Jean Adams 2016-02-13

What happened to Zachris Öman? Family legend says he died at sea at age 19, but he seems to appear in other records at age 33 and 42.  Tools used were ArkivDigital (Household Examination and Estate Inventory records).


Here is what Jean sent to me:

I’m trying to find out what happens to Olof’s half brother Zachris Öman. The family stories say he went to sea and died about age 19. Contrary to those stories I have found him in the household records (1872-1881) which make his age between 33 and 42. He and any children are not mentioned in Olof’s estate inventory whereas the other two half brothers are. I tried Gotland seamen house records and didn’t find him. I also tried Stockholm seamen house and didn’t find him. I went to Fika and looked at databases there and didn’t find him. One of your guides on SGSC website has instructions for searching a CD for seamen houses (including Visby) but I didn’t find that database at Fika.

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Zachris is born 1839-12-25 in Öja. He is confirmed 1855-05-27 in Öja. 1857-02-25 documents are sent to the seaman-house indicating that he becomes a seaman at this time. Nothing is said about which seamanhouse he joins. Therefore we have to assume that it is Visby seamanhouse which is the closest. He lives with his father, Lars Larsson Öman, b. 1802-02-10 in Öja and his stepmother, Dorothea Olofsdotter, b. 1817-12-07 in Öja. Dorothea is Lars Larsson Öman´s second wife. They have married 1840.

Zahris has two brothers, Lars, b. 1830-04-19 in Öja, and Adam, b. 1832-10-29 in Öja. Lars moves to Siffride in 1850 and Adam moves to the same place in 1854. Zachris also have three half-brothers, Olof, b. 1841-05-27 in Öja, Gabriel, b. 1843-12-17 in Öja and Jacob, b. 1845-04-13 in Öja. And he has three half-sisters, one of which dies in 1848, two weeks old. Zachris participates in the Household examination for all the years 1850-1856. During 1856 he even did partake of the Communion which was the first time he was allowed to after being confirmed in 1856 (Encl 2).

1858-04-06 the parish sends further documents to Stockholm regarding age and good standing for Zachris. This indicates that he may have joined a seamans house in Stockholm at this time or that he intends to move to Stockholm. Lars comes back from Siffiride in 1859. He does not participate in any Household Examination during 1857-1861 but everybody else in the family does. This shows that he had left home before the first Household Examination happened during 1857 (Encl 3).

During the next period we can see the following comments in the commentary field: “Vistats utrikes I flera år” i.e. “Has been abroad for several years” and “äger 1/24 mtl vid Siffride I Öja” i.e. “Owns 1/24 mtl at Siffride in Öja”. For the first time his title is “sjöman” i.e. “Seaman”. It is obvious that he has not lived in Öja during the period 1862-1872. At the end of 1865 he is moved to p 474 (Encl 4).

P 474 is a place at the end of the book to which persons, mainly seamen, who have been away for years are moved. At the top of the page we can see the following text: “Nedanskrifne personer som icke på länge vistats inom Öja Församling, och hvilkas vistelseort icke är bekant, äro på grund av Kungl. Cirkuläret d. 20 Jan. 1865, från Förhörslängden hit öfverflyttade” i.e. ”The persons listed below, who have not lived in the Öja Parish for a long time, and whose addresses are unknown, are moved to this page from the Household examination page according to the Royal Decree of Jan 20, 1865” (Encl 5).

During the next period (1872-1881) Zachris is still at the same place, at the end of the book, together with a number of seamen whose whereabaouts are not known to the parish (Encl 6).

I could not find him in any book at the seamanhouses in Visby and Stockholm. He may have enlisted at another seamhouse but there are many to choose from…..

I also checked with the “Escaped seamen” database in Emigranten Populär without success. Same result with Emibas, Emihamn and DISBYT.

His brothers moved to Siffride and we also saw that Zachris is the owner of 1/24 mtl in Siffride. Therefore I think we should investigate that place. Siffride is another place in Öja.

Lars Öman and Adam Öman both moves to this place and when the former owner, Adam Adamsson, dies in 1862-12-22 they become owners of 1/24 mtl each which is one third of the homestead since the size of it is 1/8 mtl. So this is the place where also Zachris became an owner of 1/24 mtl. Lars and Adam marries and have children at Siffride.

Their younger half brother, Jacob, moves in and works for them as a farmhand between 1866 and 1868. He did not become the owner of any part of this homestead (Encl 7-8).

Going back to the previous period (1833-1840) we find Lars Larsson Öman´s first wife (Encl 9):

Fredrika Adamsdotter b. 1806-10-04 d. 1839-12-30

She obviously died five days after her son Zachris was born.

Fredrika moved to Petes from Siffride in 1829 and she married Lars Larsson Öman 1830-01-08 (Encl 10). Anna Brita Fredrika is the sister of Adam Adamsson who becomes the Head of Household of 1/8 mtl Siffride in 1830 (Encl 11).

In 1833 Adam Adamsson is the owner of 1/8 mtl Siffride. He has no family but his parents are still alive (Encl 12). He is still single in 1847 (Encl 13). And in 1859 (Encl 14). And in 1862 (Encl 15). He dies 1862-12-22. His parents are dead. The only heir would be his sister Anna Brita Fredrika. But she died 1839 and therefore her three children i.e. Lars Larsson Öman´s children in his first marriage would inherit one third of the homestead each i.e. 1/24 mtl. We can see that that is exactly what happened. The fact that they inherited one third rather than one half indicates that either they knew that Zachris was alive or at least there was no information available that he was dead (Encl 16).

An Estate Inventory was taken on Jan 8, 1863 and here is what page 1 and 2 says (Encl 17-18):

Registered at the 1863 Winter Court proceedings

Year 1863, on the 8th of January, an Estate inventory was taken after the Homestead owner Adam Adamsson, Siffride, Öja, who died on the 22nd of last month at the age of 68 years, was unmarried and leaves behind, as his closest heirs, the sons of his late sister, Anna Brita Adamsdotter in her marriage with the Homestead owner Lars Öman, Petes, Öja, leaving behind three sons,

Lars b. 1830 and married to Brita Chatarina Södergren and living at Siffride,
Adam b. 1833, now working for the Tradesman E.G. Beckström and
Zackarias b. 1840, at present on a foreign sea trip.

Lars and Adam were personally present while Zackarias was represented by his legal guardian, the Father Lars Öman.

As part of the estate a Title document as of Feb 11th, 1841 was shown. It showed that the deceased, as part of an agreement June 10th, 1830, had received from the parents, against a commitment to provide room and board for them for the rest of their lives, and also by compensating his sister and her husband, Anna Brita Adamson and Lars Öman, the property 1/8 mtl Siffride in Öja and 1/8 mtl Fredsarfve in Vamlingbo parish. These properties were still owned by the deceased at the time of his death.

According to court minutes as of March 10, 1848 the deceased was, at the time of his death, an appointed Guardian for the son, Adam Edward, of the Master Pilot Adam Laurentius Holmberg in Vamlingbo parish. The estate owners suggests that the Homestead owner Lars Rondahl Sandqvie in Öja is appointed as the new Guardian.

The Master Pilot Gert Holmberg showed a registered Lien as of Jan 26, 1862 in which the District Court had accepted a lien on the Siffride homestead for the Master Pilot Holmerg and his heirs as security for a piece of land they had inherited from the Siffride homestead.

When this had been added to the Minutes then Lars Öman and his wife Brita Catharina Södergren specified the value of the estate as follows:

Real estate

1/8 mtl Siffride according to the latest property tax value 4,500
1/8 mtl Fredarfve according to the latest property tax value 2,000 6,500
Cash 362
Etc, etc (Encl 18-26).
Total assets 8,850
Liabilities ca 700

Given that Zachris´s father, Lars Larsson Öman, was present at the Estate inventory process in January 1863 indicates that nobody had any reason to believe that Zachris was not alive at that point in time.

I then tried to find Lars or Adam in the “Gotlands södra häradsrätt” 1863 to see if anyone of them had received the title to some property. I looked at the first 300 pages without success. However, it was quite common to wait a long time with asking for a title for received real estate. So, there is no way to know where to look except going through all the books from 1863 (Encl 27).

Then I thought it would be interesting to see if the ownership that Lars and Adam has changes over time. If for some reason they would both own 1/16 mtl instead of 1/24 mtl that could indicate that they had been informed about the death of Zachris.

Lars is still owning 1/24 mtl at Siffride during the period 1872-1881 (Encl 28). Adam is also owning 1/24 mtl at Siffride during this period (Encl 29).

In 1881 Lars´s ownership has changed to 1/16 mtl (Encl 30). This could mean

  1. That there is info about Zachris´s death or
  2. That Adam no longer is an owner and therefore Lars is owning 50%

Adam is living at another place called Siffride Grund in 1881. It looks like he is no longer a part owner of Siffride and in 1883 he moves to Vamlingbo with his family. This supports alternative B above. But did Adam take care of the place Fredarfve in Vamlånge? Its valued at around half of Siffride so it would make sense that Adam could have Fredarfve while Lars and Zachris could share Siffride (Encl 31).

So where did Adam go in Vamlinge? He moves to p 20 in Vamlinge (Encl 32). This place is called Austre and here Adam is a Tradesman (Encl 33). The family can be found at the same place during the next period (1891-1894). It looks like he is the owner of 3/16 mtl of something even though it does not say 3/16 but rather 3:16 which normally is a real estate number. Looking at other property in the same surrounding it looks like they use this way of writing of the sizes. So, if he is the owner of 3/16 mtl it could be the sum of 1/8 mtl for Fredsarfve and 1/16 in Auster. Given that he is a Tradesman indicates that he does no have a big farm. This is just a theory but if it is true it would explain why Lars owns 1/16 mtl (Encl 34).

During the period 1891-1899 Lars Öman hands over his property to his daughter and son-inlaw (Encl 35).

1881 Zachris is no longer among the non-present seamen in Öja (Encl 36). He is not among them during the period 1891-1899 either (Encl 37). I could not find him in Öja death records for the period 1857-1884.


Kjell S Andersson 2016-02-10


1 Introduction
2 HER Öja AXX:5 (1847-1859) Image 830 / page 73
3 HER Öja AXX:6 (1857-1862) Image 840 / page 148
4 HER Öja AI:8 (1862-1972) Image 880 / page 156
5 HER Öja AI:8 (1862-1872) Image 2480 / page 474
6 HER Öja AI:9 (1872-1881) Image 2480 / page 494
7 HER Öja AI:8 (1862-1872) Image 570 / page 94. Upper part of page
8 D:o. Lower part of page
9 HER Öja AXX:3 (1833-1840) Image 670 / page 60
10 HER Öja AXX:2 (1823-1833) Image 700 / page 67
11 HER Öja AXX:2 (1823-1833) Image 450 / page 42
12 HER Öja AXX:3 (1833-1840) Image 400 / page 34
13 HER Öja AXX:4 (1840-1847) Image 480 / page 46
14 HER Öja AXX:5 (1847-1859) Image 510 / page 42
15 HER Öja AXX:6 (1857-1862) Image 550 / page 90
16 HER Öja AI:8 (1862-1872) Image 570 / page 94. Upper part of page
17-26 Estate inventory 1863-01-08. Adam Adamsson
27 Gotlands södra häradsrätt. Title inventory index
28 HER Öja AI:9 (1872-1881) Image 540 / page 88
29 HER Öja AI:9 (1872-1881) Image 550 / page 90
30 HER Öja AI:10 (1881-1890) Image 460 / page 78
31 HER Öja AI:10 (1881-1890) Image 510 / page 88
32 MIR Vamlingbo B:2 (1861-1895) Image 140 / page 21
33 HER Vamlingbo AI:9 (1880-1890 Image 270 / page 20
34 HER Vamlingbo AI:10 (1891-1894) Image 280 / page 22
35 HER Öja AI:11 (1891-1899) Image 1810 / page 170
36 HER Öja AI:10 (1881-1890) Image 2390 / page 500
37 HER Öja AI:11 (1891-1899) Image 2610 / page 250