Swedish American Church Books in ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital has Swedish-American church books for the following states in ArkivDigital’s online library:

  • Illinois – 2
  • Iowa – 88
  • Kansas – 100
  • Minnesota – 125
  • Missouri – 9
  • Nebraska – 120
  • Oklahoma – 1
  • South Dakota – 1
  • Wisconsin – 12

The Swedish-American church books include birth, marriage, death, membership, reception of members, dismissal of members, protocols and account records. Often you will find anniversary booklets, church histories, attachments to records and even in some congregation archives family histories. The types of records vary by parish and denomination. Click here for more information about types of church records.

Anniversary books were often created to celebrate the 50th, 75th, or 100th anniversary of the church. These books often will give a history of the congregation, sometimes a history of the settlement, biographical sketches of the ministers and even occasionally biographies, genealogies and photos of the early church members.

Below is a photo of Mrs. David Lindström or Maja Lisa Andersdotter born on July 28, 1811 in Fivlered parish and who emigrated with her husband and children to North America in 1852. This was taken from the 1863-1903 Minnesalbum (Anniversary booklet or remembrance album) for the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Paxton, Illinois. In 1903, she was the oldest living member in the congregation.

mrs lindstrom photo

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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)

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Special Note in the Household Record’s Comments Column

special noteFunbo AI:9b (1824-1830) Image 116 / page 110 (AID: v124432.b116.s110, NAD: SE/ULA/10291) Link.

Sometimes the ministers would write small notes in the church books in the special circumstances or comments column (omständigheter) about an individual. In the above image, the notation about Eric Andersson catches one’s attention.

The minister wrote next to Eric Andersson’s name “ganska svårt ofärdig, men dock starkt aflande” or “rather seriously crippled but still seriously procreating”. Maybe the minister was not so pleased that the Eric had so many children or how should one interpret the minister’s note?

Link to original blog in Swedish.

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