? The fact that Katarina Holmertz thinks that she has found her is not evidence enough. Starting with Sara´s birth date which was stated as 1757-10-07 in at least two different HERs plus the fact that she cannot be found in the Växjö birth records 1757 indicates that either the birth dates are wrong in two different GERs or the birth parish (Växjö) is wrong in one HER (Växjö was mentioned in only one HER). However, she was married to Samuel Nilsson in Växjö 1787-06-24 so it is likely that she was born there.

It looks like the birth year for Jonas was also wrong in the HER so maybe we should not trust these HERs too much.

Katarina Holmertz may be one of Maggie´s distant cousins in Sweden and it should be interesting to see what would come out of a comparison between the two research efforts. What records have Katarina used?

There is also another person researching Sara Börjesdotter on DISBYT. His name is Alf Åberg. He has not drawn the same conclusions as Katarina Holmertz. He has Sara´s birth date as 1757 in Växjö. He seems to be a descendant from Sara´s daughter, Stina Samuelsdotter, but he may have done less research than Katarina (Encl 14).

So, what is the conclusion? I am not sure. There is not 100% proof that this Sara Börjesson, b. 1758, is the correct one. On the other hand there are so many coincidences that she may very well be the one we are looking for.

Problem # 2. Nils Wickell.

We find Nils with his family at Lilla Räppe in Bergqvara Rote, Bergunda. He has moved in 1787 from Kronoberg. He moves to Bergsnäs in Bergquara rote with his family 1790 (Encl 15). Before coming to Bergunda he works as a “Manserver” in Kronoberg, Växjö (Encl 16). At Bergsnäs they have 5 children at the end of 1799 (Encl 17).

While checking with DISBYT I found Maggie Spetnagel´s page on the parents of Annika Jonasdotter Berggren´s parents. It looks like their birth years are not known (Encl 18). However, they appear at the bottom of the page where Nils and his family is further up. Annika´s mother dies (Encl 19).

Without physically moving, the family is moved to another page with more free space inside the HER before the end of 1799. Still no birth parish is given for Nils Wickell (Encl 20). Also Annika´s parents (the father) are moved the same way (Encl 21). No birth parish is given for Nils Wickell during the next period either (Encl 22).

One question is whether Wickell is a soldier´s name. We have no records before Nils was a Manservant at Kronoberg 1784-1787 so we do not know what he did before 1784. I checked with the “Centrala Soldatregistret” via DIS and could not find him there. But I found several soldiers with the name Wickell. They seem to be all related to each other. The oldest is Anders Wickell b. 1797-01-10. He is not the son of Nils and we do not know if he is related to Nils. However, an interesting observation is that his family name is “Nilsson” (Encl 23). Anders Wickell enlisted in the parish Gårdsby in 1818 and was discharged in 1838 (Encl 24). His son, Anders Magnus Wickell enlisted several times from 1847 (Encl 23).

So, the conclusion is that we have not been able to find the birth record for Nils Wickell. It might be worthwhile to trace the Nils Larsson, b. 1758-01-22 in Växjö, forward to see if his name changes to Wickell. However, there are no HERs available between 1758 and 1783 so the tracing cannot be done.


Kjell S Andersson 2014-02-27



1 HER Östra Torsås AI:6 (1806-1815) Image 148 / page 138
2 HER Östra Torsås AI:5 (1799-1806) Image 91 / page 167
3 HER Östra Torsås AI:4 (1791-1799) Image 134 / page 253
4 DR Östra Torsås C:2 (1777-1833) Image 210 / page 411
5 MR Växjö C:2 (1765-1806) Image 407 / page 799
6 HER Växjö AI:2 (1784-1789) Image 87 / page 157
7 HER Växjö AI:3 (1789-1783) Image 102 / page 85
8 BR Växjö C:1 (1724-1765) Image 124 / page 239
9 DISBYT Katarina Holmertz
10 DISBYT Katarina Holmertz
11 DISBYT Katarina Holmertz
12 DISBYT Katarina Holmertz
13 DISBYT Katarina Holmertz
14 DISBYT Alf Åberg
15 HER Bergunda AI:3 (1788-1799) Image 115 / page 214
16 HER Växjö AI:2 (1784-1789) Image 262 / page 507
17 HER Bergunda AI:3 (1788-1799) Image 118 / page 220
18 DISBYT Maggie Spetnagel
19 HER Bergunda AI:3 (1788-1799) Image 118 / page 220. Lower part of the page
20 HER Bergunda AI:3 (1788-1799) Image 146 / page 276
21 D:o. Lower part of the page
22 HER Bergunda AI:4 (1799-1811) Image 129 / page 119
23 Centrala Soldatregistred. Wickell soldiers
24 Centrala Soldatregistret. Anders Wickell