Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your 2023 Christmas Genea-Gifts

It’s the last weekend of 2023, so the final Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge for this year has been posted by Randy Seaver.

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 
 
1) Was Genea-Santa good to you?  What genealogy gifts did you receive for Christmas this year?
I have to admit there were no genea-items on my Christmas list this year. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t receive a genea-present – I did and it was totally unexpected.
Anders Molin is my 5X great grandfather, born 17 March 1740 in Ystad, which is on the ocean in southern Sweden. He was a master mason and moved around multiple times. As a boy, he lived in Öved, but married in Veberöd.
Anders and his wife, Sara Brita Krook, lived in Öved, Finja and then Vankiva between 1776 and 1782.
By 1786, the couple had gone their separate ways, as Sara Brita gave birth to a son, Jöns Abraham, on 30 July 1786 in Everlöv. His father was first named as Anders Molin, but someone tipped off the minister that Anders had gone to Marstrand, over 200 miles away, and couldn’t have been the father of Jöns Abraham.
The minister dutifully noted that Anders was in Marstrand, but crossed out his name as the father of Sara Brita’s baby.
None of Anders’ descendants would have had any idea what happened to him without that comment in the baptismal register.
I was able to place Anders in Marstrand in 1785 and 1786 as he is listed in the population register, which was actually a tax book.
However, no one had any idea what happened to Anders after 1786 and when Sara Brita died in 1812 in Andrarum, she was called a widow.
One of my Swedish cousins and I spent time searching estate records in all the counties in southern Sweden from Marstrand down to the southern shore of Sweden.
No probate record could be found for him, nor could a death or burial record be found in any of the towns where he was known to have lived or even in adjacent towns to where he lived.
The mystery of when and where Anders Molin died had been ongoing for more than a decade. My hope has been that ArkivDigital would find Anders for me because they have been madly indexing all kinds of Swedish records. On the other hand, because we could find no probate for him, and being a master mason it seems that his tools, if nothing else, would trigger a probate record, I thought perhaps he died along a road somewhere and buried as an unknown man.
In November, ArkivDigital offered a Christmas deal of a $5.00 subscription for a month. Even though we were on our cruise for 16 of those days, for $5, it was too good a deal to pass up.
I had a few free moments on Christmas Eve so I put in a search for any Anders Molin who might be in the indexed death records. A new entry popped up for one Anders Molin who died on 6 April 1797 in Lidköping, Skaraborg County. He was 57 years old, so the age matched, AND he was a master mason. The occupation was also a match.  The downside was that Lidköping is about 100 miles northeast of Marstrand and nowhere near any of the towns where he was known to have lived.
Just the same, I was hopeful and started digging through the household examinations because the death (from pneumonia) and burial record didn’t note where he was born. The household examinations should include the place of birth.
Well, Anders and ArkivDigital gave me a terrific Christmas genea-gift. Look at the 1795 Household examination entry:
There he is and this Anders was born in Ystad!!!! He is also found in the 1791-1795 household examination book and the minister noted there that he “escaped wife”!! That was true and also seems to confirm that they never divorced.
My Swedish cousin was surprised that I found his death and burial record because we hadn’t found any probate for him. It turns out that the volume of estate records covering 1790-1800 is missing!
We were both very excited to finally be able to prove his death. Only one question remains. Anders seems to have arrived in Lidköping either in late 1794 or early 1795. Yet, he left Marstrand by 1787.
Where was he during those seven or eight years? Since he won’t be found in the vital records anywhere else, it means a town-level search of household examination books and population registers, plus moving in/moving out records, if they exist for those years.
Given the territory that Anders covered in his lifetime, he could have lived almost anywhere during those 8 years.  After they separated, Sara Brita lived in Everlöv, Önnestad and Andrarum, marked in blue. Here is a map showing all the places where Anders lived, noted in red.
Source: Google Maps
I will definitely be checking the church records for the towns along the main road between Marstrand and Lidköpking in case Anders stopped there to work during those missing 8 years.
I have to thank Anders and ArkivDigital for all their efforts adding to their Swedish records. I was beginning to believe that Anders’ descendants might never learn what became of him.
This was a fabulous, totally unexpected genea-gift this year.

2 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your 2023 Christmas Genea-Gifts”

  1. Wow, what a great genea-present! I’m so happy for you that the $5 investment turned out to be so helpful. Now I hope you keep up your good luck/perseverance and find where Anders was during the intervening years.

  2. I am so happy for you! Oh, and to have a Swedish cousin who can help with the Swedish text. I shall have to check out ArkivDigital at the FSC. With some indexing, I might be able to locate some of my husband’s missing ancestors.

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