Search by name in the Swedish historical records!

One common question that one hears from Swedish-Americans new to Swedish records, “Are the records searchable by name?” Today, we can say that increasingly more and more Swedish records such as the church books, estate inventories and other record types are searchable by name.  One of ArkivDigital’s primary goals is to make Swedish research easier and one method is name searchable indexes.

search population of 1860 to 1947Searching in the Population of 1860 to 1947 Index

Today, we will review the name searchable indexes that are available in ArkivDigital’s All-in-one subscription.

Church Books

  • Household/Congregations Books (Population of Sweden 1860-1947) – All of the household/congregation books for all of Sweden have been indexed by name for the years from 1860 to 1947. For more information, click here.
  • Birth, marriage and death book indexes – (Birth index- parts of Sweden, Marriage Index- parts of Sweden, Death index- parts of Sweden) Searchable name indexes for birth, marriage and death books for all of the parishes within Kronoberg county and some parishes in nearby counties, around 60 parishes in Södermanland county as well as Nederluleå parish in Norrbotten county. Most of these indexes are from the earliest times (1600’s) up to the second half of the nineteenth century. The end year varies by parish. For some parishes, the end year is 1920. This is an ongoing project and the goal is to index by name the birth, marriage and death books for all of Sweden. Click here for more information.

Estate Inventories (Inventory of estate)

  • Name searchable indexes exist for estate inventories from the following counties: Gotland, Gävleborg, Göteborg och Bohus, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Stockholm, Uppsala, Värmland, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Älvsborg and Östergötland. This is an ongoing project. For a complete list of the district and city courts that have been indexed, click here.

Swedish Census Indexes

  • ArkivDigital has searchable name indexes for the years 1950, 1960, 1975 and 1985. Click here for additional information.
    • Population of Sweden 1950
    • Population of Sweden 1960
    • Population of Sweden 1975
    • Population of Sweden 1985

Military records (Military Service Cards)

  • The Military Service Cards index is a name searchable index of all draft registration and service cards for those who served in the Swedish military between 1902 and 1941. Click here for more information.

Swedes in U.S. 1940 Census

  • The Swedes in U.S. 1940 Census index includes all the persons in the 1940 U.S. Census who stated that their birth place was Sweden. Click here for more information.

Other indexes

  • Portrait Collection – Collection of photographs from three Stockholm photography studios from the 1920’s to 1970’s. Click here for more information.
  • Agriculture Census 1944 - Index to 1944 year’s agriculture statistics done by Statistics Sweden (SCB). Click here for more information.

To access the name searchable indexes within ArkivDigital’s All-in-one subscription:

  • Access the web version by going to https://app.arkivdigital.se/
  • Select “Index Search”.
  • Select the desired index under “Index source”.

search by name

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New search index for Agricultural Statistics 1944

In the church books and other Swedish historical records, we discover many ancestors and relatives who owned or worked on farms. One title one often sees is hemmansägare (home owner or owner of the farm). But what was the practical life like for a person with this title?

When we are talking about rural life in the middle of the 20th century, a useful source, Swedish National Agricultural Census of 1944, has been available in the All-in-one version of ArkivDigital for over a year. It has been somewhat difficult to search in the census but now a name searchable index also in the All-in-one version has been created to ease the search. You can search by the farmer’s name, place name and parish. To search, you do the following:

  • Select New index search.
  • Under index source, select Agriculture statistics 1944.
  • Enter the search criteria and click search.

Here is an example. In the Population of Sweden 1950, you will find a Per Georg Eliasson born in 1882 shown as a hemmansägare at Stenviksstrand 1:10 in Ramsele parish in Västernorrland county. See image below.

1950 per georg

1944 agricultural census searchSearch index record – Agriculture statistics 1944 for Per Georg Eliasson

By looking at the Swedish National Agriculture Census of 1944, one can get a better understanding of his life. His farm consisted of 139 hectares or about 343 acres. You will see that the division of the farm included 7 hectares of tilled land or fields, 17 hectares of pasture land and 96 hectares of woods.

1944 agricultural record
Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) – Byrån för jordbruksstatistik, Allmänna jordbruksräkningen 1944 H1AB:696 (1944) Image 9380 (AID: v836350.b9380, NAD: SE/RA/4204012004)

In addition, the record shows that there was no tractor so horses were used to pull the farm equipment. The cows were milked by hand in the morning and the evening. Also, there was no running water in the house but there was electric lighting. However, a wooden stove was used for the cooking.

The census asked if certain agricultural tools and equipment were used on the farm such as a manure spreader (stallgödselspridare), potato harvester (potatisupptagningsmaskin) plus other tools.

By viewing the National Agricultural Census 1944 record, we have a much better understanding of hemmansägare, Per Georg Eliasson’s life on his farm at Stenviksstrand 1:10.

There are in total 44,000 farms throughout Sweden in the National Agricultural Census 1944 including many small farms as well as some city properties. Thus, you may want to search for persons who live on the outskirts of cities who you may not think of as farmers.

These census forms were filled out primarily by the farmers. Unfortunately, many had poor handwriting resulting in errors in the registration both for personal names and place names (parish name should be correct). Thus, one may need to be creative in the search and search for alternative spellings.

Read the original blog in Swedish.

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Latin Column Headings in a Marriage Record

While most of the column headings in the Swedish church books are in Swedish, occasionally you will find some with Latin headings or a combination of Latin and Swedish. Today, we will look at a marriage record with Latin column headings.

Below is an image for a marriage record for 1780 out of Fröjered parish in Skaraborg county.

latin headingsFröjered (R) E:1 (1769-1854) Image 15 / Page 19 (AID: v26939.b15.s19, NAD: SE/GLA/13134)

The Latin column headings are:

  1. Dies – day
  2. Ind. (indicationis) – Banns
  3. Cop. (Copulatus) – Marriage
  4. Sponsus et Sponsa – Groom and bride
  5. Aetus - Age
  6. Conditio et domicilium – Occupation and residence
  7. Dos – Morning gift
  8. Nomina Parentum – Names of Parents

The contents of this marriage record are the following:

  1. Banns of marriage – October1, October 8 and October 15
  2. Marriage date – November 5
  3. Names of groom and bride –Gabriel Arvidsson and Stina Jonsdotter
  4. Ages of bridal couple – Groom 30 years, bride 27 years
  5. Groom’s occupation and residence – Farmer at L. Hamrum
  6. Morning gift from groom to bride – 20 lod silver
  7. Names of parents – Groom’s parents – Arvid Nilsson and Bengta Jansdotter; Bride’s parents – Jonas Andersson and Lena Carlsdotter

Swedish words found in record:

  • Bonde – farmer
  • Dr. (dräng) bachelor, farmhand
  • Pig. (piga) maid
  • På – at
  • Sammanvigde – married
  • Uti – Out of
  • År – year

Click on the following links to see more examples of marriage records:

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What does the abbreviation “E.M.” mean?

While the death record layout in the church books is fairly standardized after the mid- nineteenth century, there are often notes or abbreviations in the remarks section that you don’t see in every parish book. One example is in the death record for Erik Beder Johansson who died on January 25, 1921 in Ronneby parish in Blekinge county. In the special remarks column (särskilda anteckningar), there is a notation “E. m. född 1891”. The question is, “What does the abbreviation, “E.m.” mean? Also, many of the other death records in this parish have the same abbreviation in the remarks column.

em remarksRonneby (K) FI:9 (1912-1930) Image 1550 / Page 416 (AID: v115658a.b1550.s416, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

The abbreviation, “E.m.” stands for “Efterlevande Make/Maka” or surviving spouse or in this case it means that the deceased’s surviving spouse was born in 1891.

You can find an English translation of the column headings by clicking here.

The contents in the above death record are:

  • Entry # – 11
  • Death date – January 25
  • Sex – Male
  • Deceased’s Occupation, Name and Residence – Bruksarbetare (Foundry man or mill worker) Erik Beder Johansson at N. 2 Häggatorp
  • Deceased’s birth date – 2 May 1892
  • Marital Status – Married
  • Cross-reference to page in congregation book – (page #) 993
  • Cause of death – Lungsot (Tuberculosis)
  • Burial date – January 30th
  • Special remarks – (E.m. född 1891) Surviving spouse born in 1891

You can find more information about the family on page 993 in the corresponding congregation book. Return to the archive for Ronneby and search for the congregation book that includes records for the year 1921 and go to page 993. There you will find a notation of Erik Beder Johansson’s death and also that his spouse, Lilly Sofia Olsson’s birth date is noted as the 28th of June 1891. The household record is shown below.

Em household recordRonneby (K) AIIb:14 (1910-1926) Image 990 / Page 993 (AID: v115633b.b990.s993, NAD: SE/LLA/13316)

Click here to read more information about Swedish church books.

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Getting Started in the Swedish Church Books

Are you new to Swedish research? Swedish research is extremely rewarding because there are so many types of records and they are very complete. But before you begin, you must know your Swedish ancestor’s Swedish name, place or parish of origin in Sweden and a significant date such as a birth date. If all you know is that your Swedish ancestor’s name is Charles Johnson, you have a little more work to do before you jump the pond. For information on how to search for more details about your Swedish ancestor, click here.

But, let us say you are now successful and have discovered that your ancestor’s Swedish name was Carl Johan Johansson and he was born in Habo parish in Skaraborg county on the 10th of February 1819, you are ready to jump the pond and research in the Swedish records. Today, we will walk you through the steps for searching for Carl’s birth record and the corresponding household record in ArkivDigital.

We enter the application: app.arkivdigital.se and then select New Archive search. Since we know the name of the parish, we can enter, Habo, in the search box and the archive box for Habo will appear.

search habo

Click on Habo and you will see a list of all the volumes that are available for this parish. In this case, there are 122 volumes. Search for a birth book that includes the year 1819.

search habo birth book

You will see that there are two birth books that contain births for the year 1819:  C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820 and C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827. When one sees two books that cover the same period, it is always good to look at both books. They can often contain different information.

By looking further at book C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820, we see that that there is a circle with an “i” before the words birth and christening records. This means information and if you put your mouse over the “i”, you will see the notation, “register till födelseböckerna” or register to the birth books.

hove birth register

When we look at this book, we see it is an index organized by first given name and then birth year. Note -you will not encounter this type of birth index in many parishes. But remember before the mid 1800’s, the information can vary by time and minister.

In browsing this book, we will find a page for Carl’s and you will find the information for Carl Johan in the section for Carl’s born in the year 1819.

carl birth index recordHabo (F, R) C:10 (1801-1820) Image 16 / Page 25 (AID: v34105.b16.s25, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The information shown in the above index record includes:

  1. Second given name – Joh. or abbreviation for Johan
  2. Parents’ first names: Johan, Katrina
  3. Residence in parish – Sållarhemmet (line above the letter m represents a double m).
  4. Year – 19 or 1819
  5. Day of month – 10
  6. Month – 2 or February

The book C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827 contains the actual birth records. It is always good to look in the front of the book and check for a table of contents. There may be multiple types of records in the volume and the table of contents will show on what pages the various types of records begin. In this case there is not a table of contents and the births are arranged in chronological order. Open the book and look for birth records for the year 1819 and then the month, February, and then the day, the 10th. Below is the birth record for Carl Johan.

carl johan birth recordHabo (F, R) C:11 (1801-1827) Image 109 / Page 213 (AID: v34106.b109.s213, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The record contents are:

  1. Birth date – 10 (February 10, 1819)
  2. Baptismal date – 11 (February 11, 1819)
  3. Child’s given name – Carl Johan
  4. Parents’ names – Johannes Larsson and Kathrina Andersdotter
  5. Residence in parish – Sållarehemmet
  6. Baptismal witnesses – And. Carlsson och (and) D. H. dess hustru or his wife Stina at Skogshemmet
  7. Mother’s age – Between 25 and 30

The next step is to find out more information about the family by going to the household book that includes the year 1819. Now we return to the Habo archive and search for the household book that contains the year 1819. We find the book, AI:4 Household records 1814-1820.

search habo household book

The household books are organized by place name. In most household books you will find a place name index in the front or back of the book. Open the book and search for a place name index or ortregister. Then look for Carl Johan’s residence, Sållarehemmet, in the place name index.

habo place name indexHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 5 (AID: v20176.b5, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The place name index states that the records for the place, Sållarehemmet, begin on page 206. Now there may be one page for the place or many pages, but the page number shown in the index is the start page for the search for the family. We now go to page 206.

hova household recordHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 110 / Page 207 (AID: v20176.b110.s207, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

In this case we find the family on page 206. Below is the information that is shown for the family:

  • (Father) äg. (abbreviation for ägare) owner or landowner Johannes Larsson born on the 6th of May 1782 in Loco Loco is a Latin term meaning here or in Habo parish. Note – further research will show that the birth date is incorrect and is actually the 15th of May 1782.
  • (Mother) H. (abbreviation for hustru or wife) Catharina Andersdotter born on the 6th of May 1790 at loco or in the parish of Habo.
  • Son Anders born 9th of May 1813 loco or in Habo. There is also a notation that he has died.
  • Son Gabriel born on the 23rd of April 1816 loco or in Habo. There is a notation that he died in 1817.
  • Flicka (Girl) Stina Svensdotter born on the 15th of October 1803 in Ekebo. There is a notation that she moved here in 1816 from Ekereds torp and moved out in 1817 to V. Ekered. More research is required to check to see if she is just a worker or if she has some relationship to the family.
  • (Son) Carl Johan born on the 10th of February 1819 in loco or Habo.

Since there are no notations that the family has moved in or out, we can assume that the family is living at the same place, Sållarehemmet, in the subsequent household book. We can continue to trace Carl forward in the household books until his emigration.

Also, from this record, we have enough information, that we can look for birth records for other members of the household. Also, please note that sometimes the minister will note the incorrect birth date information in the household record such as was the case for the father, Johannes Larsson. If there is a discrepancy between the birth dates in the birth record or household record, you should always use the information shown in the birth record.

For more information about researching in the church books, go to the following links:

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Meet ArkivDigital in Washington, Kansas and Massachusetts

ArkivDigital will be visiting locations in the Northwest, Midwest and Northeast of the United States late summer and early fall. At all these events, there will be presentations on ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy. If you happen to be in the area, we would love to meet you and help you with your Swedish research questions.

Arlington Washington

The 2018 Northwest Genealogy Conference will be held in Arlington, Washington on August 15-18. ArkivDigital will be an exhibitor at the conference. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving three presentations during the conference on ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy.

Click here for program and registration information.

september lindsborg event

Genealogy Workshop Using ArkivDigital will be held in Lindsborg, Kansas on September 29-30. Attend our popular ArkivDigital workshop in “Little Sweden USA”. The workshop offers participants two days filled with presentations and hands-on training using ArkivDigital.

Discover your Swedish roots as well as meet other participants from across Swedish-America and together celebrate your Swedish heritage. Explore and enjoy the Swedish community of Lindsborg and its small-town charm.

Click here for program and registration information.

swedish research october

A Swedish American Genealogy Conference will be held in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on October 5-6. Attend two days of Swedish genealogy presentations sponsored by the Swedish Ancestry Research Association. There will be a wide range of topics covered including DNA testing, research topics and immigration stories.

Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving presentations on “Getting Started with Swedish Research”, “Swedish Genealogy in a Computer World”, “Introduction to the Swedish Church Books”, “Swedish Estate Inventories” and “Swedish Military Research”.

Use the conference as a starting point to enjoy a vacation in the Northeast during the beautiful autumn season

Download here conference registration form for program and registration information.

Visit our North America event calender, by clicking here.

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United States Naturalization Records in Nebraska Collection

We now have 118 archives in our Nebraska collection. Most of these archives are Swedish American congregation records but not all are church records. One interesting collection in the Nebraska archives consists of declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization and final papers for United States citizenship. These records are from the District Court of Polk County in Osceola, Nebraska.

The process for United States citizenship was generally a two-step process. After a person lived in the U.S. for two years, the person could file a “declaration of intention” to become a citizen. After three additional years, the person could file a petition for naturalization. After the petition was granted, the person was given a certification of naturalization and became a citizen. Click here for more information about the naturalization process.

These applications for citizenship primarily the “declaration of intention” are often used to help a person identify where their ancestor came from in Sweden. Below is the declaration of intention for Axel Theodore Norstrom.

declaration of intentionDistrict Court of Polk County, Osceola, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:1 (1907-1922) Image 47 / page 33 (AID: v896407.b47.s33, NAD) Link.

The “declaration of intention” includes such information as physical description, age, occupation, birth date and birth place, emigration place, often name of ship along with date of arrival and arrival port.

In the above record dated 18th of January 1909 we see that Axel was born in Skinnskatteberg parish in Sweden on the 10th of September 1863. He is now living in Stromsberg, Nebraska. The record states that he emigrated from Göteborg, Sweden on the ship, Arabic, and arrived in the port of Boston, Massachusetts on the 14th of October 1905. His last residence in Sweden is Malma. (Note – in the declaration of intention it looks like Malmo but as we do more research, we discover that the last residence in Sweden is in the parish of Malma in Västmanland county).

With the above information, we can jump into the Swedish church book records and verify the information on the declaration of intention. We can search for the birth books for Skinnskatteberg parish and look for his birth record in 1863. Below is his birth record.

norstroms birth recordSkinnskatteberg (U) C:11 (1862-1878) Image 26 (AID: v74059.b26, NAD: SE/ULA/11336) Link.

We can follow him in the household books from the time of his birth until his emigration. Below is the household record showing him emigrating from Malma parish in Västmanland county to America in 1905. You notice that his Swedish name is “Axel Teodor Norström” and the American version is ” Axel Theodore Norstrom”.

norstrom hfl emigration recordMalma (U) AII:2 (1902-1914) Image 150 / page 3 (AID: v263759.b150.s3, NAD: SE/ULA/11056) Link.

You can find the “declarations of intentions” in the District Court Polk County, Nebraska Archives in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  • Select New Archive search.
  • Select county, Nebraska.
  • Select District Court of Polk County, Osceola, Nebraska USA archive.
  • Select the book with the years that you are interested in.
  • Each book contains a name register in the front of the book.

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A searchable name register for parishes in Kronoberg county is coming!

Soon, there will be a searchable name register of births, marriages and deaths for all of Kronoberg county in ArkivDigital. This is a result of an agreement that was recently made with the Kronoberg Genealogical Society.

The new register consists of births, marriages and deaths in Kronoberg county from the oldest time (late 1600’s) to the 1900’s (births usually end around 1920, marriages and deaths around 1944). In some cases, even moving in and moving out records have been indexed.

In addition, this includes a number of parishes from neighboring counties, Jönköping, Blekinge, Kalmar, and Kristianstad counties. However, these are only partially indexed except for the following which are more complete: Gällaryd, Hjälmseryd, Rydaholm, Backaryd, Bräkne-Hoby, Eringsboda.

The new register consists of around 1.7 million posts (860,000 births, 245,000 marriages and 577,000 deaths).

The register was created by the Kronoberg’s Genealogical Society and can be published thanks to an agreement between the association and ArkivDigital. However, before the index register becomes available, ArkivDigital will link all the index records to the images within the church books. This means that the researcher can then proceed quickly from the index record to the original church book record by a simple mouse click. This work is expected to take a few months. We hope to have the index complete for Genealogy Days which will be held on September 1-2, 2018 in Växjö, the central city in Kronoberg County.

kronoberg death Searching in the name register: Deaths in parts of Södermanland

Previously, ArkivDigital has created a similar register for parishes in southern and eastern Södermanland, developed by Katrineholm-Flen-Vingåkers Genealogy Society and Nyköpings-Oxelösund Genealogy Society. Also in this register, ArkivDigital has created the possibility to link directly to the original church book from the index record.
Read earlier blog.

ArkivDigital has ambitions to publish more personal registers, both of which the company has developed on its own and those that genealogy societies around Sweden have created over the years.

Currently ArkivDigital is working on creating a name register to the 1940 extracts from the congregation books, which will be the Population of Sweden 1940, similar to the already existing Populations of Sweden 1950 and 1960 search indexes.

Read original blog in Swedish.

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Södermanland’s Name Register Grows!

ArkivDigital continues to publish name registers for older church books for the benefit of family history researchers. The latest addition is a number of parishes in eastern Södermanland.

The new register includes birth, marriage and death records from the oldest times (primarily at the end of the 1600’s) till around 1860 and includes the congregations in  the Nyköping area: Bergshammar, Bogsta, Bälinge, Bärbo, Dillnäs, Frustuna, Gryt, Gåsinge, Halla, Husby-Oppunda, Kattnäs, Kila, Lid, Ludgo, Lunda, Lästringe, Nykyrka, Nyköpings Västra and Sankt Nicolai, Nyköpings Östra and Helgona, Ripsa, Runtuna, Råby-Rönö, Spelvik and Stigtomta.

The register will be expanded further in the future with the following congregations: Svarta, Sättersta, Torsåker, Trosa land, Trosa town, Tuna, Tunaberg, Tystberga, Vagnhärad, Vrena and Västerljung.

The register was created by the Nyköpings-Oxelösunds genealogy society and is published thanks to an agreement between the society and ArkivDigital.

ArkivDigital has linked all the register entries to the images in the church books. This means that a researcher can quickly go from the register to the original source by a single mouse click.

sodermanlands indexSearching in the name register Births part of Södermanland

Earlier ArkivDigital added a name register for about twenty parishes in western Södermanland, as a result of a cooperation with the Katrineholm-Flen-Vingåkers genealogy society. Also, in this register, there is a direct link between the register and the original church book. See earlier blog.

ArkivDigital has ambitions to publicize several person registers, both created by the company and those created by genealogy societies around Sweden throughout the years.

“We have already completed agreements with additional societies and hopefully it will be even more,” says Mikael Karlsson, managing director of ArkivDigital.

During the spring, ArkivDigital will be adding a searchable name register for the draft registration cards (stamkorten) with military information for several hundred thousand draftees during the first half of the twentieth century.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

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Try ArkivDigital for free this weekend!

ArkivDigital provides the key to a very exciting story – the story about you!

Whether you’ve been researching for a long time or are just beginning, ArkivDigital has what you need: church books, estate inventories, tax registers, military rolls, spy documents, passenger ship manifests, Swedish American church books in Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska, aerial photos and many other historical documents. In addition, there are many name searchable indexes that can make it easier for you to find your Swedish ancestors.

Photo montage: Search in the name index Population of Sweden 1860-1930
1860-1920- Hulda Elisabet

From now and until Sunday, January 21, we are giving free access to everyone who wants to try our ArkivDigital All-in-one service! New users and users with a Base subscription will get access to everything in our database including the, All-in-one, during the whole weekend.

Take the opportunity to research your Swedish heritage and discover the wealth of records in our online archive. Invite your friends and relatives to take advantage of this free offer. Enjoy the free days!

Click here to go to the free days.

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