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The counties were divided into smaller areas called Fögderi which often matched the boundaries of the Härad. A Fögderi was an administrative geographical area with the primary purpose of tax collection and law enforcement. Each Fögderi had an appointed High Bailiff (Kronofogde) and a Deputy Clerk (Häradsskrivare.) The Kronofogdens most important responsibility was tax collection but he also was executor over legal complaints both for the Crown or private individuals. He was the head police chief and prosecutor for the Härad. The Kronofogden was also called Befallningsman or Kronobefallningsman. Do not confuse these titles with the Konungens Befallningshavande (KB) who was the county governor.
The Kronofogde was responsible for gathering funds for the government by collecting taxes, fines, and fees. The Häradsskrivaren was subordinate to the Kronofogden. His responsibilities included creating the mantals tax record and the real estate tax record (jordebok) for the Fögderi. These taxes were the foundation to the national tax base. Given this, it is really important to know what Fögderi your ancestors lived in to find them in the tax records.
The origin of the Fögderi goes back to medieval times with the Slottslän, which was the geographical area that provided support to a castle. In practice the castle granted authority to the hövitsman to gather taxes from the farmers in the area. With the tax restructure of 1991 the fögderier were abolished and replaced with a tax authority for every county. In 2004 these were combined with the Rikskatteverket (RSV) to become the new Skatteverket.
In every fögderi there was a:
- Häradsskrivare who had responsibility to create the mantals- and other tax records within the fögderi.
- Kronolänsman, the local police chief (usually in every härad) In 1918 the Kronolänsman was changed over to Landfiskaler.
- Fjärdingsman, the parish constable under the direction of the Kronolänsman.
- The Kronofogden, Häradsskrivare, and Kronolänsman each had their own set of records due to their respective responsibilities. These diverse collections are found at the Landsarkiv (Regional Archive) in many different types and forms.
- Among the kronofogde- and kronolänsman records you will find police records, for example investigations of accusations or death.
- Sveriges Släktforskarförbund Wiki Community., "Fögderi". Wiki-Rötter, January 2011. http://www.genealogi.se/wiki/index.php/F%C3%B6gderi
- Clemmensson, Per and Andersson, Kjell, Släktforska steg för steg, Natur och Kultur/Fakta etc., 2005