Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

One of the biggest challenges for many Swedish Americans is to discover the parish of origin for their Swedish ancestor. When one attends a presentation about how to get started with Swedish research, the Swedish American church books are mentioned as one source that might provide some clues. (Click here for beginning Swedish genealogy research tips.)

Many Swedes who immigrated to North America joined a Swedish American church. While most of these congregations were Lutheran, there were also Swedish Covenant, Swedish Methodist, Swedish Baptist, Swedish Mission and other free churches. Many of these churches kept detailed records as they did in Sweden.

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas and a few from Missouri and Oklahoma. If one’s Swedish’s ancestor settled in these areas, these books can be helpful in determining where your ancestor came from in Sweden.

One can search in the  Swedish American church records to discover where in Sweden a person came from or to discover more about the person’s life in North America. The detail and content in the Swedish American church books do vary by time, minister and religious denomination. The Lutheran church books tend to have some standardization and more detail than other denominations but again that will vary by congregation.

Search Method
To begin your search, you will need a name and a location. If you have a name and town location, but don’t know the person’s religious denomination:

  1. Look for church books for that town.
  2. If there are several denominations, begin with the Lutheran church books since most were Lutherans, then proceed to Covenant, Methodist, Baptist or other church book denominations in that order.
  3. If you don’t find the person in the church books, you may want to search in the church books in a nearby town that is in the same county or nearby county.

Case Study – Begin in Congregation Book (Church Register)

We want to discover the parish of origin in Sweden for Carl Carlson who lived in Lindsborg, Kansas and was Lutheran. We have been told that he was born around 1835 and that his wife’s name was Emma and one of his children was named David.

  1. Start the ArkivDigital application and click on search archives.
  2. Select new archive search and county.
  3. Select the archive for Kansas (USA).
  4. Search for the Lindsborg Lutheran church archives.
  5. You will find that there are 3 Lutheran churches in Lindsborg:
    1. Lindsborg Lutheran Bethany Church
    2. Lindsborg Freemount Lutheran Church
    3. Lindsborg Messiah Lutheran Church
  6. Select the first in the list: Lindsborg Lutheran Bethany Church.
  7. The info box above the archive list names the county where Lindsborg is located which is McPherson. On the right side is a list of volumes available for this congregation. For this parish, there are four congregation books all beginning in the year 1869 with different end years.
  8. Search for congregation books and click on each congregation book and see if there is a name register in the book. In the info box above the volume list, the name index will be noted with the entry “med personregister”. You will notice that one appears for the volume, Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA Vol: 2 (1869-1886).  Not all congregation books have name registers. In those cases, where there is none, you will need to browse through the book page by page.

Open the book and you will see an indexed name register. Search for Carl Carlson. See image below.
lindsborg-index
Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 9 (AID: v812465a.b9, NAD: ) Link.

While there are no Carl Carlson’s, there are the following entries in the list:

  • Carlson C. J.                     25
  • Carlson C (Sec 28)           96
  • ” (Sec 30)                          83
    The numbers: 25, 96 and 83 to the right of the names in this case represent an entry number in the church register.  Sometimes the number represents a page number. The minister did not repeat the name on the third line but only indicated that it was the same name by a ditto mark.

Go to entry  #25 to see if the information matches. In this case, the record does not match the given information. Below is the image for entry #25.

entry-number-25Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 37 / page 7 (AID: v812465a.b37.s7, NAD: ) Link.

Next, go to entry #96. See image below.

entry-number-96Lindsborg Bethany Lutheran Church, Kansas, USA (KS) Vol:2 (1869-1886) Image 50 / page 20 (AID: v812465a.b50.s20, NAD: ) Link.

This is the correct person. The record shows Carl Carlson born on the 12th of June 1835 in Lungsund, Värmland. You will notice that Värmland is abbreviated as Werm. Also, Carl has a child named David and his wife is Emma Olsdotter born on the 23rd of July 1840 in Färnebo, Värmland. This record shows that they were received in this parish in October of 1869.  Carl and Emma arrived in America from Sweden in 1869 and came to Lindsborg in 1869. The record also shows three children all born in Lindsborg:

  • Emma was born on the 28th of June 1870.
  • David was born on the 21st of December 1875.
  • Hannah was born on the 2nd of February 1880 and she died on the 17th of July 1880.

Now you have enough information to research Carl and Emma further in the Swedish church books. Below is an image of Carl’s birth record in Lungsund, Värmland.

carls-birth-recordLungsund (S) C:5 (1830-1854) Image 29 / page 53 (AID: v7336.b29.s53, NAD: SE/VA/13342) Link.

Click here for more information on Swedish church books.
Click here for examples of birth records.

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Name register searches in ArkivDigital’s web version

The new program ArkivDigital 2.0 is now available in a web version. You can find more information about the program’s software in a previous blog entry: (see earlier blog entry).

The web version is available at app.arkivdigital.se. Login with your ArkivDigital user name and password. Once you are logged in, the search page will appear. To get started, click on Search Archives.

webbrowsersearch

The search page opens.

In the upper left side are two blue buttons. One is for searching in the archives and the other for index search or name searching.

search-archives

To index search or to search by names, do the following:

  • Click on New index search
  • In the box under Search index, enter the search data that you are seeking. This can be name, birth date, parish, etc.
  • Click on the blue button Search or hit the Enter key on the keyboard.
  • The search results will appear on the right side.
  • Click on the row on the right side for the register post that you want to review.

search-for-kestin

The information now appears on the right side and the search result posts show on the left side. See the image below.

The following are highlighted:

  1. Here you can select to print a register post, correct any errors or copy the information.
  2. Shortcut link to the birth book for the person. Click on the link and the volume will open and you can then search for the birth record in the volume.
  3. To return to the search page for Index search, click on the magnifying glass.

kerstin-search-result

Other registers in ArkivDigital

With the All-in-one subscription, all available registers are accessible in the online service. You select the register you wish by doing the following:

  • Under Index Source, the default showing is the Population of Sweden 1950. To the right is a small blue down arrow. Click on the arrow and a drop down list appears showing all the available registers or indexes.
  • Select the register which you wish to search by clicking on that row.

all-in-one-register-search

Click here to read more about the correction function.

Click here to read the article in Swedish.

Note: Kerstin Hesselgren born in 1872 in Hofors parish in Gävleborg county was one of the first female members of Sweden’s parliament.

ArkivDigital

Military rolls (rullor) 1620-1723

Often in researching our Swedish ancestors, we discover an ancestor who was a cavalryman (ryttare) or soldier (soldat). Or even possibly an officer. We want to know more about our ancestor’s military life. The general muster rolls (generalmönsterrullorna) are an important source for military research. These begin in the late 1600’s and continue until the end of the 1800’s. You can find the general muster rolls in ArkivDigital by entering rullor in the search box. There you will see some earlier rolls of military records. There is an archive named “Rullor 1620-1723” In this archive, there are hundreds of volumes. So far, we have photographed the documents 1620-1659 and then some individual volumes after that. There is an ongoing project at the  Military Archives of Sweden to digitize these documents.

Below are some tips for searching in these records.

If your ancestor is an ordinary cavalryman or soldier, a little more searching is required before you find the correct source. Knowing that a cavalryman belonged to a cavalry regiment and a soldier belonged to an infantry regiment is a good start. That way you know which type of regiment to search. They are often grouped by the name of the regiment after county/province (län/landskap). If you have more information about him for example the name of his commander one can find some helps via a name register. If your ancestor was an officer, you can look for him directly in the name register (personregister).

In the series or archive “Rullor 1620-1723”, you will find 15 volumes called Personregister at the top of the volume list. If you hold your mouse over (i) or click once on the volume, you will get more information on which names are included in the volume. Let us say that we are searching for Lars Jakobsson who we know was a second lieutenant (fänrik) in the 1640’s, we will find a name register card for him.

registerlarsskooRullor 1620-1723 PersonReg:6 (1620-1699) Image 3015 (AID: v793063.b3015, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

The references point to the year and volume. In addition, we get references to other volumes where we can find more information about his military career. Thus in these records, we have a good summary of the military careers of all the Swedish military officers for most of the 1600’s. If in the upper right hand corner stands the number “1”, that means that there are more register cards for this person, something to think about.

The card shows us that Lars Jakobsson Skoo was a second lieutenant in the Åbo regiment. Since Finland was part of Sweden at this time, records for the Finnish regiments are included in this material. He changes regiments and becomes a second lieutenant in the Björnborg regiment and if one looks at the next card, we see that he becomes a lieutenant (löjtnant). References at the top are for the year 1641 and volume 12. The next step is to search in the volume list for the 12th volume in the year 1641 or volume 1641:12.

search rullor

Check in the beginning of the volume to see if there is a register of regiments and companies.  After some searching, we find the right regiment and company and even Lars Jacobsson.

larsjohansson1641Rullor 1620-1723 1641:12 (1641-1641) Image 130 / page 8 (AID: v751076.b130.s8, NAD: SE/KrA/0022) Link.

To the right of his name is written, Gamble Ryttmästaren Jacob Nilssons son, hafuer tient i Tyssland för een gemen Ryttare, under Sal: Johan Muncks Comp. (Old calvary captain Jacob Nilsson’s son, who served in Germany as a regular cavalryman, in Sal: Johan Munck’s Company).

The officers are always listed first followed by the regular soldiers. In this case, on the right side you can see a list of soldiers. If your ancestor was a private or regular soldier, this is where you would look.

Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

New Register – Swedes in US 1940

ArkivDigital has launched a new name searchable register, Swedes in US 1940. The database is an extraction out of the 1940 United States Census. The census was created on the 1st of April 1940 and the extract includes all the persons who stated their birth place was Sweden. The database includes approximately 447,000 entries. The register includes information such as name, age, marital status and where the person lived in 1940. In addition, it shows where the person lived in 1935.

The register is now available in the annual All-in-one subscription. To search in the index:

  • Open ArkivDigital 2.0.
  • Select Index search or person search.
  • Select the collection, Swedes in US 1940, under index source.
  • Enter a search query such as name, place name in the search box.
  • The example below shows a search for John Arvidson in Illinois.

indexsearch1940

1940 swedes in usRResult page for John Arvidson living in Rock Island, Illinois.

There is also a link to the Census image as seen below.

1940 Census ImageSvenskar i USA 1940 (USA) IL:26 (1940-1940) Image 2820 (AID: v834697.b2820, NAD:) Link.

You will also find the registers: Population of Sweden 1880-1920 along with the Population of Sweden 1950 and 1960 in the All-in-one subscription.

Now you can purchase an All-in-one annual subscription for 1560 SEK or about 185 USD (regular price 1795 SEK or about 213 USD). This special offer is good up to and until Tuesday, August 30, 2016. To purchase special offer, click here.

ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital launches two new powerful registers

ArkivDigital has recently launched two new powerful registers:

  • Population of Sweden 1880-1920
  • Population of Sweden 1960

If you wish to access these new registers, subscribe to our All-in-one subscription, which gives you access to all the historical documents in ArkivDigital along with these new registers. In order to access the registers, you will need to install our new software, ArkivDigital 2.0 beta. You can download the software from our website: http://www.arkivdigital.net/products/adonline/installation

Population of Sweden 1880-1920

The Population of Sweden 1880-1920 is a digital searchable name register of all of the Swedish household records and congregation books from around 1880 to 1920. In other words:  A fantastic tool for solving those genealogical mysteries in your family tree!

Whatever happened to your great-grandfather’s little brother?  His name appeared in an 1860’s household record, but then he vanished. Surely, he moved somewhere. But where?

This tool is the first one to employ as you pursue an answer.   You can search for a person by name, birth date, or other characteristics and you will see a result list of possible candidates. Click on a good possibility and you will pull up a transcription of that person’s complete information along with a link to the original record.

You may have the answer before you can say, “There’s Great Uncle Sven!”

The register is created in partnership with MyHeritage.

Sweden Population 1888Searching in Population of Sweden 1880-1920

 Population of Sweden 1960

The 1960 Swedish Census index is a wonderful source for those seeking information about people living in Sweden during the middle of the last century.  This census is drawn from the country’s tax register published in 1961 using data collected late in the previous year and includes everyone who then lived in Sweden.

The register is searchable by name and includes full name, birth date and birth parish, marital status, and information about their place of residence. Individuals are grouped by households, though the relationships among those living together are not stated. Nonetheless, it is often possible to infer additional information.  If a man and woman in the same household have the same marriage date, for example, they most likely are married to each other.

Additional information in the database includes the maiden name of married women and the place of registration in the previous tax register. Usually, there is a link to the first image of the parish birth book that will contain the person’s birth record.

1960 Swedish CensusPopulation of Sweden 1960

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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Mothers’ acknowledgments of births in Maria Magdalena parish

envelopeMaria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 980 (AID: v826540.b980, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Many researchers have been excited to find an ancestor’s birth record only to be disappointed to discover that the mother is “oäkta” or unmarried and that the father is unknown. But the disappointment is even greater if one discovers that both parents are unknown. However, in some cases there may be hope. For those of you who have found unknown mothers in the Maria Magdalena parish birth records in Stockholm, we want to point out four volumes with maternal acknowledgments of births that are available in ArkivDigital.

The four volumes are named Maria Magdalena HIIIc: 1-4 and they cover the period 1897-1917. The volumes contain envelopes which in most cases have been sealed until recently. The Stockholm city archives have now opened the sealed envelopes and have given us the opportunity to photograph the contents.

In the image at the top of the page we see the front page of an envelope referring to Alma Maria born on the 23rd of July 1897.  In the recently opened envelope, there is a page with the following text.

mothercertificate2Maria Magdalena HIIIc:1 (1897-1900) Image 990 (AID: v826540.b990, NAD: SE/SSA/0012) Link.

Undertecknad boende härstädes Bellmansgatan 16, 1 tr opp. erkänner sig härmed vara moder till flickebarnet Alma Maria född den 23 Juli 1897 och döpt den 27 Julis. år. intygas Stockholm den 27 Juli 1897 Mathilda Alma Sandberg född den 20 Juli 1871.

The undersigned who is residing at Bellmansgatan 16, 1st floor up, acknowledges that she is the mother of the female child, Alma Maria, born on the 23rd of July 1897 and baptized on the 27th of July of the same year. Certified in Stockholm on the 27th of July by Mathilda Alma Sandberg born on the 20th of July 1871.

In this record of acknowledgment, we see the mother’s name and birth date. In other acknowledgments, details of the mother’s birth parish are noted and sometimes even the father’s name. The majority of these photographed envelopes have recently been unsealed by the Stockholm city archives. However, some were unsealed long ago and in some of these cases there is documentation about when and who requested the opening of the envelope.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Catechetical records in the diocese of Lund

As part of the Peace Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Skåne and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden from Denmark. There was a transitional period where the population could continue to use the Danish language before Swedish was required as the official language. The catechetical records are an important source for reviewing the transition from the Danish language to Swedish.

By 1683, the transitional period was mainly over and the Swedish language had been introduced in practically all of  Skåne and Blekinge. In particular this is clearly shown in the court books. But we even see this in the church books especially in the catechetical books.

In the catechetical records, you will see the person’s name, age, notations about their religious understanding and in some records the language they spoke. These records show the transition from Danish to Swedish. Also, in some records, there will be a notation of the person’s place of birth.

You will find the catechetical records for the diocese of Lund (Skåne and Blekinge) in the respective parish archive noted as Kat.1 catechetical records.

lund catecheticalStrövelstorp Kat:1 (1692-1780) Image 11 / page 457 (AID: v115908.b11.s457, NAD: SE/LLA/13377) Link.

In the above image we see the following:

In Kärra number 1 in Strövelstorp parish in Skåne, the following persons live there in 1721:

Påhl Jönsson, born in Höja, 53 years old
wife Elina, born in the same place (Höja), 29 years old
son Jöns, born in Strövelstorp, 24 years old
son Pär, born in the same place (Strövelstorp), 22 years old
maid  Bengta, born in the same place  (Strövelstorp), 20 years old

In Kärra number 2 lives:
Pär Pärsson, born in Ausås, 76 years old
daughter Sissa, born in Strövelstorp, 55 years old

This record is particularly interesting because there is a column on the right, Tungsmåhlet, which states what language the person speaks. All at Kärra number 1 and daughter Sissa at number 2 speak Swedish, but Par Pärsson speaks Danish. He is 76 years old and was born around 1645 which was during the Danish period.

The original article was published in Swedish on April 17, 2014. Read original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Russians who worked on the Göta Canal

Gota canal russiansGöta kanalbolag EII:8 (1813-1813) Image 67 / page 60 (AID: v89674.b67.s60, NAD: SE/VALA/02660) Link.

We previously published a blog about the Göta Canal Company’s archive in ArkivDigital. (Link to blog entry.)  In that blog, we pointed out a list of Russians in the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet) who signed up to work on the canal so that they could return to Russia. You can find more information about these Russians who helped build the canal in several archival sources.

Approximately 60,000 men worked on building the canal between 1810 and 1832. The majority of these were Swedish soldiers from sixteen different regiments along with two naval companies. In addition a company of Russian deserters (pionjärkompaniet) also worked on the canal.

In the volume Göta kanalbolag EII: 8 on pages 58-65, you will find an inspection roll for the pioneer company (pionjärkompaniet). The roll was created at the mustering at Forsviks bruk on the 29th of May 1813. Above is an image of a page from the roll. The record shows the name, age and height of each person in the company. Occasionally in the remarks column are notes indicating if the person was ill or given special orders.

Even in the church books, you can find information about these Russians.The image below is a birth record from 1814 in the Bällefors C: 5 volume. In this birth book, you can find a number of children with Russian fathers.

ballefors birthBällefors (R) C:5 (1807-1852) Image 32 (AID: v28848.b32, NAD: SE/GLA/13073) Link.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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Name Registers

Name RegisterSläktnamnsregister Skaraborg SlReg:2 (0-1800) Image 6 / page 2 (AID: v187522.b6.s2, NAD: SE/GLA/75003) Link.

For those who research in Göteborg och Bohus, Skaraborg, Älvsborg, Värmland or Västernorrland counties, we wish to point out name registers (släktnamnsregister) that are accessible on ArkivDigital. If one is searching for a person who has a non-patronymic name meaning a name that does not end with a “son” or “dotter”, these registers can be very helpful. Examples of groups of people who had a non-patronymic name were the nobility, priests and not least the many soldiers.

Above is an image from the name register volume for household records for Dimbo härad in Skaraborg county.  If you were searching for Christina Aminoff shown in the above image, you would find her in the household book for Varv parish in Skaraborg county on page 38 in volume AI:2. To search for a name and then to be directed to the page number in the household record naturally saves much time.

The name registers cover normally the period from the beginning of the church books until the year 1800. For Västernorrland, however, the register continues until 1830 (for Medelpad and norra Ångermanland) and respectively to 1856 (for södra Ångermanland). The type of church books which registers exist vary from place to place.  There are registers for household records, moving in-out records, birth, marriage and death records but this varies from county to county and district (härad) to district as to what type of registers are available for that area.

You can find these registers in ArkivDigital by typing in “Släktnamnsregister” in the search box and click search or you can select “advanced options” and search for registers in the archive type selection.  These registers are divided into six archives, one for each county with the exception for Älvsborg county which has separate archives for Dalsland and Västgötadelen.

Read the original article in Swedish.

ArkivDigital