Jumping the pond becomes easier with the Population of Sweden 1860-1947

The biggest challenge for many persons with Swedish American ancestry is to identify where in Sweden their ancestor came from and his/her Swedish name. For many beginning their research, often one has limited or incorrect information. Many emigrants changed their name and often little information was passed down to the next generation.

But today, it is becoming much easier to find out where an ancestor originated from in Sweden by using the Population of Sweden 1860-1847 index. Even when the information might be incomplete or incorrect, this riddle often now can be solved. The Population of Sweden 1860-1947 index is a searchable name index of all the household/congregation books for all of Sweden for the years between 1860 and 1947.

Here is an example of a search request. The request is to locate where in Sweden, Swain Pearson, originated. Given information includes a birth date of the 6th of October 1860. Two different emigration dates appeared in the U.S. sources: 1877 and 1875.  The father’s name was Paer Pierson and the mother’s name was Hannah Swans. Also, a sister was named, Bessie Pearson Moline born on the 11th of October 1852 whose emigration dates in the U.S. records were recorded as 1877 and 1866.

One needs to be flexible in the search and use various search criteria. The advanced search offers a variety of possibilities. In this case, we will try a search based on an assumption that the birth dates are correct for Swain and his sister, Bessie. It is better to start wide and then narrow the search.

sven advanced search 1

 

advanced search 2

We were successful in finding the correct person by doing the following as shown in the above image.

  • Go to Index Search
  • Select the Population of Sweden 1846-1847 under Index Source
  • Got to Advanced Search and enter the following information in the following fields:
  • First Name – Look for name beginning with letter S or enter S*
  • Gender – Male
  • Birth date – 1860-10-06

Under the Household section – enter the sister’s birth date – 1852-10-11.

By doing this search, we receive two hits, both for Sven born on the 6th of October 1860 in Djurröd parish in Kristianstad county.

result list sven

We also see in the index record below that he has a sister, Bengta, born on the 11th of October 1852.

sven index record

In doing further verification with other records, this was the correct person. Luckily, the given birth dates were correct. On the index record, Sven’s father is noted as Per Lustig and his mother’s name is Hannah Nils or Nilsdotter. Sven emigrated in 1880. His sister Bengta later known as Bessie emigrated in 1872. One sees the challenges working with incomplete and often incorrect information but with the Population of 1860 – 1947, many of these challenges can be overcome.

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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.

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