Hultsjö-Branch (From Cavalry in Småland to America)


Småland’s Cavalrymen

The cavalry regiment of Småland usually dates its origin from 1543 when Gustav Vasa determined to create an order of defense and let the native soldiers form the foundation of the new army. The cavalry units that were formed were at the time called "His Majesty the King’s Marksmen in Småland" and also "Småland’s Cavalry."

When Karl XI in 1684 established the [new] allotment system the regiment got a new name: The Royal Cavalry Regiment of Småland. After various name changes the unit became The Hussar Regiment of Småland (K4).

Per Jönsson
The genealogical descendancy of the cavalry family from Hultsjö, the so-called "Hultsjö-Branch," starts with the oldest name in the table below, Per Jönsson. The year is indicated as 1545, when the ¼ tax homestead known as Häggatorp Norregård in Hultsjö Parish in Jönköping County was used and inhabited by Per Jönsson. In 1567 he was an enlisted soldier. In 1578 he was "in enemy land" and three years later "in the hands of the enemy." Per Jönsson survived the war, returned home and was appointed quartermaster. He had three sons: Joen, Gudmund, and Per. According to the priest’s soldier’s register for 1572, Joen also became a "knict" (colloquial spelling of the Swedish word knekt, meaning soldier).

  Per Jönsson  
Joen Persson Gudmund Persson Per Persson
  Simon Gudmundsson  
  Per Simonsson  
Gudmund Persson Simon Persson Stedt
Ancestor of Noble-Branch
Håkan Persson
Ancestor of Hultsjö-Branch

Simon Gudmundsson, the son of Gudmund Persson, who took over the farm in 1610 was enlisted with the Småland Cavalry. His son in turn, Per Simonsson, enlisted in 1660 as a soldier with the Jönköping County Infantry. In the roll of newly enlisted soldiers he was referred to as a farmer and his domicile was Häggatorp. Per Simonsson was married in 1648. He had three sons: Gudmund, Simon, and Håkan.

Despite extensive research it has not been possible to determine with 100% certainty that Simon and Håkan were brothers, although everything indicates that this was the case. Since Håkan Persson’s son Måns – according to the applicable parish register – was named Måns Håkansson Stedt, he must have been the son of a Håkan. Måns’s mother was also identified as a soldier’s widow, which means that Håkan himself served as a soldier.

Therefore the objective has been to track the soldier Håkan with a connection to Hultsjö or neighboring parishes in Västra Härad (District) within Jönköping’s jurisdiction. The only one that can be found is the above-mentioned "Håkan Persson in Häggatorp." As has been stated, this does not count as proof, but he is the only soldier with the right first and last name from Häggatorp in Hultsjö, the same farm where Per Simonsson and his sons were residents. This does make one prone to believe that the right solution has been found.

If this is the case then we have also found evidence of what is otherwise believed, that is, the old cavalry family (i.e., the Hultsjö-Branch) was during the century 1800-1900 still living in their home parish Hultsjö.

Håkan Persson
Håkan Persson died in 169(7). A soldier and farmer in Häggatorp, Hultsjö Parish, he married Ingeborg. According to the population register they had five children, one of whom was Måns Håkansson (see below).

As has been mentioned above, Håkan Persson became a soldier in 1682. The roll of newly enlisted soldiers that year reflects "Håkan Persson in Häggatorp" for Västra Härad, Hultsjö Parish, with the note "does self" meaning that he had not hired anyone but served himself.

The regiment mustered on 23 August 1683 at Hossmo Farm south of Kalmar and was part of Captain Johan Roxman’s company, the "2nd Corporal Pikemen." The regiment was, as was the rest of the infantry during the 17th century, armed so that "2/3 of the regiment had muskets with matchlocks weighing 11 to 12 pounds and 1/3 carried 13-foot pikes."

It is not possible to determine how long Håkan Persson remained in the military. In the population registers one can derive that "K nyskr och h," i.e., the "newly enlisted soldier and wife" who lived at Häggatorp Norregård in 1683. In 1693 he was still referred to as a soldier, but the following year he was simply a farmer. In all probability he passed away in 1697 since after that year the wife was identified as a widow with five children.

Måns Håkansson Stedt
Måns Håkansson Stedt was born around 1686 in Häggatorp, Hultsjö, the son of Håkan Persson. He was a cavalryman and farmer and died in 1753 in Häggatorp. He married Karin Carlsdotter.

The first time that Måns is mentioned by name in the archival documents is 1703 when he is listed as a farmhand with his mother in Häggatorp. In 1706 and two years later he is listed as the keeper of the farm. But Måns Håkansson was also cavalryman. How it was possible for him to simultaneously keep the farm and sign on as a supply boy is unclear, but in the "Roll of Enlisted Supply Boys with Småland’s Cavalry Regiment" one finds the "supply boy" Måns Håkansson in "Field Team 7." The roll was dated 8 May 1704. Måns was a supply boy with the Major’s company, the same company where he became a cavalryman in 1709.

In the new regiments that were formed after Poltava there was also a cavalry regiment in Småland. Here we find Måns Håkansson in the "General Muster Roll of Cavalrymen Recruited and Acquired in Jönköping for the Småland Cavalry Regiment." Måns is present at the muster on 21 September 1709 in Jönköping under No. 98 in the Major’s company for Västra Härad, Hultsjö Parish for the Anderstorp cavalry ward. He is said to be "born in parish 23 years." The age data in the church and military documents varies. More on this below.

The regiment that Måns belonged to participated in the battle of Helsingborg in 1710. On 2 February 1710 the army crossed the Scanian border and in the middle of the month Stenbock’s army was in the Osby region. The battle of Helsingborg took place on the 28th of February.

Måns Håkansson survived the war and after this the Småland Cavalry garrisoned around Oxie where a muster occurred on 20 September 1710 under the command of Major Carl Bonde. In the roll we find in the Major’s own company "No. 98 Anderstorp Måns Stedt." He is also identified as "born in Småland in Hultsjö Parish, admitted as a cavalryman in September 1709, 21 years old and knows shoemaking and how to read a book." That Måns Håkansson and Måns Stedt are the same person is clearly the case.

Here one may also assume the reason why he was called Stedt. It was during the 1710 roll that "–son" names (patronymics) began to disappear and the soldiers were given more distinctive names. Given the opportunity to receive a new family name it is logical that he would choose the soldier’s name that his uncle brought back from Germany, i.e., Stedt.

In 1718 Måns Stedt was still in service. When the company mustered at Ljunga Plain on 17 June 1718 "No. 98 Anderstorp – the hired cavalryman Måns Stedt, age 28 years, years of service 8, place of birth Smål." is noted. In 1719 Måns Stedt moved to Hultsjö village. The same year he was married to the "widow Karin in Hultsjö village." In 1735 Måns Stedt and his family moved to Häggatorp Norregård where he died in 1753. In the parish register we see "1753, 23 April, the old man Måns Håkansson Stedt from Häggatorp Norreg. buried, died 17 April from tremor illness, 76 years old."

It is likely that Måns Stedt was only 67 years old when he died. If he had been 76 years old (and therefore born in 1677) as found in the parish register he would have been 20 years old when his father died in 1697 and thereby obliged to be included in the census registration. But the register does not include Måns until a bit into the 18th century. The information in the parish catechetical meetings register does not occur until after 1749, and the data that was then included was probably based on oral reports.

In the rolls over the years from 1710 to 1718 the age data for Måns varies such that in 9 years he only became 5 years older. The most reliable source is the new recruits roll from 1709. Måns was probably born in 1686.

Per Månsson Stedt
Per Månsson Stedt was born in 1723 in Hultsjö Mellangård, the son of Måns Håkansson Stedt. He was a cavalryman and farmer. He died in Häggatorp in 1801.

Sometime between 1731 and 1737 Per moved with his parents to Häggatorp Norregård, which he later owned. Through heritage and acquisition he came to own the whole of Häggatorp Norregård.

Like his forefathers Per Stedt was a cavalryman with the Småland Cavalry. In the "General Muster Roll of Småland’s Regiment Cavalry and the Major’s Company Enlisted in Ekesiö 15 October 1744" we find for "No. 97 Hultsjö the hired cavalryman Per Stedt, admitted 1743, 21 years old." According to the roll he served for his half-brothers Sven and Jon Persson, among others. Per Stedt was a cavalryman until about 1759. He owned and cultivated ¼ assessment unit of Häggatorp in Hultsjö Parish. In 1787 Per Stedt sold his part of Häggatorp to his son-in-law to be, the widower Johan Persson from Anderstorp for 1,300 rix-dollars in silver coin. Per Stedt passed away on 9 February 1801 in Häggatorp at the age of 78.

The End of an Epoch
With the death of Per Stedt the epoch of the cavalrymen from Häggatorp also ended.  Måns Persson, who is my father’s mother’s mother’s father’s father’s father (i.e., my great-great-great-great-grandfather) moved to Stigåsa and became a farmer. In his family chronicles Nils Stedt wrote that the further destinies of the Hultsjö-Branch would have to be told by someone else, and so my own genealogical investigation of the Hultsjö-Branch.

The research on Per Jönsson and his descendants up until Per Stedt was conducted by the late vice-president of Insurance Company, Nils Stedt (1894-1983), member of the Noble-Branch, and is preserved at the Riksarkivet (National Archives) in Stockholm. I visit the National Archives in 1986.

Translation: Gabriella Jönsson, Ystad ( Completed; Dean Wood, Dayton, Maryland, USA )

After Per Stedt:

Måns Persson, Farmer in Stigåsa
Jonas Månsson, Farmer in Stigåsa
Peter Carl Jonasson, Farmer in Stigåsa and Stockaryd, etc,  married Carolina Christina Svensdotter Stedt
Maria Petersdotter married Anders Jonasson, Farmer in Stigåsa
Sofia Andersson married Elof Ekström
Arthur Ekström
Lennart Ekström