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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Additions to the Military Service Cards (Stamkort) Index

In August 2018, we added the searchable name index, military service cards, to ArkivDigital. This index consists of nearly two million index entries for persons who enrolled in the military service from 1902 to 1941 (persons born between 1881 and-1921). The index makes it much easier to find draft registration cards from the various archives which used different methods for organizing these cards.

We have now added more entries to the military service cards index. It now includes persons who enrolled in the years from 1942 to 1950 (persons born in the years 1922-1931). Approximately 400,000 additional draft registration cards are now searchable by name.

military service index May

The conscription military card gives details about the enlistee from enlistment (at 20 or 21 years) till he became 47 years or left the military. It is not only information recorded at the time of enrollment but also data referring emergency preparations activities during World War II and additional training exercises. You can find more information about these military service cards by clicking here.

In order to access the military service card index, one must have an All-in-one subscription.

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Military Service Cards (Stamkort) Search Index

The digitized conscription service cards (stamkort) for Swedish men who enrolled in the military from 1902 to 1941 were previously published in ArkivDigital and have been available for some time. Up until now, it has taken some time and effort to find the military service card for a desired person. There are nearly two million cards and these are spread out in a large number of archives which in turn used different methods for organizing the cards.

The military service card includes the name of the conscript, birth date, birth place and enrollment number. Additional information included in the service card are the branch of the service the recruit served in, service time (including basic and additional military training as well as emergency preparation service during World War II), promotions, record of punishments if any and even sometimes the conscript’s home address and civil occupation.

 

The draft registration age changed in 1914 from age 21 years to 20, which means that the military service cards that are online cover men born approximately between the years 1881 to 1921.

 

Now, these military service cards have been indexed by name in ArkivDigital making it simple to find the desired card.  Select new index search and then select the military service cards index. Fill in the name and or birth information, select the desired post in the result list and click on the link which opens the image of the military service card. How much simpler can it be!

draft registration recordÖstergötlands inskrivningsområde (Io 4), Inskrivningsområdesexpeditionen (E, H) D2b:58 (1912) Image 50 (AID: v807027.b50, NAD: SE/KrA/0473/B04001Ö)

The above record shows a search for Karl Sigvard Gustavsson born on the 2nd of December 1912 in the parish of Horn, resulting in the above index record. Click on the link and you will see the image of the military service card. On the card, you will find notes about his military service from his enrollment in 1932 to his discharge in 1959.

To access the military service cards index, one must have an All-in-one subscription and the register is only available in our web version of our software. You can find our web version by going to: https://app.arkivdigital.se.

 

Click here to read the original blog in Swedish.

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