Category Archives: Sandberg

Swedish Mystery #1: Elsa Christina Sandberg

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???




Johan Caspersson Sandberg & Anna Stina Berggren of Malmöhus County, Sweden, 1700s: 12 for ’22

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.

Sandberg Family

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.