As I move through my deep dives into my 12 Ancestors for 2022 series, I have been continually surprised at the directions in which I’ve gone.
My goal for this series is to take a new look at ancestors in my family tree who have been ignored or remained dormant for many years.
I thought about taking a close look at my tree to create a list of 12 persons who needed to be held under the 2022 microscope, but decided instead to freelance it. Thus, I’d have the opportunity to see where my wanderings took me this year.
To say I’m pleased with my choice would be an understatement as I’ve gone down rabbit holes because of email queries, reader comments on my blog and, now, this month, shoemaker Johan Casper Sandberg and his wife have appeared due to my recently completed class on Advanced Swedish Research taught by Jill Morelli through the Applied Genealogy Institute.
First, let’s take a look at what I’ve known about this family since c2014, which was somewhat limited in scope.
Johan Casper Sandberg was born c1737, most likely in Sweden, and he worked as a shoemaker. He was not a master shoemaker, but appears in the Malmö, Sweden guild records in January 1760.
The guild entry states:
1766: 20 January, The brotherhood notes that Johan Cp Sandberg has been apprenticed to a shoemaker in Lund and now as a companion has come to Malmö.
This guild record was found by reading a microfilm in the Family History Library in Salt Lake, but no further mention was found of Johan. I found this record by working backwards in time, as the Sandberg family was living in the town of Genarp, not far from Malmö.
The Swedish household exam records are normally quite complete with information. However, for whatever reason, the Genarp minister never noted the town of birth for Johan or “wife” (her name was only found in her burial record entry) and sometimes, Johan’s given name wasn’t even recorded. It just said “—— Sandberg and wife.”
“Shoemaker Sandberg” was buried on 2 June 1800. His age at death was 67 years, giving a birth year of about 1837, if correct.
The entry for his wife Anna Stina (MNU)’s burial was directly below Johan’s entry, but without a date. However, she was called the widow Anna Stina, so she apparently died later in June 1800. Anna Stina died of a seizure and, from her age noted in the burial record (57 years), she was born c1743.
There were absolutely no clues as to where the couple married – it wasn’t in Genarp – or where they might have lived before settling in Genarp.
Three children were born to Johan Casper and Anna Stina in Genarp:
1. Anna Kjersti, born 26 February 1776. She is my ancestress and married Hans Niclas Molin, 17 April 1800 in Öved, which was Hans’ home.
2. Johan Jorgen, born 3 January 1779
3. Johan George, born 9 March 1782
No further records – marriage or burials – had been found for their sons in Genarp.
Back in 2014, I was just learning to use Swedish records for genealogy research. I don’t speak Swedish and it’s only necessary to recognize words like born, baptized, marriage, death and burial to decipher most records. Events are entered in chronological order in church registers and are often in columnar form, at least in the 1800s.
Now that I’ve completed the Advanced Swedish Research class and significantly broadened the range of Swedish records which I now use, I still have unanswered questions, but I’ve learned many new facts about the family.
From the few facts already explained, a timeline will best show what I’ve added, followed by an explanation of where/how I found the information.
c1737/38 – Johan CASPERSSON Sandberg born
c1743 – Anna Stina BERGGREN born
1760, 20 Jan – Johan Cp Sandberg in Malmö guild records
c1766 – Son Johan Niclas born
1776, 26 Feb – Daughter Anna Kjersti born in Genarp
1776 – Johan Caspersson in Genarp tax record
1777 – Johan Caspersson in Genarp tax record, wife, 2 children
1778 – Johan Caspersson in Genarp tax record, wife, 4 children
1779, 3 Jan – Son Johan Jorgen born in Genarp
1779 – Genarp tax record
1780 – Genarp tax record
1781 – Genarp tax record
1782, 9 Mar – Son Johan George born in Genarp. Sponsor is servant Berggren
1783 – Shoemaker Sandberg’s wife, Anna Stina Berggren, in Moving Records from Lyngby to Vegeholm (castle about 60 miles from Genarp)
1784 – Genarp tax record
1785 – Genarp tax record
1786 – Genarp tax record
1787 – Genarp tax record
1788 – Genarp tax record
1789 – Genarp tax record
1790, 28 Oct – Son Johan Niclas moved to Malmö
1790 – Genarp tax record
1791 – Genarp tax record
1792 – Genarp tax record
1793 – Genarp tax record
1794 – Genarp tax record
1796 – Genarp tax record
1797 – Genarp tax record
1798 – Genarp tax record
1799 – Genarp tax record
1800 – Genarp tax record
1796-1800 House Exam – Shoemaker & wife are dead. Son Johan Niclas is called “traveling man.” Son Johan George is crossed out, but no note about whether he died or moved away.
1800, 2 June – Shoemaker Sandberg buried
1800, between 2-15 June – Widow Anna Stina died of a seizure; buried after Johan Caspersson, but before the next dated entry, which is 15 June.
What details have I been able to add to the Sandberg family story?
1. Johan Casper Sandberg has become Johan Caspersson Sandberg, as found in the Swedish mantals tax records.
Why is this important? Well, in the 1700s, there were Scandinavians who had middle names, such as Johan’s wife, Anna Stina (short for Christina).
However, many people were not yet using stable surnames. Instead, they used the patronymic system.
In my Johan’s case, he was not given a first and middle name. The tax records clearly call him Johan Caspersson, which is the patronymic for “son of Casper.” Casper is not a common given name, then or now, so this detail – that I need to look for a Johan, son of Casper, born c1737-1738 – narrows the research field a lot.
I still have no clue where he was born, but I am now looking for Johan, son of Casper. It is possible that Casper also used a patronymic and NOT Sandberg. Matters will be simplified if Casper also used Sandberg, but time will tell.
2. Anna Stina’s maiden name – BERGGREN – was finally proven when she was found in the Attachments to Moving Records. Swedes were supposed to obtain certificates of good standing when they moved away form a town. Not all did, and not all were saved by the receiving parish minister. However, when the certificates were saved, they contain a treasure trove of information. In Anna Stina’s case, it provided the only mention I’ve ever found of her maiden name.
3. Johan and Anna Stina definitely had at least one child born before the Household Examinations between 1772-1800. Anna Kjersti, Johan Jorgen and Johan George were all baptized in the parish of Genarp, Malmöhus, Sweden. However, in the later 1790s, their son Johan Niclas, born 1766, is living with them.
4. Because Johan Niclas doesn’t appear in the Household Examinations until the late 1790s, it makes me wonder if Johan Casper had a previous marriage. Johan Casper and Anna Stina had only the three children born in 1776, 1779 and 1782 at home in those early years. Where was Johan Niclas? If he had a different mother, perhaps he lived with his maternal grandparents.
5. Another mystery is found in the Mantals Tax Records. In 1777, Johan’s home had only two children. One is definitely Anna Kjersti, who was born in 1776. However, one year later in 1778, and for multiple years afterwards, there are FOUR children at home. Again, one has to be Anna Kjersti, but her younger siblings hadn’t yet been born, so there had to be three older siblings or half siblings. One is probably Johan Niclas, but who are the other two???
6. When Johan George was baptized on 9 March 1782, one of the sponsors was “servant Berggren.” This is undoubtedly a relative of Anna Stina’s, but why didn’t the scribe give his first name??? No Berggrens lived in Genarp and the entry doesn’t say where he was from. Ugh!
7. On 28 October 1790, Johan Niclas moved from Genarp to Malmö, which is not far to travel. He is called a ‘traveling man’ and I haven’t been able to find him in the Malmö mantals tax records.
8. The BIS database of Swedes living in the 1800s doesn’t include Johan Niclas, Johan Jorgen or Johan George Sandberg. The database seems to be somewhat incomplete before 1830 or so. It is possible that they all died in the early 1800s. However, whether they married or left descendants is not known.
I have learned a lot more about Johan Caspersson Sandberg, his wife Anna Stina Berggren, and their children, but a number of questions still remain.
I am certain that there are more nuggets to be discovered about my Sandberg family. ArkivDigital is the website to use. It is a subscription site, but if you have Swedish records, it is a must for your genealogy toolbox!
Riksarkivet, the website of the Swedish national archives, is free and has many records available online, but not as many as ArkivDigital.
The Sandbergs were an excellent family for my 12 in ’22 series.