Swedish American Church Book Photographing Project in Minnesota Begins

Many Swedes who immigrated to the United States settled in Minnesota. Thus, we are excited to announce that we have begun to photograph Swedish American church books from congregations in Minnesota. Our first stop was in Dalbo, Minnesota, where we have been able to photograph records from several Minnesota congregations. None of these volumes are yet available online, but we will be soon adding these records.

minnesota filming projectAnna Björkman and Janet Carlson in  Dalbo, Minnesota.

Photographing the church books in Minnesota is our second United States project. In 2015, we photographed over 1,100 church books from Kansas. We have posted a number of blogs about the Swedish American church books in Kansas. Below are links to a few of these blogs.

Swedish American Church Books from Kansas (Link)
Overview of the Swedish American Church Books in Kansas (Link)
Search for a parish of origin in the Swedish American church books (Link)
Biographical sketch in the Swedish American church books (Link)

Read the announcement in the Swedish blog.

ArkivDigital

Publication of the Swedish American church records now complete

kansas church recordFalun Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:1 (1887-1913) Image 38 / page 16 (AID: v812504.b38.s16) Link.

During the last few months, we have been adding more Swedish American congregation records from Kansas to ArkivDigital’s online library. We have now completed the addition of this material which we photographed in Kansas last summer and fall. Previously, we  posted several blogs about this collection and you can read more about these records here.

Our Swedish American church collection includes about 75,000 images and over 1,000 volumes from approximately 90 congregations. Most of the material consists of records from congregations in Kansas but we do have a few in Missouri and also for one congregation in Oklahoma. Our hope is that one can discover more about Swedish immigrants’ descendants which should be a great benefit to both our Swedish and American customers.

Many of the Swedish American congregation church books are very similar to the Swedish church books. The image at the top of this page is from a “Church Register” for the Falun Lutheran Church in Falun, Kansas. The content of the record is similar to that of a Swedish household or congregation book. In this record, you see information about a Karl Fredrik Holmgren and his family. The record shows Karl’s birth date as the 9th of November 1845 in Falun.

You can use this information to find Karl’s birth record in the Swedish church books. Below is an image of his birth record from the Falu Kristine parish birth book.

carl fredriks birth recordFalu Kristine CI:12 (1828-1861) Image 148 / page 286 (AID: v129846.b148.s286, NAD: SE/ULA/11441) Link.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Mother Parish and Annex Parishes (Moder- och annexförsamlingar)

The pastorat is a geographical area that a minister has responsibility for within the Swedish Lutheran Church. The pastorat may include one or multiple parishes or congregations. This means that a minister might have had administrative responsibility for several parishes at the same time. If there are multiple parishes in a pastorat, the parish where the minister lives is called the moderförsamling or mother parish and the other parishes are each called annexförsamling or annex parish.

When a minister had responsibility for multiple parishes, he would usually store all the parish books together and sometimes he would record a birth record in the wrong book or note an incorrect place on a moving certificate. Thus if you are tracing a person and can’t locate a record in the parish book where you think that it should be recorded, you should check to see if the parish is a mother or annex parish.

You will find information if the parish was a moderförsamling (mother parish) or an annexförsamling (annex parish) in the info box in the upper left hand side of the search window in ArkivDigital.

Example:
Anders Ström moved with his family from Holltorp Blankgården in Naum parish and the priest noted in the moving out column in the household examination book that the family moved to the parish Vara in Skaraborg county in 1881. When one looks at the Vara moving in records for 1881, there is no record of the family moving in. Does Vara belong to a pastorat with multiple parishes?

By reviewing the info box in the search window, we can see that Vara was an annex parish in Skarstad, Hällum, Vara and Önum pastorat.

VarainfoboxTranslation:
Since May 1, 1920 Vara is the mother parish in Vara, Skarstad, Hällum and Önum pastorat.
Before May 1, 1920, Vara was an annex parish in Skarstad, Hällum, Vara and Önum pastorat.

One should look at the moving in records for 1881 in these parishes. In this case, you will find the family in the moving in records for Skarstad in 1881.Skarstad Moving In recordSkarstad B:3 (1860-1889) Image 37 / page 70 (AID: v12684.b37.s70, NAD: SE/GLA/13473)
Link

The moving in book shows that you will find the family under Råckgården on page 53 in the Skarstad household examination book. This can be confirmed in the following household examination reference. Skarstad AI:8 (1880-1894) Image 59 / page 53 (AID: v12668.b59.s53, NAD: SE/GLA/13473).
Link

ArkivDigital