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

  • It might have to do with the Trinity.
    – Luke_0
    Nov 4, 2012 at 18:35
  • @Luke Possible: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield_of_the_Trinity
    – user47
    Nov 4, 2012 at 21:46
  • 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
    – user47
    Nov 4, 2012 at 21:48
  • What do the headings mean?
    – Luke_0
    Nov 4, 2012 at 21:48
  • Is it correct that Omstandigheter in the heading means "circumstances", making this column a general collection of other relevant information?
    – Fortiter
    Nov 5, 2012 at 0:12

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    Good question; great answer. Thank you Lennart
    – GeneJ
    Nov 4, 2012 at 23:14
  • So does the + (for Smittkoppor) indicate that the person died of smallpox or that they survived the disease?
    – Fortiter
    Nov 5, 2012 at 0:18
  • @Fortiter: That they survived, at least in the cases I've seen. Nov 5, 2012 at 7:05

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