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

More Military Pension Documents in ArkivDigital

pension1124Arméförvaltningen, Civila departementet, civilbyrån D2:7 (1902-1904) Image 1350 / page 138 (AID: v812124.b1350.s138, NAD: SE/KrA/0065b) Link.

In an earlier blog (link to the blog), we described the military pension documents that are in the archive, Krigskollegium Krigsmanshuskontoret.  We pointed out that the volumes titled, Underhållsprojekt, are of special interest. In these records, you will often discover the reason why a soldier received a pension. However, the Krisgskollegium Krisgsmanshuskontoret only includes records for the underhållsprojekt or support project up to and including the year 1863.

We have now photographed the continuation of the records which are included in two different archives:

  • Years 1864-1880, Arméförvaltningen, Civila departementet, kassaavdelningen, pensions- och fondförvaltningskontoret. 
  • Years 1881-1904, Arméförvaltningen, Civila departementet, civilbyrån.

To search for these archives, enter the search word: ”arméförvaltningen” in the search box.

In addition to reason for the request for a discharge, these records show an overview of the soldier’s military career as shown in the above image.

Dist. korpralen Johan Daniel Grimberg /Pettersson/ född den 10 Apr. 1855, tjent utm. väl sedan den 21 Februari 1873, vid gen. mönstring den 16 September 1903 för sjuklighet ställd på 6 månaders förbättring, afsked den 5 April 1904; v. korpr. 4 maj 1883, korpal d. 20 febr. 1895, dist. korpr. i regem. 14 Juni 1902. Svärdsmedalj 1904.

District Corporal Johan Daniel Grimberg/Pettersson/ born on the 10th April 1855, served well since the 21st of February 1873, at the general muster on the 16th of September 1903 placed on 6 months sick leave, discharged on the 5th of April 1904; vice corporal 4 May 1883, corporal on the 20th February 1895, district corporal in the regiment 14th June 1902. Medal of the Sword 1904.

Link to blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

General Muster Rolls

soldier recordGeneralmönsterrullor – Hälsinge regemente 703 (1863-1863) Image 440 (AID: v374522.b440, NAD: SE/KrA/0023) Link.

The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are the primary records  one uses to research Swedish soldiers who served in the military between the 1680’s and 1880’s. The muster rolls were kept by the respective regiments between every three to five years. In these rolls, you will find information about all soldiers and officers, regiment by regiment, company by company.

In the general muster roll, one can follow  soldiers and officers from the time they entered the service until their discharge. Types of information you will find in the muster rolls include: soldier’s name, both their soldier name and earlier name, birth date or age, number of years in the service, height and marital status. One learns if the soldier was promoted and sometimes one learns about commendations.  At the end of the soldier’s career, the reason for his discharge is often stated.

The above image gives information about the soldier, Jonas Käck, who served in the Hälsinge regiment in 1863. He served for the rote, Sörfly, in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county. He was previously named Jon Jonsson and was born in Hanebo parish in Gävleborg county on July 9, 1818. He entered the military on December 10, 1840. At the time of the 1863 muster, he was 44 years old and had served in the military for 22 4/12 years.  He was 6 feet and 1.5 inches tall.

The general muster rolls for both the allotted  (indelta) and enlisted (värvade) Swedish regiments are available in ArkivDigital’s online library. You can find these records by:

  • Access ArkivDigital online
  • Select advanced options
  • Select archive type, military

An alternative search method is to enter “generalmönsterrullor” in the search box and click search.

Click here to read article about the general muster rolls in Swedish.

ArkivDigital