Church Book Tutorials

At conferences, we receive many questions from our English-speaking customers on where to find examples for reading the church books. Today, we would like to point out that we have some tutorials on our website. In addition, we want to point out a wonderful website that includes some instructional videos on reading birth records from the late 1800’s back to the early 1700’s using ArkivDigital images.

On our English website, you will find a section titled, Swedish Genealogy. In this section, you will find record examples with transcriptions and translations for birth, marriage, death, household examination and moving records and much more. Below are links to these tutorials.

birth tutorial

Also, we would like to point out a wonderful website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) which is free that includes some wonderful instructional videos including among others “Reading Gothic Handwriting for Swedish Genealogy” and several videos showing examples of reading birth records.

Click here to link to the learning center which lists the instructional videos.

ArkivDigital

Registers for birth, death and marriage records, 1666-1894 for Västra Södermanland

Thanks to a partnership between ArkivDigital and Katrineholm-Flen-Vingåker’s Genealogy Society (KFV), we can now proudly present a wonderful searchable name register that will greatly simplify and enhance the quality of research in Västra Södermanland where the register is linked to the original photographed book.

The register, which was created by KFV, contains nearly half a million register entries and comprises a total of 20 parishes: Bettna, Björkvik, Blacksta, Dunker, Flen, Floda, Forssa, Helgesta, Hyltinge, Julita, Lerbo, Lilla Malma, Lilla Mellösa, Sköldinge, Stora Malm, Vadsbro, Västra Vingåker, Årdala and Östra Vingåker.

In order to access the register, one must have an All-in-one subscription and access the service by using the web version of our program software, which you find here: https://app.arkivdigital.se.

In our program, select “New index search” and then select one of the following: “Birth index”, Marriage index”, or “Death index” and then you can begin to search.

In the following example, we will search for the birth record for Helga Carolina born on the 26th of September 1893 in Västra Vingåker parish.

  • Select new index search
  • Select birth index under index source

birth marriage death search

  • Enter Helga Carolina in first name field.
  • Enter birth date in birth date field.

search carolina

Below you see the register entry for Helga Carolina born on the 26th of September 1893 in Västra Vingåker followed by an image of her birth record.

carolina register entry

helga carolinaVästra Vingåker (D, T) C:20 (1879-1894) Image 346 (AID: v63059.b346, NAD: SE/ULA/11076) Link.

Read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Birth Record Reading Example

frossa birth recordForssa (D) C:1 (1682-1798) Image 59 / page 95 (AID: v55123.b59.s95, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Today, we will present a lesson in reading a birth record in the 1700’s. The above record is a birth record from 1762 in Forssa parish in Södermanland county. For many experienced researchers, this may appear to be clear and easy to read but for many new researchers this record may seem intimidating.

When looking at the birth records and the same can be said for marriage and death records one needs to become familiar with the minister’s format style for the record. In this case the minister has chosen the following format:

  1. Birth month
  2. Birth day
  3. Baptismal day
  4. Names of parents
  5. Name of the place of residence in the parish (e.g. farm, village, estate)
  6. Child’s Name
  7. Names of baptismal witnesses
  8. Entry number

In this case the child was born on the 12th of July 1762 and baptized on the 18th of July 1762. We know the year is 1762 because that is noted on the top of the page.

The minister has written the names of the parents: Per Andersson, h. Carin Persdotter. The abbreviation “h” is short for hustru or wife.

The place in the parish where the family lives is Stavsjöstugan. If you have difficulty in transcribing the place of residence, check to see if there is household book for that period and look in the place name index for a place that looks similar.

You will need the place name in the birth book to find the family in the household book. Below is the place name index for the corresponding household book You can see in the index at the bottom of the page that the household records for Stavsjöstugan begin on page 61. You will go to page 61 and then begin to look for the family.

The child’s name is Carin.

The names of the baptismal witnesses as written: Per Bengtsson i Spånga, dr. Carl Ericsson i Stavsjöstugan, hust. Maria Lars dtr i Spånga, pig. Cherstin Pers dtr ibidem.

The following abbreviations were used in recording the names of the witnesses:

  • i – in, at
  • dräng - farmhand
  • hust. –  abbreviation for hustru or wife
  • pig. – abbreviation for piga or maid
  • dtr – Often you will see “dtr” as an abbreviation for dotter or daughter in the name. The full names in this case are Maria Larsdotter and Cherstin Persdotter.
  • ibidem – Latin term meaning the same

The entry number 10 states that this was the 10th birth entry for the year.

You can see that one really doesn’t need to know Swedish to read the record. The record is primarily a table of names, dates and places. Yes, there are a few Swedish words but these words are used repeatedly in the church books so one just needs to become familiar with a few Swedish words to become comfortable reading the records.

ort name indexForssa (D) AI:2 (1757-1766) Image 5 (AID: v55102.b5, NAD: SE/ULA/10279) (Link)

Click here for more birth record reading examples.

ArkivDigital

Abbreviations in the Swedish Church Books

The Swedish church books are wonderful records. Most of the time, one can follow one’s ancestor from birth to emigration or death in the church books using a combination of the vital records (birth, marriage and death), household/congregation books and sometimes the moving records.

At conferences and presentations, we receive many questions about researching in the church books and some will ask about abbreviations they have encountered in their research. One common question is what do the abbreviations “GB” and “NB” mean?

  • GB is the abbreviation for gamla bok or old book.
  • NB is the abbreviation for nya bok or new book.

Often in the household books/congregation books in the latter nineteenth century and twentieth century you will see these abbreviations in the moving in and moving out columns. In the record shown below, you see the abbreviation “GB 124” in the moving in column (Hitflyttad) and the abbreviation “NB 166” in the moving out column (Bortflyttad) for Anders Johansson and his family who are living at Torpet Stubben in Barkeryd parish in Jönköping county. This record is in the household book for Barkeryd parish for the years 1891-1899.

GB and NB exampleBarkeryd (F) AI:25 (1891-1899) Image 226 / page 212 (AID: v18935.b226.s212, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)

In this case, the abbreviation “GB 124” is stating that we can find the family in the previous household book on page 124 or in the household book Barkeryd (F) AI:24(1885-1890) on page 124 as shown in the image below.

previous GB exampleBarkeryd (F) AI:24 (1885-1890) Image 136 / page 124 (AID: v18934.b136.s124, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)

The abbreviation “NB 166” is stating that we can find the family in the subsequent household book on page 166 or in the book Barkeryd (F) AIIa:1 (1900-1905) on page 166 as shown in the image below.

second NB exampleBarkeryd (F) AIIa:1 (1900-1905) Image 176 / page 166 (AID: v168900.b176.s166, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)

ArkivDigital

Beginning Swedish Research Tutorials

churchbooksummaryAlgutsrum (H) CI:3 (1779-1854) Image 104 / page 203 (AID: v37085.b104.s203, NAD: SE/VALA/00005) Link.

Are you new to Swedish research and don’t know how to get started? Want to know more on how to research in the Swedish church books? Today, we would like to provide a summary of our English tutorials and blogs providing tips on how to get started and researching in the church books.

Tips for beginning Swedish research
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/research-tips (Link)

Introduction to Swedish Church Books
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/swedish-church-books (Link)

Birth Record Examples
1700’s birth record example (Link)
1800’s birth record example (Link)
1814 Christmas birth reading example (Link)

Marriage Record Examples
1700’s marriage record example (Link)
1800’s marriage record example (Link)
Marriage record example from Jönköping (Link)

Death Record Examples
1700’s death record example (Link)
1800’s death record example (Link)
Death record example from Söderfors parish (Link)

Household Record Example
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/late-1800s-household-examination-record-example (Link)

Moving In/Out Records Example
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/moving-records (Link)

Case Study – Searching for Birth Record
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/birth-record-search-and-reading-example/ (Link)

Case Study – Searching for Household Record
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/search-for-household-record-and-reading-example/ (Link)

ArkivDigital

Summary of new records added in 2017

Over 3,000 newly photographed volumes have been added to our online digital archive since the beginning of the year. We want to take this opportunity to summarize the most important additions. To find out what is available in our online library, click here.

1946 death recordÖdestugu (F) F:2 (1917-1946) Image 520 / page 49 (AID: v172844.b520.s49, NAD: SE/VALA/00473)

Modern church books – For most counties, we have had added the church books whose confidentiality or protection from the privacy laws expired at the end of last year. These include birth, death and congregation books up to 1946 with the exception of books that may contain retroactively introduced sensitive data. (This is especially common in birth books.) In addition, we have added moving in/out books and marriage records up to the year 1980.

SCB extracts for 1946 – Because of the privacy laws, we seldom are able to publish all the birth, marriage and death books up to 1946. If the original book is not available, the SCB extracts are a good replacement. In the beginning of March, we added the SCB extracts for 1946. Earlier we published the extracts for the years 1925 through 1945. You will find the SCB extracts in the archive: Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) – Avdelningen för befolkningsstatistik 1:a avdelningen. The easiest way to search for the SCB extracts is to select archive search and enter “SCB” in the search box.

Estate inventories - Currently, we are photographing estate inventories for the period 1931 to 1960. The progress varies between counties. If you want to know what is available for a particular county, go to this page https://www.arkivdigital.net/volume. On the right side of the page, select the county that you interested in and there you will find a summary of what is available for that county.

National Archives tax register copies – We have earlier (with some exceptions) photographed the two copies of the tax registers which are preserved at the regional archives, namely the häradsskrivarnas(städernas) or the district (city) copies and the county office examples from the earliest times up to and including the year 1820.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual that there are missing tax register copies both for the district/city and county. Fortunately, there was a third copy stored at the National Archives which is in a collection named, Mantalslängder 1642-1820 or Tax Registers 1642-1820. We are currently photographing volumes from this collection to cover gaps in our records. To date, we have primarily published the tax register for Älvsborg county. The tax registers for Älvsborg county have been a blank spot on the map for us because the county office copies are completely missing prior to 1835 because they were destroyed by the Vänersborg city fire in 1834. Only sporadic copies of the district/city tax registers were preserved.

Seamen houses – Documents from many of the seamen houses have been available in ArkivDigital for a long period. But the Norrland seamen houses have been completely missing but this is beginning to change. We have begun to add documents for the seaman house in Haparanda and more documents for other seaman houses in Norrland will be added in the future.

All of us at ArkivDigital wish you a lovely Easter with lots of good food and the pleasant company of loved ones. Happy Easter!

ArkivDigital

1946 SCB extracts (birth, death and marriage)

Now the Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) or SCB extracts for birth, marriage and death books for 1946 are accessible online with ArkivDigital. Because of privacy rules, we are seldom able to photograph the original birth, marriage and death books up to this date. The SCB extracts are a good replacement when the original books are not available.

scb 1946Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) – Avdelningen för befolkningsstatistik 1:a avdelningen  H1AA:3671 (1946-1946) Image 750 (AID: v816356.b750, NAD: SE/RA/42040101) Link.

You will the SCB extracts in the archive: Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) – Avdelningen för befolkningsstatistik 1:a avdelningen. The easiest way to search for the SCB extracts is to select archive search and 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.

The SCB extracts from 1925 to 1945 were added at an earlier date. In an earlier blog, we published information about these records. Go to earlier blog.

Read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Sven Anderson’s Life in Bucklin, Missouri

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas and a few from Missouri and Oklahoma. While the record types will vary by parish, the most common sets of records found in the books include:

  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)

The anniversary or commemorative booklets for a church celebrating a number of years such as 25, 50, 75 or 100 years in existence can be very interesting to browse. Many present a short history of the church and even occasionally biographical sketches and photographs of early settlers. These can be wonderful sources for learning about the lives of early Swedish American settlers in North America.

 

The Bucklin, Missouri, Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church 100-year commemorative booklet includes a number of biographies of early church members. One of the biographies is for Sven Anderson who emigrated from Nydala parish in Jönköping County in 1869. Below is a photo of Sven and his wife, Matilda.

photo of sven anderson

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD: )  Link.

 

You will also find a short biographical sketch of Sven’s life in the new country. The sketch includes birth dates, birth places, emigration dates and death dates for both him and his wife along with information about their children. It also states, “In 1870, they came to Bucklin, Mo, and bought 40 acres of land north of Bucklin in the rolling hills of Mussel Fork from the Railroad Co. Sven being a skilled workman built a 3-room frame house with fireplace. The barn was made of logs with a prairie hay roof.” Below is the image of the written biography.

sven andersson biography

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD:)

 

You can find the commemorative booklet for the Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  1. Select new archive search
  2. Click on county and select Missouri (USA) MO
  3. Select Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church
  4. Select printed document 1870 – 1970

Below are links to additional blogs about the Swedish American church books:

Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

Swedish American Church books in Kansas

ArkivDigital

More modern church books in ArkivDigital

During January and February, we were busy photographing church books whose confidentiality or protection from the law of privacy expired at the end of last year. The volumes included are congregation books, birth and death records with an end year of 1946. In addition, we also photographed moving in and out books and marriage books with the starting year 1946 and year ending no later than 1980.

The photographing for Blekinge, Gotland, Halland, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kopparberg, Kristianstad, Kronoberg, Malmohus, Södermanland, Uppsala, Västmanland, Örebro and Östergötland counties are now complete. Newly photographed images from several other counties are now available online and more will be added in the near future.

1946 death recordÖdestugu (F) F:2 (1917-1946) Image 520 / page 49 (AID: v172844.b520.s49, NAD: SE/VALA/00473)  Link.

You can find more detail as to what volumes are available in ArkivDigital such as the modern church books and other types of volumes on our website, (link to website page).

Finally, we would also like to mention a few words about the birth and baptismal books.  In these books, it is common that notes may be added to a record, for example a note relating to an adoption, often decades after the event. The 70-year privacy law begins from the date of the last inserted note. For example, a note might have been entered in 1956 in a book containing birth records between 1930 and 1946. This means that the book is protected by the privacy law for 70 years after 1956 or it can’t be photographed until 2027.  So in some cases, we currently do not have the opportunity to photograph some of the birth and baptismal books even though they do not contain any birth records for persons born after 1946.

Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

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