Tutorials – Swedish Church Books

1700 marriage record

We want to point out that we have some Swedish church book tutorials on our English website. You will find a section, Swedish Genealogy. Here, you will find examples with transcriptions and translations for birth, marriage, death, household examination, and moving records. Below are links to these tutorials.

While our indexes to the birth, marriage, death, and household records provide partial transcriptions, more information is usually in the source. These tutorials will help you, in gaining a better understanding of the Swedish church books.

ArkivDigital

More than 13 million new posts in the Population of Sweden, now 1800-1947

We have made a big update in the Population of Sweden which is ArkivDigital’s largest name index and even the largest searchable name index in Sweden. This update includes searchable name posts for the years 1800-1819 and the index now includes the years 1800-1947. There are 147 years where you can find your ancestors and relatives with a simple search.

The update includes 13.3 million searchable name posts and after this update, there are approximately 165.8 million posts in the Population of Sweden 1800-1947. A fantastic asset for you who are curious about your roots.

Bis 1800-1819

The following information is searchable in the Population of Sweden 1800-1947:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace (parish, county, country)
  • Residence: parish together with a place (village, farm, quarter, etc.)

There was little standardization in the household books before 1860, and the information entered will vary between parishes. Sometimes, the minister only wrote an abbreviation of the person’s first and last name. Often the birthplace is not noted, and if so, it can be a parish or a place within the parish. Therefore, one should be creative in your search terms.

In the earlier household records, the minister often only recorded the person’s birth year instead of the complete birth date. If you do not find the right person, it may be wise to search only with the birth year when you search among the older information. We have noted some misinterpretations in the birth year where the minister recorded the person’s age versus the birth year in the birthdate column. We are working to identify and correct this where it occurs. Feel free to search for people by entering a first name, last name, and parish if you do not get a date when you enter the year of birth.

The Population of Sweden index includes all persons named in the household and congregation books created during the actual years. The household records (which from 1895 were called congregation books) were a register of the inhabitants of a parish. The household books cover a few years to a couple of decades.

All household volumes that include the year 1800 are in the index. If a household book covers 1753-1803, the index can go as far back as the 1750s. Only household books that end in 1947 or earlier are in the index. Thus, a volume covering 1935-1949 is not in the Population of Sweden index.

There is a direct link to the source (household/congregation record) from the index record. When you click on the link, you end up on the page where your relative is and can quickly and easily see the information in the source. You can find additional information such as moving in and out, emigration, and more in the original record.

Note, the index itself is not the source, but it is a tool that should make it easier for you to find the source. Instead of flipping through thousands of pages, the search becomes much quicker.  With so many millions of records, it is also inevitable that one or two inaccuracies will occur. There is always a trade-off when an index is to be considered ready for publication, and if we were to strive for all indexes to be 100% correctly indexed, they would never be publication-ready. Instead, we choose to make the index available to our users and to continue improving the index and correcting any errors.

If you find an error in the index, you can help us correct it. Click here to learn more about the correction feature. Only submit corrections where the index record does not match the source. Sometimes, the minister has written incorrect information in the household record. The index correction feature is only for indexing errors and not for noting the minister’s mistakes. The index record should mirror the source.

The index is the result of a partnership between ArkivDigital and MyHeritage. ArkivDigital has given the images to MyHeritage, and MyHeritage has indexed the records with the help of its resources.

Here, you can read more about the index and what it includes (in Swedish): https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/befolkningen-i-sverige 

To open Population of Sweden 1800-1947:

  • Log in at app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select in Index search
  • Select BiS (Population of Sweden) 1800-1947 in the list under Index source

ArkivDigital

More than 19 million new posts in the Population of Sweden Index

We have made a major update of the Population of Sweden index which is ArkivDigital’s largest name index and also the largest name index in Sweden. This update includes the years 1820-1839 and now the index includes posts for the years 1820-1947. This includes 127 years where you can search for your ancestors and family with a simple search.

This update consisted of 19,396,274 new searchable name entries. After this update, there are now about 152.5 million searchable name posts in the Population of Sweden 1820-1947. A fantastic addition for you who are researchers!

The following information is searchable in the Population of Sweden 1820-1947:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Birth date
  • Birth place (parish/county/country)
  • Residence: parish along with the place (village, farm, quarter, etc.)
  • Relation (son, daughter, wife, etc.)

1820 to 1947 index

In earlier times, often only the person’s year of birth is given and the minister omitted the month and day in the household book. If you have difficulty in finding the correct person in the older records, you may want to search only by birth year versus the complete birth date. Sometimes the minister wrote the person’s age instead of the year of birth, which may have been misinterpreted in the indexing. We are working to identify and correct the cases where it occurs. In cases where you can’t find the person, you may want to omit the date or enter a range of years in the search.

The BiS (Population in Sweden) 1820-1947 includes all persons in the household/congregation books for all of Sweden for the years 1820-1947. The household book (which from around 1895 was called the congregation book) was the most important population register, listing all the residents of a parish. The household books usually cover a period of time ranging from a few years to a couple of decades.

From the index record, there is a link directly to the source or the household/congregation record. When you click on the link, you end up on the page where your ancestor or relative is listed and you can quickly and easily check the information in the index against the information in the original source. In the original source, you can also find additional information, such as moving in and out information, emigration and any special notations that the minister may have noted in the record.

Note that the register itself should never be seen as an original source, but it is a tool that makes it easier for you to find the original source. With so many millions of records, it is also inevitable that some inaccuracies creep in. It is always a balance when an index is considered ready for publication. If we were to wait for each index to be 100% correctly indexed, the index would never be ready for. publication. We prefer to make the register available to our users and then continue the work of correcting any errors.

If you find an error in the index, you can help by correcting the error. Click here to find out how to correct an index record.

In order to open the BiS (Population of Sweden) 1820-1947, you log in at app.arkivdigital.se, select Index search and select BIS, Population of Sweden 1820-1947 in the list under index source.

The index was created in partnership with MyHeritage.

ArkivDigital

Reading Swedish church books – examples and videos

Many of you already know that the Swedish church books are a great treasure. They are so complete and provide so much information about one’s Swedish ancestry. But many persons beginning their Swedish research find some of the handwriting intimidating as well have questions about the content in the various church books.

We have written about this in the past but today we would like to remind you that we have some tutorials along with some church book examples on our website. Also, again we want to point out a wonderful website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) that includes some instructional videos on reading Gothic handwriting and reading birth records from the late 1800s back to the early 1700s using ArkivDigital images.

1700s birth record

The website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) which is free includes some wonderful instructional videos such as “Reading Gothic Handwriting for Swedish Genealogy” and several videos showing examples of reading birth records.

Click here to link to the learning page which lists the instructional videos.

ArkivDigital

NEW! Population of Sweden 1860-1947 now 1840-1947!

Now, we have updated the Population of Sweden which is ArkivDigital’s largest searchable name index and the largest in Sweden. The updating is for the years 1840-1859. You can now search all the household/congregation books for the years 1840-1947 for all of Sweden. Yes, 107 years!

The updating consists of 21,287,297 searchable index entries. After this update, there are now more than 133 million index entries in the BiS (Population of Sweden) 1840-1947. A fantastic addition for Swedish genealogists.

The following information is searchable in the BiS(Population of Sweden) 1840-1947 index:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Birth date
  • Birth place (parish/county/country)
  • Location: parish along with place (village, farm, quarter, etc.)
  • Household relation (son, daughter, wife, etc.)

The index includes all persons mentioned in the household/congregation books for the years 1840 -1947. The household/congregation books (after 1895 these records are called congregation books) are the most important source for keeping track of the inhabitants of a parish. The household/congregation books include a range of years from a few years to a few decades.

1840 to 1947 search

For all the index search hits there is a link directly to the original source, the household/congregation record. When you click on the link, you see the original record where your ancestor lived and you can quickly verify the information in the index record against the original record. In the original record, you can also find additional information, such as moves to another place within Sweden or emigration information.

1840 to 1947 image

In order to access BiS (Population of Sweden) 1840-1947, you log in at app.arkivdigital.se and click on Index search and select BiS, (Population of Sweden) 1840-1947 in the list under index source.

The register was created in partnership with MyHeritage.

ArkivDigital

Church Book Record Examples

1770 Birth recordFröjered (R) E:1 (1769-1854) Image 7 / Page 3 (AID: v26939.b7.s3, NAD: SE/GLA/13134)

We continually receive questions from our English-speaking customers on where to find examples for reading the church book records. Today, we would like to point out church record examples on our English website and a few of the blogs that also give examples. On our English website, you will find a section titled, Swedish Genealogy. In this section, you will find record examples including both transcriptions and translations for birth, marriage, death, household and moving records. Below are links to these tutorials.

Below are references to blogs giving more reading examples of birth, marriage, death, and household records.

Birth Record Examples

Marriage Record Examples

Death Record Example

Household Record Example

Also, we would like to point out a wonderful website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) which is free that includes some wonderful instructional videos including among others “Reading Gothic Handwriting for Swedish Genealogy” and several videos showing examples of reading birth records. All examples use ArkivDigital images.

Click here to link to the learning center which lists the instructional videos.

ArkivDigital

What does the abbreviation “E.M.” mean?

While the death record layout in the church books is fairly standardized after the mid- nineteenth century, there are often notes or abbreviations in the remarks section that you don’t see in every parish book. One example is in the death record for Erik Beder Johansson who died on January 25, 1921 in Ronneby parish in Blekinge county. In the special remarks column (särskilda anteckningar), there is a notation “E. m. född 1891”. The question is, “What does the abbreviation, “E.m.” mean? Also, many of the other death records in this parish have the same abbreviation in the remarks column.

em remarksRonneby (K) FI:9 (1912-1930) Image 1550 / Page 416 (AID: v115658a.b1550.s416, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

The abbreviation, “E.m.” stands for “Efterlevande Make/Maka” or surviving spouse or in this case it means that the deceased’s surviving spouse was born in 1891.

You can find an English translation of the column headings by clicking here.

The contents in the above death record are:

  • Entry # – 11
  • Death date – January 25
  • Sex – Male
  • Deceased’s Occupation, Name and Residence – Bruksarbetare (Foundry man or mill worker) Erik Beder Johansson at N. 2 Häggatorp
  • Deceased’s birth date – 2 May 1892
  • Marital Status – Married
  • Cross-reference to page in congregation book – (page #) 993
  • Cause of death – Lungsot (Tuberculosis)
  • Burial date – January 30th
  • Special remarks – (E.m. född 1891) Surviving spouse born in 1891

You can find more information about the family on page 993 in the corresponding congregation book. Return to the archive for Ronneby and search for the congregation book that includes records for the year 1921 and go to page 993. There you will find a notation of Erik Beder Johansson’s death and also that his spouse, Lilly Sofia Olsson’s birth date is noted as the 28th of June 1891. The household record is shown below.

Em household recordRonneby (K) AIIb:14 (1910-1926) Image 990 / Page 993 (AID: v115633b.b990.s993, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

Click here to read more information about Swedish church books.

ArkivDigital

Getting Started in the Swedish Church Books

Are you new to Swedish research? Swedish research is extremely rewarding because there are so many types of records and they are very complete. But before you begin, you must know your Swedish ancestor’s Swedish name, place or parish of origin in Sweden and a significant date such as a birth date. If all you know is that your Swedish ancestor’s name is Charles Johnson, you have a little more work to do before you jump the pond. For information on how to search for more details about your Swedish ancestor, click here.

But, let us say you are now successful and have discovered that your ancestor’s Swedish name was Carl Johan Johansson and he was born in Habo parish in Skaraborg county on the 10th of February 1819, you are ready to jump the pond and research in the Swedish records. Today, we will walk you through the steps for searching for Carl’s birth record and the corresponding household record in ArkivDigital.

We enter the application: app.arkivdigital.se and then select New Archive search. Since we know the name of the parish, we can enter, Habo, in the search box and the archive box for Habo will appear.

search habo

Click on Habo and you will see a list of all the volumes that are available for this parish. In this case, there are 122 volumes. Search for a birth book that includes the year 1819.

search habo birth book

You will see that there are two birth books that contain births for the year 1819:  C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820 and C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827. When one sees two books that cover the same period, it is always good to look at both books. They can often contain different information.

By looking further at book C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820, we see that that there is a circle with an “i” before the words birth and christening records. This means information and if you put your mouse over the “i”, you will see the notation, “register till födelseböckerna” or register to the birth books.

hove birth register

When we look at this book, we see it is an index organized by first given name and then birth year. Note -you will not encounter this type of birth index in many parishes. But remember before the mid 1800’s, the information can vary by time and minister.

In browsing this book, we will find a page for Carl’s and you will find the information for Carl Johan in the section for Carl’s born in the year 1819.

carl birth index recordHabo (F, R) C:10 (1801-1820) Image 16 / Page 25 (AID: v34105.b16.s25, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The information shown in the above index record includes:

  1. Second given name – Joh. or abbreviation for Johan
  2. Parents’ first names: Johan, Katrina
  3. Residence in parish – Sållarhemmet (line above the letter m represents a double m).
  4. Year – 19 or 1819
  5. Day of month – 10
  6. Month – 2 or February

The book C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827 contains the actual birth records. It is always good to look in the front of the book and check for a table of contents. There may be multiple types of records in the volume and the table of contents will show on what pages the various types of records begin. In this case there is not a table of contents and the births are arranged in chronological order. Open the book and look for birth records for the year 1819 and then the month, February, and then the day, the 10th. Below is the birth record for Carl Johan.

carl johan birth recordHabo (F, R) C:11 (1801-1827) Image 109 / Page 213 (AID: v34106.b109.s213, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The record contents are:

  1. Birth date – 10 (February 10, 1819)
  2. Baptismal date – 11 (February 11, 1819)
  3. Child’s given name – Carl Johan
  4. Parents’ names – Johannes Larsson and Kathrina Andersdotter
  5. Residence in parish – Sållarehemmet
  6. Baptismal witnesses – And. Carlsson och (and) D. H. dess hustru or his wife Stina at Skogshemmet
  7. Mother’s age – Between 25 and 30

The next step is to find out more information about the family by going to the household book that includes the year 1819. Now we return to the Habo archive and search for the household book that contains the year 1819. We find the book, AI:4 Household records 1814-1820.

search habo household book

The household books are organized by place name. In most household books you will find a place name index in the front or back of the book. Open the book and search for a place name index or ortregister. Then look for Carl Johan’s residence, Sållarehemmet, in the place name index.

habo place name indexHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 5 (AID: v20176.b5, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The place name index states that the records for the place, Sållarehemmet, begin on page 206. Now there may be one page for the place or many pages, but the page number shown in the index is the start page for the search for the family. We now go to page 206.

hova household recordHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 110 / Page 207 (AID: v20176.b110.s207, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

In this case we find the family on page 206. Below is the information that is shown for the family:

  • (Father) äg. (abbreviation for ägare) owner or landowner Johannes Larsson born on the 6th of May 1782 in Loco Loco is a Latin term meaning here or in Habo parish. Note – further research will show that the birth date is incorrect and is actually the 15th of May 1782.
  • (Mother) H. (abbreviation for hustru or wife) Catharina Andersdotter born on the 6th of May 1790 at loco or in the parish of Habo.
  • Son Anders born 9th of May 1813 loco or in Habo. There is also a notation that he has died.
  • Son Gabriel born on the 23rd of April 1816 loco or in Habo. There is a notation that he died in 1817.
  • Flicka (Girl) Stina Svensdotter born on the 15th of October 1803 in Ekebo. There is a notation that she moved here in 1816 from Ekereds torp and moved out in 1817 to V. Ekered. More research is required to check to see if she is just a worker or if she has some relationship to the family.
  • (Son) Carl Johan born on the 10th of February 1819 in loco or Habo.

Since there are no notations that the family has moved in or out, we can assume that the family is living at the same place, Sållarehemmet, in the subsequent household book. We can continue to trace Carl forward in the household books until his emigration.

Also, from this record, we have enough information, that we can look for birth records for other members of the household. Also, please note that sometimes the minister will note the incorrect birth date information in the household record such as was the case for the father, Johannes Larsson. If there is a discrepancy between the birth dates in the birth record or household record, you should always use the information shown in the birth record.

For more information about researching in the church books, go to the following links:

ArkivDigital

Using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 to discover where Hilda moved to!

Within the household and congregation records, there is an entry showing where a person moved to if the person moved during the period the household/congregation books cover.  The information that is normally shown is the place and a date or sometimes there is a reference to another page number and date within the same household book.  However, many times the minister will note an abbreviation that is not easily understood and one must take some time to discover where the person has moved. In the image below, it states that Hilda Joseph. (Josephina). Hjorth born on the 20th of May 1833 moved from Önumstorp in Önum parish in Skaraborg county to V. 41 in 1871.  What does “V. 41” mean?

onum hflÖnum (R) AI:9 (1867-1881) Image 148 / page 142 (AID: v12796.b148.s142, NAD: SE/GLA/13674) Link.

There are two methods for discovering what “V. 41″ means: using traditional methods of deciphering the meaning or using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930.

Now, while the reference to a page number is not usually the letter V, one might go to page 41 in the same household book to see if she is listed there and if one goes there, Hilda will not be found.

The next step is to determine if the parish, Önum, belongs to a pastorat. See previous blog for more information about a pastorat. 

You can check if Önum belongs to a pastorat by accessing ArkivDigital, selecting new archive search, entering Önum in the search box and search. Open the archive for Önum parish and click on the archive info tab. There you will get information about what pastorat Önum belongs to. See the image below.

onum archive info

You will note the following information in the archive info box: Före den 1 maj 1920 var Önum annexförsamling i Skarstads, Hällums, Vara och Önums pastorat or before the 1st of May 1920, Önum was an annex parish in the Skarstads, Hällums, Vara and Önums pastorat.

This information gives us a clue that “V”. might mean Vara and 41 the page number in the Vara household book that includes the year 1871. Our next step is go to archive search and, enter Vara in the search box and click search.

vara search

Search for a household book that includes the year 1871 which is AI:7 that covers the years 1867-1878 and open the volume and go to page 41.

varahfl41Vara (R) AI:7 (1867-1878) Image 46 / page 41 (AID: v12751.b46.s41, NAD: SE/GLA/13611) Link.

In the above image you will see a reference that Hilda has moved in from “Ö 142” or Önum parish on page 142. In this case, the minister is abbreviating Önum. This minister often abbreviates the parish names of parishes within the pastorat by showing only the first letter of the parish name.

Search using the Population of Sweden 1860 to 1930 Search Index
The Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index makes Swedish research so much easier. For this same case, we can go to New index search, select the Population of Sweden 1860 to 1930 index, enter Hilda and her birth date 18330520 in the search box, and click search. We receive 7 matches that we can analyze. (There are other ways of searching such as using the advanced search method or using various search criteria,) We see one household record is in Vara. We can quickly link on the match and then link on the image to verify the information. Thus, we quickly know that “V. 41” means Vara page 41. Of course, we have to verify that all the information agrees and this is right Hilda. This one is correct.

1860 Vara search

This is an example how Swedish research is becoming much easier and quicker using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index.

ArkivDigital

Additions to the Population of Sweden 1860-1930

The Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index in ArkivDigital is Sweden’s largest name register. The register, a name searchable index of the household and congregation records from 1860 to 1930, has been expanded by almost 3.7 million new entries. The total number of register entries now totals to just over 88 million.

more 1860 to 1930 indexSearching in the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 Index

The register entries have been added to close some gaps that have been found in the index. If you previously searched for a person using this index, but could not find the person, you may want to try again.

Click here for more information about the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index.

Click here for more information about the advanced searching features.

To access the Population of Sweden 1860–1930 index, one needs an All-in-one subscription.

Read the original blog in Swedish.


ArkivDigital