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:
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.
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.