Katarina Andersdotter Times Two (Three?)

I checked my tree with a duplicate checker, and it wanted me to check whether the Katarina Andersdotter born 13 Feb 1784 was the same person as the Katarina Andersdotter born 29 Sep 1786. Both had died in the same place on the same day, but their children and spouses didn’t match. Parents’ names matched, though.

My first guess was that I’d confused two people. Some events were happening in the Värmskog parish, some in the Stavnäs parish. And of course, there are multiple spellings possible for Katrina/Katarina/Cathrina etc.

So I started with the birth records. I couldn’t find a Katarina with the 1786 birthdate in Värmskog, but I did find the 1784 Katarina. Searching household examination (HHE) records, I couldn’t find the 1784 Katarina after 1810 in Värmskog, though in that record I found her o.ä. (“without marriage”) son, Erik. Erik is not listed with the 1786 Katarina in Stavnäs, where she is married with three daughters all younger than that son’s age.

The 1786 Katarina has children Maria Lisa (1813), Anna (1816), Cajsa (1820), and Anders (1822).

Then I found another Värmskog record with Erik listed as “dotters son” in Katarina’s father’s family. He is listed right below another daughter, Kerstin (aka Kjersti in some records). Immediately under Kerstin and Erik is a Catrina Andersdotter, but with a birth year of 1793. Underneath that Catrina are two children: Anna (1818) and Anders (1820). So, not quite the same as the 1786 Katarina’s children, though close.

A closer look at that Catrina and there are + signs linking her as wife of Anders, brother to Kerstin and Katarina. Yes, she’s in the birth index with that birthdate, and parents are different (phew) though her mother’s name is similar to that of the other Katarinas (Anna Olsdotter vs. Annika Olsdotter).

About this time, I’m making odd noises about all the similar names and the lack of creativity in naming!

About going back to the Anders/Katarina/Kerstin family (there is also an Erik and Kajsa), I notice for the first time: Katarina (1784) is the eldest, and her next youngest sibling Kerstin was born … on the date that the other Katarina was born on!

Next: documenting Kerstin’s life. Remember, the 1786 Katarina had children Maria, Anna, Cajsa, and Anders. That Katarina was married to an Anders Olsson. I see a record for Kerstin (1786) and her family. She’s married to an Anders Jonasson, and has children Maria, Anna, Caisa. Three names the same and in the same sequence! So were Katarina and Kerstin confused in the records? No, on further checking, the years are different. Maria (1811), Anna (1819), Caisa (1822). (I later found Kerstin’s last daughter, Stina, 1826.)

More noises about lack of creativity in names.

I was able to trace Kerstin and her family through to Kerstin’s death. She lived and died in Värmskog, never moved to Stavnäs. So — no, this is definitely not the same as Katarina.

I went back, and realized that this is what happened: Katarina had a son, Erik, without being married. On one HHE record, that son is staying with her parents’ family, and thus looks like he might be Kerstin’s son with the way he’s listed. In 1820, Erik is living with Katarina, her new husband, and his half-sisters, in Stavnäs, and his mother’s birth date is her sister’s correct date. She carries this wrong date with her through all the HHE records from then on.

So, finally, three Catrina/Katrina/Katarinas are clarified, and make sense. (Just for fun, I put Erik’s father’s later marriage and the children from that marriage in the tree as well. And Erik goes on to marry a Kerstin, just to be more confusing.)

It didn’t solve any mysteries — yet. Katarina’s husband (father of all her children but Erik) is related to a DNA match whose connection to me I have yet to nail down, though I’ve documented quite a few generations in that tree. Katarina is an ancestor of the husband of one of my great-aunts — and part of the reason that husband’s ancestry is on my tree is that it might have some other overlaps or connections (I’ve found a few other intermarriages with it). But the main reason is that I’m pursuing any connections with Värmskog.

I’m pursuing a mystery ancestor who appears in Stavnäs when she is in her 20s, and all the later records say she’s from Värmskog. But I haven’t yet found a Värmskog record with her on it, with anything like the birthdate she uses on later records and any of the many possible variations on her name (Stina). So far, though, this last untangling hasn’t gotten me closer to Stina’s past.

Maybe the next such mystery solved will get me closer to that bigger mystery.