Rabbit Holes and Connections

In my tree, where each branch has pedigree collapse and mild endogamy, it often pays off to go down “rabbit holes” and document spouses, in-laws, and their trees. I use ArkivDigital for my Swedish ancestry, loving the indexes that make searching rather easy.

So today I was looking for information on a 6th great grandmother, Malin Persdotter. I had estimated her as born about 1700, based on the birth date of the next generation. I assumed she was born in the same parish where she and her husband lived, and searched birth records from 1680-1705, and found only one person with the right first name and father’s name. (Swedish genealogy: patronyms.) She was born in 1694 in Sk√•rstorp. I had earlier searched birth records and found five children born to her and her husband, the earliest (my 5th great grandfather) born in 1723. I found a marriage record for the right names (Malin Persdotter and Anders Nilsson), about 6 weeks before that child was born, and her residence was Sk√•rstorp. That’s about as good as you can get for that time period with the records often being limited to birth, marriage, and death (and a lot of marriages were just before the first child was born, or even a few just after).

I entered her birthdate and birthplace in my tree. Then, to my surprise, the software prompted me: is she the same as the Malin Persdotter married to Olof Olsson, already in my tree WITH her birthdate and place of birth? Had she already been in my tree, just not connected? Or did I have the wrong information for the other Malin?

That Malin Persdotter was in my tree as “great-grandmother of husband of 3rd great aunt.” And found that the child I had found for that marriage was born after the children of the marriage to my 6th great-grandfather. So I looked for a marriage record — and there one was, this time 10 months before child was born. She is listed on that marriage record as residing where the children of that first marriage were born, and she is listed as a widow. BINGO.

Now to the death index, and the first husband died in December 1732, almost exactly a year before she remarried.

So it’s time to merge these two records, as they are so clearly the same person! And I had already found her parents and their death dates!