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.

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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)

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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.

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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:

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More Swedish American Church Books in ArkivDigital

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.

red oak church recordRed Oak Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Iowa, USA (IA) Vol:1 -1890 Image 31 / Page 35 (AID: v903645.b31.s35) Link.

We have Swedish American church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 7 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 80 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 9 congregations

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

  • Select New archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska).
  • A list of the congregations for that state will appear.

select swedish american church

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

ArkivDigital

Swedish American Church Book Record Types

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and a few from Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Below are the types of records that you will find in the various congregations However, the type of records that were kept and preserved varies by congregation.

  1. Congregation records or church registers (Församlingsböcker)
  2. Birth and christening records (Födelse- och dopböcker)
  3. Marriage records (Vigselböcker)
  4. Death and burial records (Död- och begravningsböcker)
  5. Catechetical records (Konfirmationsbok)
  6. Protocols (Protokoll)
  7. Accountings (Räkenskaper)
  8. Member reception records (Intagna medlemmar)
  9. Member dismissal records (Utträdda medlemmar)
  10. Anniversary documents (Jubileumsskrift)

Congregation Books (Församlingsböcker)
The congregation records or church registers include similar information to the Swedish household or congregation records. The type of information you may find includes:  the names of the household members, birth date, birth place, baptismal date, marriage dates of the head of the household, arrival date in America and arrival date in the congregation. Some of these books have alphabetical name indexes. These records are very helpful in identifying where a person came from in Sweden.

Omaha Congregation RecordCongregation book from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:1 (1868-1890) Image 74 / page 69 (AID: v883292.b74.s69, NAD: ) Link.

Birth and Christening Records (Födelse- och dopböcker)
The birth and christening records are somewhat similar to the Swedish birth and christening records. The contents do vary by congregation but they usually contain the child’s name, birth date, baptismal date, names of parents and names of baptismal witnesses.  Most of the time the mother’s married name and not maiden name is presented. These records are organized in chronological order often by baptismal date. Occasionally, there is a cross reference to the family in the church register or congregation record.

omaha birthsRecords of baptisms from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 21 / page 35 (AID: v883294.b21.s35, NAD: ) Link.

Marriage Records (Vigselböcker)
The marriage records are an important source because it is the one source where the female’s maiden name is shown. The contents in the marriage record usually include the names of the groom and bride, date of the marriage and the places where the bride and groom are from. These records are organized in chronological order.

omaha marriageRecords of Marriages from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 59 / page 173 (AID: v883294.b59.s173, NAD: ) Link.

Death and Burial Records (Död- och begravningsböcker)
The death and burial records sometimes called “Records of Funerals” show the deceased’s name, death date, burial date, age, sometimes names of nearest relatives and cause of death. Unfortunately, abbreviations may be used in names such as “P. A. Swanson” versus the complete name and married women are often noted as “Mrs. Charles Eklund”.  These are organized in chronological order usually by the funeral date. Occasionally, there is a cross reference to the family in the church register or congregation record.

omaha burialsRecords of Funerals from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 98 / page 291 (AID: v883294.b98.s291, NAD: ) Link.

Catechetical (Konfirmationsbok)
The catechetical records provide names of the persons confirmed. Most of the time, these are only list of names but occasionally, the birth date and the names of the parents of the confirmed will be shown.

Protocols (Protokoll)
The protocols are administrative records for the parish. They contain minutes of administrative meetings and decisions relating to parish matters.

Accountings (Räkenskaper)
The account books will include records of financial transactions such as cash books, bookkeeping records and real estate transactions.

Member reception records (Intagna medlemmar)
These records record new members of the parish usually stating the name of the person, date of admission and the place where the person came from.

Member dismissal records (Utträdda medlemmar)
These records record the names of members who leave the parish. Usually, you will find the name of the person, departure date and where the person is going to.

omaha dismissalRecords of Dismissals of Members from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 85 / page 247 (AID: v883294.b85.s247, NAD: ) Link.

Church anniversary document (Jubileumsskrift)
In many congregation archives you will find a church anniversary document celebrating a number of years in existence such as 25 years, 50 years, 75 years or 100 years. These documents usually present a short history of the church or a church organization such as a singing group or other group within the church. Sometimes in addition to the history of the church, biographical information and photos of members of the church are included.

Other documents (Övriga handlingar)
You may find other documents dependent upon the parish such as church school records, tomb or cemetery records, historical notes, church constitution, and attachments to migration records, newspaper clippings and other types of documents.

More information about Swedish American church books:
Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books.

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Many church books from Nebraska are now online

During the summer, we published a blog that we were photographing Swedish American church books in Nebraska. See earlier blog. Since then, we have been working at full speed photographing and publishing the material.

We have photographed many types of documents, everything from congregation books, birth, marriage and death books to protocols, church accounts and much more. We have published over 110,000 images from 110 congregations. Still more material will be added in the future.

bertrand church

An image out of the Bertrand Immanuel Lutheran Church’s “Church-Register” for the years 1883-1907. For church members born in Sweden, both the birth parish and county are noted in the record. Link.

 

You can access these records by doing the following:

  • Select New archive search in ArkivDigital
  • Select County
  • Select Nebraska

Click here to read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Update on Swedish American Church Books

We have received many questions at recent North American conferences regarding the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital. Today, we will give a status of the Swedish American church books that are available in ArkivDigital today as well as links to the English blogs giving more information about these records.

We have Swedish American church books for the following states:

  • Kansas – 97 congregations
  • Minnesota – 76 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 43 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation

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

  • Select archive search.
  • Select county archive.
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska).
  • A list of the congregations for that state will appear.

search swedish american records

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

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Swedish American Church Book Photographing Project begins in Nebraska

Warren Johnson and Sven HennigPhotographing Swedish-American church books in Omaha, Nebraska

We are happy to announce that we are beginning to photograph the Swedish American church books in Nebraska. This is our third project in the United States. There are approximately one hundred Scandinavian American churches located across the state of Nebraska.

Photographing began on June 22nd at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, and filming will continue into the fall of 2017.  An ArkivDigital employee, Sven, is traveling the state visiting churches and copying these historic records. Assisting him with the church visits are three project directors:  Warren E. Johnson of Omaha, Nebraska, Tina Larson with the Plainsman Museum in Aurora, Nebraska, and Sandra Slater with the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club at the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, Nebraska.

Most of the Nebraska records will be published this fall. Currently, some records for the Aurora Covenant Church in Aurora, Nebraska are available online.  You can find these records by doing the following:

  • Select archive search in ArkivDigital
  • Select county
  • Select Nebraska

Below are links to previous blogs about Swedish-American church records in Kansas and Minnesota.

Swedish American Church Books in Kansas
Swedish American Church Books in Minnesota

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Swedish American Church Book Photographing Project in Minnesota Begins

Many Swedes who immigrated to the United States settled in Minnesota. Thus, we are excited to announce that we have begun to photograph Swedish American church books from congregations in Minnesota. Our first stop was in Dalbo, Minnesota, where we have been able to photograph records from several Minnesota congregations. None of these volumes are yet available online, but we will be soon adding these records.

minnesota filming projectAnna Björkman and Janet Carlson in  Dalbo, Minnesota.

Photographing the church books in Minnesota is our second United States project. In 2015, we photographed over 1,100 church books from Kansas. We have posted a number of blogs about the Swedish American church books in Kansas. Below are links to a few of these blogs.

Swedish American Church Books from Kansas (Link)
Overview of the Swedish American Church Books in Kansas (Link)
Search for a parish of origin in the Swedish American church books (Link)
Biographical sketch in the Swedish American church books (Link)

Read the announcement in the Swedish blog.

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