Do you share a birthday with one of your ancestors? It so happens that I have only one ancestor who shares my 7 March birthday and that was Sara Brita Krok/Krook, my 5x great grandmother. Yes, she is the same Sara Brita who married Anders Molin in 1776 in Veberöd, Sweden. I wrote extensively – for five days in a row – about Anders and Sara Brita in December 2014 after I had picked up their trail while researching in Salt Lake City.
Instead of hashing over all those details again, I decided that although I haven’t had time to try to find burial records for Anders and Sara Brita, I would try to document Sara Brita’s family.
Sara Brita gave birth to seven known children, all sons. The first four – Hans Peter, Hans Nicholas, Johan Peter and again Johan Peter – were children of Anders Molin. My direct ancestor, Hans Nicholas, thankfully stayed in one place once he reached adulthood and married. He settled in the village of Öved in old Malmohus County, not far from where Anders and Sara Brita married in the town of Veberöd.
Since the other three boys were all named Hans/Johan Peter, it seemed likely that the first two had died young. No burial record has been found for Hans Peter, the first born child, born 3 June 1776 in Öved. Johan Peter, born in Finja in 1780 was buried in 1782 in Vankiva, the next village just to the east of Finja.
However, I could find nothing else about the third Johan Peter, aside from his baptismal record in Vankiva on 20 July 1782. That is, until yesterday. I was actually looking for information on a Lars Molin who reportedly died in Öved in 1806. Household examinations begin there in 1799 so I took another look at them. I found three records in the 1803-1807 time frame. Because these books contain more than one year at a time and a new year is not always clearly delineated with a title page, I’m not sure if the first record is 1803 or 1804 or a combined book for those two years. I have the same problem with the other two records, but they are all within those four years.
Living in Öved Klosters Gard, I found:
The very last name on this page is “Joh P Molin” aged 21! This record book is either 1803 or 1804. If his name was entered as late as June 1804, Anders and Sara Brita’s son would have still been 21.
A second record was found in the next section of the book:
Unfortunately, the priest didn’t fill in place and date of birth for most of these people. He did make notations in what looks like those who took communion. Peter Molin had no mark by his name.
The third record dates from about 1807:
Johan Peter Molin hasn’t been found in any other Öved records. He didn’t marry there, nor was a burial record found for him. However, he obviously survived to adulthood and may have descendants out there somewhere!
Now, back to Sara Brita’s Krok/Krook family. Sara Brita’s family came from a higher social class than the typical family of that era. Anders Molin was a master mason. Her father was a sheriff and her mother appears in records before she married as “Jungfru,” young lady.
Sara Brita’s parents were Hans Krook and Catharina Maria Bager. Hans was born 23 March 1722 in Gullarp, the son of Inspector Jacob Krook and his wife, Anna Brita von Wowern. Catharina Maria Bager was baptized 31 January 1729 in nearby Dalby, the daughter of Jöns Bager and his wife, Sara Prytz.
Hans Krook and Catharina Maria Bager were the parents of several children:
1. Jöns, born 27 November 1750 in Dalby
2. Sara Brita, born 7 March 1752 in Bonderup
3. Jöns Jacob, born 3 September 1756 in Bonderup
4. Johan Magnus, born 27 May 1760 in Bonderup
5. Juliana Cecilia, said to be born about 1764, but no place given
If Juliana Cecilia was born to them, she was not baptized in Bonderup or in Veberöd, where Hans Krook was buried in 1771.
If the space given to the family baptismal records in the church books are any indication of social status, the Krook family was well respected. Not only were her father and grandfather a sheriff and an inspector, but Jacob’s wife, Anna Brita von Wowern, belonged to a very old family that included nobility.
Her maternal grandparents had equal social status. Jöns Bager died very young, in his 30’s, but he was an inn keeper. Sara Prytz was the daughter of Peter Prytz, also an inn keeper. Sara Prytz married Inspector Eric Wickman as her second husband. (Both Jöns and Peter worked at the old Dalby Inn, which is still in existence today. The original inn, no longer standing, was built in the mid 1600’s, and the current inn is a tourist attraction.)
Having learned so much about Sara Brita’s family, I now am wondering what event or events in her life caused her to commit adultery and give birth to an illegitimate son while married to Anders Molin, who by the way, was living in Marstrand, over 200 miles away:
With the cultural norms of the times, Sara Brita would have become a social outcast and would likely have moved elsewhere, which she did, to Önnestad, near Kristianstad. The rest of her life must have been difficult because she went on to have two more illegitimate children (Johan Jacob Krok in 1791 and Hans Samuel Krok in 1798) in the “Invalid House” in Önnestad and was even noted to have been living there without permission.
Anders Molin was living alone in Marstrand in 1785 and 1786, when son Hans Nicholas was seven years old and Johan Peter was only three so they may have been living with their mother.
Sara Brita was probably living in Kristianstad or one of the other small villages near Önnestad in the 1790’s since her last two children were born there.
Sara Brita’s life story is one of the most unusual of any of my ancestors. What a change in her life circumstances!