Smothered by the mother

Sometimes, when one is browsing in the old church books, one sees a notice that makes one stop and think. One tries to imagine what life was like during that time and especially some of the feelings our ancestors experienced. For example – the pain a couple must have felt losing their small children. But then there are others types of notes in the records which note events that are more tragic.

arvik-1Arvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 37 / page 61 (AID: v4798a.b37.s61, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

The above image is a birth record from 1811 from the Arvika city parish (Arvika stadsförsamling). The record is the birth record for a daughter, Anna Lena, who was born on the 25th of September. Her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. But on the right, the priest has crossed out Anna Lena’s name and written “förqvafd vådl. av modern 17/12 1811” or smothered accidentally by the mother on the 17th of December 1811. This is also mentioned in the death record.

mattson-and-lenaArvika landsförsamling (S) CI:7 (1809-1827) Image 134 / page 255 (AID: v4798a.b134.s255, NAD: SE/VA/13011) Link.

17/12 dog och den 22/12 begrovs. Gateqvarn. Flickan Anna Lena Nilsdotter, f.1811 21/9. Föräldrar: Mölnaren Nils Matsson och hustru Lena Åsberg. Vådeligen af mdren förqvafd i sömnen.

The above death record states that the girl Anna Lena Nilsdotter living at Gateqvarn died on the 17th of December (1811) and was buried on the 22nd of December (1811). She was born on the 21st of September 1811 and her parents were the miller, Nils Mattsson and his wife Lena Åsberg. The cause of death was smothered in sleep accidentally by the mother.

We may never know the actual reason for this tragedy. But it is probable that there can be many different reasons that this small child died. Another question is how do we interpret the term, vådeligen or accidental. Was it an accident, or was it something else?

There exists an absolution register (absolutionslängd) for the period 1625-1650 from Östra and Västra Göinge in north Skåne. In this register, the dean has listed those who have received absolution (the priest gives absolution to a person for his/her sins) and many of the notes concern cases where a child has died. What is especially interesting in this record in this book is that the name for the both the man and woman is noted. During this period, it was rare to see a woman’s name.

1632-recordÖstra Göinge kontrakts prostarkiv (L) FIV:1 (1625-1650) Image 13 (AID: v103010.b13, NAD: SE/LLA/13583) Link.

The above note dated on the 22nd of June 1632 Kongens (The king owned the farm that the couple lived on).

Söffren Jepsön i Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Pige 9 Ugier.
til fattige 10 mk

Söffren Jepsön in Önnestad
Karine Nielsdatter. Young girl 9 weeks
(donation) to the poor 10 mk (mark)

Read the original article in Swedish.


Have you seen our register correction function?

Have you found incorrect information in our registers? If so you can correct the error by clicking the “Correct” button which is available for all our registers.

You will find the “Correct” button in the top portion of the post between the buttons “Print” and “Shortcut”.


When you click on the “Correct” button, a correction form is opened. Here you can change the values that are incorrect.


Select the information that is incorrect, erase it and enter in the correct information. For example, if a name is incorrect highlight the field and enter in the correct name.


After you enter the correction, click on “Send”.

We review all corrections before they are updated in the register. In most cases, the review is completed within three business days, but in some cases it may take a little longer.


October events in North America


ArkivDigital will be at the following locations in October: 2016 Nordic Family Conference in Salt Lake City and at the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota’s Annual Conference in Edina, Minnesota.

2016 Nordic Family Conference
Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be presenting three presentations using ArkiviDigital at the 2016 Nordic Family Conference at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, October 18. In addition to onsite seating, there are 500 spots available for webinar attendees.

More information about 2016 Nordic Family Conference.

To attend in person, click here to register.

To attend the webinar, click here to register.

Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
We will be an exhibitor at the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota’s fall conference on Saturday, October 22 at the Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be available to answer questions about ArkivDigital as well as research questions. Click here for registration information.

View North American event calendar.


Research Days in Washington

stephanie-and-annalenaThis past weekend Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital and Charlotte Börjesson, Olof Cronberg and Anna-Lena Hultman of SwedGen led two Swedish genealogy workshops in the state of Washington.

On Saturday a workshop was held at the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and on Sunday a workshop was held at the Swedish Club in Seattle.

We were happy to meet all the Swedish-Americans who were excited to learn more about tracing their Swedish heritage. Many of the participants were thrilled to learn more about their personal history in the one-on-one sessions and view their ancestor’s records in ArkivDigital.

Over the years, we have heard many Swedish Americans say that they have royal ancestry but rarely can this be proved. But this weekend, one participant, Stephanie Anderson, was surprised and thrilled to discover that she is the descendant of a King of Sweden, Eric XIV. At the top of the page she is pictured with Anna-Lena Hultman of SwedGen who presented her with this exciting news.


ArkivDigital and Swedish Genealogists’ Research Day in Portland, Oregon


Three genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital led a one-day workshop in Portland, Oregon at Nordia House on Tuesday, September 20. The participants were given presentations about records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics. In addition, many participants received individual assistance with their personal research.

It was wonderful to meet so many Swedish-Americans in Oregon. Among the many areas where the participants’ Swedish roots originated included Skåne, Halland, Småland, Värmland, Närke, Dalarna and Jämtland.

The SwedGen Tour 2016 continues with stops in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24 and in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, September 25. There is still time to register for these events.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Tacoma.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Seattle.

Visit our North American event calendar.


Triplets (Trillingar)

Twins occur now and then. According to the Swedish language encyclopedia, (Nationalencyklopedin), twins account for 1 in 85 births. Triplets are considerably less common, 1 in 70,000 births. Therefore, it is rather surprising to see two sets of triplets born in the same parish with only 3 ½ months between them. This happened in the same village in Mjällyby parish in Blekinge county in the years 1731 and 1732.

On November 9, 1731 the triplets, Sissa, Åke and Lars, were born to Ingemar Larsson and Sissa Åkesdotter in Istaby. (See image below.)

november-tripletsMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 31 / page 53 (AID: v96434.b31.s53, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

On February 27, 1732 the triplets, Karna, Kiersta and Berta ware born to Bengt Olsson and Anna Svensdotter in Istaby.

february-27-imageMjällby (K) CI:1 (1723-1753) Image 32 / page 55 (AID: v96434.b32.s55, NAD: SE/LLA/13269) Link.

There is a gap in the records in the death book from August 1731 to April 1732 so it is difficult to see if all the children survived. Triplets are often born prematurely and weigh less than ordinary children and at this time the prognosis for survival was not great. However, these triplets were baptized at the ordinary times and there is no notation that they received emergency baptisms.

It is likely that they died within a month after their birth. The writer has not found them in the later church books from Mjällby.

This article was written by Örjan Hedenberg for ArkivDigital and originally published in Swedish. Click here to read the article in Swedish.


Military rolls (rullor) 1620-1723

Often in researching our Swedish ancestors, we discover an ancestor who was a cavalryman (ryttare) or soldier (soldat). Or even possibly an officer. We want to know more about our ancestor’s military life. The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are an important source for military research. These begin in the late 1600’s and continue until the end of the 1800’s. You can find the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital by entering rullor in the search box. There you will see some earlier rolls of military records. There is an archive named “Rullor 1620-1723” In this archive, there are hundreds of volumes. So far, we have photographed the documents 1620-1659 and then some individual volumes after that. There is an ongoing project at the  Military Archives of Sweden to digitize these documents.

Below are some tips for searching in these records.

If your ancestor is an ordinary cavalryman or soldier, a little more searching is required before you find the correct source. Knowing that a cavalryman belonged to a cavalry regiment and a soldier belonged to an infantry regiment is a good start. That way you know which type of regiment to search. They are often grouped by the name of the regiment after county/province (län/landskap). If you have more information about him for example the name of his commander one can find some helps via a name register. If your ancestor was an officer, you can look for him directly in the name register (personregister).

In the series or archive “Rullor 1620-1723”, you will find 15 volumes called Personregister at the top of the volume list. If you hold your mouse over (i) or click once on the volume, you will get more information on which names are included in the volume. Let us say that we are searching for Lars Jakobsson who we know was a second lieutenant (fänrik) in the 1640’s, we will find a name register card for him.

registerlarsskooRullor 1620-1723 PersonReg:6 (1620-1699) Image 3015 (AID: v793063.b3015, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

The references point to the year and volume. In addition, we get references to other volumes where we can find more information about his military career. Thus in these records, we have a good summary of the military careers of all the Swedish military officers for most of the 1600’s. If in the upper right hand corner stands the number “1”, that means that there are more register cards for this person, something to think about.

The card shows us that Lars Jakobsson Skoo was a second lieutenant in the Åbo regiment. Since Finland was part of Sweden at this time, records for the Finnish regiments are included in this material. He changes regiments and becomes a second lieutenant in the Björnborg regiment and if one looks at the next card, we see that he becomes a lieutenant (löjtnant). References at the top are for the year 1641 and volume 12. The next step is to search in the volume list for the 12th volume in the year 1641 or volume 1641:12.

search rullor

Check in the beginning of the volume to see if there is a register of regiments and companies.  After some searching, we find the right regiment and company and even Lars Jacobsson.

larsjohansson1641Rullor 1620-1723 1641:12 (1641-1641) Image 130 / page 8 (AID: v751076.b130.s8, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

To the right of his name is written, Gamble Ryttmästaren Jacob Nilssons son, hafuer tient i Tyssland för een gemen Ryttare, under Sal: Johan Muncks Comp. (Old calvary captain Jacob Nilsson’s son, who served in Germany as a regular cavalryman, in Sal: Johan Munck’s Company).

The officers are always listed first followed by the regular soldiers. In this case, on the right side you can see a list of soldiers. If your ancestor was a private or regular soldier, this is where you would look.

Read original article in Swedish.


September Events in North America


During September, ArkivDigital will be in Springfield, Illinois for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2016 and also visit Portland, Oregon, Tacoma, Washington and Seattle, Washington with Swedish genealogists from Sweden for the SwedGen Tour 2016.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2016

We will be an exhibitor at the Federation of Genealogy Societies Conference 2016 in Springfield, Illinois on August 31 to September 3rd. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving a presentation on Researching your Swedish Heritage in Living Color Using ArkivDigital on Thursday, September 1 at 5 PM.

If you plan to attend the conference, please attend the ArkivDigital presentation to learn more about the new exciting name searchable features in ArkivDigital 2.0. Please visit our table for answers to your questions about ArkivDigital and Swedish research. To learn more about the conference, click here.

SwedGen Tour 2016

There will be three wonderful Swedish genealogy research workshops in North America this autumn that you don’t want to miss if you have the opportunity. Three genealogists from Sweden, Anna-Lena Hultman, Charlotte Börjesson, and Olof Cronberg of the SwedGen Tour plus Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital will be visiting Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, September 20th, Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24th and Seattle, Washington in Sunday, September 25th.

The genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will lead a one-day workshop in each city giving lectures on records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics plus there will be opportunities for individual research consultations. Advance registration is required at each place. For more information about registration and how to request an individual research consultation, click here.

Visit our North American events calendar.


New Register – Swedes in US 1940

ArkivDigital has launched a new name searchable register, Swedes in US 1940. The database is an extraction out of the 1940 United States Census. The census was created on the 1st of April 1940 and the extract includes all the persons who stated their birth place was Sweden. The database includes approximately 447,000 entries. The register includes information such as name, age, marital status and where the person lived in 1940. In addition, it shows where the person lived in 1935.

The register is now available in the annual All-in-one subscription. To search in the index:

  • Open ArkivDigital 2.0.
  • Select Index search or person search.
  • Select the collection, Swedes in US 1940, under index source.
  • Enter a search query such as name, place name in the search box.
  • The example below shows a search for John Arvidson in Illinois.


1940 swedes in usRResult page for John Arvidson living in Rock Island, Illinois.

There is also a link to the Census image as seen below.

1940 Census ImageSvenskar i USA 1940 (USA) IL:26 (1940-1940) Image 2820 (AID: v834697.b2820, NAD:) Link.

You will also find the registers: Population of Sweden 1880-1920 along with the Population of Sweden 1950 and 1960 in the All-in-one subscription.

Now you can purchase an All-in-one annual subscription for 1560 SEK or about 185 USD (regular price 1795 SEK or about 213 USD). This special offer is good up to and until Tuesday, August 30, 2016. To purchase special offer, click here.


Life-long companions

lina and eric birth recordSäfsnäs (W) C:3 (1801-1844) Image 71 (AID: v132067.b71, NAD: SE/ULA/11506) Link.

As more people are living longer, it is not unusual to see more couples celebrating 60 years of marriage or their diamond anniversary. We have a couple of examples in the church books where couples have literally followed each other from the cradle to the grave.

One case is from Säfsnäs in Dalarna.  There are two children, Lena Stina Larsdotter and Eric Jansson who were born in 1812. They are listed next to each other in the birth and baptismal book, respectively numbers 59 and 60 as shown in the above image.

The two married and they are shown with children in the household record below.

eric and lena household recordSäfsnäs (W) AI:12 (1845-1854) Image 93 / page 88 (AID: v132047.b93.s88, NAD: SE/ULA/11506) Link.

Eric took the name Hök after Hökhöjden where he was born and where the couple first lived. He died in Mörttjärn on August 25, 1882. The couple had followed each other for 70 years.

The other case is from Västland in Uppland, where in1813 the children Maja Stina Löfgren (nr. 36) and Lars Persson (nr. 37) were born.

matts and maja birth recordVästland (C) C:4 (1803-1837) Image 44 (AID: v127256.b44, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

lars birth recordVästland (C) C:4 (1803-1837) Image 45 (AID: v127256.b45, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

Likewise, this couple married. In the household record below, however, Maja Stina’s birth month is noted incorrectly, August instead of September.

household record lars and wifeVästland (C) AI:12 (1846-1850) Image 266 / page 249 (AID: v127235.b266.s249, NAD: SE/ULA/11734) Link.

Lars took the name Wesslander (after Västland) and became a foundry worker at the Västland foundry. When he died on March 1871, he and his wife had followed each other for 58 years.

Maybe one can find more cases similar to these.

The original article was written by Örjan Hedenberg. Click here for original post in Swedish.