Abbreviations in the Swedish Church Books

The Swedish church books are wonderful records. Most of the time, one can follow one’s ancestor from birth to emigration or death in the church books using a combination of the vital records (birth, marriage and death), household/congregation books and sometimes the moving records.

At conferences and presentations, we receive many questions about researching in the church books and some will ask about abbreviations they have encountered in their research. One common question is what do the abbreviations “GB” and “NB” mean?

  • GB is the abbreviation for gamla bok or old book.
  • NB is the abbreviation for nya bok or new book.

Often in the household books/congregation books in the latter nineteenth century and twentieth century you will see these abbreviations in the moving in and moving out columns. In the record shown below, you see the abbreviation “GB 124” in the moving in column (Hitflyttad) and the abbreviation “NB 166” in the moving out column (Bortflyttad) for Anders Johansson and his family who are living at Torpet Stubben in Barkeryd parish in Jönköping county. This record is in the household book for Barkeryd parish for the years 1891-1899.

GB and NB exampleBarkeryd (F) AI:25 (1891-1899) Image 226 / page 212 (AID: v18935.b226.s212, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)

In this case, the abbreviation “GB 124” is stating that we can find the family in the previous household book on page 124 or in the household book Barkeryd (F) AI:24(1885-1890) on page 124 as shown in the image below.

previous GB exampleBarkeryd (F) AI:24 (1885-1890) Image 136 / page 124 (AID: v18934.b136.s124, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)

The abbreviation “NB 166” is stating that we can find the family in the subsequent household book on page 166 or in the book Barkeryd (F) AIIa:1 (1900-1905) on page 166 as shown in the image below.

second NB exampleBarkeryd (F) AIIa:1 (1900-1905) Image 176 / page 166 (AID: v168900.b176.s166, NAD: SE/VALA/00025) (Link)