Tag Archives: Anders Molin

My First Steps with GenDetective

Recently, I have purchased several genealogy software programs that don’t seem to have as wide an audience as some programs because two of them are a bit more specialized in their focus and the third is much more widely used in Europe.

NOTE: Any posts that I write talking about these programs should not to be considered as endorsements. No live links are being provided for them, nor is any pricing information included. Please do not consider my posts as a positive or negative recommendation of any kind. I am simply sharing some of my experiences with these programs as I learn how to use them.

The first program I will talk about is GenDetective, which is a software program that imports a GEDCOM, analyzes the information in it and then produces a recommendation report, I guess it would be called, to help guide future research.

To keep the focus on the programs instead of the ancestors, I will use my 5x great grandfather, Anders Molin, as the subject in each of my posts.

A super quick synopsis of Anders is that he was born in 1740 in Ystad, Skane, Sweden. His parents are Nils Molin and Helena Andersdotter. Anders married Sara Brita Krook in 1776 in Veberod, Skane, Sweden. They had four sons together, but only two survived to adulthood – Hans Nicholas (my line) and Johan Peter.

Anders Molin became my brick wall when I discovered that he and Sara divorced, or at the very least separated, about 1785. Anders appears on the 1785 and 1786 tax lists for Marstrand, Sweden, which is hundreds of miles away from where the family had been living. Sara went on to give birth to three more sons, noted as illegitimate, in 1786, 1791 and 1798. Sara died in Andrarum, Skane, Sweden in 1812. Her estate administration mentioned her sons, but the economic value was little.

Most Swedish vital records are not indexed so I am in the midst of reading probate records for 200+ probate courts in Sweden, hoping to locate Anders’ estate records. It is likely that his death would have triggered a probate review because he was a master mason, so had some social and economic status. I would think that his tools alone, as a master mason and a teacher, would have value.

Back to GenDetective – When I opened GenDetective, I chose Anders Molin as the subject of the report to be generated. I’ve cropped the bottom, which lists my name and phone number, and haven’t included a screen shot of the second page of the report, which only says that Anders died after 1786, probably in Sweden and again lists my contact information.

Here is what the report looks like:

Anders Molin
GenDetective Report

First, if you look closely at some of the place names, like Skåne County, they appear odd because the program apparently doesn’t recognize foreign alphabet letters. That isn’t a concern for me right now, but I did submit that as a suggestion for future versions of GenDetective.

Aside from the lettering, there are two other issues with this report that concern me. I have entered Anders’ birth date, which was 17 March 1740. When I first entered it in Family Tree Maker, which is what I used to generate the GEDCOM for GenDetective, I had to adjust the date to 1739/40 because it falls into that strange time period in U.S. colonial history when double dating was used. I wonder if that is why the box in the section above has no check mark to note the inclusion of a birth date?

It also doesn’t have the “occupation” or “religion” boxes checked. I know he was a master mason and I have that in my notes. I also know that he belonged to the standard Swedish Lutheran Church, but how do I get those facts to appear in this report? They obviously must have to be entered in Family Tree Maker, as custom facts.

My third concern is that it says there are no attached media sources for any of the people in this report. That isn’t true, as Anders alone has 15 images attached. I don’t know why they aren’t being seen by GenDetective.

You might also note that it says no sources are attached. That is true, as I don’t use source templates in Family Tree Maker. Instead, I cite my sources in my notes. It’s just personal preference on my part, I guess, and a throwback to the old days of bibliography pages at the back of school reports.

I’ve mentally noted several things:

1. To make full use of this program, using source templates in the original genealogy software program would be a good thing. The report would then show sources cited and might give me further direction.

2. What I call the second section of the report, the sections where the relationship is shown and where the ticked boxes are, seems to be the meat of the report. Items like occupation and religion need to be entered as custom facts in the original software program so GenDetective will produce a more complete report.

3. I contacted tech support for GenDetective to ask the above questions. Sandy replied and asked if I would share my GEDCOM so issues could be reviewed, which I gladly sent off. More on those results in a later post.

Aside from the missing media images and missing data in customized fields, this report indicates that my focus should be directed towards finding Anders’ death date and burial information, which is what I’m doing. I’m a very organized person, so I’m  not sure that creating this report added anything to my research plans for Anders.

Future posts (beginning next week) will talk about some of the general features in GenDetective and other ways the program can be used. Remember, I am not reviewing or recommending this program, I am sharing my limited experiences with it in the hopes of getting some reader feedback from you. Please leave comments if you use GenDetective.

Johannes Elias Molin

Johannes Elias Molin was a nephew of my 3x great grandmother, Johanna Elisabeth Molin, who left Öved, Sweden in 1838 for a new life in Copenhagen, where she married soldier Johannes Jensen.

Johanna Elisabeth’s nephew, Johannes Elias Molin, differed from most of his other family members in one important way – he stayed put in one place, except for a short sojourn to nearby Skartofta, perhaps to train for his job,  for his entire life. My Swedish lines haven’t been too easy to research because they all moved a lot – Johanna Elisabeth’s uncle, a farmer worker, moved villages twelve times in eighteen years – and there are some missing parish records in places where they lived.

Johannes Elias, on the other hand, was a dream to research. He was the one who stayed “close to home,” the theme for this week.

Johannes Molin was the son of Anders Molin and Elsa Öberg. He was born 25 October 1826 in Östra Kärrstorp, in the old Malmohus County (today’s Skane), in southern Sweden.

He married his first cousin, Charlotta Augusta, who went by Hasselgren because her mother, Beata Sophia Molin, married Henrik Hasselgren. However, Charlotta was born on 4 March 1829 in Lund, Skane County to an unmarried Beata Sophia; no father was noted in the baptismal record.

Charlotta moved to Östra Karrstorp on 20 May 1856, just days before her 23 June marriage. So much for the groom marrying in the bride’s home parish!

Swedish records are so easy to search, even though they are not indexed by name. Household examinations were the equivalent of local census records. Their purpose was for the vicar to check on the progress of the religious education of his flock. Some household examinations are set up with one year recorded in one book. However, most contain a span of perhaps three to six years. If the vicar was doing his job properly, then each time he visited a home, he would have recorded any new births in the household as well as deaths.

An additional detail was provided that I have not seen outside of Scandinavian records. When a member of the household moved out of the parish, the date (always the year, but sometimes also the month and day) was noted next to the person’s name along with the new parish of residence. The household examination, along with marriage and death records also included the occupation of the head of household. Johannes Elias was a “smed,” a smith or blacksmith.

Johannes Elias and Charlotta had eight children, all born in Östra Kärrstorp:

1. Malte Andreas, born 10 October 1857
2. Sophie Elise, born 2 January 1859
3. Frans Niclas, born 4 October 18604. Johan Alfred, born 11 October 1862; died 24 February 1863
5. Johan Alfred, born 18 February 1864
6. Adolph Fredrik, born 23 June 1866
7. Otto Wilhelm, born 17 August 1868
8. August Harald, born 9 October 1870

They were a bit usual in that only one of their children died young. Infant and child mortality rates were quite high and it is common to see that a family buried three or more very young children.

Here is the first household examination for the Molin family after they married:

ArkivDigital, Household Exam, AI:13, Image 168

We have smith Johannes Elias and wife Charlotta Hasselgren (yes, maiden names of married females were also recorded!) Notice that Johannes returned from Skartofta in 1847 and Charlotta moved into the parish in 1856.  Their four children, Malte Andreas, Sophie Elise, Frans Niclas and the first Johan Alfred are all listed. Charlotta’s birthplace is Lund. Johannes Elias and the four children were all born in Bjerrod, which is a farm area in the parish of Östra Karrstorp.

A later household examination from 1875-1884 gives further details about the family. All seven surviving children were still at home in 1875, but look at the side notes. Malte left for America in 1880. I was able to find him in the passenger lists. He was a barber who eventually settled in Chicago. He is last found in the 1930 census. No death record or cemetery record has yet been found. It appears he never married and left no descendants.

Son Johan Alfred moved to Sallerup on 28 September 1883.

Daughter Sophie Elise moved to Ystad, on the southernmost coast, in 1876.

The final household examination for the family is found in the register covering the years 1884-1895. The number of years in the book is a good indication of just how small the village was.

ArkivDigital, Household Exam, AI:17, Image 213

There are a lot of notes on this page. I don’t read Swedish, aside from sometimes being able to figure out parish names so I will ask for help getting these translated. Look at the far right hand columns, though. The last column says “Dod.” Johannes Elias died on 17 September 1894 in Bjerrod. This time, it says Malte went to America in 1886 – either he returned to Sweden for a visit or else the vicar made a mistake when entering the date. Otto Wilhelm died in Bjerrod on 12 march 1891. August Harald moved to Öved on 5 September 1892, Johan Alfred moved back and forth from Ystad in 1888 and 1889 and then went back and forth from a parish I don’t recognize in 1891 and 1892. Son Frans Niclas is now married to Anna Jonsdotter and they have a little girl of their own, Ester Charlotta. It is also noted that Frans Niclas is a smith, like his father.

Finding that Johannes Elias died on 17 September 1894, I then looked in the deaths/burials and found his entry:

On 17 September 1894, smed Johan Elias Molin, who lived at Bjerrod #3, aged 67 years, 10 months, 22 days, married, died of ? (this word isn’t recognized by Google translation, so I have another question to ask the staff in Salt Lake City next month) and was buried on 20 September 1894.

If you haven’t researched in Swedish records, don’t think that they are all this easy. Oftentimes, household examinations don’t begin early enough for the time period one needs and the same happens with moving in and moving out records.

Births, deaths and marriages are usually quite complete, but they are not indexed and are kept at the local church level. If you have a parish and year, it is an easy job. If you don’t know the parish, you might be reading a lot of registers looking for that one entry.

Johannes Elias Molin did, indeed, stay close to home for his entire life.I am very grateful for that because this is the one super easy search I’ve had for the Molin family.


Sara Brita Krok, 1791 and 1798

There have been multiple surprises along the road to finding the Molin family. There are two more records found for Sara Brita Krok and both are in the birth/baptisms in Önnestad, Kristianstad.

First is the birth of Johan Jacob Krok, illegitimate son of “Brita Krok” on 11 March 1791 in the “Invalide House” or poorhouse.

AD: Önnestad Births and Baptisms, Image #113

At first, I wondered if this was Sara Brita or another woman with a similar name. When I found the next record, I came to the conclusion that it was my Sara Brita. Next, I found the birth of Hans Samuel Krok, illegitimate son of Sara Brita Krok, born 24 April 1798, also in the “Invalide House.” Sara Brita was identified as an unauthorized resident, so I am not sure how she ended up recorded there. Perhaps someone took pity on her and allowed her to give birth there.

There was a household record for Önnestad for 1797 onwards, but the Invalide house had only four residents and Sara Brita was not one of them. I have yet to find where she was living, but likely it was near Önnestad since her children were born there in 1791 and 1798. No further records have been located in Önnestad through 1810 for Sara Brita or any of her children. No burial record has been found for her either.

Summary of the Lives of Anders Molin and Sara Brita Krok

Anders Molin was likely born say 1742 in the southern most portion of what used to be Malmöhus County to Nils Molin and an unknown mother who was born about 1705 and was buried in Finja in 1778. His father was also  a master tradesman and likely a master mason.

Anders married Sara Brita Krok on 2 February 1776 in Veberöd. She was born 7 March 1752 in Bonderup, the daughter of Hans Krok. They lived in Öved when their first child, Hans Peter, was born on 3 June 1776. He likely died soon, but no burial record has been found. Hans Niclas, their second son, was born in Finja on 31 August 1778. Hans Niclas is my ancestor. Third son, Johan Peter, was also born in Finja on 20 August 1780. He died on 15 September 1781 in Vankiva. Fourth child, again Johan Petter, was born in Vankiva on 20 July 1782. According to the population register, the Molins continued to live in Vankiva in 1783.

The family has not been located in 1784. By 1785, Anders Molin is living alone in Marstrand and is again there in 1786. He is gone by 1787 and has not been found in any further records.

Sara Brita Krok is found in Everlöv baptismal records named as the mother of the illegitimate child Jöns Abraham Krok, born 30 July 1786. Anders Molin’s named has been crossed out by the priest, indicating that he is not the father of Jöns Abraham. She is found in two more baptismal records, this time in Önnestad, being the mother of two more illegitimate children. The first is Johan Jacob Krok, born 11 March 1791. The second child born in Önnestad was Hans Samuel Krok, born 24 April 1798. Both of these children were born in the “Invalide House” or poorhouse, although no Kroks are found in the household examinations in Önnestad in 1797 or 1798.

The only child for whom records have been located is Hans Niclas, who married and lived in Öved, raising his own family there. It may be that he expressed his feelings regarding his own apparently tumultuous childhood by naming his first child, a son, Anders. None of his seven daughters were given Sara or Brita has a first or middle name.

I believe I have my work cut out for me when I return to the Family History Library. My next step will be to outline parishes to research. There is a fair amount of data on line about Sara Brita Krok’s family and I will be verifying sources for her extended family. Picking up the trail of Anders Molin, both before 2 February 1776 and after 1786 will not be as easy!