Korsbaneret – Another source for the family historian

ArkivDigital has recently photographed copies of the Korsbaneret (The Banner of the Cross), a yearly calendar published by the Augustana Lutheran Synod from 1880 to 1950. These booklets contain many articles which include church and congregation news, obituaries of the clergy and their spouses, articles about synods, schools, religion and poetry.

Currently, we have scanned books for the following years in ArkivDigital: 1880 thru 1932 and also the year 1934. You can find the publications by doing the following:

  • Access app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive search
  • Select archive type, printed literature
  • Select country, United States
  • Select tryckta skrifter, USA
  • You will find the issues listed by the title, Korsbaneret and year, in the volume list

At the end of the volume, Korsbaneret, 1929, you will find an index or register for the volumes for the first fifty years, 1880-1929. There are indexes for various categories such as general news , obituaries of ministers and their spouses, illustrations or photos of churches and portraits of individuals.

Let’s look for the obituary for the pastor’s wife, Wilhelmina Lundquist, in Beaver, Illinois. By going to the volume, Korsbaneret, 1929, you will find the beginning of the registers or indexes on page 311. If we page forward to page 330, we will see the index for levnadsteckningar or biographies In the register. Then look for Lundquist, Wilhelmina and you will see next to her name the notations 21 and 275 which means you will find information about her in the volume for the year 1921 on page 275.

korsbaneret registerTryckta skrifter, USA Korsbaneret:1929 (1929) Image 171 / Page 339 (AID: v965044.b171.s339)

Then go to volume Korsbaneret, 1921, open the volume, go to page 275 and you will see the below image.

fru wilhelminaTryckta skrifter, USA Korsbaneret:1921 (1921) Image 141 / Page 275 (AID: v965036.b141.s275)

In this obituary we discover her birth date, place of birth in Sweden and emigration date.

Fru Wilhelmina Lundquist, född Johnson, föddes i Fyreled (Fryele) församling, Jönköping län, Sverige, den 14 februari 1857 och ankom till Amerika och Beaver, Illinois.år 1870. Hon konfirmades i den svenska ev. Lutherska kyrkan i Beaver 1871 och förenades i äktenskap med pastor L. J. Lundquist den 26 juni 1878. Hon fick i tron på sin dyre Frälsare sluta sin jordevandring och ingå i den boning, som Kristus beredt at de sina, den 5 januari 1919 i en ålder af 61 år, 11 månader och 21 dagar.

Wilhelmina Lundquist, born Johnson, was born in Fryele parish in Jönköping county, in Sweden on the 14th of February 1857 and arrived in America and Beaver, Illinois in 1870. She was confirmed in the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beaver in 1871 and was united in marriage with the pastor L. J. Lundquist on the 26th of June 1878 She was faithful to her dear Savior and ended her earthly journey and entered into the abode prepared for her by Christ on January 5, 1919 at the age of 61 years, 11 months and 21 days.

As you can see these booklets are a another wonderful set of records for the family historian and for those interested in emigration research.

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Olof Liljegren – Letters from the Civil War

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Illinois – 2 congregations
  • Iowa – 88 congregations
  • Kansas – 99 congregations
  • Minnesota – 125 congregations
  • Missouri – 9 congregations
  • Nebraska – 120 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest.

In the archive for the Cambridge Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Minnesota, you will find a very interesting set of letters, Olof Liljegren – Our Years in the Civil War. This collection consists mostly of letters translated into English written by Olof Liljegren to his father in Sweden, Jonas Nilsson, in Boggsjö, Sundjö parish in Jämtland county between the years of 1861 and 1864.

Olof emigrated from Sweden in 1858 to North America. He served in the Third Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and in 1865 died in the United States Army in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1865. Besides the letters written by Olof to his father, the collection also includes a letter to his sweetheart, Mary Edblad, a pioneer school teacher in Isanti County, Minnesota as well a letter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death in 1865.

olof letter 1861

Letter dated December 1861 from Olof to his father. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 20 (AID: v886267.b20) Link

In the above letter Olof writes to his father the following:

“I have not told you anything about myself. I enlisted in the U. S. Army for three years or the duration of the war. We are building up a Swedish regiment with all officers having been trained in Sweden which makes them excellent officers. The captain’s pay is $108 per month, first lieutenant, $100, 2nd lieutenant, $75, Corporal $15, and private $10 per month.

I took this step after much thought and decided my life is worth no more than the next man and if I die, I feel I can not die for a better cause than to stop slavery.”

 olof deathLetter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death dated December 17, 1865. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 80 (AID: v886267.b80) Link

“I am sending you a few lines to let you know your son Olof died in the United States Army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, September 25, 1865. Two days before he died, I stayed with him one day and one nite. He was then so poorly he did not think he could get well. He told me to write to you and gave me authority to take card of his belongings and send his medal home to Sweden.”

To find these letters:

  • Go to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select archive search
  • Select country, United States
  • Select state, Minnesota
  • Select Vol:31 Printed Documents

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Obituaries and Genealogies in Swedish American Record Collections

We have Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital for several states in the United States primarily in the Midwest. One interesting collection is the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church in Trade Lake in Burnett county, Wisconsin. Among the types of records, you will find in this archive include the typical church books collections such as congregation books, death records, attachments to migration records and anniversary booklets.

But there are also newspaper clippings of obituaries and genealogies for persons who lived in Trade Lake or the nearby area. Many of these are for emigrants or families of emigrants from Sweden.

The obituary collection is titled dödsrunor in the volume list and the death notices are in alphabetical order. Below is the volume list showing these volumes. You can hover over the ‘i” to see the first letters of the names ncluded in the volume.

dodsrunor

Below is the obituary for Andrew Bjork who was born on September 7, 1838 in Ljusnarsberg, Örebro, Sweden.

bjork obituary

Another set of volumes are titled familjehistoria or family histories. If you hover your mouse over the ‘i”, the family name will be visible.

family history

Below is the first page for the family history for the descendants of Johan Olof Akerlind shown as born August 6, 1822 in Fellingsbro, Örebro.

akerlund family history

To find the church books for the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church:

  • Log in to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive Search
  • Select country, United States
  • Select state, Wisconsin
  • Open the archive for the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church

 ArkivDigital

Immigrant Stories in the Swedish American Church Books

ArkivDigital’s online archive includes many Swedish American church books primarily from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota. But we also have a few from Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The types of records vary between congregations. The most common sets of records are congregation or membership rolls, birth, marriage, death, confirmation, church protocols, church accounts, anniversary booklets and other types of records.

One of the most interesting set of records is the anniversary booklet (jubileumsskrift). Often these booklets include a history of the church and settlement and describes the life of the early immigrants in North America. Some of these books also contain wonderful biographical sketches and pictures.

john benson imageBucklin Swedish Mission Covenant Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:13 (1880-1980) Image 17 / Page 31 (AID: v950811.b17.s31)

The above image is taken from the Centennial Celebration booklet for the Swedish Mission Covenant Church in Bucklin, Missouri. There is a short biographical sketch of John Benson born Johannes Bengtsson in Skummeslöv parish in Halland county in Sweden on April 4, 1852. It states that he first lived in St. Louis, Missouri and worked for the Johansen Shoe company and then moved to a farm north of Bucklin in 1881. The sketch gives information about his wife and children and states that he died on July 24, 1900.

With the information in the anniversary booklet, we can search for his birth record in ArkivDigital and then trace him forward in the household books until his emigration in 1871. Below is his birth record showing his birth of the 4th of April 1852 at Allarp in Skummeslöv parish. His parents are noted as B. P. Persson and Christina Bengtsdotter. His mother was 32 years old at the time of his birth.

john benson's birth recordSkummeslöv (N) CI:3 (1824-1860) Image 380 / Page 69 (AID: v93216a.b380.s69, NAD: SE/LLA/13348)

To find the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital:

  • Log in at app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive Search.
  • Select country, United States.
  • You can also limit the search by state.

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Find obituaries in the Houston, Minnesota, Baptist Church Archives

When one browses in the Swedish American church book archives, one will often find photographs, newspaper clippings and sometimes printed obituaries.  Below is an obituary for Christian Johnson found in the archive for the Houston (Minnesota) Baptist Church Archives.

You can find the obituaries by:

  • Go to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select archive search
  • Select country: United States
  • Select U.S. state: Minnesota
  • Select Houston Baptist Church, Minnesota, USA
  • Open archive
  • Select the volume: Dödsruna

houston baptistHouston Baptist Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:9 Image 13 (AID: v902876.b13)

Some of the facts noted in the above obituary are Christian’s death date: February 5, 1911 and his birth date of the 30th of January 1818 in Kongsbacka, Sweden. The obituary states that he was a sailor and that he married Louise Redding in 1850 and emigrated in 1854.

This is an example of how many American records can be misleading when one is trying to jump the pond. While some of the information is correct in the obituary, not all is. In doing further research, we will discover that Christian was born as stated on the 30th of January 1818 but in a place named Asslöv in Tölö parish in Halland county. His parents were Gustaf Jönsson and Lena Svensdotter. His birth record is shown below.

christian johnson birth recordTölö (N) CI:4 (1816-1835) Image 150 (AID: v93627a.b150, NAD: SE/LLA/13427)

He married Lovisa Sofia Röding from Onsala parish in Halland county on the 29th of January 1850 in Onsala. He is shown as a seaman and is using his patronymic name, Christian Gustafsson. The obituary shows how Lovisa’s name has been Americanized: Lovisa to Louise and Röding to Redding. Below is their marriage record.

christian marriageOnsala (N) EI:2 (1849-1860) Image 7 / Page 5 (AID: v93103.b7.s5, NAD: SE/LLA/13297)

The household examination record as shown below gives a date for their move to North America in 1853. They are not shown in the moving out book for 1853 or 1854. Below is the household record.

christian household recordOnsala (N) AI:5 (1849-1853) Image 179 / Page 174 (AID: v93088.b179.s174, NAD: SE/LLA/13297)

In both the marriage record and household record, Christian is shown as Christian Gustafsson but once in North America, he changes his name to Christian Johnson.

Obituaries can be wonderful records to help to identify where one’s ancestor came from in Sweden but many times the information is only partially correct as in this case and it will be necessary to evaluate other records before jumping the pond.

ArkivDigital

Swedish American Church Book Status Update

Today, we will give an update of the status of the Swedish-American church books that are available in ArkivDigital. Most of the new books are for churches in Iowa and a few more in Minnesota.

We have church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 82 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 113 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

swedesburg church       The first Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church that was built in 1868 and destroyed by fire in 1883.

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select Archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Iowa). Then a list of congregations for that state will appear.
  • Select the congregation that you desire.

search for iowa church books

Click here for more information about Swedish-American church book records.

ArkivDigital

Swedish Portraits (Svenska Porträttgalleri)

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many types of records such as the church books, estate inventories, court records, tax registers and military records. But there are many additional types of records within ArkivDigital including scanned books. One interesting set is the Svenskt Porträttgalleri.

The Svenskt Porträttgalleri includes 26 volumes of portraits and biographical data for over 20,000 persons who represented key segments of Swedish life including clergy, military officers, academics, doctors, publishers, financiers, and others. The series includes a general register or an index which lists all the individuals in alphabetical order and points to the volume that shows the photograph and biography. You can find these volumes in ArkivDigital by going to archive search and selecting archive type, printed litterature.

As an example, we will look for Gustaf Unonius, who was the founder of St. Ansgarius Church established in 1849 in Chicago, Illinois. This was the first Scandinavian church in Chicago. To find the biographical data for Gustav Unonius in the Svenskt Porträttgalleri, do the following:

  • Access ArkivDigital (app.arkivdigital.se).
  • Select archive search.
  • Select archive type – printed litterature.
  • Select the archive – Svenskt Porträttgalleri.
  • Open the general register volume. The names are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Below is the register entry.

unonius registerSvenskt porträttgalleri (o) Generalregister (1913) Image 3900 / Page 765 (AID: v903628.b3900.s765)

The information in the register is an abbreviated biographical sketch along with pointing out where we can find his portrait and a more detailed biography in Volume 15 (XV). The information shown in the register is the following:

Unonius, Gustaf Elias Marius was born in Helsingfors (Helsinki, Finland) on the 25th of August 1810. He was a pastor at an Anglo-American church, a customs collector in Grisslehamn and died in Hacksta parish in Uppsala county on the 14th of October 1902.

The next step is to go to Volume XV. You will see that Volume XV and XVI are in the same volume in ArkivDigital. The names are listed in alphabetical order for each volume. Browse through the book to search for Gustaf Unonius. Below is his photograph and a more detailed biographical sketch.

gustaf unonius full biographySvenskt porträttgalleri (o) XV-XVI (1897-1900) Image 990 / Page 181 (AID: v903622.b990.s181)

In the above record, you will find a few more details about Gustaf Elias Marius Unonius’s life. Additional information in this record includes that he studied in Uppsala, emigrated to America in 1841, studied at an Anglo-American seminary in Wisconsin in 1843, ordained to the priesthood in 1845, was a pastor at the Swedish-Norwegian parish, St. Ansgarius in Chicago in 1849 and still a priest in the Anglo-American church and returned to Sweden in 1858. In 1860, for his work with the Swedish immigrants in America he was given a reward of 3,000 riksdaler. He worked as a customs official in Grisslehamn from 1863 to 1888. The last portion of the sketch list some of his publications and probably the best known being Minnen fr. en Sjuttonåring vistelse in nordvestra Amerika or Memoir for a Seventeen-Year Stay i Northwest America. This work has been translated into English with the title of A Pioneer in Northwest America 1841-1858, The Memoirs of Gustaf Unonius.

The Svenskt Porträttgalleri is a wonderful source for finding photographs and some biographical information about persons active in Swedish society.

ArkivDigital

Memory Album (Minnesalbum) from Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Wisconsin

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Iowa – 60 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 106 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest. In the archives for the Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Burnett County, Wisconsin, you will find a minnesalbum or a memory album.

This congregation was established on the 5th of June 1869 in Knut Anderson’s schoolhouse. Below is an image listing the names of the early congregants and where they came from in Sweden.

frederic trade blogFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (left side of the image)

Below is an image of John Ring, the first pastor of the church, and his wife.

john ringFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (right side of the image)

John Ring or Jonas Ring was born in Delsbo, Gävleborg, Sweden on the 16th of February 1829. (Note – the record in the album states that he is from Ilsbo but he was actually born in Delsbo but did live part of his life in Ilsbo.)  He and his wife and children emigrated from Sundsvall, Västernorrland. Below is the household record showing them moving to America along with a notation that he and his wife are Baptists.

ring household recordSundsvalls Gustav Adolf (Y) AI:6b (1851-1866) Image 179 / Page 468 (AID: v122499.b179.s468, NAD: SE/HLA/1010190)

ArkivDigital

Moving Certificates between Swedish American Congregations

In an earlier blog (see earlier blog), we wrote about moving out certificates (flyttningsbevis) from parishes within Sweden that have been preserved by some Swedish American churches.

In some Swedish American churches mostly the Lutheran, the minister would note persons joining the congregation and leaving the parish in a separate section of the congregation book. Usually the section showing persons joining the congregation is titled, Reception of new members (Intagna medlemmar) and the section showing people leaving the congregation is titled, Dismissal of members (utträdda medlemmar).

When a person was dismissed or removed from a congregation primarily within the Augustana Lutheran churches, sometimes the person would be given a certificate of removal. These certificates from one Augustana congregation to another came to serve as a pass to the congregation that was active at the new place of residence.

Some of the certificates of removal or transfers are available for some congregations within ArkivDigital. Below is an image of the moving certificate for Anders Peter Falk and his family that is in the archive for the Council Bluffs Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iowa showing the family moving from St. John’s Church (St. John’s Lutheran Church) in Essex, Iowa to Council Bluffs in 1893.

transfer certificateCouncil Bluffs Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iowa, USA (IA) Vol:5 (1878-1894) Image 7 (AID: v903227.b7) 

The certificate gives the date of birth and place of birth for all members of the family.

  • Anders Peter Falk born on the 27th of July 1838 in Vena (Hvena) parish in Kalmar county
  • Margareta Charlotta born on the 8th of June 1848 in Lönneberga parish
  • Anna Elenora born on the 22nd of May 1881 in New Windsor, Illinois
  • Ella Victoria born on the 6th of January 1884 in Essex, Iowa

The record also states that Anders Peter Falk emigrated from Sweden in 1854 and Margareta Charlotta emigrated in 1859. It also shows that they joined the church in Essex, Iowa in 1883. Note – remember this is a secondary source so all information should be verified. But this is a wonderful record showing where the parents came from in Sweden and some of their moves within North America. Unfortunately, not many of these records were preserved.

Whenever there are moving certificates either from a parish in Sweden or from another Swedish American parish in North America, you will find these volumes in the parish archives titled, Attachments to migration records.

You can find out if a particular North American congregation has a volume titled, Attachments to migration records by:

  • Go to archive search.
  • Select the country, United States.
  • Select the desired state.
  • Select the desired congregation.
  • Search the volume list.

ArkivDigital

Swedish-American Church Book Status

Today, we will give a status of the Swedish-American church books that are available in ArkivDigital as well as links to the English blogs giving more information about these records.

We have Swedish-American church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 29 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 101 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

madrid iowa church

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select Archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska). Then a list of congregations for that state will appear.
  • Select the congregation that you desire.

Below is a list of blogs with links for more information about the Swedish-American church books:

ArkivDigital