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:

ArkivDigital

January 2018 Events in North America

During January, ArkivDigital presentations and demonstrations will be held at the First Tuesday Education Program at the Family History Center in Wilmette, Illinois and at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois.

Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will give a presentation on “Researching your Swedish Heritage Using ArkivDigital” at the Family History Center in Wilmette, Illinois on Tuesday evening, January 9th.  The presentation will include an overview of ArkivDigital along with a case study showing how to search for church books and estate inventories using both the archive and the index (name) search options. For more information, click here.

Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be the presenter for the monthly meeting of the Swedish American Genealogical Society  at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, January 27th. The title of the presentation is “Overcoming Research Obstacles in the Swedish Church Books.Records”. For more information and registration details, click here.

Visit our North American Event Calendar.

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Population of Sweden 1880-1920 grows and now becomes 1860-1920

ArkivDigital’s largest and most popular searchable name index, Population of Sweden 1880-1920, is growing. The name index register has been expanded to include 20 additional years and now includes the years from 1860 to 1920.

The name register was already Sweden’s largest personal name register with 47 million entries. Mikael Karlsson, ArkivDigital’s managing director announced, “Now an additional 26 million posts have been added in partnership with MyHeritage. This makes the register more usable for family history researchers. Also, persons who disappeared in the 1860’s and 1870’s now can be easily tracked.”

The index, Population of Sweden 1860-1920, is a name searchable index of all the household books covering these years. This means that a person who has moved several times in his life, can be found posted in many entries, which means that the index is much larger than what the population of Sweden was at that time.

The index is not only the largest one that exists in Sweden; it is also the most user friendly and easiest to use. There is a direct link to the original source from the search result page. You click on the link and immediately you see your ancestor in the actual volume. It can’t get much easier!

1860 search

The index, Population of Sweden 1860-1920, is available in ArkivDigital’s All-in-one subscription. In ArkivDigital’s web version, you click on “New index search” and then select Population of Sweden1860-1920 under “Index search”. Then you enter in the desired name in the search box below “Search index”. There are also advanced search possibilities.

If the name is unusual, it is often sufficient to only enter the first and last name but for more common names one should also enter additional information such as birth date and birth place. At first, one should enter minimum search information. If the search results are too many, then add additional search information until the search result list becomes manageable. Then click on the desired entry and all the details will be displayed. Under the heading “Links”, you will find a direct link to the actual record in the household book.

During the 19th century, the household books were the most important source for recording population information. The household books were organized geographically compiling data for each household in the congregation. Along with the other church books: birth, marriage, death moving in/out books, one gains a deep understanding of one’s ancestor. The household books were created for all parts of Sweden except for a number of the large congregations within Stockholm city. In Stockholm, another method, the roteman system, was used to record the population. Thus, many people who lived in Stockholm are missing in the Population of Sweden 1860-1920 index. One can search for people living in Stockholm in the Rotemansarkivet 1878-1926 which is available on the Stockholm City Archives website.

Read the announcement in Swedish by clicking here.

ArkivDigital

Many tax registers in ArkivDigital

Old tax registers or population registers (mantalslängder) may not sound like a particular exciting research source. And many who look at tax registers are not easily impressed. Mostly just names, columns and numbers.

However, as we go back in time, the information in the household records becomes less detailed and the household records often do not exist in the late 1700’s or in prior times. It is at this time that the tax registers become a valuable source for the family researcher. Particularly useful are the tax or population registers (mantalslängderna), which begin around 1630.

The tax registers or population registers were created annually and are, like the household records, organized topographically by parish and village or farm. A single volume does not say so much. But when one follows the registers through a succession of years, one can follow developments and changes on a farm or village. This data can then be combined with the birth, marriage and death records, and often one can see the changes within a family nearly as clearly as if the household records had been preserved. The information in the tax registers or population registers varies over time and in different areas of the country.

tax register october 2017At the time around the change of the century between the 1700’s and 1800’s, there is often good information in the columns in the tax register. In the above tax register which refers to Nätra parish in the year, 1803, you will columns for taxes referring to pocket watches (fickur) (gold or silver) and the use of silk (sidentyg).

In ArkivDigital, you can find tax registers or population registers for all of Sweden from the beginning up until the 1800’s (often 1820). Several copies of tax registers or population registers (mantalslängder) were created and they are preserved in different archives. Thus, they can sometimes be difficult to find.

The first series are found with the local authorities. You can search for these in the following archives in the English interface in ArkivDigital:

  • District registrar (Swedish – häradsskrivare)
  • Alternative archives
    • Kronokamrer
    • Kronokassör
    • Mantalskontor
    • Taxation Authority (Swedish – Uppbördsverk)
    • Kommunalborgmästare
    • Crown bailiff (Swedish – kronofogde)

The second series is at the regional level or county level in the regional archives or search for the country archives in the English interface.

The third series are at the national level in Stockholm. In the English interface, search in the chamber archive. Or you can enter mantalslängder 1642–1820 or länsräkenskaper in the search box. For Stockholm city, you can find population registers and other tax register in the Överståthållarämbetets archive.

Concerning the third series of the tax registers or population registers those named Mantalslängder 1642-1820, we are prioritizing photographing volumes for the counties and years that are missing in the other series. This is an ongoing project and more volumes will be added online. For the first two series, the photographing is now complete.

ArkivDigital is working currently to make it simpler to find all these tax or population registers.

Read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Information sources in the ArkivDigital program

In the ArkivDigital program, there are information boxes that can help you in your search for records. Here are examples of a few.

When one enters a name of a parish archive or other name in the search box in the archive search form, the search results will appear on the right side. When you click on the desired parish, the row is highlighted in gray.

forshem search

Once you click on the selected parish, the volume list for the parish appears on the right side.

interface explanations

Below are explanations of parts of the search form numbered 1 to 4.

  1. Here you see what was typed in the search box (Forsh), which brought up four hits including the desired parish. Forshem is the third one in the list.
  2. You can open and close the search form by clicking on the magnifying glass.
  3. Click on “Archive info” and you will get more information about the archive.

nad box

  1. (A) Information on which county the parish is in. In this case Forshem is in Skaraborg county.
  2.  (B) Link to NAD or the National Archive Database at the National Archives. There is an abbreviation for the actual regional archive. (GLA = Göteborg Regional Archive). By clicking on the link, your browser will direct you to the regional archive where you can find a list of the physical volumes that exist in the archive.
  3. (C) Information about the organization of the parish. In this case, it states that since January 1, 1962, Forshem is the mother parish in the Forshem, Fullösa, Medelplana, Västerplana, Österplana och Kestad parishes’ pastorat. Up to December 31, 1961, Forshem was the mother parish in the Forshem, Kinne-Vedum och Fullösa parishes’ pastorat. You can more information about mother parishes and annex parishes in a previously published blog. Go to the blog.
  4. (D)Stift is the name of the diocese that the parish belongs to. In this case the diocese is Skara. Härad or district is the name of the district that the parish belongs to. In this case, the district is Kinne. The district is important to know when you are searching for the district tax registers.

In this box, you can also find other information about the archive. As an example, you may see a note that the records were partially destroyed by fire.

4. The symbol “i” indicates that there is more information on the volume. Hold the cursor over the “i” and a box with more information will appear.

information box

You can see the same information by clicking once on the volume that has an “i”. The list of the volumes moves to the left and the information is shown on the right. There is also a button to click on to open the volume.

information box 2

Read original blog 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

Name register searches in ArkivDigital’s web version

The new program ArkivDigital 2.0 is now available in a web version. You can find more information about the program’s software in a previous blog entry: (see earlier blog entry).

The web version is available at app.arkivdigital.se. Login with your ArkivDigital user name and password. Once you are logged in, the search page will appear. To get started, click on Search Archives.

webbrowsersearch

The search page opens.

In the upper left side are two blue buttons. One is for searching in the archives and the other for index search or name searching.

search-archives

To index search or to search by names, do the following:

  • Click on New index search
  • In the box under Search index, enter the search data that you are seeking. This can be name, birth date, parish, etc.
  • Click on the blue button Search or hit the Enter key on the keyboard.
  • The search results will appear on the right side.
  • Click on the row on the right side for the register post that you want to review.

search-for-kestin

The information now appears on the right side and the search result posts show on the left side. See the image below.

The following are highlighted:

  1. Here you can select to print a register post, correct any errors or copy the information.
  2. Shortcut link to the birth book for the person. Click on the link and the volume will open and you can then search for the birth record in the volume.
  3. To return to the search page for Index search, click on the magnifying glass.

kerstin-search-result

Other registers in ArkivDigital

With the All-in-one subscription, all available registers are accessible in the online service. You select the register you wish by doing the following:

  • Under Index Source, the default showing is the Population of Sweden 1950. To the right is a small blue down arrow. Click on the arrow and a drop down list appears showing all the available registers or indexes.
  • Select the register which you wish to search by clicking on that row.

all-in-one-register-search

Click here to read more about the correction function.

Click here to read the article in Swedish.

Note: Kerstin Hesselgren born in 1872 in Hofors parish in Gävleborg county was one of the first female members of Sweden’s parliament.

ArkivDigital

Moving Certificates

karlskrona-moving-recordKarlskrona amiralitetsförsamling HII:1 (1773-1809) Image 80 (AID: v249317.b80, NAD: SE/LLA/13200) Link.

Whenever a person moved from one parish to another, the minister gave a moving out certificate to the person moving to give to the minister at the new parish. Sometimes, it was a brief notation that included the person’s name and what was considered important to know such as information that the person had fulfilled their duty to receive Holy Communion and marital status. Above is an example from Karlskrona in 1785.

However, in many places even in the 1700’s, preprinted forms existed with lines for dates and places of birth, reading knowledge and proof of receiving of Holy Communion. In addition, often there was a line such as “Är till vande” or something similar referring to the person’s character or morals. This line is interesting because the priest often wrote down his opinion about the person. These opinions often mirror the times and the minister’s views about morality.

moving-out-certificateKarlskrona amiralitetsförsamling HII:31 (1855-1855) Image 1190 (AID: v249347.b1190, NAD: SE/LLA/13200) Link.

An example of this in the above example where the Pigan (maid) Anna Maria Hultberg moved from Karlskrona Stadsförsamling to Karlskrona Amiralitetsförsamling in 1855. Her character is mentioned as ”sålunda att hon eger en oäkta son Carl August” or that she has an illegitimate son, Carl August. It also could be interpreted that the minister considered her to be promiscuous.

One can also note that a completely filled out certificate would include birth date, birth place and parents’ names. Not all the moving certificates have been preserved but they can be a very good source for researchers in tracing a person backwards in time.

The original article was written in Swedish by Örjan Hedenberg. Click here for original in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Have you seen our register correction function?

Have you found incorrect information in our registers? If so you can correct the error by clicking the “Correct” button which is available for all our registers.

You will find the “Correct” button in the top portion of the post between the buttons “Print” and “Shortcut”.

1950-censusr1

When you click on the “Correct” button, a correction form is opened. Here you can change the values that are incorrect.

1950-correction1

Select the information that is incorrect, erase it and enter in the correct information. For example, if a name is incorrect highlight the field and enter in the correct name.

birth-correction-2

After you enter the correction, click on “Send”.

We review all corrections before they are updated in the register. In most cases, the review is completed within three business days, but in some cases it may take a little longer.

ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital and Swedish Genealogists’ Research Day in Portland, Oregon

portland_small

Three genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital led a one-day workshop in Portland, Oregon at Nordia House on Tuesday, September 20. The participants were given presentations about records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics. In addition, many participants received individual assistance with their personal research.

It was wonderful to meet so many Swedish-Americans in Oregon. Among the many areas where the participants’ Swedish roots originated included Skåne, Halland, Småland, Värmland, Närke, Dalarna and Jämtland.

The SwedGen Tour 2016 continues with stops in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24 and in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, September 25. There is still time to register for these events.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Tacoma.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Seattle.

Visit our North American event calendar.

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