Tag Archives: Hans Samuel Krok

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.

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!