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

New Register – Swedes in US 1940

ArkivDigital has launched a new name searchable register, Swedes in US 1940. The database is an extraction out of the 1940 United States Census. The census was created on the 1st of April 1940 and the extract includes all the persons who stated their birth place was Sweden. The database includes approximately 447,000 entries. The register includes information such as name, age, marital status and where the person lived in 1940. In addition, it shows where the person lived in 1935.

The register is now available in the annual All-in-one subscription. To search in the index:

  • Open ArkivDigital 2.0.
  • Select Index search or person search.
  • Select the collection, Swedes in US 1940, under index source.
  • Enter a search query such as name, place name in the search box.
  • The example below shows a search for John Arvidson in Illinois.

indexsearch1940

1940 swedes in usRResult page for John Arvidson living in Rock Island, Illinois.

There is also a link to the Census image as seen below.

1940 Census ImageSvenskar i USA 1940 (USA) IL:26 (1940-1940) Image 2820 (AID: v834697.b2820, NAD:) Link.

You will also find the registers: Population of Sweden 1880-1920 along with the Population of Sweden 1950 and 1960 in the All-in-one subscription.

Now you can purchase an All-in-one annual subscription for 1560 SEK or about 185 USD (regular price 1795 SEK or about 213 USD). This special offer is good up to and until Tuesday, August 30, 2016. To purchase special offer, click here.

ArkivDigital

Catechetical records in the diocese of Lund

As part of the Peace Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Skåne and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden from Denmark. There was a transitional period where the population could continue to use the Danish language before Swedish was required as the official language. The catechetical records are an important source for reviewing the transition from the Danish language to Swedish.

By 1683, the transitional period was mainly over and the Swedish language had been introduced in practically all of  Skåne and Blekinge. In particular this is clearly shown in the court books. But we even see this in the church books especially in the catechetical books.

In the catechetical records, you will see the person’s name, age, notations about their religious understanding and in some records the language they spoke. These records show the transition from Danish to Swedish. Also, in some records, there will be a notation of the person’s place of birth.

You will find the catechetical records for the diocese of Lund (Skåne and Blekinge) in the respective parish archive noted as Kat.1 catechetical records.

lund catecheticalStrövelstorp Kat:1 (1692-1780) Image 11 / page 457 (AID: v115908.b11.s457, NAD: SE/LLA/13377) Link.

In the above image we see the following:

In Kärra number 1 in Strövelstorp parish in Skåne, the following persons live there in 1721:

Påhl Jönsson, born in Höja, 53 years old
wife Elina, born in the same place (Höja), 29 years old
son Jöns, born in Strövelstorp, 24 years old
son Pär, born in the same place (Strövelstorp), 22 years old
maid  Bengta, born in the same place  (Strövelstorp), 20 years old

In Kärra number 2 lives:
Pär Pärsson, born in Ausås, 76 years old
daughter Sissa, born in Strövelstorp, 55 years old

This record is particularly interesting because there is a column on the right, Tungsmåhlet, which states what language the person speaks. All at Kärra number 1 and daughter Sissa at number 2 speak Swedish, but Par Pärsson speaks Danish. He is 76 years old and was born around 1645 which was during the Danish period.

The original article was published in Swedish on April 17, 2014. Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Russians who worked on the Göta Canal

Gota canal russiansGöta kanalbolag EII:8 (1813-1813) Image 67 / page 60 (AID: v89674.b67.s60, NAD: SE/VALA/02660) Link.

We previously published a blog about the Göta Canal Company’s archive in ArkivDigital. (Link to blog entry.)  In that blog, we pointed out a list of Russians in the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet) who signed up to work on the canal so that they could return to Russia. You can find more information about these Russians who helped build the canal in several archival sources.

Approximately 60,000 men worked on building the canal between 1810 and 1832. The majority of these were Swedish soldiers from sixteen different regiments along with two naval companies. In addition a company of Russian deserters (pionjärkompaniet) also worked on the canal.

In the volume Göta kanalbolag EII: 8 on pages 58-65, you will find an inspection roll for the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet). The roll was created at the mustering at Forsviks bruk on the 29th of May 1813. Above is an image of a page from the roll. The record shows the name, age and height of each person in the company. Occasionally in the remarks column are notes indicating if the person was ill or given special orders.

Even in the church books, you can find information about these Russians.The image below is a birth record from 1814 in the Bällefors C: 5 volume. In this birth book, you can find a number of children with Russian fathers.

ballefors birthBällefors (R) C:5 (1807-1852) Image 32 (AID: v28848.b32, NAD: SE/GLA/13073) Link.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

What is the cause of death?

parasitedeath recordKiaby FI:1 (1861-1879) Image 4 / page 3 (AID: v99958.b4.s3, NAD: SE/LLA/13205)  Link.

Often the minister recorded the cause of death in the death book, but we must remember that the ministers were not medically trained. Frequently, it was a symptom which was recorded as the cause of death.

In the above image, entry number 3 is for the widow, Nilla Månsdotter, who died on February 15, 1862 in Kiaby parish at the age of 77 years, 4 months and 15 days. She was buried on the 23rd of February. No cause of death was recorded in the cause of death column but the minister wrote the following notation in the special remarks column, “Behäfted med svårata ohyra i magen” or “infected with abdominal parasites”.

Click here to view a death record example with column heading translations.

Link to the blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Pension Documents for Soldiers – Pensioner Olof Ceder

PensionairKrigskollegium Krigsmanshuskontoret D:37 (1845-1848) Image 2270 / page 193 (AID: v777326.b2270.s193, NAD: SE/KrA/0014) Link.

If you are interested in military history, you will find a wealth of records in ArkivDigital’s online library.  The most common records for researching Swedish soldiers are the general muster rolls but there are many other records.  Some soldiers received a pension (gratial). You will find many documents in the Krigskollegium Krigsmanshuskontoret archive concerning pensioners. Of special interest, are the volumes titled, Underhållsprojekt. In these records, you will often discover the reason why the soldier received a pension.

The above image was taken out of the collection for the 1848 underhållsprojekt or support project for Hälsinge for the soldier, Olof Ceder. (See above image). We can read the following information about him.

Soldaten Olof Ceder, om hvilken läkarebetyg af den sista December 1847 innehåller: att han som 1843 erhöll afsked för svagt bröst och andtäppa, är i så hög grad beswärad af nämnde åkomma, som äfven förenat sig med giktvärk i lederna, att han deraf hindras att gå längre väg; hans hörsel- och synförmåga äro äfven i hög grad försvagade, hvarigenom han är urståndsatt att genom kroppsarbete förtjena sitt uppehälle. Med Juni månad år 1845 slutade hans expectancetid, hvadan han till underhåll är berättigad från den 1sta Juli 1845. Afskedad vid Generalmönstring den 28de Juni 1843.

Translation
The physician’s certificate for Olof Ceder dated December 1847 states: that he was discharged from military service in 1843 because he was suffering greatly from a weakened chest and difficulties breathing combined with arthritic joints that made it difficult for him to walk.  In addition he was suffering from both hearing and vision losses whereby he was no longer capable to work to earn a living.  In June 1845, he was granted authorization to receive support beginning the 1st of July 1845.
Discharged at the general muster on the 28th of June 1843.

The numbers in the bottom right of the record include his age, 48 years and 8 months, time spent in the military service, 28 years, and his pension amount, 8 riksdaler.

To find these records in ArkivDigital, go to the search window.

  1. Select advanced options.
  2. Select the archive type: military archives.
  3. Select the archive: Krigskollegium Krigsmanshuskontoret.
  4. Click on the volume underhållsprojekt for the desired year.

search window pensions

Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

New Records Added to ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog
During June and July, many new records have been added to ArkivDigital’s online library. We have begun to add some new record types, continued to add estate inventories (bouppteckningar) and completed the photographing of a couple record sets.

SCB Extracts
The first set of new materials that we are beginning to add are the Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) or SCB extracts from the birth, marriage and death books. The SCB extracts are transcriptions from the original church books but not all the information from the original books was transferred to the extracts. The advantage with the SCB extracts is that we are able to publish these up to 1944. Because of the law of privacy we are seldom able to add the original books up to this date. We have added most of the records to ArkivDigital for 1944. We will then work our ways backward to publish as many SCB extracts to fill in the gaps where we do not have the original books.

The easiest way to search for the SCB extracts is to enter “SCB” in the search box. The volumes are organized by county thus requiring one to browse through the book to find the correct parish. We plan to begin the indexing of these books so that it will be easy to locate each parish.

“Stamkort” for Military Conscripts
The second set of new records that we are beginning to add is the service card (stamkort) for each military conscript.   Each conscript or serviceman had his own “stamkort” where you will find information about his service beginning with his enrollment, usually between 20 and 21 years of age, up to his discharge which normally happened at age 47.  Currently, only a small number of volumes are available in ArkivDigital. However, we plan to add the service cards or “stamkort” for all men who were enrolled between the years 1902 and 1941.

The simplest way to search for the stamkort in ArkivDigital is to enter “stamkort” in the search box. You will be directed to a page where you will find more information about the stamkort  in the info box. Currently this information is in Swedish.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
We continue to prioritize adding estate inventories (bouppteckningar) beginning in 1900 and forward. During the last two months, new volumes were added for most counties.

Completed Projects
We have now completed projects for photographing the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and also the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists from the Office of Chancellor of Justice are available for the period 1750-1825 and the Supreme Court protocols are available for the period 1694-1800.

Read more about our image database.

ArkivDigital

Unusual Death in 1877

hiccupsFränninge FI:2 (1862-1894) Image 840 / page 81 (AID: v109380a.b840.s81, NAD: SE/LLA/13095) Link.

In most of the Swedish death records you will find the cause of death. In the records closer to current times, the exact cause of death is written. Often earlier it was the priest or a relative who stated what the person died from and sometimes what was recorded was the symptom versus the actual cause of death.

The tenant farmer Per Jönsson’s daughter, Johanna, from Starraps Ora in Fränninge parish in Malmöhus county died at the age of seven months and twenty days. Her cause of death is recorded as hicka or in English, hiccups, as shown in the above image.

In the Guinness World Records for 2010, it is recorded that the American Charles Osborne hiccupped for nearly his entire life. His hiccupping began in 1922 and did not stop until 68 years later, a year before his death.  During the first years, he hiccupped about 40 times per minute but towards the end only half as often. It is estimated that he hiccupped 430 million times during his life.
(Source: Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiccup)

Read the article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

General Muster Roll Column Headings

In a previous blog, we presented some information about the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital, the most commonly used records for military research. In this blog, we will present an English translation of the headings on the muster roll that are shown in the image below.

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

The column heading showing the soldier’s name in Swedish is:
Manskapets förra och nuvarande namn, födelseort och tid, antagningsdatum, samt sedan sista General-Mönstring med detsamma skedda förändringar.

English
Soldier’s previous and current name, birth place and date, service entry date, together with the changes since the last general muster roll.

Below are the other column headings:

Swedish                                                                                    English
Nummer.                                                                                     Number
Regementet                                                                                Regiment
Kompaniet                                                                                  Company
Rotarnes Namn och belägenhet.                                           Name and place of  rote
Lefnadsår.                                                                                  Age
Tjensteår vid annat regemente.                                            Service years at another regiment
Summa tjensteår.                                                                     Total Service Years
Längd.                                                                                         Height
Fot.                                                                                               Feet
Tum.                                                                                            Inch
Gift eller ogift.                                                                           Married or unmarried

Sista General-Mönstrings annotationer.                 Last general muster inspection notes.
Närvarande General-Mönstrings anteckningar.  Current general muster inspection notes

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