Why should you research for soldiers?
If you have find an ancestor noted as a soldier in the church records, you often can find him in the military records and get some more genealogical information about him. All soldiers had to learn to read and write and if you are very lucky, maybe you will find a diary written by the soldier. As you can read in my page about the Allotment system, there were regularly inspections of the soldier's croft and you can find the records from these occasions. Often the military records are the best sources to learn how ordonary people lived in the past.
Some Military records
In the War Archives there are records from the 1530th. After the Allotment system was introduced there were more interesting records for the genealogist. Often you will begin with the Muster Rolls. Every third year the regiments had a muster called "Generalmönstring".
All soldiers and their equipment were inspected. The muster roll contains of following data:
If the soldier was a new recruit, they noted in the roll if he was accepted as a soldier or not. You can also find information regarding if the soldier was dismissed, if he was injured, ill etc. I recommend you to check my page, showing a part of Muster Roll from 1806.
- The Company
- The number of the "rote" (military ward or station)
- The name of the "rote"
- The soldier's name
- The county where the soldier was born
- The soldier's length age and how many years he had served as a soldier,
- The soldier's civil status
- Notes if the soldier was present or if he was commanded for services.
Other types of military records are pension records, command records and punishment rolls. The Military Archives have also a collection of portraits, biography, drawings, maps, illustrations and a very large library.
How to start research?
Very often the genealogist found a Swedish ancestor noted as a soldier (soldat) in the church records. Before you can start researching, you have to know the parish and county where your ancestor lived. When you know wich county and parish the soldier lived in, the easiest way to find the regiment and company he served for, is to check the book "Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket" by Claes Lorentz Grill, (only in Swedish). Here you can find the number of the "rote" (the military ward or station), the name of the "rote", that was the name of the largest of the farms, responsible for suplying a soldier (check the Allotment system). You will also find the regiment and company where the soldiers in this "rote" served. The book of Grill you can buy from The Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies, Mail order for genealogists, (scroll down ) .
A practical case:
You find your ancestor in the church records, the soldier Sven Plank, born 1775, lived in Sålltorp in Ulrika parish in Östergötland. In the register of Swedish parishes in Grill's book, you find Ulrika(E) I: 159; 161; II: 57. It means you will find Ulrika parish in part I, page 159 and 161, in part II, page 57. (Grill's book contains of two volumes. In volume I you find register of parish and regiments and part 1. In volume II there are part 2 - 4). If you check volume 2, part II and page 57 you can see that the soldiers in Sålltorp and Amundebo served in the regiment Första Livgrenadjär Regementet and in the Company, Kinds Kompani. You can also see that the number of the "rote" is 2 and 5. Now you can check the Muster Rolls from the regiment Första Livgrenadjär Regemetet and check Kinds Kompani, no 2 Sålltorp. I recommend you to check my page, showing a part of Muster Roll from 1806.You will find "rote" no 2, Sålltorp and Sven Plank.
The War Archives holds the Muster Rolls (Generalmönsterrullor). You will also find them in SVAR Shopping index (The Swedish National Archives, "Riksarkivet"). To consult the actual document you have to know the volume number of the microfich. The card index and the series itself are avaiable through SVAR Shopping index, under "Militaria, Kronobergs län -, generalmönsterrullor. Referensces located in the index provide a brief description of the document (in Swedish), date, "K"-series volume number and a page number.
How to order from SVAR
You can order direct from Sweden, SVAR Shopping index or through
The Swenson Center, Swedish Immigration Research.
Visit following sites:
Cathy's Genealogy Pages (Very good instructions for using and ordering direct from SVAR)
Have you found a Swedish ancestor?
Do you want any professional help?
Elisabeth Thorsell, Swedish genealogist & editor, Recommended
Read also my story about my ancestor: The soldier Sven Planck Wallpol