Birth record search and reading example

At many conferences in North America, many will stop by our booth and state that they have Swedish ancestry but are intimidated by the Swedish records because they are in Swedish. We explain that the church books are mostly tables of names, dates and places with headings and terms that are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, one finds it can be easy to work with the records even though one does not speak Swedish.

Today, we will search for a birth record and show that most of the record contains names, dates and place names. In order to search for a birth record, one needs the child’s Swedish name, birth parish and the birth date. Our search will be for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter born on the 13th of July, 1841 in the parish of Västra Torsås in Kronoberg county.

To begin the search, go to ArkivDigital and click on Search Archive. There are several methods for searching:

  • One method is to just enter Västra Torsås in the search box and click search. You will need to type in the Swedish characters.
  • Since we know the county, you can select advanced options and select county and then Kronoberg. You will now see a list of all the archives for Kronoberg county. Scroll down until you find Västra Torsås and then highlight the entry.
  • On the right side, you will see a volume list for Västra Torsås as shown in the image below.

search window

  • Search for the birth and christening records book that includes the year 1841.
  • Select the birth and christenings volume:  Västra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848).
  • Double click to open the book.
  • Search for a table of contents in the beginning of the book. Many volumes include multiple types of records.
  • In this volume, you will find a table of contents (Innehåll) (see image below).

birth contentsVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 3 (AID: v29905.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The table of contents shows the following entries:

  • Födelse- och dopbok 1815-1843 or birth and baptism book
  • ”              ”       ”             1844-1848
  • Lysnings- och vigselbok 1815-1848 or banns and marriage book
  • Död-och begravningsbok 1815-1848 or death and burial book

On the far right side, you will see the page numbers for each record type. Since we are looking for a birth record in 1841, we see that the birth records between 1815 and 1843 begin on page 5 and end on page 430. We now need to look for the birth records for the year 1841. One can estimate a page number and go directly to a page and then page forward or backwards until you find the records for 1841. Once you find the year 1841, then you search for the birth date, July 13th.  You will find Elin’s birth record on page 407.

elin birth recordVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 207 / page 407 (AID: v29905.b207.s407, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The content and format of the birth records do vary by time and minister.  The format for this book is the following:

  • Column 1 – Child’s name
  • Column 2 – Birth date
  • Column 3 – Baptismal date
  • Column 4 – Parents’ names and residence followed by the names of the baptismal witnesses
  • Column 5 – Mother’s age

Record Transcription
Elin   13 14  Föräld. B. Anders Nilsson H. Ingrid Magnisdotter i Långasten   44
                      Vittnen Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson i Sjöby  H. Nil
                      la Nilsdotter i Källhult Pig. Maria Simonsdtr. i Sjöby

Record Translation
The child, Elin, was born on July 13, 1841 and baptized on July 14, 1841. Her parents were farmer Anders Nilsson and his wife Ingrid Magnisdotter residing at Långasten. The baptismal witnesses were Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson at Sjöby, wife Nilla Nilsdotter at Källhult and maid Maria Simonsdotter at Sjöby. Elin’s mother age is 44 years old.

As you can see this record contains primarily dates, names and place names. The only Swedish words in this birth record are:

B.              abbreviation for bonde or farmer
Föräld.     abbreviation for föräldrar or parents
H.              abbreviation for hustru or wife
i                 at, by
Pig.           abbreviation for piga or maid
Vittnen    witnesses

You can find more birth record examples on our website by clicking here.

In a future blog, we will show you how to locate Elin with her family in the household examination book for the year 1841.

ArkivDigital

Catechism Records (katekismilängder)

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.

  1. Go to ArkivDigital’s search window
  2. Click on advanced options
  3. 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.CatechismDomkapitlet 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.

ArkivDigital

County Code Abbreviations in ArkivDigital

When one clicks the function button, “search archive” in ArkivDigital online, a list of all the archives in the online library are displayed in alphabetical order.  Each entry displays the archive name, county code and  archive type.

county code picture

One can mouse over the county code and a box will display giving the county name for the code. In the above example, the county code for the parish of Floby is R and R is the code for Skaraborg county.

Below is a list showing what county each code represents.

A         Stockholm City
AB      Stockholm county
AC      Västerbotten
AX      Åland, Finland
BD      Norrbotten
C         Uppsala
D         Södermanland
E          Östergotland
F          Jönköping
G         Kronoberg
H         Kalmar
I           Gotland
K         Blekinge
L          Kristianstad
M         Malmöhus
N         Halland
O         Göteborg and Bohus
P          Älvsborg
R         Skaraborg
S          Värmland
T          Örebro
U         Västmanland
W        Kopparberg
X         Gävleborg
Y         Västernorrland
Z         Jämtland

You can find the ArkivDigital online user guide here.

ArkivDigital

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar) Status Update

ArkivDigital_logo_rgb (1)

We have mentioned in previous blogs that we are currently photographing the estate inventories (bouppteckningar) for all of Sweden for the period 1901-1940. For two counties, Gotland and Jämtland, the photographing is complete for these years and the records are available in ArkivDigital’s online archive. For the other counties, photographing is in progress and proceeding at full speed.

We have chosen to photograph the estate inventories at the respective provincial archives in groups of 10-year sequences. This means that we first photograph the period 1901-1910, then the period 1911-1920 and continue in this manner. Below is the current status of the photographing for each county.

Photographing is in progress for the time period 1901-1910 for the following counties: Jönköping, Kalmar, Kopparberg, Kronoberg, Södermanland, Uppsala, Värmland Västmanland, Örebro and Östergötland.

Concerning the southern part of Sweden, the estate inventories for Blekinge and Halland counties are available online up to 1920.  Malmöhus and Kristianstad county estate inventories are complete for the period 1901-1910 and the majority of the estate inventories for the period 1911-1920 are also available online.

For Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties, the majority of the estate inventories for the period 1901-1910 along with half of the estate inventories for 1911-1920 are available online. For these counties, we were not able to photograph these estate inventories in exact chronological order.  At the moment there are some gaps but these will be corrected later.

Regarding Gävleborg, Västernorrland, Västerbotten and Norrbotten counties, the photographing for the period 1901-1910 is complete and the material is available online. However, there are a few individual volumes missing that we have not been able to access.  We are in the process of adding volumes for the period 1911-1920.

The estate inventories for Stockholm county for the period 1901-1910 are complete and volumes are being added for the period 1911-1920. We have decided not to begin photographing the estate inventories for Stockholm city until we finish photographing the estate inventories for Stockholm county up to 1940. Once these volumes are complete and available online, we will begin photographing the Stockholm city estate inventories.

The photographing of estate inventories will continue at a brisk pace during 2015 and newly photographed volumes will be added continually.

ArkivDigital

New Records on ArkivDigital

Produktkatalog

 

Recently, we performed a major update of our online archive and many new records are now available. Below is a summary of the major updates.

Church Books
For those of you who have Swedish relatives who have lived in London, England, we have added the church records for the Swedish parish in London, Ulrika Eleonora, to the online archive. You will find these in the archive for Ulrika Eleonora församling (London).  In addition to household examination/congregation books, moving, birth, marriage and death records we have added other documents such as the attachments to the moving records, parish administration records and parish accounts.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
Our photographing of the estate inventories for the 1900’s is going at full speed and many newly photographed images are now online. Before Christmas, we will be publishing a blog giving a status of the estate inventory photographing for each county. Watch out for the blog.

Population/Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)
The county tax/population registers from earliest times to 1820 for Kopparberg and Västmanland counties are now available. For the same time period, the district tax registers (häradsskrivarens exemplar av mantalslängder) or copies of tax/census records for Kronoberg county are now available.

Other Records
The bankruptcy cases for Gotland county from the earliest times up to 1940 are now available. However, some of the volumes are missing from Gotlands norra häradsrätt or district court since they were damaged by fire and are in too poor a condition to be photographed.

Other material that is currently being added are the Supreme Court protocols for the years 1737 to 1751 and the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice for the years 1801 to 1805.

Click here to find out what is available on ArkivDigital.

ArkivDigital

 

Many New Records in ArkivDigital

ProduktkatalogArkivDigital’s online library continues to grow at a fast tempo. There are now about 1,200 volumes or 51 million images of Swedish historical records available. Recent new additions to ArkivDigital include: estate inventories, population/tax registers, military records and other types of records.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
Currently, we are focusing much of our time photographing estate inventories beginning in the 1900’s.  The estate inventories for Blekinge county from 1911 to 1920 are now accessible online.  We are currently adding estate inventories for Halland,  Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties for the same period and many of these  are now available. Estate inventories for Östergotland county from 1901 to 1910 are also being added.

Population/Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)
The county population/tax registers from the earliest times to the year 1820 for Uppsala county are now available. County population/tax registers for the same period for Västmanland county are being added.  District taxation registers, (häradsskrivarens) or copy of tax/census records, from the earliest times to about the year 1820 are also being added to the online archive. The district taxation registers for Jönköping are now available and photographing is in progress for Kronoberg county.

Military Records
For those who are interested in military research, the archive “Meritförteckningar” is now complete. This archive includes merit and service records for officers and non-commissioned officers of various Swedish and Finnish Regiments from the 1614 to 1903.

In the Army Pension Archive (Arméns pensionskassas), we are currently adding merit, seniority, and service records (meritband) of commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the years 1757 to 1860.

Other Records
The Prisoner lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice from 1750 to 1800 are now online. The Supreme Court Protocols from earliest times to 1736 are now available.

Click here to find out what records are available online.

ArkivDigital