Quick tips: When the minister mess up

In some church books, a seemingly neat system can be messed up badly.

We are all happy when we find a neat layout in church books, where the genders are separated in different sections within the different parts of the book. We find this mainly in the births and death sections.

Everything is fine and dandy when the record keeper uses the system correctly. However, sometimes he messes up. I have seen this many times. As I now came across it again, I decided to share it.

In the Holt parish register, the minister records male and female births on separate pages. This pre-printed layout was not prepared for this, so he made a handwritten heading to each page: “Mandkjøn” → males, and “Kvindekjøn” → females. He follows this system, for the most part, but on several pages he makes mistakes. Looking at this page we see the heading states “Kvindekjøn”, but scrolling down we see that several boys have been registered on this page ( Christian Carl, Frederik, Knud Jørgen, Herman Christian, and Johan Otto).

SAK, Holt sokneprestkontor, F/Fa/L0009: Parish register (official) no. A 9, 1861-1871, p. 6
Quick link: https://www.digitalarkivet.no/kb20060131030008

I have seen this happen also in the church records where gender separation is part pre-printed form.

When I have used the gender filter in an advanced person search in the Digital Archives, I have sometimes come across persons who are registered with the wrong gender in the searchable database.

The lesson to take away from this is that, if we don’t find the person under the gender section we expect, we should also take a look at the other gender.


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