First name

Text source

Donald Fife/Feif was born in Scotland in Montrose the son of Alexander Fife and Jeanetta Rynd. He and his brothers David [SSNE 708], and James [SSNE 4779] moved to Sweden in the first decades of the seventeenth century and they all became burgesses of Stockholm. Solomon [SSNE 6679] was apparently another brother but does not feature in Svensk Biografisk Lexikon (SBL). Donald became known as Donat, and his burgess-ship in Stockholm dates from 1633. On 23 September that year Donat Feif took his oath as burgess before the Stockholm magistrates. His guarantors were fellow Scots burgesses George Garden [SSNE 7352]/ [SSNE 4924] and Arvid Davidson.

Donat Feif is listed as a silk trader from 8 September 1643. Most sources list him and his eponymous son as goldsmiths.

Donat Feif the goldsmith is noted as owning a house in Gamla Stan at Själargårdsgatan.  He and his brother James also co-owned an extant medieval building at Österlånggatan 41, which in 1640 passed into the ownership of Jakob Tegel. Tegel appears to have torn the older building down and replaced it, albeit the arch-vaulted entryway and a stairway appear to have survived.

In the 1640s Donat Feif owned a building at Hoparegränd (now Gaffelgränd), close to the shoreline, between Österlånggatan and Skeppsbron. In 1646 Donat Feif's name appears on a list of individuals in Gamla Stan required to fix holes in the wall, his address listed as Själagårdsgatan (now Skärgårdsgatan).

On 10 January 1630 Donat Feif married Karin Borielsdotter in her second marriage. Donat and Karin had two sons: Donat the younger [SSNE 4691] who became a goldsmith and burgess. According to SBL they also had a son called Carl. The records of the Nikolai Kyrka in Stockholm reveal many other children being baptised, most of whom probably did not survive to adulthood. According to G.A. Sinclair this Donat was the original ancestor of both the Adlerstolpe and the Ehrensparre noble families. Karin Borielsdotter died and was buried on 26 February 1643.

Hellstrom notes that a Stockholm merchant Donat Feiff was married to one Sara Andersdotter Karsten (this was on 2 March 1645), and they had a daughter called Kerstin in 1647, who married Andreas Jonae Luderdorff, priest, in his second marriage in 1677. Kerstin died in 1681. They also had a son Donat born 18 May 1648, and another child born 25 July 1649. Little else is known of the man, apart from an accusation of adultery with one Karin Erichsdotter on 27 July, 1644 for which he received a reprieve. 

Donat Feif died in 1652 and was buried at Storkyrkan in Gamla Stan (Stockholm). Donat Feif's grave slab is still visible as you enter the church (left hand side, hard against the wall).


Sources: Stockholm Stadsarkiv: Borgare i Stockholm, Register 1601-1650, p.22; Stockholmsstads Tänke Böcker, 1633 (Stockholm, 2006), p.41 and p.196; G. Hellström, Stockholms Stads Herdaminne, (Stockholm, 1951), p.230; Stockholm Stadsarkiv, (Storkyrkan) Nikolai församling dopböker, 1623-1717, I, pp.156-157; Svensk Biografisk Lexicon, vol.15, pp.507-510; Svenska Män och Kvinnor (8 vols., Stockholm, 1942-1955), II, p.502; G. Elgenstierna, Svenska Adelns Ättartavlor, vol. 1, pp.676-677; G.A. Sinclair, 'The Scottish officers of Charles XII', Scottish Historical Review, vol.21, no.83. p.179; T. Fischer, The Scots in Sweden (Edinburgh, 1907), p.216; G. Upmark, Guld- och Silversmeder i Sverige 1520-1850, (Stockholm, 1925); T.O.Nordberg, Gamla Stan i Stockholm, (Stockholm,1975), p.308; F.U. Wrangel, Stockholmiana I-IV, (Stockholm, 1912), p.377, n9 on p.389; Curt Haij, 'Skottar i Stockholm under 1600-talet', unpublished list of names, Hintze biblioteket, Genealogiska Föreningen, Sundbyberg, Stockholm. Thanks to Ardis Dreisbach for this information.


Service record

Departed 1652-12-31