Tracing Moves in the Church Books

One of the most common questions that one receives when one shows the household records to beginning researchers is: “Why are the names crossed out?”.  The simple answer is that the names are crossed out when the person moves to another place or dies.

In this blog, we will show a case of someone moving to another place in the same parish.

Movements to and from a place are noted in the moving (flyttat) columns. In the record below, there are two moving columns: one showing movement to this place from another place and one showing movement to a new place.

  • The column noted with an “A” shows the place (parish, city or page in the household book with the date) where the person came from and the date.
  • The column noted with a “B” shows the place (parish, city or page in the household book) where the persons is moving to and the date.

correct HFL with moving in and outLysvik (S) AI:17 (1866-1870) Image 64 / page 54 (AID: v12038.b64.s54, NAD: SE/VA/13349) (Link)

In the above record, we see three movements for Maria, Olof Larsson’s barn (child) at the place, Backa, in Lysvik parish in Värmland county.

  1. f. 481 5/11 67. She moves to a place on page 481 in the same household book on the 5th of November 1867. See image below.
  2. f. 481 4/11 68. She moves back to this place (Backa) from the place on page 481 (Åsegård) in this parish book on the 4th of November 1868. The household record showing her living at Åsegård is shown below.
  3. f. 532 19/10 70. She moves to a place on page 532 (Öjenäs) in the same household book on the 19th of October 1870. See Lysvik (S) AI:17 (1866-1870) Image 577 / page 532 (AID: v12038.b577.s532, NAD: SE/VA/13349).

moving in hfl2Lysvik (S) AI:17 (1866-1870) Image 522 / page 481 (AID: v12038.b522.s481, NAD: SE/VA/13349)  (Link)

The abbreviation “f” in the moving column means folio or page. Other abbreviations for page include “s” (sida) or “p” (pagina).

Click here for more information on the household records with column translation headings.

ArkivDigital

Household record search and reading example

In a previous blog, we searched for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter who was born on the 13th of July 1841 in Västra Torsås parish in Kronoberg county.  In the birth record, we discovered her parents were Anders Nilsson and Ingrid Magnisdotter and that they resided at a place in the parish named Långasten.

Today, we will search for the family in the household records. Each pastor was required to take a yearly accounting of all members in his parish and test them for their religious understanding. In order to do this accounting, the minister made lists of all the people living in the parish, household by household. These records were kept in large books and each volume covers a series of years.  The number of years vary by parish and time. Many of these books begin in the late 1700’s but they do exist earlier for some parishes. By using the household records and congregation books, one can often trace a person from birth to death or birth to emigration.

search for household record

To search for the household records for 1841:

  • Return to the archive for Västra Torsås as shown in the above image.
  • Search for a household records volume that includes 1841.
  • Highlight the book Västra Torsås AI:6 1840-1847.
  • Double click and open the book.
  • Look for a place name index (ortsregister). This is usually in the front of the book but sometimes is in the back. Not all household records books have an index. In those cases you will need to page through the book to locate the place.

place name indexVästra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 8 (AID: v21256.b8, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

  • Search for the Elin’s residence, Långasten, in the place name index and you see that the records for this place begin on page 396 and 401 as shown in the above image.
  • Go to page 396 and begin your search for the family.

household imageVästra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 409 / page 396 (AID: v21256.b409.s396, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

You will find the family on page 396. In the first column on the top line is the place name, No. 69 Långasten. The first column shows the family member names living in the household during the period the book covers.

The major column headings on this household record are:

  • Födelse  –  Birth
  • Flyttningar – Moving (Moves in and out)
  • Läser  –   Read
  • Nattvardsgång -  Communion
  • Husförhör – Household examination
  • Omständigheter – Special circumstances or special remarks

Under the birth (födelse) column you will see the sub-columns, dag, år and ort which respectively mean day, year and place. In these columns, you will find the birth dates and birth places for each member of the household. In this case you notice that only the birth year is shown for the father while complete birth dates are shown for the rest of the family.

Below is a list of all the household members’ names and birth dates:

Name                                      Birth Date
B. M. Anders Nilssson           1798  (B. is an abbreviation for bonde or famer; M. – husband)
H. Ingjerd Magnisdotter      13 April 1797 (H. is an abbreviation for hustru or wife)
o ä D. Stina Johansdotter     11 March 1820 (Ingjerd’s illegitimate daughter)
o ä S. Magus Olsson               28 April 1845 (Stina’s illegitimate son)
S. Nils Andersson                     7 November 1827 (S. is the abbreviation for son)
D. Ingrid                                  28 January 1830 (D. is the abbreviation for daughter)
D. Catherina                            24 December 1838
D. Elin                                       13 July 1841

Usually, you will find the name of the parish in the birth place column. Sometimes, it will be a village name or sometimes the county name or a country. But in most cases, it is the parish name. In this case there is no entry and that usually but not always means the birth was recorded in the same parish as the household record so in this case, Västra Torsås. We do know that is true for Elin’s birth record. To search for the birth records for other members in the family, we should first look for their birth records in Västra Torsås.

The moving in and moving out columns (flyttningar) are very important columns. The columns indicate if the person has moved into or out of this place during the period the household records book covers or in this case 1840-1847.  The moving in columns include the year (år) and from location (ifrån) and the moving to columns are year (år) and to place (till).

You will notice that there is an entry in the moving to column for Stina Johansdotter and her son Magnus Olsson. It states that they moved to a place that is shown on page 373 in the same book in 1848. Also, you will note their names are crossed out. A cross out indicates a person has moved or died.  In order to find them at their new residence, go to page 373 in the same book. You will find them at the following reference in ArkivDigital:  Västra Torsås AI:6 (1840-1847) Image 386 / page 373 (AID: v21256.b386.s373, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

There are no entries in the moving in or moving out columns for the other members of the household. Since there are no notations of a move, we can assume that they lived in the same place, No. 69 Långasten, in the previous household records book and in the subsequent one.  We can trace the family both backwards and forward by looking for the place, Långasten, in the place name index in the previous and subsequent household records books and look for the family in the same manner as we did in this book.

The last column, Omständigheter or special circumstances, can offer some additional information about your ancestor. In this case, you will see the following noted for Stina Johansdotter:

Transcription
Lysn. d. 6/5 48  med Torp. Jöns Svensson

Translation
Banns of marriage date 6 of May 1848 for marriage with Torpare (Crofter) Jöns Svensson

Click here for more information about household records plus a record example in the Swedish genealogy section of our website.

ArkivDigital

Swedish Church Book Tutorials

Swedish GenealogyThe Swedish church books are usually the first Swedish records that one uses when tracing one’s Swedish roots. These records are a “gold mine” because they are so complete and contain such detailed information. In many cases, one can trace a person’s life in the church books from birth to death or birth to emigration.

We often hear from many people who have Swedish ancestry but don’t speak Swedish, that they are intimidated by the Swedish church books because they are in Swedish. But there is no need to be. The church books consist primarily of tables of names, places and dates. Yes, there are Swedish words but these words are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, researching in the church books becomes relatively easy.

On our website, you will find a section titled, Swedish Genealogy. In this section, you will find record examples and translations for birth, marriage, death, household examination and moving records and much more.

Introduction to Swedish Church Books
Birth Record Examples
Marriage Record Examples
Death Record Examples
Household Examination Record Examples
Moving in and Moving out Records

Death record example

Image above: 1700s death record example. Go to page.

Kathy Meade, ArkivDigital USA