Moving Certificates between Swedish American Congregations

In an earlier blog (see earlier blog), we wrote about moving out certificates (flyttningsbevis) from parishes within Sweden that have been preserved by some Swedish American churches.

In some Swedish American churches mostly the Lutheran, the minister would note persons joining the congregation and leaving the parish in a separate section of the congregation book. Usually the section showing persons joining the congregation is titled, Reception of new members (Intagna medlemmar) and the section showing people leaving the congregation is titled, Dismissal of members (utträdda medlemmar).

When a person was dismissed or removed from a congregation primarily within the Augustana Lutheran churches, sometimes the person would be given a certificate of removal. These certificates from one Augustana congregation to another came to serve as a pass to the congregation that was active at the new place of residence.

Some of the certificates of removal or transfers are available for some congregations within ArkivDigital. Below is an image of the moving certificate for Anders Peter Falk and his family that is in the archive for the Council Bluffs Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iowa showing the family moving from St. John’s Church (St. John’s Lutheran Church) in Essex, Iowa to Council Bluffs in 1893.

transfer certificateCouncil Bluffs Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iowa, USA (IA) Vol:5 (1878-1894) Image 7 (AID: v903227.b7) 

The certificate gives the date of birth and place of birth for all members of the family.

  • Anders Peter Falk born on the 27th of July 1838 in Vena (Hvena) parish in Kalmar county
  • Margareta Charlotta born on the 8th of June 1848 in Lönneberga parish
  • Anna Elenora born on the 22nd of May 1881 in New Windsor, Illinois
  • Ella Victoria born on the 6th of January 1884 in Essex, Iowa

The record also states that Anders Peter Falk emigrated from Sweden in 1854 and Margareta Charlotta emigrated in 1859. It also shows that they joined the church in Essex, Iowa in 1883. Note – remember this is a secondary source so all information should be verified. But this is a wonderful record showing where the parents came from in Sweden and some of their moves within North America. Unfortunately, not many of these records were preserved.

Whenever there are moving certificates either from a parish in Sweden or from another Swedish American parish in North America, you will find these volumes in the parish archives titled, Attachments to migration records.

You can find out if a particular North American congregation has a volume titled, Attachments to migration records by:

  • Go to archive search.
  • Select the country, United States.
  • Select the desired state.
  • Select the desired congregation.
  • Search the volume list.

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Attachments to migration records – HII series

Many people are familiar with the moving in (inflyttning) and moving out (utflyttning) church books which are in the “B” series. Whenever a person moved out of the parish, each person was required to notify the minister of his or her move. The minister would give the person a moving our certificate (flyttningsbetyg) and note the move out in the household book and the moving out (utflyttning) book. Once at the new parish, the person would give the certificate to the new minister who would record the move in both the household book and the moving in book (inflyttning). The new minister would generally save the original certificate.

Below is an example of the moving out record for Erik Persson who moved with his wife and one child from Kroppa parish to Ransäter parish in 1861.  Click here for more information about the moving in and out records.

kroppa moving out recordKroppa (S) B:3 (1845-1868) Image 62 / Page 43 (AID: v7303.b62.s43, NAD: SE/VA/13291)

In ArkivDigital, for some parishes we also have the “H II” series which are called “Bilagor till flyttningslängderna” or in English “Attachments to migration records”. While these records are not as commonly used in research, these are the basis of the moving books. Below is an image of the actual moving certificate (fyttningsbetyg) for the same Erik Persson as shown in the above moving out record.

h series betygRansäter (S) HII:3 (1860-1874) Image 83 (AID: v54133.b83, NAD: SE/VA/13426)

Transcription

Torparen Erik Persson, som nu med Hustru och ett barn flyttar från Herrhult i Kroppa Sn. till Munkerud in Ransäter, är född den 2 Sept1825 (tjugofem) i Ransäter, Hustru Johanna Andersdotter är född den 7 Februari 1834 (trettiofyra) i Grythyttan Sn. Båda ega försvarlig christendomskunskap, begått H. h. Nattvard sednast den 3 Mars h.a, äro till lefvernet val fräjdade och haft vacc. koppor. Mannen vid husfor. 1860 närvarande.
Barn: Anna Sofia, född den 22 Sept 1860 (sextio) i Kroppa, ej vaccinered.

Attesterar Kroppa Prestgård den 11 Maj 1861

Translation

Crofter Erik Persson, who with (his) wife and one child (will) move from Herrhult in Kroppa parish to Munkerud in Ransäter, was born on the 2nd of September 1825 in Ransäter. (His) wife, Johanna Andersdotter, was born on the 7th of February 1834 in Grythyttan parish. Both have passable knowledge of Christianity, received Holy Communion on March 3rd, have good character and are well-behaved, have been inoculated for smallpox, were present at the 1860 household examination.
Child: Anna Sofia born on the 22nd of September 1860 in Kroppa, not vaccinated.

Certified (at) Kroppa Prestgård on the 11th of May 1861.

To check if ArkivDigital has the H II series for a parish, go to new archive search, enter the parish name and then look for the H II series books with the title “Attachments to migration records”.  See example below for H II series in Ransäter parish.

search for hSearching for “Attachments to migration records” 

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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.

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