Introduction to the Fattigbevis (Certificate of poverty)

For individuals who didn’t have any assets at the time of their death to cover the costs of performing an estate inventory or bouppteckning, the surviving relatives would submit a certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) to the court for approval.

The certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) was an application by a deceased’s surviving relative requesting to waive the performance of the estate inventory (bouppteckning) because the deceased’s estate was of little value or worthless. This certificate has genealogical value because it usually lists the immediate relatives. The certificate of poverty usually contains the following:

  1. Information about the deceased – name, birth and death dates
  2. Names of immediate surviving relatives
  3. Statement requesting waiver of estate inventory (bouppteckning)
  4. Signatures of applicant and witnesses

You will find these certificates of poverty (fattigbevis) for Stockholm for the years of 1756 to 1910 on ArkivDigital. Name indexes for these records between 1788 and 1910 are in the following volumes.

  1. Stockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:49 (1788-1860) – Fattigbevis
  2. Stockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:50 (1861-1910) – Fattigbevis

To directly search for a certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) in the Stockholm’s district court archive (häradsrätt), do the following:

  1. Access ArkivDigital online
  2. Select Advanced Search
  3. Select county type
  4. Select Stockholm stad
  5. Select Stockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning archive
  6. In the volume list, you will find the fattigbevis

Below is an example of a fattigbevis with a transcription and translation.

Stockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:28a (1897-1897) Image 690 / page 63 (AID: v223567.b690.s63, NAD: SE/SSA/0145a)


Att civilingenioren Gustaf Adolf Danielson som född den 9 Dessember 1828 afled den 8 September 1897 in en ålder av 69 år och efterlemnade följande stärbhusdelägare:

  1. Enkan Augusta Wilhelmina född Lindberg
  2. Dottern Selma Teresia Augusta.

men att qvarlåtenskapen vid min mans död van så ringa och värdelös, att det ej fans något som till bouppteckning upptagas kunde det intygar af undertecknad under edlig förpliktelse.
Stockholm Den 29 November 1897
Augusta Wilhelmina Danielson

Sanningen af ovanstående intygar af:

Aug. Nordquist
f.d. Undoffr. Vid
Kongl. flottan
Sheppargatan 33.

J. A. Sjögren
Bokbindare mästare 
Gätgatan N. 32 


The civil engineer, Gustaf Adolf Danielson who was born on December 9, 1828, died on September 8, 1897. He was 68 years old and is survived by the following relatives:

  1. Widow, Augusta Wilhelmina, maiden name Lindberg
  2. Daughter, Selma Teresia Augusta.

My husband’s estate at the time of his death was so small and worthless there is no valid reason to perform an estate inventory. Certified under oath by the undersigned:

(Name of applicant, Place and date)
Stockholm 29 November 1897
Augusta Wilhelmina Danielson

Verification of the truth of the above certificate by: (followed by signatures by these persons including name, title and address).

Aug. Nordquist
Formerly – Underofficer at
Royal Fleet
Sheppargatan 33.

J. A. Sjögren
Bookbinder master
Gätgatan N. 32 


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