Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Johan Bengtsson Wessman Birth Record

Amanda and Johan Wessman and child.
With the unexplained discrepancy in the ages of Johan Bengtsson Wessman's grandparents from Monday, I am starting again from scratch to make sure that all the families have been assembled correctly.

Swedish birth and christening records have been kept since 1686, when a church law stated that each parish priest must keep records for "All children legitimate as well as illegitimate with their parents and godparents names (and the) birth and christening date." [Source.] The records are not always available due to church fires and other circumstances, but families can also be reassembled using other church and government records.

When looking at birth records, the best way to make sure you have the correct person is by using a combination of names, places, and witnesses, since you can't tell from names alone. Since personal names in Sweden were taken from a fairly small set of names, it was not uncommon to have two children of the same age in the same parish with the same name, and I've seen families in the same parish where the husbands and wives have the exact same names and were having children at the same time.

So, let's start with Johan Bengtsson Wessman's birth record. He was born at Braseröd in Romelanda Parish, Göteborgs och Bohus, Sweden, on March 2, 1840. Romelanda Parish is now called Diseröd and from time to time records will be indexed under that name.

This is the church where Johan was christened when he was two days old.

Romelanda Church, looking much as it did in 1840. From Wikipedia.

Here is the Romelanda parish record book for 1840 to 1880. This book was scanned by the Genealogical Society of Utah (now FamilySearch) in 1956. The record is available from the Church on microfilm, or from in digital format.

Here is the page showing Johan's birth and christening record. His name at birth was Johan Bengtsson. He later changed his name to Wessman.

Here is a close-up of his record.

1840 Births and Christenings in Romelanda Parish...
Entry 11. [March]. Born: 2. Christened: 4. Name: Johan. Parents: Bengt Pehrsson from Braseröd, Mrs. Maret Olsdotter. Age of mother: 39. Witnesses (godparents): Telle Oleson from Braseröd, Arvid Andreasson from N. Esphalassen, Catharina Nilsdotter from ___, Anna Britta Larsdotter from Signahög.
The next record created for a child would be the communion records. Romelanda communion records only cover the years 1812-1831, so they will not include Johan.

Next up is the Romelanda clerical census and the Utflyttning register. When I look up the family in the census, I will also check the place names shown in the birth/christening record to make sure they're correct.

Johan is the first person shown on this genealogy fan chart, in green. His parents, Bengt and Maret, are shown in blue.

No comments:

Post a Comment