Where did Klara settle in North America?

While we have often mentioned that one of the greatest challenges for many North Americans is to identify the parish where their Swedish ancestor originated from. However, once the mystery is solved, it is usually fairly easy to trace the family backwards in time in the Swedish records. Primarily because the records are so complete especially with household records that were updated yearly.

Finding where a Swedish emigrant immigrated to in North America can often be just as challenging if not more so especially with women who emigrated unmarried and then later married in North America.

This was the challenge that Todd Johnson faced in trying to research one of his ancestors, Klara Jonasdotter, who was born on the 15th of March 1859 in Håbol parish in Värmland. She emigrated from Dals-Ed parish in 1882 to North America. See image below.

householdklaraDals-Ed (P) AI:17 (1876-1885) Image 34 / page 27 (AID: v3863.b34.s27, NAD: SE/GLA/13082) Link.

But where in North America? In this case, Klara’s father, Jonas Johansson’s estate inventory provided the clue for locating Klara. By tracing Jonas forward in the household records, Todd discovered that Jonas died on the 6th of October 1901 in Håbol parish.

To trace Jonas further in the household records, one short method is to use the search index for the Population of Sweden 1880 to 1920 in the All-in-One subscription. In this case, just by entering his birth date, 18251119, and the birth parish, Håbol, all the applicable household records until his death appear in the result list. See below.

search-for-jonas

His death is recorded in the Håbol household record for the years 1901-1905. See image below.

jonasdeathhouseholdrecordHåbol (P) AIIa:2 (1901-1905) Image 2940 / page 282 (AID: v199357.b2940.s282, NAD: SE/GLA/13231) Link.

To find the estate inventory, go to the archives for Håbol parish and search for estate inventories. Open the archive and look for an estate inventory register which is a name indexed register. In this case since there is no register for this time period, we have to search for the record page by page beginning with the death date. However, we meet with success and we find the clue about Klara that helped Todd locate her in North America.

estate-inventoryVedbo häradsrätt (P) FIIa:57 (1902-1902) Image 1250 / page 51 (AID: v511345.b1250.s51, NAD: SE/GLA/11120) Link.

The estate inventory shows that Klara is in North America married to Aron Molin in Minnesota. (Klara gift med Aron Molin i Minnesota i Norra Amerika.) By knowing Klara’s husband’s name, Todd was able to do further U.S. research in the U.S census records where Todd discovered that Klara and Aron lived in Nessel township in Chisago county in the state of Minnesota in 1900.

Thanks to Todd Johnson in Minnesota for this research case.

Read more about estate inventories.

ArkivDigital

Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

One of the biggest challenges for many Swedish Americans is to discover the parish of origin for their Swedish ancestor. When one attends a presentation about how to get started with Swedish research, the Swedish American church books are mentioned as one source that might provide some clues. (Click here for beginning Swedish genealogy research tips.)

Many Swedes who immigrated to North America joined a Swedish American church. While most of these congregations were Lutheran, there were also Swedish Covenant, Swedish Methodist, Swedish Baptist, Swedish Mission and other free churches. Many of these churches kept detailed records as they did in Sweden.

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas and a few from Missouri and Oklahoma. If one’s Swedish’s ancestor settled in these areas, these books can be helpful in determining where your ancestor came from in Sweden.

One can search in the  Swedish American church records to discover where in Sweden a person came from or to discover more about the person’s life in North America. The detail and content in the Swedish American church books do vary by time, minister and religious denomination. The Lutheran church books tend to have some standardization and more detail than other denominations but again that will vary by congregation.

Search Method
To begin your search, you will need a name and a location. If you have a name and town location, but don’t know the person’s religious denomination:

  1. Look for church books for that town.
  2. If there are several denominations, begin with the Lutheran church books since most were Lutherans, then proceed to Covenant, Methodist, Baptist or other church book denominations in that order.
  3. If you don’t find the person in the church books, you may want to search in the church books in a nearby town that is in the same county or nearby county.

Case Study – Begin in Congregation Book (Church Register)

We want to discover the parish of origin in Sweden for Carl Carlson who lived in Lindsborg, Kansas and was Lutheran. We have been told that he was born around 1835 and that his wife’s name was Emma and one of his children was named David.

  1. Start the ArkivDigital application and click on search archives.
  2. Select new archive search and county.
  3. Select the archive for Kansas (USA).
  4. Search for the Lindsborg Lutheran church archives.
  5. You will find that there are 3 Lutheran churches in Lindsborg:
    1. Lindsborg Lutheran Bethany Church
    2. Lindsborg Freemount Lutheran Church
    3. Lindsborg Messiah Lutheran Church
  6. Select the first in the list: Lindsborg Lutheran Bethany Church.
  7. The info box above the archive list names the county where Lindsborg is located which is McPherson. On the right side is a list of volumes available for this congregation. For this parish, there are four congregation books all beginning in the year 1869 with different end years.
  8. Search for congregation books and click on each congregation book and see if there is a name register in the book. In the info box above the volume list, the name index will be noted with the entry “med personregister”. You will notice that one appears for the volume, Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol: 2 (1869-1886).  Not all congregation books have name registers. In those cases, where there is none, you will need to browse through the book page by page.

Open the book and you will see an indexed name register. Search for Carl Carlson. See image below.
lindsborg-index
Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 9 (AID: v812465a.b9, NAD: ) Link.

While there are no Carl Carlson’s, there are the following entries in the list:

  • Carlson C. J.                     25
  • Carlson C (Sec 28)           96
  • ” (Sec 30)                          83
    The numbers: 25, 96 and 83 to the right of the names in this case represent an entry number in the church register.  Sometimes the number represents a page number. The minister did not repeat the name on the third line but only indicated that it was the same name by a ditto mark.

Go to entry  #25 to see if the information matches. In this case, the record does not match the given information. Below is the image for entry #25.

entry-number-25Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 37 / page 7 (AID: v812465a.b37.s7, NAD: ) Link.

Next, go to entry #96. See image below.

entry-number-96Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 50 / page 20 (AID: v812465a.b50.s20, NAD: ) Link.

This is the correct person. The record shows Carl Carlson born on the 12th of June 1835 in Lungsund, Värmland. You will notice that Värmland is abbreviated as Werm. Also, Carl has a child named David and his wife is Emma Olsdotter born on the 23rd of July 1840 in Färnebo, Värmland. This record shows that they were received in this parish in October of 1869.  Carl and Emma arrived in America from Sweden in 1869 and came to Lindsborg in 1869. The record also shows three children all born in Lindsborg:

  • Emma was born on the 28th of June 1870.
  • David was born on the 21st of December 1875.
  • Hannah was born on the 2nd of February 1880 and she died on the 17th of July 1880.

Now you have enough information to research Carl and Emma further in the Swedish church books. Below is an image of Carl’s birth record in Lungsund, Värmland.

carls-birth-recordLungsund (S) C:5 (1830-1854) Image 29 / page 53 (AID: v7336.b29.s53, NAD: SE/VA/13342) Link.

Click here for more information on Swedish church books.
Click here for examples of birth records.

ArkivDigital

Swedish American Church documents provide genealogical information

 

hanepictureWe have written previously about the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital. (See previous blog entry). Besides the church books, there are anniversary documents for many congregations and these publications often contain historical information about the congregation’s founding as well as genealogical information about some of the early church members. This information can help one jump the pond and trace the family in the Swedish church books. For many North Americans, one source for finding out where their ancestor came from in Sweden is often a Swedish American church book.

One interesting document is the one produced for the Centennial Anniversary of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bucklin, Missouri in 1970. Here you will find historical information for several families. One example is for Andrew Fredrick Hane’s family.

The text below states that he was born on “June 23, 1828 in Ostergutland, Sweden” and that he immigrated to American in 1880 with his wife Maria, born on “October 15, 1840, Grosmark, Varmland, Sweden” with four children. At the top of the page, you will find an image of Andrew, Maria and a child.

andrewhanetext
Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 13 / page 13 (AID: v811754.b13.s13) Link.

We can find information about the family in the Swedish church books by using Maria as our starting point. The text provides information about Maria’s birth date, birth parish and immigration year. When one looks at the American records, often there is an Americanization of Swedish person and place names. In this case Grosmark, Varmland refers to Gräsmark, Värmland. As well, the county of Östergotland was spelled Ostergutland.

To search for Maria in the Swedish church books, we will begin by looking for her birth record.

  • Go to the search window.
  • Select the county archive and select Värmland.
  • Select the parish, Gräsmark.
  • Look for the birth volume that contains the year 1840.
  • Search for a birth record for Maria on October 15, 1840.
  • You will find record at the following reference: Gräsmark CI:5 (1838-1859) Image 18 / page 29 (AID: v6598.b18.s29, NAD: SE/VA/13165) (Link).

By tracing Maria in the church books forward, you will find that she marries Anders Fredrik Hane and they have several children and in 1880 the family immigrates to North American from Skedevi, Östergotland. You can see the notation about the move to North America in the household record shown below.

hane moving out recordSkedevi AI:25 (1880-1887) Image 128 / page 118 (AID: v29036.b128.s118, NAD: SE/VALA/00332) Link.

ArkivDigital

Publication of the Swedish American church records now complete

kansas church recordFalun Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:1 (1887-1913) Image 38 / page 16 (AID: v812504.b38.s16) Link.

During the last few months, we have been adding more Swedish American congregation records from Kansas to ArkivDigital’s online library. We have now completed the addition of this material which we photographed in Kansas last summer and fall. Previously, we  posted several blogs about this collection and you can read more about these records here.

Our Swedish American church collection includes about 75,000 images and over 1,000 volumes from approximately 90 congregations. Most of the material consists of records from congregations in Kansas but we do have a few in Missouri and also for one congregation in Oklahoma. Our hope is that one can discover more about Swedish immigrants’ descendants which should be a great benefit to both our Swedish and American customers.

Many of the Swedish American congregation church books are very similar to the Swedish church books. The image at the top of this page is from a “Church Register” for the Falun Lutheran Church in Falun, Kansas. The content of the record is similar to that of a Swedish household or congregation book. In this record, you see information about a Karl Fredrik Holmgren and his family. The record shows Karl’s birth date as the 9th of November 1845 in Falun.

You can use this information to find Karl’s birth record in the Swedish church books. Below is an image of his birth record from the Falu Kristine parish birth book.

carl fredriks birth recordFalu Kristine CI:12 (1828-1861) Image 148 / page 286 (AID: v129846.b148.s286, NAD: SE/ULA/11441) Link.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Confirmation class photos from Herndon, Kansas

Herndon Confirmation RecordsHerndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:17 (1885-1960) Image 9 / page 15 (AID: v819020.b9.s15) Link.

It was very common to publish a commemorative booklet in connection with an anniversary celebration in many Swedish American congregations.  In addition to the written information in the publication such as the history of the congregation, there are often various kinds of photos such as church buildings, pastors, elected officers of various organizations but occasionally even photos of the regular parishioners.

In the commemorative 75th anniversary booklet published in 1960 for the Bethel Lutheran Church you will find portraits of confirmation classes from the period 1886-1957. The above image shows the confirmation classes for the years: 1904, 1909, 1914 and 1917. Most of the candidates for confirmation have Swedish sounding names.

You can find this commemorative publication in the following volume: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church Vol.: 17. To search for the document in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Go to the search window in ArkivDigital.
  • Select advanced options.
  • Select the county archive and select Kansas (USA).
  • Select the archive: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA.
  • Select the volume: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:17 (1885-1960), Jubileumsskrift.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

7 million images have been added during 2015!

Produktkatalog

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
During the year, our major project to photograph all of Sweden’s estate inventories for the period 1901-1960, continued. We have added many estate inventories for various years in different counties.  You can read a status update of our estate inventory project in this blog entry.

Court Records
We have now completed projects for photographing the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and also the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists from the Office of Chancellor of Justice are available for the period 1750-1825 and the Supreme Court protocols are available for the period 1694-1800.

Documents concerning World War II
A number of records concerning Sweden during the Second World War had been added:

  • Spy and espionage documents from “Stockholms rådhusrätt 1850-1947, Avdelning 5, Avdelningen för spionmål”.
  • Air crashes from ”Flygstaben: Centralexpeditionen”.
  • Beredskapsverket” which consists of the Swedish military defense readiness official military history work. The main material is found in “Beredskapsverket, Avdelning 1”. In “Beredskapsverket, Avdelning 13”, are documents concerning the operations Save Denmark (Rädda Danmark) and Save Norway (Rädda Norge).
  • Documents from the C-byrån, which covered secret intelligence outside Sweden’s borders.

Older military records
Military pension documents from several archives have been added, which we have described in two blogs:

Before the general muster rolls began in the 1680’s, the collection “Rullor 1620-1723” was the primary source for military research. During 2015, we have added the volumes for the years 1620-1647 to ArkivDigital’s online archive.

Records outside of Sweden
The biggest project outside of Sweden during the year was the photographing of the Swedish American congregation church books in Kansas. Most of the volumes are now online but it won’t be until the beginning of next year before the project is complete. An overview of the Kansas collection is found in this blog entry.

During the spring, church books from several Swedish congregations outside of Sweden became available in ArkivDigital.

Concerning other records outside of Sweden, we want to also mention that we have begun to add documents from the seamen homes in Åland,Finland: Mariehamn seaman house and Vårdö seaman house. This project will be completed in the beginning of 2016.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

New Records in ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog

During the past month, many new records have been added to ArkivDigital’s online library. A summary of the highlights follows.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
The estate inventories for all of Sweden up to 1860 have been available in ArkivDigital for some time as well as the estate inventories between 1860 and 1900 except for Jämtland county. We have now begun to add these records for Jämtland and a small number are now available in the online library. We will continue to add more.

New estate inventory volumes for the years 1901-1960 have been added for most counties. The estate inventories up to 1945 are now available for Blekinge, Halland, Kristianstad and Malmöhus counties.

Military Records
A large number of volumes for the soldier rolls “Rullor 1620-1723” have been added. With the exception of some individual volumes, the soldier rolls between 1620-1647 are now completely available.

Kansas and Åland
In our previous blog about new records in ArkivDigital, we mentioned that we were photographing church books from Kansas in the USA as well as seamen house records from Åland, Finland.  Many new volumes have been added for both of these record sets and more will be added in the near future.

Link to blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Art in the Old Documents

lifeinsuranceimageKarlskrona rådhusrätt och magistrat FIIa:143 (1934-1934) Image 4080 (AID: v495505.b4080, NAD: SE/LLA/10122) Link.

Many of us researching our family history have browsed through thousands of pages of old documents searching for tidbits of information about our ancestors.  But sometimes, a document or image catches our attention. It can be an unusual name, the minister’s handwriting or a beautiful picture.

The image above comes from a 1934 estate inventory record in Karlskrona and shows the top part of a life insurance policy from the Fire and Life Insurance Company, SVEA.

Another fine image is found in the Träslöv’s parish church archive in the HV:2 series which include attachments to the banns and marriage book.

baptismal certificate
Träslöv HV:2 (1760-1889) Image 362 (AID: v93549.b362, NAD: SE/LLA/13420) Link.

This example is a baptismal certificate for Johan Edward Bernhard, son of Emil Johan Johnson and Anna.  He was born in Rumford, Rhode Island, USA on the 1st of May 1888 and  baptized on the 17th of June 1888. The certificate was preserved because the parents moved back to Sweden and lived in Träslöv.

Below is the image of the parent’s marriage certificate. The couple was married on the 20th of November 1886 in Rhode Island.

marriagecertificate
Träslöv HV:2 (1760-1889) Image 361 (AID: v93549.b361, NAD: SE/LLA/13420) Link.

Whenever you find a document or image that catches your interest, pause for a  moment and reflect. Just a little image or note can give you a better understanding of the times when your ancestors lived.

Link to the blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Swedish Research Weekend in Lindsborg, Kansas

Sandzen receptionThis past weekend, the McPherson County Old Mill Museum, ArkivDigital along with six genealogists from Sweden led a Swedish genealogy workshop in Lindsborg, Kansas. Nearly 100 persons attended. The workshop began on Friday evening with a welcome reception at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery. The next two days were filled will lectures and computer lab sessions where participants were able to research using ArkivDigital.

The lecturers were Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital, six genealogists from Sweden: Anneli Andersson, Charlotte Börjesson, Olof Cronberg, Anna-Lena Hultman, Ingrid Nilsson and Elisabeth Thorsell. Geoffrey Morris from FamilySearch in Salt Lake City and Michael Peterson from Tioga, Texas, a participant on the Allt För Sverige TV series.

The lectures included presentations both for the beginner and the advanced researcher. A special treat was a presentation by Michael Peterson who shared his amazing journey to Sweden and his experience participating on the TV series, Allt för Sverige.

Workshop participants were given the opportunity to work in the computer lab to gain hands-on experience using ArkivDigital and to work on their research projects. All the lecturers plus the staff and volunteers from the McPherson County Old Mill Museum assisted the participants in their research.

Geoff Morris presentation

Computer Lab

A wonderful surprise happened in the computer lab. Two participants, Bruce Frost and Connie Fulkerson discovered that they shared the same second great grandparents. Olof Cronberg was helping Connie and her father, Paul Nelson, research their ancestry and Bruce Frost overheard their conversation and learned that they were searching for one of his ancestors. They discovered their common ancestors, John Nelson and Anna Carlsdotter Peterson. Anna Carlsdotter Peterson was from Blekinge and arrived in Chicago in 1868. Below is a picture of Bruce Frost, Connie Fulkerson and her father, Paul Nelson along with Olof Cronberg.

bruce and connie

Bruce Frost and Michael Peterson are also related. They share the same great grandfather, Nels Peter Flyckt from Kalmar. While Bruce and Michael had been in contact previously by email, they met for the first time face to face at the conference. Bruce and Michael took a side trip to visit Nels Peter Flyckt’s grave at Salemsborg church, just seven miles north of Lindsborg during a break. See the picture below.

Cemetery

A participant, Peg Frost, commented about the weekend, “All in all it was an amazing weekend! We gained so much knowledge from all the speakers and had so much fun interacting with all the workshop participants.”

A one-day workshop will be held in Aurora, Colorado (suburb of Denver) with four of the genealogists from Sweden along with Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital on Saturday, October 3rd. So if you happen to be in the Denver area, there is still time to register for the event. Information about the Swedish Research Fair in Colorado.

ArkivDigital

Swedish Genealogy Workshops in Kansas and Colorado

leslye

The SwedGen Tour, a group of genealogists from Sweden who have made annual trips to North America for the sole purpose of helping Swedish Americans learn more about their Swedish heritage and discover their Swedish roots, will visit Lindsborg, Kansas and Aurora, Colorado this fall. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will also travel with the group and give presentations on how to use ArkivDigital.

The first SwedGen 2015 event will be held in Lindsborg, Kansas which is known as “Little Sweden U. S. A.” on September 26-27, 2015.  Enjoy a wide range of lectures by both Swedish and American experts over two days. Participants will be offered half day sessions in the computer lab to gain hands-on experience using ArkivDigital and to work on their research projects. The speakers will be available to assist the participants.

The second SwedGen 2015 event will be a one-day workshop held on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Aurora Community College in Aurora, Colorado. This event will include ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy presentations as well as an opportunity for one-on-one Swedish genealogy research assistance. If you wish a one-on-one session in Aurora, please submit your request by September 1st by clicking here.

Attend one of these workshops to discover more about your Swedish heritage and to learn more about the vast number of Swedish historical records available in ArkivDigital.

More information and registration for the Swedish Genealogy Workshop in Lindsborg, Kansas.

More information and registration for the Swedish Genealogy Workshop in Aurora, Colorado.

ArkivDigital