The Kallman/Abrahamson Family: Exploring my Swedish-born grandparent's and siblings immigrant journey to "Amerika". Searching for cousins everywhere to share family stories, pictures, thoughts, ideas and new discoveries about our Swedish heritage and our family today.

~ This blog, like my family tree, is always a work in process. Please stop back now and again! ~

Thursday

Occupation Investigation - Karl Andersson

Many of the old Swedish parish records list an ancestors title or occupation.
The words are often confusing, antiquated and make little sense to me.
Now and again I like to investigate, do some research.
What is the meaning of my ancestors title or occupation?
How did he support and feed his family in his time?

My great great grandfather Karl Andersson, the father of my great grandmother Anna Karolina Karlsdotter was born and died on the farm Skäremo in Håcksvik, Västra Götaland, (Älvsborg), Sweden. So did his father Anders. He was a farmer. On his death record his occupation or position is listed as "Undantagsman". What? Did Karl have an additional occupation beyond farmer? I went to one of my favorite internet sites, Google translate. "Exceptional Man" is the translation they gave me. I know that I and my cousins think we have a pretty great family, but exceptional? A nice member of the "Swedish American Genealogy" facebook group directed me to her blog RESEARCHING SWEDISH ROOTS where I linked over to some sites that translated old Swedish genealogical terms.

from the SWEGGATE STARGUIDE SWEDISH DICTIONARY

Early pension scheme
In the old Swedish society (before the 20th century) there was no pension system except for some government employees and a few private initiatives. For a farmer who could, for any reason (old age, illness/injury etc), no longer earn his living there was no pension system available. He could sell his farm and live off that cash as long as it lasted but this would almost always mean that his heirs would not get the farm since they could usually not raise the cash needed. A very common practice was to draw up a födorådskontrakt - a contract between the owner of a farm and his successor with the following content: where the farm owner transfers the ownership to the other person on condition that the "receiver" provides board and lodging to the (former) owner and his family.
The "board and lodging" was usually detailed in the contract, sometimes in great detail stating the exact amounts of different foods, seeds, hay, fire wood, clothing etc, room / rooms / cottage to live in and sometimes also a small amount of cash.

The contract was usually registered at the district court so genealogy researchers can consult these archives (domböcker) to find them.
The obligations that the new owner had could be linked to the farm itself so that if he sold the farm the next owner would then have to provide for the "first" owner.

The person / family receiving the board and lodging were named födorådstagare or sometimes the more generic term undantagsman or backstugusittare were used.
Undantagsman is used for a person who lives on a farm without taking any significant part in the work.

Undantagsenka = a widow who is in an "undantag" situation.
Backstugusittare is used about a person on undantag but living in a backstuga - a small cottage."


Great great grandfather Karl was retired. Just like me!





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