Olof Liljegren – Letters from the Civil War

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Illinois – 2 congregations
  • Iowa – 88 congregations
  • Kansas – 99 congregations
  • Minnesota – 125 congregations
  • Missouri – 9 congregations
  • Nebraska – 120 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest.

In the archive for the Cambridge Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Minnesota, you will find a very interesting set of letters, Olof Liljegren – Our Years in the Civil War. This collection consists mostly of letters translated into English written by Olof Liljegren to his father in Sweden, Jonas Nilsson, in Boggsjö, Sundjö parish in Jämtland county between the years of 1861 and 1864.

Olof emigrated from Sweden in 1858 to North America. He served in the Third Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and in 1865 died in the United States Army in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1865. Besides the letters written by Olof to his father, the collection also includes a letter to his sweetheart, Mary Edblad, a pioneer school teacher in Isanti County, Minnesota as well a letter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death in 1865.

olof letter 1861

Letter dated December 1861 from Olof to his father. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 20 (AID: v886267.b20) Link

In the above letter Olof writes to his father the following:

“I have not told you anything about myself. I enlisted in the U. S. Army for three years or the duration of the war. We are building up a Swedish regiment with all officers having been trained in Sweden which makes them excellent officers. The captain’s pay is $108 per month, first lieutenant, $100, 2nd lieutenant, $75, Corporal $15, and private $10 per month.

I took this step after much thought and decided my life is worth no more than the next man and if I die, I feel I can not die for a better cause than to stop slavery.”

 olof deathLetter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death dated December 17, 1865. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 80 (AID: v886267.b80) Link

“I am sending you a few lines to let you know your son Olof died in the United States Army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, September 25, 1865. Two days before he died, I stayed with him one day and one nite. He was then so poorly he did not think he could get well. He told me to write to you and gave me authority to take card of his belongings and send his medal home to Sweden.”

To find these letters:

  • Go to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select archive search
  • Select country, United States
  • Select state, Minnesota
  • Select Vol:31 Printed Documents

ArkivDigital

Household record transcripts in Hedemora parish

Within ArkivDigital we have more than 2,800 parish/congregation archives in Sweden. Whenever one looks at a parish archive volume list, one usually sees volumes for household/congregation, moving, birth, marriage, death records followed by other types of record collections. The volume list will vary by parish and so it is important to review the entire volume list before you begin researching within that parish.

Many times, especially in the large cities one will find photographed name registers for some of the church books. These name registers can save you much time in your research. In Hedemora parish in Kopparberg county, one will find a gem: transcripts for early communion and household records. These transcripts were done by the experienced Hedemora researcher Siv Thorsell (1937-2016). These transcripts help one save time in deciphering the old handwriting.

To find the transcriptions for household records in Hedemora parish, do the following:

  • Access app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive search.
  • Enter Hedemora in the box under Archive holder.
  • Click the search button.
  • Scroll down and search for the Transcript volumes in the volume list or use the filter function and look for Transcript.

hedemora transcriptSearching for the household and transcription volumes in Hedemora parish for the years 1688 to 1720 using the filter function.

Below are images from a household book and the corresponding transcription record. Most of the time only the head of household and family members’ names are transcribed and not the names of the farm hands or housemaids.

hedemora householdHedemora (W) AI:2 (1698-1704) Image 122 / Page 235 (AID: v130346.b122.s235, NAD: SE/ULA/10388)

hedamore transcript record2Hedemora (W) Husförhörsavskrift:1 (1698-1704) Image 1480 (AID: v894492.b1480, NAD: SE/ULA/10388)

Again, always review the volume list for each parish you are researching and check to see if there are any tools such as name registers or even transcriptions to help you with your research.

ArkivDigital

NEW! Birth, marriage and death indexes in Botvidsbygden

Now, we have again updated our indexes of births, marriages and deaths for parts of Sweden. This time we have added searchable name entries for Botkyrka, Grödinge, Huddinge and Salem parishes in Stockholm county. If you have relatives or ancestors who lived in any of these parishes, you can now find the information with a simple search in ArkivDigital’s index.

The updating includes approximately 51,000 searchable entries from these four parishes.botkrykaSearching for a birth record in Botkyrka using the index, Births, parts of Sweden.

The following parishes and years are included in the update.

 Births, parts of Sweden:

  • Botkyrka 1664-1900
  • Grödinge 1666-1680, 1791-1800 and 1806-1900
  • Huddinge 1765-1900
  • Salem 1710-1900

Marriages, parts of Sweden:

  • Botkyrka 1664-1900
  • Grödinge 1798-1900
  • Huddinge 1765-1900
  • Salem 1724-1900

Deaths, parts of Sweden:

  • Botkyrka 1664-1900
  • Grödinge 1788-1820, 1826-1859 and 1895-1900
  • Huddinge 1673-1900
  • Salem 1724-1900

The register is created in partnership with Botvidsbygdens Släktforskarförening.

After this update, the index, Births, parts of Sweden has 2,645,229 searchable name entries, the index, Marriages, parts of Sweden has 428,605 searchable name entries, and the index, Deaths, parts of Sweden has 1,211,531 searchable name entries.

ArkivDigital’s indexes make it much easier for you to find the person you are searching for. Instead of browsing in the church books page by page, it is a quick search. When you find the correct person, you can simply click on a link to the original source and verify the information.

ArkivDigital

Immigrant Stories in the Swedish American Church Books

ArkivDigital’s online archive includes many Swedish American church books primarily from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota. But we also have a few from Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The types of records vary between congregations. The most common sets of records are congregation or membership rolls, birth, marriage, death, confirmation, church protocols, church accounts, anniversary booklets and other types of records.

One of the most interesting set of records is the anniversary booklet (jubileumsskrift). Often these booklets include a history of the church and settlement and describes the life of the early immigrants in North America. Some of these books also contain wonderful biographical sketches and pictures.

john benson imageBucklin Swedish Mission Covenant Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:13 (1880-1980) Image 17 / Page 31 (AID: v950811.b17.s31)

The above image is taken from the Centennial Celebration booklet for the Swedish Mission Covenant Church in Bucklin, Missouri. There is a short biographical sketch of John Benson born Johannes Bengtsson in Skummeslöv parish in Halland county in Sweden on April 4, 1852. It states that he first lived in St. Louis, Missouri and worked for the Johansen Shoe company and then moved to a farm north of Bucklin in 1881. The sketch gives information about his wife and children and states that he died on July 24, 1900.

With the information in the anniversary booklet, we can search for his birth record in ArkivDigital and then trace him forward in the household books until his emigration in 1871. Below is his birth record showing his birth of the 4th of April 1852 at Allarp in Skummeslöv parish. His parents are noted as B. P. Persson and Christina Bengtsdotter. His mother was 32 years old at the time of his birth.

john benson's birth recordSkummeslöv (N) CI:3 (1824-1860) Image 380 / Page 69 (AID: v93216a.b380.s69, NAD: SE/LLA/13348)

To find the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital:

  • Log in at app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive Search.
  • Select country, United States.
  • You can also limit the search by state.

ArkivDigital

Baptismal date is a feast day!

In many of the early birth, marriage and death records, you will often see the feast day of the event versus the calendar date. Today, we will look at a birth record that gives the feast day versus the calendar date for the baptism. Below is an image for a child named, Boel, born on the 18th of January 1815 in Östra Kareby (older spelling Östra Carleby) parish in Malmöhus county.

feast dayÖstra Karaby (M) CI:1 (1813-1827) Image 6 / Page 3 (AID: v106896.b6.s3, NAD: SE/LLA/13520)

Her parents were Åke Nilsson and Boel Jönsdotter from Östra Carleby (Kareby). The child was baptized on the feast day, Septuagesima or the 9th Sunday before Easter. There were fixed feast days that always fell on a certain date such as Christmas on December 25 and others were movable feast days because the calendar dates differed each year such as Easter.

You can find a Swedish feast day calendar by clicking here. (Article is in English.) In 1815, the feast day of Septuagesima was on January 22 and thus Boel was baptized on January 22, 1815.

ArkivDigital

Memory Album (Minnesalbum) from Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Wisconsin

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Iowa – 60 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 106 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest. In the archives for the Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Burnett County, Wisconsin, you will find a minnesalbum or a memory album.

This congregation was established on the 5th of June 1869 in Knut Anderson’s schoolhouse. Below is an image listing the names of the early congregants and where they came from in Sweden.

frederic trade blogFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (left side of the image)

Below is an image of John Ring, the first pastor of the church, and his wife.

john ringFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (right side of the image)

John Ring or Jonas Ring was born in Delsbo, Gävleborg, Sweden on the 16th of February 1829. (Note – the record in the album states that he is from Ilsbo but he was actually born in Delsbo but did live part of his life in Ilsbo.)  He and his wife and children emigrated from Sundsvall, Västernorrland. Below is the household record showing them moving to America along with a notation that he and his wife are Baptists.

ring household recordSundsvalls Gustav Adolf (Y) AI:6b (1851-1866) Image 179 / Page 468 (AID: v122499.b179.s468, NAD: SE/HLA/1010190)

ArkivDigital

Updates to the birth, marriage and death indexes

Recently, new index entries have been added to our birth, marriage and death indexes which were launched in August 2017. This time, we have added some years to about thirty parishes in Nyköping and the surrounding area. Previously, these parishes included indexes for years from the earliest times to about 1861. Additional years have been added with the earliest final year being 1894 and the latest 1920.

Below are links to pages showing the parishes with years that have been indexed by name in the birth, marriage and death indexes. The ones shown under the heading “Registren för nedanstående församlingar är skapade i samarbete med Nyköping-Oxölesunds Släktforskarförening (NOSFF)” or the registers created with the partnership with the Nyköping-Oxölesunds Genealogy Society (NOSFF) are the ones with newly added years.

Birth index –  https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/fodelseregister
Marriage index: https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/vigselregister
Death index -: https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/dodregister

searching birth index parts of swedenSearching in birth index, parts of Sweden

In order to access the indexes, one must have an All-in-one subscription. The indexes are only available in our Web version, which you will find here: https://app.arkivdigital.se.

ArkivDigital

Church Book Record Examples

1770 Birth recordFröjered (R) E:1 (1769-1854) Image 7 / Page 3 (AID: v26939.b7.s3, NAD: SE/GLA/13134)

We continually receive questions from our English-speaking customers on where to find examples for reading the church book records. Today, we would like to point out church record examples on our English website and a few of the blogs that also give examples. On our English website, you will find a section titled, Swedish Genealogy. In this section, you will find record examples including both transcriptions and translations for birth, marriage, death, household and moving records. Below are links to these tutorials.

Below are references to blogs giving more reading examples of birth, marriage, death, and household records.

Birth Record Examples

Marriage Record Examples

Death Record Example

Household Record Example

Also, we would like to point out a wonderful website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) which is free that includes some wonderful instructional videos including among others “Reading Gothic Handwriting for Swedish Genealogy” and several videos showing examples of reading birth records. All examples use ArkivDigital images.

Click here to link to the learning center which lists the instructional videos.

ArkivDigital

Table of Contents for SCB records

ArkivDigital has earlier photographed the Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) or SCB extracts for the years 1925-1947 (1930-1947 for Stockholm city). The SCB extracts consist of transcripts of birth, marriage and death records that were sent yearly to the government department, Statistics Sweden (SCB).

The original birth, marriage and death books generally consist of several years in one volume. In some of the smaller parishes, often several decades are included in the same volume. Because of Swedish privacy legislation, this can be a problem because the entire book must not have any contents that are protected by the privacy law in order to be photographed. For example, if a death book includes the years 1930-1950, we cannot photograph the volume since the later years are protected by the 70-year privacy law. This is where the SCB records come in the picture. Since these were created annually, we can photograph all parishes up to 1947.

Up until now, finding the right SCB extract has not been so easy. The extracts are organized by county, which means that each volume includes a large number of parishes. Thus, it has been very time-consuming to find the desired record type, parish and year. Now the problem has been solved. ArkivDigital has now introduced a new feature, Table of content, SCB, which makes finding a desired extract a simple search.

To search for a SCB extract, do the following:

  • Select Index search.
  • Select “Table of content SCB” in the index source list.
  • You can begin your search by using the “Simple search” routine by writing in the desired year, parish and/or the type of record (födda/vigda/döda) or fill in the desired search terms in the “Advanced search” routine.

Note – At the moment, you will need to write in the Swedish word for the type of record. Below are the Swedish words for birth, marriage and death.

  • Birth – födda
  • Marriage – vigda
  • Death – döda

table of contents SCBSearching in the Table of Content SCB 

It is important to remember that the SCB extracts are transcriptions and that they should be considered as secondary sources. There could be errors in the transcriptions and much of the time they include less information than what is in the original church book. Where the original church books are available, these should be the ones that are used.

In order to access the Table of Content, SCB, you must have an All-in-one subscription. The Table of Content, SCB, is only available in our Web version which you find here: https://app.arkivdigital.se/.

Click here to read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Search by name in the Swedish historical records!

One common question that one hears from Swedish-Americans new to Swedish records, “Are the records searchable by name?” Today, we can say that increasingly more and more Swedish records such as the church books, estate inventories and other record types are searchable by name.  One of ArkivDigital’s primary goals is to make Swedish research easier and one method is name searchable indexes.

search population of 1860 to 1947Searching in the Population of 1860 to 1947 Index

Today, we will review the name searchable indexes that are available in ArkivDigital’s All-in-one subscription.

Church Books

  • Household/Congregations Books (Population of Sweden 1860-1947) – All of the household/congregation books for all of Sweden have been indexed by name for the years from 1860 to 1947. For more information, click here.
  • Birth, marriage and death book indexes – (Birth index- parts of Sweden, Marriage Index- parts of Sweden, Death index- parts of Sweden) Searchable name indexes for birth, marriage and death books for all of the parishes within Kronoberg county and some parishes in nearby counties, around 60 parishes in Södermanland county as well as Nederluleå parish in Norrbotten county. Most of these indexes are from the earliest times (1600’s) up to the second half of the nineteenth century. The end year varies by parish. For some parishes, the end year is 1920. This is an ongoing project and the goal is to index by name the birth, marriage and death books for all of Sweden. Click here for more information.

Estate Inventories (Inventory of estate)

  • Name searchable indexes exist for estate inventories from the following counties: Gotland, Gävleborg, Göteborg och Bohus, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Stockholm, Uppsala, Värmland, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Älvsborg and Östergötland. This is an ongoing project. For a complete list of the district and city courts that have been indexed, click here.

Swedish Census Indexes

  • ArkivDigital has searchable name indexes for the years 1950, 1960, 1975 and 1985. Click here for additional information.
    • Population of Sweden 1950
    • Population of Sweden 1960
    • Population of Sweden 1975
    • Population of Sweden 1985

Military records (Military Service Cards)

  • The Military Service Cards index is a name searchable index of all draft registration and service cards for those who served in the Swedish military between 1902 and 1941. Click here for more information.

Swedes in U.S. 1940 Census

  • The Swedes in U.S. 1940 Census index includes all the persons in the 1940 U.S. Census who stated that their birth place was Sweden. Click here for more information.

Other indexes

  • Portrait Collection – Collection of photographs from three Stockholm photography studios from the 1920’s to 1970’s. Click here for more information.
  • Agriculture Census 1944 - Index to 1944 year’s agriculture statistics done by Statistics Sweden (SCB). Click here for more information.

To access the name searchable indexes within ArkivDigital’s All-in-one subscription:

  • Access the web version by going to https://app.arkivdigital.se/
  • Select “Index Search”.
  • Select the desired index under “Index source”.

search by name

ArkivDigital