Stalking Anders Molin

The entire Molin family had been my brick wall for years. I had Anders Molin, wife Sara Brita Krok and son Hans Niclas, born in 1778 in Finja, Skane, Sweden. During the last couple of years, with persistence, help from cousin Krister Thorell and then additional help from other newly discovered cousins, many more pieces have been placed in the puzzle of this family’s life.

We are still looking for what happened to their second son, Hans Peter, born in 1782. He disappears from the Oved church register in the early 1800’s. I suspect he may not have married and died leaving no descendants, but I hope I am wrong.

We are also looking for Sara Brita’s oldest son, Jons Abraham, born in 1786. He, too, may have died unmarried with no descendants, but that, too, needs to be proven.

Right now, the mystery at the top of my brick wall list is the date and place of Anders Molin’s death. He was born in 1740 and disappeared from Marstrand, Sweden in 1786. He and Sara Brita had gone their separate ways and when she died, her probate calls her “widow.” I have no idea whether she told people she was a widow or if she actually knew when Anders died.

Based on the ages at death of the two generations after Anders, I believe he likely died in his 60’s or maybe even his 50’s. If he was actually alive when Sara Brita died in 1812, he would have been 72. It is certainly not impossible, but most of the Molin males died in their mid-60’s or earlier.

It is very problematic that church records are kept at the local parish level in Sweden. Marstrand was a couple hundred miles from where he was born and where he, Sara Brita and their two sons lived until about 1784.

On a positive note, probate districts are many fewer in number than church parishes. Someone told me there are a couple hundred of these courts, with each big city having its own and rural areas sharing a district court. Now, not every person had probate begun when they died. They obviously had to have some kind of an estate and at least one heir. Anders Molin was a master mason, so if nothing else, I think his tools would have been valuable enough to create a probate. Also, if he had debts or his apprentices owed him money for their training, probate would have been used to sort out income versus debts.

I have a plan – I purchased a one year subscription to ArkivDigital, using its special rate at RootsTech. I have already looked through most of the probate courts covering the southern tip of Sweden, his original home. There are a few Molin probates, but none for Anders. Each register index covers a good span of time, so I doubt I have missed a file for him as I figured, although very unlikely, he could have lived to age 100.

Besides cataloging all my scanned images this summer in my Genealogy Go-Over and remounting them in my archival albums, I have one other goal. That is my Anders Molin plan – I am going to search every probate court index to see if I can find one for Anders. I just hope he didn’t scoot across the water to Denmark or Norway.

I will let you know whether or not I am successful!

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