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.

ArkivDigital

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:

ArkivDigital

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

ArkivDigital

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.

ArkivDigital

Sven Anderson’s Life in Bucklin, Missouri

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas and a few from Missouri and Oklahoma. While the record types will vary by parish, the most common sets of records found in the books include:

  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)

The anniversary or commemorative booklets for a church celebrating a number of years such as 25, 50, 75 or 100 years in existence can be very interesting to browse. Many present a short history of the church and even occasionally biographical sketches and photographs of early settlers. These can be wonderful sources for learning about the lives of early Swedish American settlers in North America.

 

The Bucklin, Missouri, Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church 100-year commemorative booklet includes a number of biographies of early church members. One of the biographies is for Sven Anderson who emigrated from Nydala parish in Jönköping County in 1869. Below is a photo of Sven and his wife, Matilda.

photo of sven anderson

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD: )  Link.

 

You will also find a short biographical sketch of Sven’s life in the new country. The sketch includes birth dates, birth places, emigration dates and death dates for both him and his wife along with information about their children. It also states, “In 1870, they came to Bucklin, Mo, and bought 40 acres of land north of Bucklin in the rolling hills of Mussel Fork from the Railroad Co. Sven being a skilled workman built a 3-room frame house with fireplace. The barn was made of logs with a prairie hay roof.” Below is the image of the written biography.

sven andersson biography

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD:)

 

You can find the commemorative booklet for the Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  1. Select new archive search
  2. Click on county and select Missouri (USA) MO
  3. Select Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church
  4. Select printed document 1870 – 1970

Below are links to additional blogs about the Swedish American church books:

Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

Swedish American Church books in Kansas

ArkivDigital

Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case Study – Begin in Congregation Book (Church Register)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ArkivDigital

Publication of the Swedish American church records now complete

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Confirmation class photos from Herndon, Kansas

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

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

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

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

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

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital