Linda Gensmer 2015-05-09

How can I find my ancestor in military records? How can I use Svenska Gods och Gårdar to find places in Sweden?

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First, let´s try to finally define what Johan Georg Hök really did. A “Befallninsman” normally is some kind of “Manager” e.g. a foreman on a bigger farm. He is not a tax collector. That would be a “Uppbördsman” or “Skattmas”. In Maria Lundahl´s estate records Johan Georg Hök consistently has the title “Kronobefallningsman”. The key here is the word “Krono”.

I found this communication on the message board “Anbytarformum” in 2007:

Frälsefogde, a nobleman’s estate steward
Kronobefallningsman, Bailiff of the Crown (i.e. the state)

Do you know what the duties of an estate steward and bailiff of the crown would be about 1730?
Ingela thank you for the definitions.

Well, a frälsefogde certainly wouldn’t go out and do any manual labour. He would be like a CEO of a company, with the owner the chairman of the board; the owner would set the policies and the steward would see to it that this was carried out. Like any great estate in Europe there would be a home farm that delivered produce to be consumed by the owner, his family and servants; the home farm could be run directly by the steward (smaller estate) or by one of his underlings, with estate labourers to do the actual manual work. The rest of the estate was probably mostly worked by long-term hereditary (long-term hereditary leases could also be bought and sold) farmer tenants , åbor, with perhaps some short-term leasers, (landbor, mixed in. It was the steward’s job to see to it that these tenants payed their leases on time, and also in other respects adhered to the lease. Leases to crofters (torpare – but these were not so common in the early 18th century as a century later) were usually paid by the crofter and his family working a certain number of days at the estate, and the estate steward of course had to see to it that they did the number of days they were supposed to do, as well as plan what they were to do.

Kronobefallningsman was the state’s representative for taxes and also the local police force; he was the one who saw to it that a court order was really executed. He was a sort of general “keeper of the peace” because he was the person to contact in all cases of emergencies, from fires to foundering ships and epidemics.
Today we have different departments within the state’s administration of townships: in those days it was just the one guy. Not that he generally did any of the actual manual labour himself, he directed it.

But please note: a kronobefallningsman was not hired by the parish or the townships, he was the state administration. The parish was e.g. responsible for caring for its poor – but it was the job of the kronobefallningsman to check that they really did so.

So, another job of the “managing director”-type.

During the 17th century (though starting in the early 16th century with king Gustaf I (“Gustaf Wasa”)) Sweden introduced a very efficient administration that remained virtually unchanged until about 1870; great reforms were introduced from the 1840’s and they were all in place by around 1870. So there was not a whole lot of difference beween e.g. 1680 and 1830 from an administrative point of view. The titles changed somewhat, a kronobefallningsman was by the end of the 19th century mostly (but not everywhere) called a kronofogde.


So, I think we now can put to rest the question about what Johan Georg really did.

Now, let´s move to the question about whether he also was a soldier. We already know that he lived in Härna when Maria Lundahl died in 1764. This is also where his children were born, like Laurentina in 1755. According to Maria Lundahl´s probate record she had the daughter Britta Elisabeth Smedmarck in her first marriage. In her second marriage with Johan Georg Hök she had the following children:

Anna Sophia
Merta Greta
Maria Christina
Bengt Gustaf

You already know that Maria Cristina was born 1753-06-24, Laurentina 1755-03-16 and Johanna 1760-05-13. All in Härna. I checked if they had any other children between 1735 and 1753 in Härna. I found none. They may have lived at another parish. In 1764-11-05 they had a child whose name is impossible to read. However, the most prominent baptism witness is a Captain and Knight Liljehök together with his son, Bengt Liljehök (Encl 5).

Since we know that they lived in Härna between 1753 and 1764 (when Maria died) we can now figure out if Johan Georg Hök was a soldier at any time during this period.

The Grill database shows that there was an officer living in Härna with Captain´s rank and being in charge of the N:o 4. Ås Company (Encl 6). There were also two soldiers with the numbers 74 and 75 in Härna. Both belonged to the N:o 4, Ås Company in Älvsborgs Regiment (Encl 7).

Grill does not tell during which period we may find these soldiers. So we have to choose a period during which we are pretty sure Johan Georg Hök lived in Härna. We choose 1758-1761 (Encl 8). The Company Index in this book shows that Company N:4 is called “Captain Liljehök´s Company”. That looks promising since two of his children´s baptism witnesses had the name Liljehök (Encl 9).

We find the Company on p 87 in the General Muster Roll. And it shows that the Knight and Captain Bengt Liljehök is in charge of the Company. But this page also says that this Company is commandet to serve in Pommern at the time of this Muster, i.e. December 18, 1758 (Encl 10).

The soldier numbers start on 601. I looked through all the soldiers in this company without finding anyone with the name Hök. Particularly, I looked at the soldiers #74 and #75 i.e. #674 and #675. They did not have the surname Hök (Encl 11).

I do not think that Johan Georg was a soldier. When his child was baptized in 1764 Captain Liljehök was one of the witnesses. If Johan Georg had been a soldier he would not have had a Captain as a witness for his child´s baptism. Society did not work that way then.

Finding Places

You wanted to find a lot of different farms where your ancestors lived and hoped to be able to find out who the owners were during the 1700´s. That latter part is not possible. The information goes back to the late 1800´s except in very rare situations where nobility or royalty was involved.

Using the database Svenska Gods och Gårdar I have found the following places:

Älvsborgs län #46 Länghem ( p 356>): Torpa (p 378) (Encl 12)
Hofsnäs (p 364) (Encl 13)
Enet (p 359) (Encl 14)
#28 Härna ( p 302>): Törsås ( p 306) (Encl 15)
Jönköpings Öa #25 Gränna ( p 373>): Sanden (p 397) (Encl 16)
Tykavik (p 400) (Encl 17)
Stora Roten ( p 396) (Encl 18)
Reaby Torbjörnsgården 4 (p 396) (Encl 18)
Ravelsmark (p 395) (Encl 19)
Östanå Säteri ( p 408) (Encl 20)
Linderås ( p712>): Låckarp (p 730) (Encl 21)
Sjöarp (p737) (Encl 22)
Vippesjö (p743-744) (Encl 23-24)
Botorp (p 713) (Encl 25)
Göberga (p 723) (Encl 26)

As you have seen there are three places I did not find: Bredstorp in Härna, Väby Västergården in Hällstad and Ljungstorp in Södra Vånga. There is another database on the Fika Netbook: ”Sveriges bebyggelse”. May be they can be found there.


Kjell S Andersson 2015-05-07

1 Introduction
2 BR Härna 1753. Maria Christina Hök
3 BR Härna 1755. Laurentina Hök
4 BR Härna 1760. Johanna Hök
5 BR Härna 1764. ????? Hök
6 Grill. Officers home in Härna
7 Grill. Soldiers´cottages in Härna
8 General Muster Rolls for Älvsborg´s Regiment. Index
9 Ditto. Company index
10 Dito. Introduction to Liljehöks Company
11 Liljehök´s Company. Soldiers 674 and 675.
12 Torpa
13 Hofsnäs
14 Enet
15 Törsås
16 Sanden
17 Tykavik
18 Stora Roten och Reaby Torbjörnsgården
19 Ravelsmark
20 Östanå Säteri
21 Låckarp
22 Sjöarp
23 Vippesjö
24 Vippesjö
25 Botorp
26 Göberga