What does three small rings in a triangle mean in a Swedish parish registers?


In Sweden during the 18th and 19th century each parish had a "Husförhörslängd", a book tallying the people in the parish keeping track of how well they knew their biblical history, and if they had taken their communion.

Very often in these books I find that some people have a marking of three small rings in a triangle. See enclosed picture.

What does this marking mean?

Example of three rings marking

Lennart Regebro

Posted 2012-11-04T15:01:57.077

Reputation: 1 456

It might have to do with the Trinity. – American Luke – 2012-11-04T18:35:20.553

@Luke Possible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield_of_the_Trinity

– None – 2012-11-04T21:46:30.130

1@Luke though it appears on some and not others, so even if it does symbolize the Trinity it probably has more meaning such as "they completed these sacraments" or something – None – 2012-11-04T21:48:10.983

What do the headings mean? – American Luke – 2012-11-04T21:48:36.340

Is it correct that Omstandigheter in the heading means "circumstances", making this column a general collection of other relevant information? – Fortiter – 2012-11-05T00:12:12.903

@Fortiter: Correct. It's used like we today would use a "Notes" column. The other columns are about where you moved inf from (and too, but they are outside the picture) and if you can read, and how well you understand the bible. – Lennart Regebro – 2012-11-05T07:07:47.237



I happened on the answer:


Turns out it means the person has been vaccinated against smallpox, either by vaccine, or by "protective pox", which I think means cowpox.

Lennart Regebro

Posted 2012-11-04T15:01:57.077

Reputation: 1 456

1Good question; great answer. Thank you Lennart – GeneJ – 2012-11-04T23:14:08.547

So does the + (for Smittkoppor) indicate that the person died of smallpox or that they survived the disease? – Fortiter – 2012-11-05T00:18:46.677

@Fortiter: That they survived, at least in the cases I've seen. – Lennart Regebro – 2012-11-05T07:05:54.137