Place Names in the Church Books

Place names in the church books can be names of farms, villages, parishes, counties, countries, abbreviations or even Latin terms.

At a recent conference in North America, the following question was asked: What are the birth places for Fredrik Leopold Hartung and members of his family as shown in the household record in Ystads Sankta Maria parish in Malmöhus county for the years 1882-1887?  Below is the record in question which is an example of a record with various types of place names.

hartungYstads Sankta Maria (M) AI:49 (1882-1887) Image 205 / page 1084 (AID: v111988.b205.s1084, NAD: SE/LLA/13489) Link.

Line 1 – Skomakeriarb. (Shoemaker worker) Fredrik Leopold Hartung’s birth place is Tyskland or Germany. In this case, the birth place is a name of a country. Tyskland is Swedish for Germany.

Line 2 – Hu (an abbreviation for hustru or wife) Charlotta Josefina Klein’s birth place is shown as YSM. This is an abbreviation of the parish, Ystads Sankta Maria. You will find her birth record at the following reference in ArkivDigital: Ystads Sankta Maria (M) C:11 (1827-1845) Image 42 / page 38 (AID: v112010.b42.s38, NAD: SE/LLA/13489).

Note – Her birth date is actually the 20th of April 1834 versus  April 4,1834 as shown in the household record. That will be another blog in the future to show how the correct birth record was found.

Line 3 – Son Carl Fredrik’s, porslinsmål. or abbreviation for porslinsmålare or porcelain painter, birth place is noted as ibm. Ibm is a Latin abbreviation for ibidem or in the same place. In this case, he was born in the same place that was noted above for his mother or Ystads Sankta Maria parish. You will find his birth record in ArkivDigital at the following reference:  Ystads Sankta Maria (M) C:17 (1863-1872) Image 187 / page 184 (AID: v112016.b187.s184, NAD: SE/LLA/13489)

Line 4 – Foster daughter, Charlotta Pettersson and her birth place is noted as YSP or Ystads Sankt Petri. Her birth record can be found in ArkivDigital at the following reference: Ystads Sankt Petri (M) C:8 (1877-1884) Image 30 / page 28 (AID: v111936.b30.s28, NAD: SE/LLA/13490).

In the above household record, we discovered place names in the following formats:

  • Name of a country
  • An abbreviation of a parish name
  • Latin term

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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.

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Name Registers in Parish Archives

borasregister

In a previous blog entry, we pointed out name registers (släktnamnsregister) in ArkivDigital for those who research in Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg, Värmland or Västernorrland counties. If one is searching for a person who has a non-patronymic name meaning a name that does not end with a “son” or “dotter”, these registers can be very helpful. Examples of groups of people who had a non-patronymic name were the nobility, priests and not least the many soldiers.

However, you will also find name registers for parish books in some parish archives which also include both patronymic and non-patronymic names. Whenever you research a parish, it is always recommended to browse the archive to see what types of volumes are included in the archive. Occasionally, you will see “register” or “personregister” volumes. For example, if you browse the Borås parish/congregation archive in Älvsborg county, you will see name registers for birth, marriage, death and household records. In this parish, there are name registers for the household records between 1745 and 1860 as shown in the above image. These can be very helpful in the search process.

Below is an example of a page from the household record register book for Borås for the years 1745 – 1754. To the right of the person is the page number where you can find the person in the household record book for the years 1745-1754.

household register imageBorås (P) HFReg:1 (1745-1754) Image 74 / page 70 (AID: v188594.b74.s70, NAD: SE/GLA/13048) Link.

Examples of a few other parish archives where you will find name registers for church books are:

  • Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet – Gävleborg
  • Göteborgs Karl Johan – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Göteborgs Kristine – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Uppsala domkyrkoförsamling – Uppsala

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New records in ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog


Our online library has now nearly 54 million images which equates to more than 100 million pages for your Swedish family and historical research. Many new records were added to ArkivDigital during the last month. Below is a summary of the highlights.

Estate Inventories
We continue to focus on photographing the estate inventories (bouppteckningar) for the period from 1901 to 1940. Below is a summary of the new additions.

All estate inventories from 1901 to 1940 for Blekinge and Halland counties are now available. Photographing is in progress for Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties for the years 1931 to 1940. The estate inventories for Stockholm county (except for Stockholm city) are now available up to 1930. Only a few volumes for the period 1931 to 1940 remain to be photographed. We will begin to photograph the estate inventories for the period from 1901 to 1940 for Stockholm city.

Concerning estate inventories, we want to mention some words about Borås city court and magistrate where the records are not preserved at the regional archive but instead at the city archive in Borås. We have been busy in Borås this past winter and early spring photographing and as a result the estate inventories for Borås are now available up to 1960.

Population/tax registers and real estate books
Other materials added during the last month were the district archives (häradsskrivarnas) population/tax registers (mantalslängder) from earliest times up to 1820 for Östergotland county along with real estate books (fastighetsböcker) for Malmö city. The real estate books, which began to be introduced in 1875, can include notes well into the 1900’s and are found in the archive “Inskrivningsdomarna I Malmö”. To search for this archive, click on advanced options in the search window and select archive type: court registrar.

Air Crashes (Flyghaverier)  and Defense Readiness (Beredskapsverket)
“Flygstaben: Centralexpeditionen”, a series about air crashes for the period 1934-1949, has been photographed during the last month and much of the material is now available in ArkivDigital.  The remaining volumes will soon be added to the online archive.  You can find the archive, “Flygstaben: Centralexpeditionen” in the military archives.

The Swedish military defense readiness agency’s official military work, “Beredskapsverket” is a comprehensive series describing the military defense readiness program for the years 1937-1945.  ArkivDigital has photographed about 19,000 images from this series and more will be added. You can find these documents in the “Beredskapsverket Avdelning 1” volume in the military archives.

If you want to see exactly what has added to the archive on the volume level, click here. This page is in Swedish.

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Catechism Records (katekismilängder)

Catechism records (katekismilängder) have been preserved for Malmöhus, Kristianstad, Blekinge, Kronoberg and Jönköping counties and for some parishes in Halland, Östergötland and Kalmar counties. Unfortunately these do not have a wide coverage but if they do exist; they can be a valuable resource.

Often these catechism records were prepared upon the request of the bishop. After the priest compiled the information, he sent the written documents to the bishop. These records are not found in the church archives but among the visitation documents in the cathedral archive. Therefore, one finds these documents in the respective (Domkapitels Arkiv) or dioceses central administrative organization archive in ArkivDigital.

  1. Go to ArkivDigital’s search window
  2. Click on advanced options
  3. Select archive type: dioceses central administrative organization

For Lund’s diocese (Malmöhus, Kristianstad and Blekinge counties), these records have been divided up and are included in the volume list for the respective parish with the notation Kat:1.

The main purpose of the catechism records was to record one’s religious understanding but one also sees where one lived such as the farm name and in many cases one’s age. Sometimes one can even find out if the person could read and write. These books are not preserved for all years but one can find some from the end of the 1600’s and some in the 1700’s.CatechismDomkapitlet i Växjö FII:12 (1691-1694) Image 294 / page 573 (AID: v41168.b294.s573, NAD: SE/VALA/00507)  Link.

In the above record, we see that the following persons lived in Kulltorp parish in Jönköping county at Hagagården in Lanna by:

Roottmestare Per Larsson, 61 years
Wife (hustrun) Anna, 47 years
Son  Lars Persson, 23 years
Daughter Anna, 20 years
Lodger female wife (Inhyses quinnan hustru) Ingeborgh, 84 years

This article was originally published in Swedish on April 11, 2014. Read original article in Swedish.

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Introduction to the Certificate of Poverty (Fattigbevis)

The certificate of poverty (fattigbevis) was an application by a deceased’s surviving relative requesting to waive the performance of the estate inventory (bouppteckning) because the deceased’s estate was of little value or worthless. This certificate has genealogical value because it usually lists the immediate relatives. The certificate of poverty usually contains the following:

  1. Information about the deceased – name, age and death date
  2. Names of immediate surviving relatives
  3. Statement requesting waiver of the estate inventory
  4. Signatures of applicant and witnesses

fattigcertificateStockholms rådhusrätt 1:a avdelning EIId:29b (1899-1899) Image 460 / page 40 (AID: v554426.b460.s40, NAD: SE/SSA/0145a)  Link

Above is an image of a certificate of poverty that shows the deceased’s son, Alfred Gottfrid Sundgren, is living in Omaha, Nebraska.

You will find certificates of poverty for Stockholm for the years of 1756 to 1910 on ArkivDigital.  Click here to read more about certificates of poverty and how to search for these records on ArkivDigital.

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New Records Added in February

Produktkatalog

Many new exciting records were added to ArkivDigital’s online library during February.  Below are highlights of the new additions.

We continue to focus on photographing the estate inventories (bouppteckningarna) for the period from 1901 to 1940. The estate inventories for Göteborg och Bohus county are now available online to 1910. For Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties, the estate inventories are available up to 1920.

For those who are interested in military history, the collection “Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar” or “War Documents of the Great Northern War: War Prisoners” is now online. You can find this collection in the military archive. (Notice that there are two names in the archive list with the same name but they do include different volumes.) In this collection, you will find much information about the soldiers who were imprisoned in connection with Karl XII’s war or the Great Northern War.

For those interested in Malmö, we have added selected parts of the Poor Relief Board in Malmö (Fattigvårdsstyrelsen i Malmö) archive. In these volumes you will find not only information about paupers but information about foster children and much more.

Finally, we want to mention that we are beginning to add material from The Public Orphanage of Stockholm (Allmänna barnhusets) archive. The Public Orphanage of Stockholm was a place where children who were orphans or whose parents had difficulties in caring for them were placed in hopes of a better life. Many of these children were placed in foster homes throughout Sweden. This archive has an extensive collection of records and we will photograph a selection of these records.

Read more about our image database.

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Research in Stockholm City 1878-1926

A question that is often asked at conferences and lectures is, “Why are there not any household examination books for Stockholm city parishes at the end of the 1800’s?”  The answer is simple. No household examination records were produced so they do not exist.

Researching in the cities is a little different from researching in the rural areas. And Stockholm research has some unique challenges because of the non-existence of the household examination records beginning in the late 1870’s.   Instead of the household examination books and congregation books for the years 1878-1926, there exists a population register in Stockholm called the roteman’s archive (rotemansarkivet).

Stockholm grew rapidly during the second half of the 19th century and it was common for individuals to frequently move. In order to maintain an accurate population register, a new municipal organization was created called the Roteman’s Institution (rotemansinstitutionen). Stockholm was divided into a number of districts called rotar.  In each district or rote, there was a city employee (roteman) responsible for recording the population statistics.  All who lived in a real estate property (fastighet) were registered in a special ledger.

Currently, the Stockholm City Archives is in the process of digitizing these records and making the material searchable online for free at the Stockholm City Archives site.  While not all the records have been registered, much has been completed and is now available online. This is an extremely valuable resource for Stockholm research. However, it is important to remember that this is a register and there is always a possibility of an error.

Other church books such as the birth, marriage, death, moving in and moving out records exist for Stockholm parishes and these are found in ArkivDigital. The moving in/out records for Stockholm are a very good source because these often contain more information than the moving in/out records for rural areas.

As in other cities, there are many parishes in Stockholm and not all have Stockholm in their name. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to identify which parishes exist in the city of Stockholm. You can create a list of Stockholm city only parishes by doing the following:

  1. In ArkivDigital, click on the advanced options search button
  2. Select county, Stockholm stads
  3. Select archive type, parish/congregation

stockholm city research

To search in the roteman’s archive on the Stockholm’s city archives site, click here.  Click on the English flag for the English version.

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ArkivDigital at RootsTech 2015

Exhibit Hall

ArkivDigital was represented at RootsTech 2015 (February 12-14) in Salt Lake City by Kathy Meade, ArkivDigital’s North American representative, along with Dan Hubbard from Chicago and Anneli Andersson from Sweden. RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference in North America and RootsTech 2015 was huge.  There were over 20,000 registered attendees from 49 U.S. States and 35 countries, 170 exhibitors and over 300 lectures plus several evening events.

Kathy Meade gave a presentation on ArkivDigital to a packed room on Friday, February 13th.  There was strong interest and every seat in the presentation room was taken with some persons standing and sitting on the floor.

Presentation BloggTable

ArkivDigital had a booth in the exhibit hall with three workstations and there was a steady stream of visitors every day asking questions about  ArkivDigital and how to use the service, how to find the place where their Swedish ancestor came from in Sweden, requests for reading assistance in reading records and many other Swedish genealogy and research questions.  We wish to give our thanks to the many who stopped by and said, “ArkivDigital is the best for Swedish research”.

You can read more about RootsTech 2015 here.

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