I’m very pleased with myself as I am sticking to my “clean up” project in RootsMagic and in the thousands of documents and images I’ve gathered through the years.
While reviewing the Swedish branch of my family tree, I’ve been reminded that it’s good practice to look at old records with new eyes because a detail might not only have been overlooked in the entry of interest, but new clues might even be found in other records on the same page.
Elsa Christina Sandberg is a perfect example, although she is still somewhat of a mystery.
My discovery came when I retrieved the image of the baptismal record of Johannes, son of Hans Niclas Molin and wife Anna Kjersti Sandberg in Öved, Sweden in February 1802.
I scanned the page for the Molin entry and my eye caught the two Johannes infants recorded one after the other.
The bottom entry is for my Molin family, but since I generally scan pages from top to bottom, I paused at the entry for the baby immediately above and thought that I had found my Molin family. Look closely at this crop:
February d:23 born and confirmed, illegitimate son of Elsa Christina Sandberg. Sponsors Officer Hans Molin and his wife A(nna) K(jersti) Sandberg. . . . .
I’m not sure why I never noticed this the first time, but the Sandberg family, who lived nearby in Genarp, has been somewhat problematic for quite a while.
Johan Caspersson Sandberg was born c1737, based on his reported age at death on 2 June 1800. His birth town is unknown. He married Anna Stina Berggren from nearby Heckeberga Castle, between 1761, when Anna Stina gave birth to an out-of-wedlock child, and c1766, when their son Johan Niclas was born, place unknown.
Then there is a gap in the births of children until my Anna Kjersti was born on 26 February 1776 in Genarp, where her birth and baptism are recorded in the church book.
Two more children were also born in Genarp – Johan Jorgen on 3 January 1779 and Johan George on 9 March 1782.
Many, if not most, of the church books record the place of birth along with the exact date of birth in the Household Records kept by the local minister. Full names are also recorded.
For whatever reason, while the Genarp minister followed that procedure when recording other families in town, he didn’t do that with the Sandbergs.
In fact, Johan Caspersson was recorded either as Shoemaker Sandberg or with just a line —– Sandberg and Anna Kjersti was his no-name wife!
The family first appears in the Household Records book that covers 1772-1791. I believe that this page predates 1776 because Anna Kjersti isn’t recorded.
I believe Mr. Lundberg was also a shoemaker and he and his wife apparently shared a home with Johan Caspersson and Anna Stina.
Now look closely at the spacing of the names. Sandberg, wife and Lundberg, wife are all written in smooth cursive. See how “Elsa Christina” has been squished into the space??
Here is a second entry later in the same volume:
We have Shoemaker Sandberg, wife, son Niclas gone to Malmö and Kjersti. Remeber Johan Niclas was born c1766 and since this book extends to 1791, it’s not surprising that he might be out of the house and on his own.
However, Elsa Christina is also gone AND the two youngest children, Johan Jorgen, born 1779 abd Johan George, born 1782, are not listed.
If the entry was made c1776, soon after Anna Kjersti’s birth, then Johan Niclas would only have been about ten years old and surely still at home.
The foundation for Elsa Christina Sandberg has now been laid so what else does the baptismal entry for her son Johannes tell us?
It tells us that Elsa Christina was 24 years old, so born about 1778, right in between the births of Anna Kjersti in 1776 and Johan Jorgen in 1779.
That creates more questions than answers. First, is the age correct? Her birth could just about fit between February 1776 and January 1779, but her birth isn’t recorded in Genarp? did the minister dislike this family so much that he didn’t bother to record her birth or he just forgot?
If she was born after Anna Kjersti, why isn’t Anna also recorded in the family entry with her parents and Elsa Christina?
It’s possible, since family relationships aren’t given in this record, except for husband and wife, that Elsa Christina might not have been a child of Johan Caspersson and Anna Stina Berggren. She might have been, say, a niece, but why does she only appear once with no other children in the home?
Wait! There is more! On 26 March 1801, back in Öved, Nils Sandberg, 17 year old son of the miller Sandberg and his wife, Elsa Olsdotter, was buried.
There is only one family in the 1799-1804 Household Records book that fits this Nils:
However, no wife is recorded, nor is there any Elsa Christina Sandberg.
What else is known about Elsa Christina Sandberg?
Well, she is found in three more records:
Gustava Maria was born 20 October 1804 in Malmö Hospital Parish to unmarried Elsa Christina Sandberg.
Twins Maria and Fredrika Christina were born February 1814 in Malmö Hospital Parish to unmarried Elsa Christina Sandberg.
Elsa’s son Johannes married, had a family, and has descendants today. No further record has been found on any of Elsa Christina’s three daughters.
The handful of line trees relating to her son Johannes claim a Genarp birth place (no date given), nor do they include a death date.
Elsa Christina’s death was easy to locate – she died in Malmö Hospital Parish on 27 June 1832. Her age was recorded as 54 years, which matches the birth year calculated from her age when giving birth to Johannes – 1778.
So, exactly who was Elsa Christina Sandberg???