Catechism records (katekismilängder) have been preserved for Malmöhus, Kristianstad, Blekinge, Kronoberg and Jönköping counties and for some parishes in Halland, Östergötland and Kalmar counties. Unfortunately these do not have a wide coverage but if they do exist; they can be a valuable resource.
Often these catechism records were prepared upon the request of the bishop. After the priest compiled the information, he sent the written documents to the bishop. These records are not found in the church archives but among the visitation documents in the cathedral archive. Therefore, one finds these documents in the respective (Domkapitels Arkiv) or dioceses central administrative organization archive in ArkivDigital.
- Go to ArkivDigital’s search window
- Click on advanced options
- Select archive type: dioceses central administrative organization
For Lund’s diocese (Malmöhus, Kristianstad and Blekinge counties), these records have been divided up and are included in the volume list for the respective parish with the notation Kat:1.
The main purpose of the catechism records was to record one’s religious understanding but one also sees where one lived such as the farm name and in many cases one’s age. Sometimes one can even find out if the person could read and write. These books are not preserved for all years but one can find some from the end of the 1600’s and some in the 1700’s.Domkapitlet i Växjö FII:12 (1691-1694) Image 294 / page 573 (AID: v41168.b294.s573, NAD: SE/VALA/00507) Link.
In the above record, we see that the following persons lived in Kulltorp parish in Jönköping county at Hagagården in Lanna by:
Roottmestare Per Larsson, 61 years
Wife (hustrun) Anna, 47 years
Son Lars Persson, 23 years
Daughter Anna, 20 years
Lodger female wife (Inhyses quinnan hustru) Ingeborgh, 84 years
This article was originally published in Swedish on April 11, 2014. Read original article in Swedish.