View Full Version : How to read church communion records?

09-05-05, 00:07
I am just getting into looking at church communion records, and don't quite know how to interpret one that I've found. There are 3 main groupings. The person I'm interested in is Matts Ericsson Dahla, who is in the third grouping. I have his birth record and it matches the birth date shown, and his parent's names on the birth record are Eric Mattson Dahla and Lisa Simonsdotter, who are listed at the top of the page in the first group. My question is, why are there what appears to be three seperate groups of children with overlapping dates in each group? Thanks for any help!


09-05-05, 00:18
I've attached an image of the communion record I am asking about here:


09-05-05, 00:31
Hi Jim,
Here's what it looks like to me:

First the parents are listed. Next is son Erik b.77 followed by his wife, Caisa, b.78 and their two children. The next group would be son-in-law Matts b.78, daughter Maria b.79, with their two children. The last group would appear to be unmarried children daughter Britha b.82, son Matts b.87, and daughter Lisa b.92.

They typically group them oldest to youngest and if there are any that are married, then their families are mixed in there as well.

09-05-05, 06:16
Thanks, Kevin. That all makes sense, except for one name in the second grouping - I don't think son Johan b:80 is a child of Matts and Maria because the dates are wrong, but he is in date order with the other children of Erik & Lisa. In any event, this is really helpful info in sorting through the other communion records I have.

Any idea on who the person way down at the bottom of the page (Caisa Lisa) b:1804 might be?


09-05-05, 07:58
In the record you can read that Caisa Lisa is Marias OÄKTA DOTTER, which means that Maria has a child without being married.

Christian Dahlin

09-05-05, 15:31
Hi Jim,
It's hard to say why it appears the way it does but looking closer tells a few things.

In my opinion, it seems like the Johan b.80 has a patronymic of Ersson which I would interpret to mean the son of the head of the farm, Eric Mattson. Maybe what the priest did when he entered the family's names in was to leave spaces between the older children who were married to allow for any children they had. If you disregard the grandchildren, the children's birth years do seem to be sequential.

You'll also notice that there's a cross in the margin left of his name and the word "död" to the right. That indicates he died. I've sometimes seen where they'll draw a line through the person's name but that isn't the norm, in my experience.

You don't show the range of years that this record is for but it's probably an insignificant detail.

09-05-05, 16:15
Thanks Christian & Kevin for the info. This record is for 1800-1806; I printed this one off of microfilm to take home and study how to read it, and now I am a lot better prepared to go back to the Family History Center and read the rest of them thanks to your help!


09-05-05, 20:16
If you remain uncertain whose child a certain person is, it is extremely helpful if you can check the birth record of the person from the microfilm of original birth records or from Hiski. The dates in communion books are very often slightly off which sometimes makes it more difficult but even more important, to find the original birth records.

Kaj Granlund
10-05-05, 17:59
These communionrecords were rewritten every 10th year, so you can also check the ones before this one to find the order of the children. There might also be children that married or moved outside the parish that you can find this way.