Jumping the pond becomes easier with the Population of Sweden 1860-1947

The biggest challenge for many persons with Swedish American ancestry is to identify where in Sweden their ancestor came from and his/her Swedish name. For many beginning their research, often one has limited or incorrect information. Many emigrants changed their name and often little information was passed down to the next generation.

But today, it is becoming much easier to find out where an ancestor originated from in Sweden by using the Population of Sweden 1860-1847 index. Even when the information might be incomplete or incorrect, this riddle often now can be solved. The Population of Sweden 1860-1947 index is a searchable name index of all the household/congregation books for all of Sweden for the years between 1860 and 1947.

Here is an example of a search request. The request is to locate where in Sweden, Swain Pearson, originated. Given information includes a birth date of the 6th of October 1860. Two different emigration dates appeared in the U.S. sources: 1877 and 1875.  The father’s name was Paer Pierson and the mother’s name was Hannah Swans. Also, a sister was named, Bessie Pearson Moline born on the 11th of October 1852 whose emigration dates in the U.S. records were recorded as 1877 and 1866.

One needs to be flexible in the search and use various search criteria. The advanced search offers a variety of possibilities. In this case, we will try a search based on an assumption that the birth dates are correct for Swain and his sister, Bessie. It is better to start wide and then narrow the search.

sven advanced search 1

 

advanced search 2

We were successful in finding the correct person by doing the following as shown in the above image.

  • Go to Index Search
  • Select the Population of Sweden 1846-1847 under Index Source
  • Got to Advanced Search and enter the following information in the following fields:
  • First Name – Look for name beginning with letter S or enter S*
  • Gender – Male
  • Birth date – 1860-10-06

Under the Household section – enter the sister’s birth date – 1852-10-11.

By doing this search, we receive two hits, both for Sven born on the 6th of October 1860 in Djurröd parish in Kristianstad county.

result list sven

We also see in the index record below that he has a sister, Bengta, born on the 11th of October 1852.

sven index record

In doing further verification with other records, this was the correct person. Luckily, the given birth dates were correct. On the index record, Sven’s father is noted as Per Lustig and his mother’s name is Hannah Nils or Nilsdotter. Sven emigrated in 1880. His sister Bengta later known as Bessie emigrated in 1872. One sees the challenges working with incomplete and often incorrect information but with the Population of 1860 – 1947, many of these challenges can be overcome.

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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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