SweGGate Guide to Church Records:
How to Read Church Records

Titles for persons (social and relational)

ONLY relations and social titles are included here. Job titles has a separate dictionary. Also see general dictionary and other special dictionaries. For detailed explanations see general dictionary and articles on relevant topics.
Titles denoting relationship, e.g. brother, always refer to the recorded head of the household whether this may be a man or a woman but remember when the note was recorded in case someone died in the period.
Abbr. Title Comment
Afsk. Afskedad Retired. Commonly Afsk sold = retired soldier.
B Bonde farmer
Br Brukare literally = user. Generic term. Commonly a tenant farmer without land ownership. cf Åbo, Arrendator
Brod Broder brother, relative to the master of the household.
Dr. Dräng literally = farm hand but here often used in the meaning hemmason.
E, Enkl. Enkling widower. Spelling used until 20th century. Today änkling
E, Enk. Enka widow. Also enkan (definite form). Spelling used until 20th century. Today änka.
f.d.   former. Used as prefix to other title, e.g. f.d. sold = former soldier
Fad. Fader father (of the master of the household)
Fr Fröken = Miss. 
The title Fröken exists already in the yngre fornsvenska language as frögdeken (period ca 1300-1500) and in Danish, Dutch, North German at the same time. It is considered as a diminutive of Fru (= wife, married woman)
Spelling variations through the ages: fröyken, freuken, fruken, fröcken.
Originally used only as a title for an unmarried princess, later used for an unmarried daughter of a greve (sim to count) and then also by other nobility (18th century). In the 19th century increasingly used by upper and middle class people. From the 1860's, at the proposal by the newspaper Aftonbladet, used about any unmarried woman - the so called frökenreformen
Occasionally used today but rarely by young people.
There are several combinations using fröken both as prefix and suffix. Most of these refer to older times.
Grat Gratialist retired soldier receiving a pension (= gratial)
H.eg., Hem.eg Hemmansegare farm owner. Also  or simply eg (egare = ägare = owner). More
  hemmadotter = unmarried daughter living at home. This should be interpreted as "not previously married".
  hemmason = unmarried son living at home. This should be interpreted as "not previously married".
H /Hr Herr (male) = Mr. Used only for prominent people like priests, Med doctors, "higher" gov't officials, nobility, estate or factory owners etc. Very often in comjunction with the "job title", e.g. Hr comministeren, Hr doctoren
Much more common in city records but then less difference from other males. 
H / Hu Hustru (female) = Wife or married woman. 
Genealogical guide:
Note the meaning "married woman" since in many records it does not state a relation to a man mentioned in the same record, e.g. baptism witnesses.
Inh. Inhyses "tenant".
Jungfr, J:fru Jungfru basic meaning maid, virgin. The title for mother of Jesus Jungfru Maria.
Originally (some 400-800 years ago) used as a title for an unmarried woman of a specific "level" (class) of nobility but varying classes over time. Then by the general public used as a title by upper and middle class people for their unmarried daughters and also for their domestic female employees (housemaid). In the countryside and the "lower" classes townspeople the title piga was used in the same contexts.
The word is also used in several other meanings more or less (or not) connected to the basic meaning of virgin, e.g. a wet volume measure.
Genealogical guide:
When the title Jungfru is used in rural records you could assume that the person or the family were held in a somewhat higher esteem in that society. When reading city records this is the standard and does not signify any different status from other townspeople.
M Make Husband
Mad. Madam Madam. Exclusively "upper class" persons.
Mams Mamsell [French] Unmarried woman. Exclusively "upper class" persons.
Mod. Moder mother (of the master of the household). Also Modren
Måg Måg son-in-law
o.ä. oäkta, oägta "illegitimate" = out of wedlock.
"h o ä son" = her son out of wedlock. The standard assumption here is "her" but check the birth book.
P., Pig. Piga literally = (servant) maid, female farm hand.  cf: jungfru.
Pupill   Foster child (same word as English pupil)
Styfbarn Styfbarn Step-child
Styfs. Styfson Step-son
Styfdr. Styfdotter Step-daughter
Svåg. Svåger brother-in-law (of the master of the household). Abbrev. svåg. Note the similarity to svägerska but the person's gender will clarify.
Sväg. Svägerska sister-in-law (of the master of the household). Abbrev. sväg. Note the similarity to svåger but the person's gender will clarify.
Svärf., Svf, Sv:f Svärfader father-in-law (of the master of the household). Abbrev. svärf. Note the similarity to svärmoder but the person's gender will clarify.
Svärm., Svm, Sv:m Svärmoder mother-in-law (of the master of the household). Abbrev. svärm. Note the similarity to svärfader but the person's gender will clarify.
Sy., Syst. Syster sister (of the master of the household)
u.ä.   = utom äktenskap, same meaning as o.ä. above
Åbo    
Ä., Änkl. Änkling widower. see enkl.
Ä., Änk. Änka widow. see enk..

Page produced by F Haeffner. Want improvements of this page ? .. Mail me your contribution or request.

To home page Home To home page

Themes Main

To home page Church Records
Last updated by F Hae 2005-05-19 19:26 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2001-5