Category Archives: Krok/Krook

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #13: Swedish Probate Records

Swedish genealogical records have a reputation for being quite fabulous. I remember long before I found my Danish and Swedish branch of the family tree thinking that I would love to have some family to trace in those records.

Now I do and I have. Do I speak-read-write Swedish? NO! Are the records indexed? For the most part, NO!

How do I manage to find anything? Don’t let limits of a foreign language stop you from delving into records. I (1) use Google translate (2) get help at the Family History Library (3) find distant cousins on My Heritage and (4) join Facebook groups where there are many native speakers who kindly give tons of help.

Swedish probate records are similar to American records with the exception, in my view, that the deceased is much more likely to have had a probate of estate in Sweden than in the United States.

Today’s document is the probate of my 5X great grandmother, Sara Brita Krook who married Anders Molin. Their life stories have been topics of my writing in the past, but today’s focus is on Sara’s probate.

Right from the beginning, you need to know that Sara and Anders at least separated by 1786 when she was living in southern Sweden and he was in Marstrand, about 200 miles away. I have been unable to find where he went after that. Sara is called “widow” in 1812 when she died. I suspect that Anders probably did predecease her since the males in the Molin family seemed to live into their 50s or early 60s and Anders was born in 1739.

However, the end of their marriage brought a huge change in living style for Sara, born into a solid upper middle class family with social status. Anders was a master mason, so he was an appropriate match in status to Sara. After they split up, Sara is recorded sneaking into the poor house to have not one, but two, illegitimate sons and that was after the birth of her first illegitimate son soon after Sara and Anders went their separate ways.

Back to the probate records! From this background, you can surmise that Sara left little in the way of an estate when she died and you would be correct.

Sara Brita’s Probate 1812, Page 1

Sara Brita’s Probate, Page 2

Sara Brita’s Probate, Page 3

Sara Brita’s oldest son, Hans (Nicholas), the only one of her children who was a child of Anders Molin, filed the probate report. Pages 1 and 2 are the inventory of her possessions with the values. The total value of her estate was only 16 of whatever the currency was at the time. (The modern krona was adopted until 1873.) However, 16 of anything isn’t going to be worth a whole lot.

The important page for me is page 3, which lists her heirs – sons J.P. (Johan Peter), Jöns Abraham, Johan Jacob and Hans Molin. Note that they are all using the Molin surname, even though the fathers of Johan Peter, Jöns Abraham and Johan Jacob are unknown.

This list of her sons is the latest record I have of her son Jöns Abraham, born in 1786. I have been able to track the other children, but Jöns has remained elusive. This is proof that he was still living in April 1812, so the search for him will go on.

Many thanks to my Swedish cousin, Krister, who doggedly read through probate indexes in southern Sweden until he located Sara Brita who had been living in Andrarum.

Remember, don’t be afraid to tackle records just because you don’t speak the language in which they are written. There are many kind genealogy souls out there ready to give a helping hand.

Hans Krok/Krook & Catharina Maria Bager, Veberod, Sweden

Are you descended from the Krok/Krook family in Skane, Sweden? This family is an old one and, while I have found the surname spelled both of these ways, the Krog/Krogh surname appears to belong to an entirely different family. Leave a comment if you have Krok/Krook in your family tree.

Hans Krok, or Krook, was baptized on 23 March 1722 in Gullarp, Malmohus (today Skane) Sweden and was buried on 17 May 1771 in Veberod, Skane, Sweden. He was the son of Jacob Krook and Anna Brita von Wowern. The Krook family would be considered upper middle class, as the males were inspectors, which I believe was a police officer. The unmarried girls were titled “jungfrau” or “young lady” and the married ladies were titled “madame” in church records.

The von Wowern family is an old noble family with roots in Sweden as early as the 1590’s. Catharina Maria Bager was born about 31 January 1729 in the nearby village of Dalbyand was buried on 17 November 1784, also in Veberod. She was the daughter of Jons Bager and Sara Prytz.

Hans and Catharina married on 13 September 1749 in Dalby. They had five children:

1. Jons, born 27 November 1750, Dalby, Skane, Sweden. Jons died before his mother’s death in 1784 as he is not listed in her probate. He may well have died before his brother, Jons Jacob, was born in 1756, but no burial record has been found for him either in Dalby or in Bonderup, where the family moved by 1752.
2. Sara Brita, born 7 March 1752, Bonderup, Skane, Sweden. She married Anders Molin on 2 February 1776 in Veberod, Skane, Sweden. They separated (or divorced) by 1785, when Anders was living in Marstrand, Sweden and Sara Brita was  living in Everlov, Skane, Sweden. She died on 5 April 1812 in Andrarum, Skane, Sweden.
3. Jons Jacob was born 3 September 1756, Bonderup, Skane, Sweden. He married Catharina Akerberg on 8 February 1788 in Everlov, Skane, Sweden. It was noted at that time that he lived in Skogamollern, which is in Veberod parish, but this couple hasn’t yet been found after their wedding date.
4. Johan Magnus, born 27 May 1760, Bonderup, Skane, Sweden. He married Christina Akerberg, believed to be the sister of Catharina, on 19 October 1787, also in Everlov, Skane, Sweden. Christina was born about 1762 and was buried on 5 August 1794 in Everlov. It appears her parents lived a few doors from the Krooks, but if she was born there, baptismal records begin there in 1768 so no birth/baptismal date has yet been found for her. Johan and Christina had two children: Hans, born about 26 December 1787 and Anna Maria, born about 13 February 1792, both in Everlov. Hans reportedly died in 1866 in Malmo. Anna Maria married Ola (Olaf) Lundgren. She died on 12 May 1869 in Palstorp, Kagerod, Skane, Sweden. Johan Magnus is found with Hans and Anna Maria in the household examination records until 1801 in Everlov. He reportedly died in 1838 in Dalby, but burial records from that time period are missing there and no probate has yet been found for him.
5. Juliana Cecilia, was born about 1763, as she was described as 21 years old in the 1784 probate records of her mother. No baptismal record has been found for her; the family may have lived elsewhere between their time in Bonderup and her father’s 1771 death in Veberod. She married Johan Peter Lindqvist on 20 August 1785 in Veberod, Skane, Sweden. This couple hasn’t yet been located after their wedding date. Johan Peter was a widower at the time of his marriage to Juliana, but no age was given. He was from “Stenhuset, Simmentorp” but he hasn’t been found in those records.


Commit the Crime, Do the Time!

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Commit the crime, do the time. Well, Hans Samuel Molin was a victim of his times. He didn’t have the easiest start in life, right from the moment of birth. His surname wasn’t even Molin, as he was born on 24 April 1798 in Önnestad, Kristianstad County, Sweden as the illegitimate son of Sara Brita Krok/Krook. He was baptized as Hans Samuel Krook.

I have written about Sara Brita before. She was the wife of Anders Molin, but they separated and maybe divorced between 1783 and 1786, when she gave birth to a son in Everlov, Malmohus County, Sweden, who wasn’t the child of Anders, as the parish priest so clearly noted.

Hans Samuel, the third illegitimate son of his mother, not only had that stigma to carry, but he was born in the Invalide Hospital, or poorhouse, and his mother was noted as not being registered, or given permission to be there.

While Swedish records are quite good, in the case of Sara Brita and Hans Samuel, no Household Examinations have been found for them. Sara Brita died in Andrarum in 1812; it may be that she raised her children there as parish records for that village don’t begin until the 1830’s, long after she had died and the children had reached adulthood. In fact, the child born immediately before Hans Samuel, brother Johan Jacob, turned 21 years old only four weeks before their mother died.

One thing is for certain, in 1812, 14 year old Hans Samuel wasn’t living with his oldest half-brother, Hans Niclas Molin, in Öved as he isn’t found on the Moving In lists or on the Household Examination where Hans Niclas’s own family appears.

By 1819, though, Hans Samuel makes regular appearances in parish records – a lot of them. Between 1819 and 1823, he lived in Sodra Mellby, Simris, Tryde and then Ekerod (Roddinge), where he married Berta Jonsdotter on 10 June 1823.

Settling down didn’t seem to be in his nature, though, because between 1823-1835, Hans Samuel, Berta and then their four daughters lived in Sallshog, Tolanga, Svenstorp, Herrestad, Ravlunda, Svabesholm, and Ystad-St. Maria, where it was noted that he left Ystad on 17 October 1835 for Skivarp.

The next record is one that was peculiar.

ArkivDigital: Skivarp House Exam 1838-1844

If you look closely at the top left corner next to Enkan Kjerstina (Widow Christina), aged 77, you can see, in small letters “Fatt H,” which is the Swedish abbreviation for Fattighuset, or poorhouse.

In the fattighuset are, from the fourth entry down, Hustru Molin med Barn – Housewife Molin with children. Below her are son Andreas, daughter Sophia and daughter Petronella.

This is a very odd entry because it identifies Mrs. Molin, not widow Molin, but there is absolutely no mention of husband Hans Samuel and the family is living in the poorhouse.

At first, I thought that Hans Samuel might have just upped and left his family. Then my newly discovered Molin distant cousin, Krister, found another document in the Moving In records of Skivarp:

Skivarp Moving In Records

The notation with the family said Hans Molin’s wife and four children were being sent to the Skivarp poorhouse by order of the Malmo governor’s office. Krister speculated that perhaps they were sent there because they couldn’t support themselves because Hans Samuel was in prison. They had come from Skivarp so it was the village’s obligation to house them. That led to a search of the prisoner rolls in Malmo, as there was a jail there. The answer was quickly found in two records:

Hans Molin, 27 May 1840


Prisoner Rolls, Hans Molin 23 May 1840
First Entry on the Page

As I’ve said before, I don’t speak/read Swedish and it was late at night when I found this. With the time zone differences, I wouldn’t hear from Krister until the next morning, but I couldn’t wait to find out what kind of crime had caused him to be imprisoned and his family sent to the poorhouse. I posted a query on the Swedish American Genealogy Group on Facebook requesting translation help and, within fifteen minutes or so, I had my answer.

Apparently, in that time period in Sweden everyone carried papers that served more or less as a domestic passport. Typical identifying information was included – name, birth date, birth place. However, there were two additional pieces of information – residence, which was supposed to be entered into church parish records when one moved in or moved out, and occupation. It was against the law in Sweden to be unemployed if you were able to work.

For what crime was Hans jailed? He was unemployed! In the right column, the comment says he was released on 27 May 1740 and was ordered to find work in Skivarp so he could support himself and his family.