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District (Härad)

The district is a civil jurisdiction used for judicial purposes. A district consists of two to twenty parishes. In Swedish it is usually known as a “härad” but in the central and northern half of Sweden, the words tingslag and bergslag may be used and in some coastal areas the word skeppslag may be used. All of these terms are used for the judicial unit (district) where court proceedings took place, death estates were probated, and tax lists were made.

The district was governed by a district circuit judge (häradshövding) . He was a university trained law graduate. He was assisted by a council of twelve local men (nämndeman or tolveman). These men were permanent jurymen. They were reliable men of honor and stability in the community. It was an honor to be a nämndeman and in some cases this position was passed down from father to son for generations.

There are a number of ways to determine to which district a parish belonged. Here are some of the ways:


 

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  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 22:49.
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