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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November Events in North America

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ArkivDigital will be at the following locations in November: Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin and the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois.

Swedish American Genealogy Workshop in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Historical Society is sponsoring a Swedish American Genealogy workshop on Saturday, November 5th. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving four presentations on Swedish genealogy. The event will be held in room 126 at Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin. Click here for program and registration information.

Exploring your Swedish Roots at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago
The Swedish American Genealogical Society at the Swedish American Museum is sponsoring a research day on Sunday, November 13th. Along with the museum’s volunteers, Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital along with two genealogists from Sweden: Ingrid Nilsson and Elisabeth Thorsell will be available to provide one-on-one assistance for questions about Swedish genealogical research, ArkivDigital and translation assistance. Click here for program and registration information.

Visit our North American event calendar.

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October events in North America

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ArkivDigital will be at the following locations in October: 2016 Nordic Family Conference in Salt Lake City and at the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota’s Annual Conference in Edina, Minnesota.

2016 Nordic Family Conference
Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be presenting three presentations using ArkiviDigital at the 2016 Nordic Family Conference at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, October 18. In addition to onsite seating, there are 500 spots available for webinar attendees.

More information about 2016 Nordic Family Conference.

To attend in person, click here to register.

To attend the webinar, click here to register.

Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
We will be an exhibitor at the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota’s fall conference on Saturday, October 22 at the Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be available to answer questions about ArkivDigital as well as research questions. Click here for registration information.

View North American event calendar.

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ArkivDigital and Swedish Genealogists’ Research Day in Portland, Oregon

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Three genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital led a one-day workshop in Portland, Oregon at Nordia House on Tuesday, September 20. The participants were given presentations about records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics. In addition, many participants received individual assistance with their personal research.

It was wonderful to meet so many Swedish-Americans in Oregon. Among the many areas where the participants’ Swedish roots originated included Skåne, Halland, Småland, Värmland, Närke, Dalarna and Jämtland.

The SwedGen Tour 2016 continues with stops in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24 and in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, September 25. There is still time to register for these events.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Tacoma.

Click here for program and registration information for the program in Seattle.

Visit our North American event calendar.

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September Events in North America

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During September, ArkivDigital will be in Springfield, Illinois for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2016 and also visit Portland, Oregon, Tacoma, Washington and Seattle, Washington with Swedish genealogists from Sweden for the SwedGen Tour 2016.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2016

We will be an exhibitor at the Federation of Genealogy Societies Conference 2016 in Springfield, Illinois on August 31 to September 3rd. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving a presentation on Researching your Swedish Heritage in Living Color Using ArkivDigital on Thursday, September 1 at 5 PM.

If you plan to attend the conference, please attend the ArkivDigital presentation to learn more about the new exciting name searchable features in ArkivDigital 2.0. Please visit our table for answers to your questions about ArkivDigital and Swedish research. To learn more about the conference, click here.

SwedGen Tour 2016

There will be three wonderful Swedish genealogy research workshops in North America this autumn that you don’t want to miss if you have the opportunity. Three genealogists from Sweden, Anna-Lena Hultman, Charlotte Börjesson, and Olof Cronberg of the SwedGen Tour plus Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital will be visiting Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, September 20th, Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24th and Seattle, Washington in Sunday, September 25th.

The genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will lead a one-day workshop in each city giving lectures on records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics plus there will be opportunities for individual research consultations. Advance registration is required at each place. For more information about registration and how to request an individual research consultation, click here.

Visit our North American events calendar.

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ArkivDigital and Swedish Genealogists visit Oregon and Washington

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There will be three wonderful Swedish genealogy research workshops in North America this autumn that you don’t want to miss if you have the opportunity. Three genealogists from Sweden, Anna-Lena Hultman, Charlotte Börjesson, and Olof Cronberg plus Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital will be visiting Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, September 20th, Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24th and Seattle, Washington in Sunday, September 25.

The genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will lead  one-day workshops at each city giving lectures on records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics. This will be a great learning opportunity for both the beginner and the advanced researcher.

The Swedish genealogists will provide one-on-one consultations. To request an individual consultation, click here. There are a limited number of consultations and the selection will be based on order of request.  Event information is listed below:

Portland, Oregon
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Place:  West Hills Unitarian Church
For more program and registration information, click here or call 503-977-0275.

Tacoma, Washington
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Place: Scandinavian Cultural Center, Pacific Lutheran University
For more program and registration information, click here.

Seattle, Washington
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016
Time: 2:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Place: Swedish Club
For more program and registration information, click here.

Advance registration is required. For program details for all events, click here.

View our event calendar to find out about events in North America.

ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital one of the “101 Best Websites for Genealogy in 2016”

101BESTbadge_2016 (003)ArkivDigital is proud to announce that for the third year in a row we have been selected as one of the “101 Best Websites for Genealogy” by Family Tree Magazine.

Family Tree Magazine is North America’s leading genealogy magazine, helping readers discover and preserve their family history. Each year, Family Tree Magazine publishes the 101 Best Websites for family history to guide genealogists to the top websites where they can make family history research progress, and to honor the individuals and organizations who create those sites.

This year, the list of outstanding websites has been broken down into fifteen categories and ArkivDigital has been selected as one of the Best International Genealogy Sites of 2016.  You can find the full list of the “101 Best Websites for Genealogy” in 2016 here.

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Meet ArkivDigital in California

cropped-stor-logo-600x452px-namn-och-symbol-transparent-300x300We will be an exhibitor at the 47th Annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2016 in Burbank, California, June 3-5.  Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving a presentation and demonstration of ArkivDigital on Friday, June 3rd at 2:30 PM.

If you plan to attend the conference, please attend the ArkivDigital presentation to learn more about the new exciting name searchable features in ArkivDigital 2.0. Please stop by our booth #411 to win special door prizes plus answers to your questions about ArkivDigital and Swedish research. Click here to learn more about Jamboree 2016.

Check our event calendar for other events in North America.

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Visit ArkivDigital at RootsTech 2016

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RootsTech 2016, North America’s largest family history and technology conference, will be held February 4-6, 2016 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

ArkivDigital will be an exhibitor and Kathy Meade, the North American representative, will give a presentation, Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital, on Thursday, February 4th.

If you plan to attend the conference, please stop by our booth #525 and enter a drawing to win special door prizes plus answers to your questions about ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy.   Learn more about RootsTech 2016.

Check our event calendar for other events in North America.

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Saltpeter Collector (Salpetersjudare) Important job for manufacturing gunpowder

saltpeter1Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:2 (1764-1804) Image 212 (AID: v50440.b212, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Occasionally at conferences in North America, a customer has asked,” I have an ancestor who was a salpetersjudare?  What is that occupation?” It is a saltpeter collector or sometimes referred to as saltpeter maker.

As the Swedish army increasingly used rifles and cannons, there was a great need for gunpowder. Gunpowder consisted of 75% saltpeter. Large concentrations of saltpeter were found in the soil under farm buildings and stables. Since saltpeter was so important in the production of gunpowder, it came to be that the soil under many farm buildings was declared to be royal property. In the beginning the farmers collected and delivered the saltpeter themselves, but soon a new profession was created, saltpeter collectors.

The saltpeter collectors traveled around to the farms and dug up the floors of the barns or stables and collected the soil and then boiled and seethed it for about six or seven days. Then the pure saltpeter was transported to the gunpowder factory where gunpowder was produced.

In the series Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet, there are three volumes with muster rolls for the saltpeter collectors or makers (salpetersjudarna) from 1693 – 1805. These muster rolls are organized in the same way as the ones for cavalrymen and soldiers.

To search for these archives enter the search words: Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet in the search box.

The image at the top of the page is the muster roll for the saltpeter collectors of Skåne and Blekinge counties. The mustering was held on the 29th of April 1778.

salpeter2Krigskollegium Artilleridepartementet F2a:1 (1693-1757) Image 92 (AID: v50439.b92, NAD: SE/KrA/0003) Link.

Sometimes you will find more information about a person who was a saltpeter collector. In the above image you see in the third row Anders Erichsson from Lerdala parish in Skaraborg county. He was born in 1699 and became a saltpeter collector in 1721. On the right side there is a note giving more information about him.

Siuk af et hug i wänstra knäet och bewitnades af des Cammerater at wara oduglig. Recommenderas till afskied, medan han och intet kunnat giöra något arbete för åhr 1726.

Disabled by a stab in the left knee and testimony by his comrades stated that he was unfit. Recommended for discharge, meanwhile he wasn’t able to work in 1726.

Read blog entry in Swedish.

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