Update on Swedish American Church Books

We have received many questions at recent North American conferences regarding the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital. Today, we will give a status of the Swedish American church books that are available in ArkivDigital today as well as links to the English blogs giving more information about these records.

We have Swedish American church books for the following states:

  • Kansas – 97 congregations
  • Minnesota – 76 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 43 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select archive search.
  • Select county archive.
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska).
  • A list of the congregations for that state will appear.

search swedish american records

Below is a list of blogs with links for more information about the Swedish American church books:

ArkivDigital

Swedish American Church documents provide genealogical information

 

hanepictureWe have written previously about the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital. (See previous blog entry). Besides the church books, there are anniversary documents for many congregations and these publications often contain historical information about the congregation’s founding as well as genealogical information about some of the early church members. This information can help one jump the pond and trace the family in the Swedish church books. For many North Americans, one source for finding out where their ancestor came from in Sweden is often a Swedish American church book.

One interesting document is the one produced for the Centennial Anniversary of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bucklin, Missouri in 1970. Here you will find historical information for several families. One example is for Andrew Fredrick Hane’s family.

The text below states that he was born on “June 23, 1828 in Ostergutland, Sweden” and that he immigrated to American in 1880 with his wife Maria, born on “October 15, 1840, Grosmark, Varmland, Sweden” with four children. At the top of the page, you will find an image of Andrew, Maria and a child.

andrewhanetext
Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 13 / page 13 (AID: v811754.b13.s13) Link.

We can find information about the family in the Swedish church books by using Maria as our starting point. The text provides information about Maria’s birth date, birth parish and immigration year. When one looks at the American records, often there is an Americanization of Swedish person and place names. In this case Grosmark, Varmland refers to Gräsmark, Värmland. As well, the county of Östergotland was spelled Ostergutland.

To search for Maria in the Swedish church books, we will begin by looking for her birth record.

  • Go to the search window.
  • Select the county archive and select Värmland.
  • Select the parish, Gräsmark.
  • Look for the birth volume that contains the year 1840.
  • Search for a birth record for Maria on October 15, 1840.
  • You will find record at the following reference: Gräsmark CI:5 (1838-1859) Image 18 / page 29 (AID: v6598.b18.s29, NAD: SE/VA/13165) (Link).

By tracing Maria in the church books forward, you will find that she marries Anders Fredrik Hane and they have several children and in 1880 the family immigrates to North American from Skedevi, Östergotland. You can see the notation about the move to North America in the household record shown below.

hane moving out recordSkedevi AI:25 (1880-1887) Image 128 / page 118 (AID: v29036.b128.s118, NAD: SE/VALA/00332) Link.

ArkivDigital

Confirmation class photos from Herndon, Kansas

Herndon Confirmation RecordsHerndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:17 (1885-1960) Image 9 / page 15 (AID: v819020.b9.s15) Link.

It was very common to publish a commemorative booklet in connection with an anniversary celebration in many Swedish American congregations.  In addition to the written information in the publication such as the history of the congregation, there are often various kinds of photos such as church buildings, pastors, elected officers of various organizations but occasionally even photos of the regular parishioners.

In the commemorative 75th anniversary booklet published in 1960 for the Bethel Lutheran Church you will find portraits of confirmation classes from the period 1886-1957. The above image shows the confirmation classes for the years: 1904, 1909, 1914 and 1917. Most of the candidates for confirmation have Swedish sounding names.

You can find this commemorative publication in the following volume: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church Vol.: 17. To search for the document in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Go to the search window in ArkivDigital.
  • Select advanced options.
  • Select the county archive and select Kansas (USA).
  • Select the archive: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA.
  • Select the volume: Herndon Enne Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol:17 (1885-1960), Jubileumsskrift.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital