Monday, December 26, 2011

Mantalslängder (Tax Censuses) on SVAR

It has been a long time since I've updated this blog. Partly I've been too busy, but also I lost my blog's password for a time. (I've finally written it down, so I hope that problem won't happen again.) At any rate, I feel guilty about not posting since September. Perhaps that guilty feeling will inspire me to continue adding tidbits to this blog. ;-)

I don't want anyone to think I'm a spokesperson for SVAR, but they do have some great scanned records. Unfortunately SVAR is not as easy to use as Genline or Arkiv Digital. Some people subscribe and find nothing because they don't know how to find materials on SVAR.(They should have asked for help on a message board or asked for help from SVAR, but they didn't and wasted their money. I still feel sorry for them.)

I have been trying to use the mantalslängder (tax censuses) more because there is a huge gap in parish records of any type for about 20 years in Frändefors parish where two of my grandparents were born. It is therefore quite hard to get back more than a few generations using only the parish records. One useful record is the mantalslängder. They were created just about every year, as far as I can tell (with some gaps, perhaps). Also, the best records are in the Swedish section of SVAR. There are some records which can be found if the site is changed to English, but the choices are far greater if you use the Swedish listings on the left side of the home page.

The mantalslängder is not exactly a census. It is a listing of those who were supposed to pay the "mantalspengar". The listings are for people from about 15-63 years of age. Wives are usually listed as wife, not by name. Soldiers were exempt. I think the extremely poor were exempt. There seem to be age categories into which there are numbers placed. I am far from familiar with every part of this record, but there are listings of the older children (I suppose.) so you can keep track year by year of at least some of the children who belong to a particular family.Servants (farmhands, female farm workers, etc.) and children are just added to a column by numbers. (4 female farm workers, 3 farmhands, etc.)

This site explains the column headings.

Years ago I used to order microfilms of the mantalslängder from a Family History Center. They are in the  Family History Library Catalog under:

Sweden --> Swedish County --> Census

Once the film is selected, you have to find the film which has the parish you are searching in. Then you have to find the farm or village. This is a bit time-consuming, to say the least.

On SVAR it is easier. It has the mantalslängder from 1642-1820. (I think that the microfilms go later than that, but this is a good start.)

This is how I find those records.

1. Go to SVAR.

2. Sign in. (This is a subscription service.)

3. On the left side of the page, you will find "Skatter" (Taxes).

4. Click on "Skatter".

5. Click on "Mantalslängder 1642-1820".

6. Use the drop-down menu by Län to select the county you need.

7. "Församling". (parish)

a. Type the parish name. (Don't forget to use the "Swedish letters", if necessary.)

b. or you can use the drop-down menu. Choices are: "Innehåller" (contains), "Exakt" (exact), "Del av" (part of), and "Börjar med" (begins with)

8. "Härad" (Judicial District). You can leave this blank, or enter the härad, if you know it. 

9. "Startår" (beginning year)

10. "Slutår" (ending year)

11. "Sök" (Search) or "Rensa" (Erase)

12. Click on the "Bild" (Image) for the year you want. Iif you need to move forward to see more choices, click on "Nästa sida" (next page) at the bottom. If you need to move backwards, choose "Föregående sida" (previous page).

13. Once you have reached the images you want, you can adjust the size at the top of the page, but the size will change back to "Fit Page" unless you use the "Installningar" (Adjustments) link at the bottom right of the page.

14. I use the "Zoomnings grad" adjustment. The choices are "Hela sidan" (the whole page) and then the percentage of zoom. "Spara" means Save.

15. "Källa" (source) When you find the page you want, click on "Källa" and then copy the highlighted section. Then paste into your genealogy program.

16. You can move forwards or backwards one page at a time by clicking on the forward or backward arrow points.

17. You can move forwards or backwards five pages at a time by clicking on the +5 and -5 numbers.

18. You can move to the beginning or ending of the volume by clicking on the double arrow points.

19. There is also a drop-down menu which can be used to select the number of the image, which is probably not the exact page number.

20. If you find the image you want, then right click on the image. Move to "Selection" and then to "Copy". Paste into an image program. I use Irfanview, which can be downloaded for free. (I discovered Irfanview at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.) 

21. You can then save the image using Irfanview.

The guidebook "Cradled in Sweden" discusses the mantalslängder in chapter 11. 

There will be a class on Swedish Research with intermediate to advanced topics at this January's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. (However, as of this writing there are four seats left in this class.) Mantalslängder are among the topics which will be taught. Scroll down on the following website to find the information on the class.


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