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

Name register searches in ArkivDigital’s web version

The new program ArkivDigital 2.0 is now available in a web version. You can find more information about the program’s software in a previous blog entry: (see earlier blog entry).

The web version is available at app.arkivdigital.se. Login with your ArkivDigital user name and password. Once you are logged in, the search page will appear. To get started, click on Search Archives.

webbrowsersearch

The search page opens.

In the upper left side are two blue buttons. One is for searching in the archives and the other for index search or name searching.

search-archives

To index search or to search by names, do the following:

  • Click on New index search
  • In the box under Search index, enter the search data that you are seeking. This can be name, birth date, parish, etc.
  • Click on the blue button Search or hit the Enter key on the keyboard.
  • The search results will appear on the right side.
  • Click on the row on the right side for the register post that you want to review.

search-for-kestin

The information now appears on the right side and the search result posts show on the left side. See the image below.

The following are highlighted:

  1. Here you can select to print a register post, correct any errors or copy the information.
  2. Shortcut link to the birth book for the person. Click on the link and the volume will open and you can then search for the birth record in the volume.
  3. To return to the search page for Index search, click on the magnifying glass.

kerstin-search-result

Other registers in ArkivDigital

With the All-in-one subscription, all available registers are accessible in the online service. You select the register you wish by doing the following:

  • Under Index Source, the default showing is the Population of Sweden 1950. To the right is a small blue down arrow. Click on the arrow and a drop down list appears showing all the available registers or indexes.
  • Select the register which you wish to search by clicking on that row.

all-in-one-register-search

Click here to read more about the correction function.

Click here to read the article in Swedish.

Note: Kerstin Hesselgren born in 1872 in Hofors parish in Gävleborg county was one of the first female members of Sweden’s parliament.

ArkivDigital

65 Million Images!

65-million-images

About six months ArkivDigital reached a milestone: 60 million images in our online archive. Since then, we have continued photographing at a rapid pace, Recently, the number of images has risen to 65 million or 130 million pages of newly photographed color historical records in ArkivDigital. A wonderful historical treasure!

In addition to our image database, we also have a searchable name register. Today, ArkivDigital has nearly 61 million searchable register posts divided as follows:

  • Population of Sweden 1880-1920, 46.5 million posts (Sweden’s largest searchable name register!)
  • Swedes in USA, 447,000 posts
  • Population of Sweden 1950, 7 million posts
  • Population of Sweden 1960, 7.5 million posts

search-einarExample of searching in Population of Sweden 1880-1920

Click here to read article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar) 1901-1960 – Status update

ArkivDigital has been photographing estate inventory records for the period, 1901 to 1960 for a while. We have mentioned this activity several times in our blogs, the last one was about a year ago: see previous blog. We have photographed much more since then and thought it was a good time to give a status update.



Our photographing progress varies between counties. Below is a status by county of what records are complete followed by a summary of the records we are currently photographing. Our goal is to photograph estate inventories up to and including the year 1960.  But in Gotland, we have been successful in photographing some later records. For all counties, single volumes may be missing in cases where they were in such poor physical condition that they could not be photographed.

Estate inventories are available in ArkivDigital up to the year noted:

1920: Jönköping, Kalmar, Östergötland
1930: Kopparberg, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Södermanland, Uppsala, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Västmanland, Örebro
1940: Gävleborg, Jämtland*, Stockholm
1945: Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg
1950: Värmland
1960: Blekinge, Halland, Kristianstad, Malmöhus
1980: Gotland, (Visby city court 1945-1961 missing)

Photographing is in progress for the following:

1921-1930: Jönköping, Kalmar, Östergötland.
1931-1940: Kopparberg, Norrbotten, Södermanland, Uppsala, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Västmanland, Örebro
1941-1945: Stockholm
1946-1950: Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg
1951-1955: Värmland

*For Jämtland county, there are some estate inventories missing for the period 1861-1900. But currently photographing is in progress for these records. For the rest of Sweden, the estate inventories from earliest time to the year 1900 are available in ArkivDigital and have been for some time.

estateinventory1926Eksjö rådhusrätt och magistrat FIII:9 (1921-1930) Image 7050 / page 30 (AID: v496946.b7050.s30, NAD: SE/VALA/01662) Link.

During the 1900’s, more estate inventories were typewritten. In the above image, which is from the Eksjö rådhusrätt och magistrats collection of estate inventories from the year 1926, we see the end or last page of a typewritten estate inventory and the beginning page of a handwritten one.

Learn more about estate inventories.

View original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Military rolls (rullor) 1620-1723

Often in researching our Swedish ancestors, we discover an ancestor who was a cavalryman (ryttare) or soldier (soldat). Or even possibly an officer. We want to know more about our ancestor’s military life. The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are an important source for military research. These begin in the late 1600’s and continue until the end of the 1800’s. You can find the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital by entering rullor in the search box. There you will see some earlier rolls of military records. There is an archive named “Rullor 1620-1723” In this archive, there are hundreds of volumes. So far, we have photographed the documents 1620-1659 and then some individual volumes after that. There is an ongoing project at the  Military Archives of Sweden to digitize these documents.

Below are some tips for searching in these records.

If your ancestor is an ordinary cavalryman or soldier, a little more searching is required before you find the correct source. Knowing that a cavalryman belonged to a cavalry regiment and a soldier belonged to an infantry regiment is a good start. That way you know which type of regiment to search. They are often grouped by the name of the regiment after county/province (län/landskap). If you have more information about him for example the name of his commander one can find some helps via a name register. If your ancestor was an officer, you can look for him directly in the name register (personregister).

In the series or archive “Rullor 1620-1723”, you will find 15 volumes called Personregister at the top of the volume list. If you hold your mouse over (i) or click once on the volume, you will get more information on which names are included in the volume. Let us say that we are searching for Lars Jakobsson who we know was a second lieutenant (fänrik) in the 1640’s, we will find a name register card for him.

registerlarsskooRullor 1620-1723 PersonReg:6 (1620-1699) Image 3015 (AID: v793063.b3015, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

The references point to the year and volume. In addition, we get references to other volumes where we can find more information about his military career. Thus in these records, we have a good summary of the military careers of all the Swedish military officers for most of the 1600’s. If in the upper right hand corner stands the number “1”, that means that there are more register cards for this person, something to think about.

The card shows us that Lars Jakobsson Skoo was a second lieutenant in the Åbo regiment. Since Finland was part of Sweden at this time, records for the Finnish regiments are included in this material. He changes regiments and becomes a second lieutenant in the Björnborg regiment and if one looks at the next card, we see that he becomes a lieutenant (löjtnant). References at the top are for the year 1641 and volume 12. The next step is to search in the volume list for the 12th volume in the year 1641 or volume 1641:12.

search rullor

Check in the beginning of the volume to see if there is a register of regiments and companies.  After some searching, we find the right regiment and company and even Lars Jacobsson.

larsjohansson1641Rullor 1620-1723 1641:12 (1641-1641) Image 130 / page 8 (AID: v751076.b130.s8, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

To the right of his name is written, Gamble Ryttmästaren Jacob Nilssons son, hafuer tient i Tyssland för een gemen Ryttare, under Sal: Johan Muncks Comp. (Old calvary captain Jacob Nilsson’s son, who served in Germany as a regular cavalryman, in Sal: Johan Munck’s Company).

The officers are always listed first followed by the regular soldiers. In this case, on the right side you can see a list of soldiers. If your ancestor was a private or regular soldier, this is where you would look.

Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Name Registers in Parish Archives

borasregister

In a previous blog entry, we pointed out name registers (släktnamnsregister) in ArkivDigital for those who research in Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg, Värmland or Västernorrland counties. If one is searching for a person who has a non-patronymic name meaning a name that does not end with a “son” or “dotter”, these registers can be very helpful. Examples of groups of people who had a non-patronymic name were the nobility, priests and not least the many soldiers.

However, you will also find name registers for parish books in some parish archives which also include both patronymic and non-patronymic names. Whenever you research a parish, it is always recommended to browse the archive to see what types of volumes are included in the archive. Occasionally, you will see “register” or “personregister” volumes. For example, if you browse the Borås parish/congregation archive in Älvsborg county, you will see name registers for birth, marriage, death and household records. In this parish, there are name registers for the household records between 1745 and 1860 as shown in the above image. These can be very helpful in the search process.

Below is an example of a page from the household record register book for Borås for the years 1745 – 1754. To the right of the person is the page number where you can find the person in the household record book for the years 1745-1754.

household register imageBorås (P) HFReg:1 (1745-1754) Image 74 / page 70 (AID: v188594.b74.s70, NAD: SE/GLA/13048) Link.

Examples of a few other parish archives where you will find name registers for church books are:

  • Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet – Gävleborg
  • Göteborgs Karl Johan – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Göteborgs Kristine – Göteborg och Bohus
  • Uppsala domkyrkoförsamling – Uppsala

ArkivDigital

English Product Catalog

product catalogArkivDigital has photographed over 61 million images of the Swedish historical records. For those who would like to see an overview of the contents of our extensive online archive, we wish to point out our product catalog. The product catalog is available both in Swedish and English. .

The product catalog is organized county by county and presents an overview of the types of documents and for what years that have been published for each county. In addition, the catalog mentions what documents are currently being photographed.

The product catalog should be viewed as a high-level overview at what is available in ArkivDigital. Even if certain documents are mentioned as being complete, individual documents might be missing such as in cases where they have been too damaged to be filmed.  In addition we have filmed many additional documents that are not listed in the catalog because it would be too extensive to include everything.

You will find the English product catalog on our English home page, www.arkivdigital.net. Click on the link “Product Catalog” on the right side of the page in order to open the catalog.

You will find the Swedish version of the product catalog as a PDF file at www.arkivdigital.se/online. Click on the link ”Produktkatalog” on the right side of the page to open the catalog.

ArkivDigital

Gammalsvenskby’s church books now available in ArkivDigital

Gammalsvenskbys kyrkoböckeGammalsvenskby (Ukraina) (Ut) 8 (1920-1921) Image 160 / page 64 (AID: v99903.b160.s64, NAD: SE/ViLA/23094) Link.

In the Baltic Sea, west of Estonia’s mainland is the island of Dagö. There was a Swedish speaking peasant settlement on Dagö that was believed to have been founded in the 1200’s. Other Swedish settlements existed along Estonia’s coast and nearby islands. Dagö belonged to Sweden from 1563 to 1721 and was an important Swedish territory in Estonia.

Under the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Dagö was ceded to Russia. In 1781, the Russian Empress Catherine II forced the resettlement of about 1,000 Dagö-Swedes to Ukraine. Many died during the long march but those who survived founded the community of Gammalsvenskby.

Despite nearly no contact with Sweden, the population of Gammalsvenskby preserved their traditions and Lutheran faith. They even retained the old “östsvenska” dialect. Towards the end of the 1800’s some contact with Sweden was restored and in 1885 a new Swedish church opened.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917 and a devastating famine, many Swedish colonists requested to leave the Soviet Union and return to Sweden. In 1929, 881 villagers arrived in Sweden; only a few chose to remain in Ukraine. Most of the returnees settled in Gotland.

Along with the returnees came the Gammalsvenskby’s church books. Pastor Kristofer Hoas was responsible for seeing  that these books were sent to Sweden. Up until his death in 1941, Pastor Hoas continued to send the church books to Sweden. In 1947, the archive was transferred to the county archives (today’s regional archive) in Visby, where we have recently photographed the documents.

You can find the Gammalsvenskby’s church books in ArkivDigital by entering Gammalsvenskby in the search box.

Read the original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Estate Inventories (bouppteckningar) for Gotland now available through 1979


gotland estate inventoryGotlands domsaga (I) FIIa:46 (1964-1964) Image 1130 (AID: v480865.b1130, NAD: SE/ViLA/20022) Link.

Recently, estate inventories (bouppteckningar) for Gotland for the 1960’s and 1970’s were added to ArkivDigital. If you are searching for ancestors or others on Sweden’s largest island, you can now access estate inventories for Gotland up to and including the year 1979. You can find these recently added estate inventories in the Gotland domsaga archive (years up to and including 1970) and the Gotland tingsrätt archive (from 1971).

The above image shows an estate inventory from the year 1964. Many of the estate inventories were still very detailed at this time. This image gives a good picture of the furniture in the household. The most valuable items were the television (TV-apparaten) valued at 400 Swedish kronor and a kitchen table combined with a sewing machine (köksbord i kombination med elektrisk symaskin) valued at 150 Swedish kronor.

Read the original blog entry in Swedish.

Learn more about the Swedish estate inventories.

ArkivDigital

More records for Älvdalen parish in ArkivDigital

0294-ÄlvdalenArkivDigital at the Älvdalen archive

Many parishes in Dalarna were exempt from delivering their church records to the Regional Archive in Uppsala. As late as year 2000, a large number of the church books still remained in the original parishes. However, in recent years all the parishes have delivered their church books to the regional archive except for Älvdalen parish.

A number of years ago, ArkivDigital visited Älvdalen and photographed many of the church books (household/congregation books, migration registers, and birth, marriage and death books) from the earliest times to about 1939.  At that time we also photographed a selection of other documents, including confirmation records, communion records and parish meeting protocols.

Recently, ArkivDigital again visited Älvdalen. On this visit, church records up to the current year of privacy limits, 1945, were photographed. Privacy laws are not as restrictive for the marriage records and migration registers so these records are more current. We had added migration records up to 1971 and marriage records up to 1963. In addition, we have photographed a number of church account books.

All the records we photographed on our visit to Älvdalen are now available online. The documents are mostly found in the parish archive for Älvdalen (which also includes Evertsberg), but for the period from 1918 there is a separate archive for the Åsens church books.

Read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital