Anders Molin & Sara Brita Krok – Brick Wall Mystery

I returned from four days in the Salt Lake City Family History Library late on Friday night. Although I had my “to do” list, and did actually get several other items on my list completed, the research problem that hijacked almost all of my time was that of my 4x great grandparents, Anders Molin and Sara Brita Krok.

Anders and Sara Brita are a branch off of my Danish ancestors from Copenhagen. My previous hair-pulling brick wall had been Johannes Jensen, career soldier from Copenhagen. Unraveling his life story took me almost three years. Considering that, I guess the progress I made this week on Anders and Sara Brita was quite good.

Johannes Jensen married Johanne Elisabeth Molin, who migrated from Öved, Sweden to Copenhagen in 1838. I found her family in the household records and also in the moving in and moving out records of Öved. Her parents were Hans Nicholas Molin and Anna Kjersti Sandberg.

I decided I needed to focus on Hans Nicholas’s parents, Anders and Sara Brita. I’d like to outline the methods I used to collect the facts about this couple while in Salt Lake. There are still unanswered questions, but perhaps by sharing my story, others will be able to follow the same steps to chip away at one of their own brick walls.

I have several rules that I always follow when faced with a genealogical challenge:

1. Leave no stone unturned. Check all available records.
2. Look for clues online to suggest avenues for further research.
3. Prove every piece of information to my own satisfaction. I never, ever import anyone’s tree and never, ever blindly accept unproven facts. To me, genealogical research is like a scientific experiment. If one person conducts research and presents information that can’t be duplicated by others, then the “research” is not sound.

Here is how my research plan unfolded:

First, I checked a map of Sweden to remind myself of the proven places associated with Hans Molin:

In earlier times, most of the area of southern Sweden where the Molins lived was part of Malmöhus County, with Kristianstad County bordering it to the north and east.

As this story unfolds, images of Swedish records that begin with “AD” refer to ArkivDigital, a Swedish subscription site that houses Swedish records. Those that begin with “GL” refer to Genline, another Swedish subscription site that was bought up by Ancestry.com.

Before I left for Salt Lake City, I had parish registers and household examination records that proved the following:

Hans Molin was born on 4 September 1778 , according to the Öved, Malmöhus County household examination in Finja, Kristianstad County. Hans and family are the last family listed on the left page. Note that a date that looks like 31 August is crossed out:

Oved1812Molin1443.35.25600 Öved Household Examination 1812
GL: GID1443.35.25600

His birth/baptismal record was located in Finja:

HanNiclasMolinBirth1778FinjaGenlineImage17
Finja Baptismal Record, 1778
GL GID:1643.13.16300

I don’t read Swedish, but help in Salt Lake confirmed that the record says after the first word “Master Mason Anders Molin and his wife Sara Brita Krook’s child was born 31 August: Finja: and baptized Hans Niclas.. . .godparent was Corporal Hans Friberg”and I believe the woman who carried the child to church was Appolonia Kiman. The baptismal date entered in the left column above “Hans Niclas” is September 4.

I don’t know why, but Hans NEVER appears in Oved records as “Hans Niclas,” only as “Hans.”

I also realize that Sara Brita’s surname looks like “Krosis,” but this priest wrote lower case “k” in such a way as to make it look like “s i.” Other records confirm “Krok” or “Krook” as her surname.

I was a bit taken aback that Hans was born in a village 69.5 km away from Öved. I realize that isn’t a huge distance by today’s standards, but I guess I am used to my colonial American ancestors who stayed in one town for generations. However, 69.5 km turned out to be no distance at all once I was able to retrace their movements.

I checked for baptismal records for other children born to Anders Molin and found two sons named “Johan Peter.” One was born 20 August 1780, also in Finja and was baptized 23 August 1780.

This child apparently died soon as a second boy named “Johan Petter” was born in Vankiva, a village one mile to the east of Finja, on 20 July 1782:

On previous trips to Salt Lake City, I had done very little research on this family and these records were all that I had. Household examinations and moving in/moving out records begin in Finja and Vankiva after the time period when the Molin family lived there.

Next, I checked online to see what others might already have found. That story is for tomorrow!

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