Herdaminne – Personal History of Ministers

There are many types of records within ArkivDigital. One interesting set of records is the herdaminne. The herdaminne is a personal history of clergy who served in the Swedish church since the middle ages. In most cases, you can find a very detailed biography, including the person’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, family members, status, and other biographical notations. Sometimes, you will even find photographs. If you have an ancestor who was a member of the Swedish clergy, these records can be a valuable tool for researching your ancestor.

The herdaminnen are published books that were mostly published between the late 1800’s and present date for all the dioceses within Sweden. In order to find a herdaminne for a particular member of the clergy, you need to know the name of the parish he served in and the name of the diocese (stift) that the parish belonged to. There were some changes in the organizational structure so one needs to verify the diocese the parish belonged to for the designated time period.

Within ArkivDigital, you will find herdaminnen for the following dioceses: four in Sweden and one in Finland.

  • Göteborg
  • Skara
  • Uppsala
  • Växjö
  • Åbo (Finland)

You can find these by selecting archive search and then selecting archive type, printed literature. Select country, Sweden, for the herdaminnen in Sweden and select the country, Finland, for the one in Finland.

Below is an example of a biographical sketch plus a photo for the minister, Peter Magnus Bergström, who was born in Algutsboden on the 14th of January 1811.

herdaminnenVäxjö stifts herdaminne (F, G, H) 3 (1929) Image 810 / Page 151 (AID: v903640.b810.s151)

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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.

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