Reconstructing Nils Gall 1787-1859

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Nilsson
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Sweden
Year range
1787 - 1859


As an adult, Nils Nilsson Gall almost always said he was born in the town of Högsby, Kalmar province, Sweden, on March 12, 1787. (1) Maybe so. But his baptism was not recorded there. In normal genealogical life, we could read off his parents from the baptismal register and work from there. Without this record for a road map, our quest for his ancestors takes a sharp off-road turn into an untracked swamp of indirect evidence, hypotheses, and guesses.

Nils was a very common name in southeastern Sweden in the late eighteenth century. In Högsby alone there are ten children named Nils born to fathers named Nils between 1785 and 1790, any one of whom could be our ancestor — and that’s not counting the unknown number of sons named Nils whose fathers bore the patronymic Nilsson and chose to treat it as a true surname.

Nils Gall makes his earliest known appearance in the records as a resident of Mörlunda some time between 1803 and 1813. He’s a dragoon who married Stina Larsdotter in 1809. (2) We don’t know if he saw active service, but Sweden was involved in a desperate losing war for Finland in 1808. He resigned his position in 1811, shortly before moving to the town of Gårdveda, but evidently re-enlisted promptly. (3) All these towns are in Kalmar, where he apparently spent his whole life, and are within 15-20 miles of each other.

He appears as “Nils Nilsson Gall” in the Kalmar Regiment’s 29th Regiment and 29th Company in 1822. (4) The same identifying number appears in his 1806-1817 household examination, which confirms that the man usually named Nils Gall was born Nils Nilsson. (5)

The only evidence that he and Stina had children is a tragic one: she is reported to have died in childbirth February 17, 1817. (6) (The child isn’t mentioned in the town’s baptism or burial records.) As a widower, Nils moved to Virserum and later that year married 27-year-old Catharina Samuelsdotter. (7)

Nils and Catharina were married in Virserum and apparently lived there for two years or so, returning to Gårdveda in 1820. (8) They had six children between 1818 and 1833, including our ancestor Gustaf Stenberg (see genealogical summary below). Nils is described as “soldat” in his children’s baptismal records from 1818 to 1829.

For whatever reason, he was ill and unable to serve in June 1826, when two men, Petter Nilsson and Johan Nilsson, scrawled their initials on a letter attesting to this fact. (9) We theorize that they were his brothers, a conclusion strengthened by their appearance as witnesses at some of his children’s baptisms.

His sons seem to have adopted Nilsson as a surname and stayed close to home, with one known exception. Our ancestor Gustaf chose a new surname and lived in several other places, including Stockholm, before settling two counties away in Skaraborg province, where he worked as a tailor. (10)

In later life beginning in the 1830s, Nils was described in the records as a “torpare” — peasant or cottager. (11) He and Catharina died within months of each other in 1859 in their late 60s or early 70s, preceded in death only by their youngest son.

GENEALOGICAL SUMMARY

1. Nils Nilsson Gall was born perhaps 12 March 1787 perhaps in Högsby, Kalmar, Sweden. (All towns are in Kalmar province unless otherwise stated; details in footnote 1.) He died 28 November 1859 Målilla. (12) He married first Stina Larsdotter 12 November 1809 Högsby. (13) She was born 6 June 1788 Högsby, the daughter of Lars Jönsson and Elin Jönsdotter (14), and died Gårdveda 17 February 1817. (15) He married second Catharina Samuelsdotter 1817 Virserum. (16) She was born 11 March 1790 Virserum, the daughter of Samuel Munter and Margreta Jönsdotter. (17) She died 4 March 1859 Målilla. (18)

Child with Stina:

i. Unknown child, born and died approximately 17 February 1817 Gårdveda. (19)

Chidren with Catharina:

ii. Carl Magnus, born 22 baptized 27 September 1818 Virserum (20). He’s crossed off with an indecipherable note (not including the word “dead”) in the family’s1828-1837 household examination. (21)

iii. Nils Petter, born 6 October 1822 Gårdveda (22), died after 1889. (23) He married first Johana Lovisa Andersdotter 23 June 1853 Gårdveda (24), who was born 31 March 1831 in Målilla med Gårdveda, daughter of Anders Johan Johansson and Anna Stina Eriksdotter. (25) Two children and one known grandchild. He married second Eva Stina Danielsdotter 23 June 1857 Gårdveda (26), who was born 31 October 1828 Virserum, daughter of Daniel Andersson and Catharina Jonsdotter. (27) Six children.

iv. Gustaf, born 23 April 1824 Gårdveda (28), died 13 August 1885 Falköping, Skaraborgs län. (29) He married Maja/Maria Johansdotter 13 May 1849 Falköping, Skaraborgs län. (30) Five children, six known grandchildren.

v. Johan, born 30 September 1826 Gårdveda. (31) He appears to have married Anna Stina Nilsdotter; we’re still trying to decipher the location. (32)

vi. Johannes, born 29 June 1829 Gårdveda. (33) He married Johanna Maria Carlsdotter 14 March 1858 Gårdveda. (34)

vii. Sven August, born 15(?) December 1833 Gårdveda (35), died there 24 August 1857. (36)

FOOTNOTES

1. Nils Gall appears in the following household examinations (other records noted as such) in which his birth date and place are reported rather consistently on eleven different occasions over half a century: – 1787 Högsby (1803-1813 in Mörlunda, AI:6, page 141, GID 124.7.23900) – 12 Mar 1787 Högsby (1806-1817 in Gårdveda, Book 2, page 119; it is in this household examination that he’s noted as No. 29, corresponding to the Mönsterruller {below} and confirming his identity as Nils Nilsson) – 1788 Gårdveda (1816-1825 in Virserum AI:51, page 39, GID 185.22.26700) – 12 Mar 1787 Högsby (1817-1823 in Gårdveda, Book 3, pages 208-9) – “Ålder 35” in 1822 implying birth circa 1786-1787 (Kalmar Regiment General Mönsterruller, Regiment 29, Company 29, Nils Nilsson Gall) – 12 Mar 178x [last digit obscured, could be 7, 8, or 9] Högsby (1823-1827 in Gårdveda Soldate-Torpet, page 103, GID 43.5.3300) – 12 Mar 1787 Högsby (1828-1837 in Gårdveda Salsnäs Soldat torpet, page 113, GID 43.6.18500) – 12 Mar 1787 Högsby (1828-1837 after moving to Gårdveda Botergård, page 47, GID 43.6.11900) – 12 March 1787 Högsby (1843-1854, Gårdveda Botergård Björkenas, page 54, GID 43.7.27400) – 12 March 1787 Högsby (1852-1865, Gårdveda Botergård Björkenas, page 47, GID 43.8.46800) – age 72 in death record 28 November 1859, implying birth circa 1787 (Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla, Deaths 1858-1862, page 295, GID 115.19.32300) Two alternative and somewhat helpful conclusions can be drawn from this list and his non-appearance in Högsby birth records at the appointed time: (1) perhaps he was born at about that time in a nearby town, or (2) perhaps he was born in Högsby at a slightly different time. (Of course, his origin might bear no relationship at all to what he said in later life, or he might have been born exactly when and where he said but for some reason the fact was not recorded at the time. So we cannot proceed by elimination.) Following the first hypothesis, we looked for Nils sons born 12 March 1787 to fathers named Nils in all the nearby parishes we could identify: Långemåla, Fagerhult, Kraksmala, Kristdala, Döderhult, Fliseryd, Morlunda, and Tveta. None were found. There was one possible Nils son of Nils born in Döderhult probably born in February 1787 (the entry is extremely illegible), and in Fliseryd a Nils son of Erik born 10 March and a Nils son of Sven born 19 March. Following the second hypothesis, we surveyed Högsby birth records from the beginning of 1786 to the end of 1790 and found ten potential candidates born Nils with fathers named Nils, who might be Nils Gall. In neither this nor the previous survey did we include sons named Nils born to fathers who were Nilssons but had a different given name. (1) 29 Jul 1787 son of Nils Persson & Kiersten Persdotter (GID 61.23.48600) (2) 15 July 1788 son of Nils Svensson & Ingeborg Nilsdotter (GID 61.23.49000) (3) 29 July 1788 son of Nils Månsson & Stina Andersdotter (GID 61.23.49100) (4) 1 December 1788 son of Nils Månsson & Lisa Nilsdotter (GID 61.23.49200) (5) 23 December 1788 son of Nils Persson & Cajsa Nilsdotter (GID 61.23.49200) (6) 26 December 1788 son of Nils Nilsson & Stina Nilsdotter (GID 61.23.49300) (7) 21 January 1789 son of Nils Jonsson & Cajsa Jonsdotter (GID 61.23.49400) (8) 21 February 1789 son of Nils Nilsson & Lena Samuelsdotter (GID 61.23.49400) (9) 14 March 1789 son of Nils Persson & Cajsa Jonsdotter (GID 61.23.49400) (10) 8 April 1789 son of Nils Danielsson & Ingeborg Lisa Hemmingsdotter (GID 61.23.49400) In the past, we had identified Nils Gall with candidate #9. A reinspection of his birth family’s household examination in Högsby in 1810 (page 27, right-hand column, GID 61.6.111300), however, shows his name crossed off as if he’d departed from the household – and then re-entered immediately below with the same birth date and a wife Kirstin Carlsdotter and daughter Stina. (Thanks to DISBYT contributor Charlotte Fröjd for listing this family and forcing us to re-examine the evidence!) Therefore we can eliminate him from consideration, as our ancestor Nils Gall was married to Stina Larsdotter between 1809 and 1817. We then surveyed Högsby household examinations for 1806 and 1810. There we found that candidates #4 and #10 lack siblings named Petter or Jonas. Candidate #2 is of particular interest, because he is later found living with his birth family in Mörlunda, having moved there from Högsby in 1789. [Sweden, Kalmar, Mörlunda household examinations 1795-1802, AI:4, page 234, GID 124.4.58900] This corresponds to Nils Gall’s living in Mörlunda circa 1803-13, and his claim to have been born in Högsby. But the birth date is off, and we find no clear indication from Mörlunda household examinations that he ever entered the military. The Högsby household examinations unearthed two more candidates: (11) 12 March 1784 son of Nils Nilsson & Stina Persdotter, in Foglebo (GID 61.1.3600). He has a brother named Peter. However, the birth records show his actual birth as 18 March (GID 61.23.46400). (12) 13 March 1785, a barely legible marginal listing with no family connection visible (GID 61.6.115000). Reinspecting other household examinations involving Nils Gall, we observed that he’d been in Mörlunda. A survey of Mörlunda’s household examinations 1803-1813 (AI: 5 and 6, GID 124.5.xx, 124.6.xx, and 124.7.xx) turned up no candidates who weren’t already encumbered with wives or birthdates too distant to be considered.

2. Sweden, Kalmar, Mörlunda, household examinations 1803- 1813, page 141, GID 124.7.23900.

3. Sweden, Kalmar, Mörlunda, household examinations 1803- 1813, AI:6, page 141, GID 124.7.23900.

4. Sweden, Kalmar, Kalmar Regiment General Mönsterruller 1822, Family History Library microfilm #0137373.

5. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:2, household examinations 1806-1817, book 2, page 119, GID 43.2.70900.

6. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:2, household examinations 1806-1817, Book 2, page 119, GID 43.2.70900.

7. Sweden, Kalmar, Virserum, C:3, Births 1768-1808, page 302 (printed) or 704 (handwritten), GID 185.43.8300.

8. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:3, household examinations 1817-1823, book 3, page 208-209, GID 43.3.83500.

9. Sweden, Kalmar, Kalmar Regiment General Mönsterruller 1826, right-hand side of double page including #29, Family History Library microfilm #0137373.

10. Detailed information and sources at http://wc.rootsweb.com/~hendersonscholes.

11. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, household examinations 1828-1837, page 47, GID 43.6.11900; 1843-1851, page 54, GID 43.7.27400.

12. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda Deaths 1858- 1862, page 295, Nils Gall, GID 115.19.32300.

13. Sweden, Kalmar, Högsby, CI:3, Marriages 1752-1780, page 332, GID 61.21.32300. In this record he is identified as “dragon,” i.e. dragoon, and therefore was already in the military.

14. Sweden, Kalmar, Högsby, CI:4, Births 1780-1832, page 84, GID 61.23.49000.

15. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:2, household examinations 1806-1817, book 2, page 119, GID 43.2.70900.

16. Sweden, Kalmar, Virserum C:4, Marriages 1809-1845, marriage #6. This record names the bride oddly as Anna Ch. Samuelsdotter. It’s undated but located between entries dated February and May 1817. On the other hand, the family’s 1817- 1823 household examination for Gårdveda (page 208-209, 3rd book, GID 43.5.3300) gives the date 31 October 1817.

17. Sweden, Kalmar, Virserum, C:3, Births 1768-1808, page 302 (printed) or 704 (handwritten), GID 185.43.8300.

18. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:5, Deaths 1858-1862, page 51, GID 115.19.32100.

19. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:2, household examinations 1806-1817, book 2, page 119, GID 43.2.70900.

20. Sweden, Kalmar, Virserum, C:4 Births 1809-1844, page 141, GID 185.44.24400. Note that a later household examination gives the erroneous 17 September 1818.

21. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda household examinations 1828-1837, page 47, GID 43.6.11900.

22. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:5, Births 1801-1829 (mislabeled 1859-1860), page 66, GID 115.19.21200.

23. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, AI:11, household examinations 1882-1889, page 129, GID 43.18.6300.

24. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda, C:5, Marriages 1851-1861, page 3, 115.19.17200.

25. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda, C:4, Births 1801-1851, page 279, GID 115.17.89900.

26. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda, C:5, Marriages 1851-1861, page 8, GID 115.19.17500.

27. Sweden, Kalmar, Virserum, C:4, Births 1809-1844, page 281, GID 185.44.31800.

28. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:5, Births 1801-1829 (mislabeled 1859-1860), page 72, GID 115.19.21500.

29. E-mail from retired Skara head librarian Arne Strang to Rick Henderson 1 & 7 March 2002.

30. Sweden, Skaraborg, Falköping Household Examinations Index 1796-1865, Family History Library microfilm #555231.

31. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:5, Births 1801-1829 (mislabeled 1859-1860), page 80, GID 115.19.21900.

32. Sweden, Kalmar, Gårdveda, household examinations 1843-1851, page 54, GID 43.7.27400, right side, bottom half of third line of listings.

33. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:5, Births 1801-1829 (mislabeled 1859-1860), page 90, GID 115.19.22400.

34. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda Marriages 1851-1861, page 9, GID 115.19.17500. Groom identified by name and by location “Björkenas … Gårdveda.”

35. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla med Gårdveda C:4, Births 1801-1851, page 30, GID 115.17.90900. The entry is barely legible.

36. Sweden, Kalmar, Målilla, C:4, Deaths 1801-1857, page 701, GID 115.18.16300.

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

(1) Check Mönsterruller military records, hoping to find both enlistments and both musterings out for Nils Gall (including neighborhood or address where he was living the first time), birth date, birth place, parents’ names, and/or where any active service occurred. General: FHL #137372 for 1806, 1817; FHL #137373 for 1822, 1826 (viewed earlier). Army muster, inspection, and cassation rolls: FHL #84368 for 1807-10, 1812, and FHL #84369 for 1813-1815, 1825, 1832. As of now, this should be top priority as it’s our only obvious remaining opportunity to definitively identify our ancestor.

(2) Check candidate Nils Nilssons for dying, marrying wrong people, or going away.

(3) Check candidate Nils Nilssons for siblings Petter and Johannes (or similar) who don’t die young.

(4) Expand set of candidates by enumerating Nils on of _____ Nilsson, and check them as in (2) and (3).

COMMENTS

2 Responses to “Reconstructing Nils Gall (Sweden, 1787?-1859)”

  1. Bo Johansson Says:
     November 29th, 2005 at 11:57 am e
     Have you seen that there is a Nils Nilsson Gall born 1787 in the “Centrala soldatregistret” http://soldat.dis.se/
     Gall, Nils [Nilsson]
     Born: 1787
     Regiment: Kalmar regemente
     Company: LIV
     Parish: Vena
     File (Rote): Hultåsa
     Document number: CR-00-0029-1812
  2. Bo Johansson Says:
     August 31st, 2006 at 8:15 am e
     Some comments:
     “He appears as “Nils Nilsson Gall” in the Kalmar Regiment’s
     29th Regiment and 29th Company in 1822″
     – No he was soldier no 29 of the company, or of the regiment. The regiment’s were not numbered and a regiment had only 8 companies. He is “Soldat no. 29″ in the Gårdveda HFL 1806-1817 (GID 43.2.70900).
     On the worldsconnect page for Nils Nilsson Gall “Occupation: “Soldaten” = Soldier “sidbatmar Royoni”, and the page for Gustav Stenberg “Soldaten ridhalmar Royoni. Nils Gall”
     – Both should probably be “soldaten vid kalmar Regmt” (regemente) = the soldier at Kalmar regiment.
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