Getting Started in the Swedish Church Books

Are you new to Swedish research? Swedish research is extremely rewarding because there are so many types of records and they are very complete. But before you begin, you must know your Swedish ancestor’s Swedish name, place or parish of origin in Sweden and a significant date such as a birth date. If all you know is that your Swedish ancestor’s name is Charles Johnson, you have a little more work to do before you jump the pond. For information on how to search for more details about your Swedish ancestor, click here.

But, let us say you are now successful and have discovered that your ancestor’s Swedish name was Carl Johan Johansson and he was born in Habo parish in Skaraborg county on the 10th of February 1819, you are ready to jump the pond and research in the Swedish records. Today, we will walk you through the steps for searching for Carl’s birth record and the corresponding household record in ArkivDigital.

We enter the application: app.arkivdigital.se and then select New Archive search. Since we know the name of the parish, we can enter, Habo, in the search box and the archive box for Habo will appear.

search habo

Click on Habo and you will see a list of all the volumes that are available for this parish. In this case, there are 122 volumes. Search for a birth book that includes the year 1819.

search habo birth book

You will see that there are two birth books that contain births for the year 1819:  C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820 and C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827. When one sees two books that cover the same period, it is always good to look at both books. They can often contain different information.

By looking further at book C:10 Birth and Christening records 1801-1820, we see that that there is a circle with an “i” before the words birth and christening records. This means information and if you put your mouse over the “i”, you will see the notation, “register till födelseböckerna” or register to the birth books.

hove birth register

When we look at this book, we see it is an index organized by first given name and then birth year. Note -you will not encounter this type of birth index in many parishes. But remember before the mid 1800’s, the information can vary by time and minister.

In browsing this book, we will find a page for Carl’s and you will find the information for Carl Johan in the section for Carl’s born in the year 1819.

carl birth index recordHabo (F, R) C:10 (1801-1820) Image 16 / Page 25 (AID: v34105.b16.s25, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The information shown in the above index record includes:

  1. Second given name – Joh. or abbreviation for Johan
  2. Parents’ first names: Johan, Katrina
  3. Residence in parish – Sållarhemmet (line above the letter m represents a double m).
  4. Year – 19 or 1819
  5. Day of month – 10
  6. Month – 2 or February

The book C:11 Birth and Christening records 1801-1827 contains the actual birth records. It is always good to look in the front of the book and check for a table of contents. There may be multiple types of records in the volume and the table of contents will show on what pages the various types of records begin. In this case there is not a table of contents and the births are arranged in chronological order. Open the book and look for birth records for the year 1819 and then the month, February, and then the day, the 10th. Below is the birth record for Carl Johan.

carl johan birth recordHabo (F, R) C:11 (1801-1827) Image 109 / Page 213 (AID: v34106.b109.s213, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The record contents are:

  1. Birth date – 10 (February 10, 1819)
  2. Baptismal date – 11 (February 11, 1819)
  3. Child’s given name – Carl Johan
  4. Parents’ names – Johannes Larsson and Kathrina Andersdotter
  5. Residence in parish – Sållarehemmet
  6. Baptismal witnesses – And. Carlsson och (and) D. H. dess hustru or his wife Stina at Skogshemmet
  7. Mother’s age – Between 25 and 30

The next step is to find out more information about the family by going to the household book that includes the year 1819. Now we return to the Habo archive and search for the household book that contains the year 1819. We find the book, AI:4 Household records 1814-1820.

search habo household book

The household books are organized by place name. In most household books you will find a place name index in the front or back of the book. Open the book and search for a place name index or ortregister. Then look for Carl Johan’s residence, Sållarehemmet, in the place name index.

habo place name indexHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 5 (AID: v20176.b5, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

The place name index states that the records for the place, Sållarehemmet, begin on page 206. Now there may be one page for the place or many pages, but the page number shown in the index is the start page for the search for the family. We now go to page 206.

hova household recordHabo (F, R) AI:4 (1814-1820) Image 110 / Page 207 (AID: v20176.b110.s207, NAD: SE/VALA/03256)

In this case we find the family on page 206. Below is the information that is shown for the family:

  • (Father) äg. (abbreviation for ägare) owner or landowner Johannes Larsson born on the 6th of May 1782 in Loco Loco is a Latin term meaning here or in Habo parish. Note – further research will show that the birth date is incorrect and is actually the 15th of May 1782.
  • (Mother) H. (abbreviation for hustru or wife) Catharina Andersdotter born on the 6th of May 1790 at loco or in the parish of Habo.
  • Son Anders born 9th of May 1813 loco or in Habo. There is also a notation that he has died.
  • Son Gabriel born on the 23rd of April 1816 loco or in Habo. There is a notation that he died in 1817.
  • Flicka (Girl) Stina Svensdotter born on the 15th of October 1803 in Ekebo. There is a notation that she moved here in 1816 from Ekereds torp and moved out in 1817 to V. Ekered. More research is required to check to see if she is just a worker or if she has some relationship to the family.
  • (Son) Carl Johan born on the 10th of February 1819 in loco or Habo.

Since there are no notations that the family has moved in or out, we can assume that the family is living at the same place, Sållarehemmet, in the subsequent household book. We can continue to trace Carl forward in the household books until his emigration.

Also, from this record, we have enough information, that we can look for birth records for other members of the household. Also, please note that sometimes the minister will note the incorrect birth date information in the household record such as was the case for the father, Johannes Larsson. If there is a discrepancy between the birth dates in the birth record or household record, you should always use the information shown in the birth record.

For more information about researching in the church books, go to the following links:

ArkivDigital

Using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 to discover where Hilda moved to!

Within the household and congregation records, there is an entry showing where a person moved to if the person moved during the period the household/congregation books cover.  The information that is normally shown is the place and a date or sometimes there is a reference to another page number and date within the same household book.  However, many times the minister will note an abbreviation that is not easily understood and one must take some time to discover where the person has moved. In the image below, it states that Hilda Joseph. (Josephina). Hjorth born on the 20th of May 1833 moved from Önumstorp in Önum parish in Skaraborg county to V. 41 in 1871.  What does “V. 41” mean?

onum hflÖnum (R) AI:9 (1867-1881) Image 148 / page 142 (AID: v12796.b148.s142, NAD: SE/GLA/13674) Link.

There are two methods for discovering what “V. 41″ means: using traditional methods of deciphering the meaning or using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930.

Now, while the reference to a page number is not usually the letter V, one might go to page 41 in the same household book to see if she is listed there and if one goes there, Hilda will not be found.

The next step is to determine if the parish, Önum, belongs to a pastorat. See previous blog for more information about a pastorat. 

You can check if Önum belongs to a pastorat by accessing ArkivDigital, selecting new archive search, entering Önum in the search box and search. Open the archive for Önum parish and click on the archive info tab. There you will get information about what pastorat Önum belongs to. See the image below.

onum archive info

You will note the following information in the archive info box: Före den 1 maj 1920 var Önum annexförsamling i Skarstads, Hällums, Vara och Önums pastorat or before the 1st of May 1920, Önum was an annex parish in the Skarstads, Hällums, Vara and Önums pastorat.

This information gives us a clue that “V”. might mean Vara and 41 the page number in the Vara household book that includes the year 1871. Our next step is go to archive search and, enter Vara in the search box and click search.

vara search

Search for a household book that includes the year 1871 which is AI:7 that covers the years 1867-1878 and open the volume and go to page 41.

varahfl41Vara (R) AI:7 (1867-1878) Image 46 / page 41 (AID: v12751.b46.s41, NAD: SE/GLA/13611) Link.

In the above image you will see a reference that Hilda has moved in from “Ö 142” or Önum parish on page 142. In this case, the minister is abbreviating Önum. This minister often abbreviates the parish names of parishes within the pastorat by showing only the first letter of the parish name.

Search using the Population of Sweden 1860 to 1930 Search Index
The Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index makes Swedish research so much easier. For this same case, we can go to New index search, select the Population of Sweden 1860 to 1930 index, enter Hilda and her birth date 18330520 in the search box, and click search. We receive 7 matches that we can analyze. (There are other ways of searching such as using the advanced search method or using various search criteria,) We see one household record is in Vara. We can quickly link on the match and then link on the image to verify the information. Thus, we quickly know that “V. 41” means Vara page 41. Of course, we have to verify that all the information agrees and this is right Hilda. This one is correct.

1860 Vara search

This is an example how Swedish research is becoming much easier and quicker using the Population of Sweden 1860-1930 index.

ArkivDigital

Digital searchable estate inventory register – now in ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital has now launched a new name searchable register for estate inventories. The building of this register is still in progress but today the register includes estate inventory index entries for Gotland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Stockholm, Uppsala and Östergötland counties. As the register expands, other counties will be added.

You will find a list of the district courts (härader) and city courts (rådhusrätter) where estate inventories are currently name searchable by going to the following page: https://www.arkivdigital.se/online/register/bouppteckningar

In order to access the estate inventory register, you must have an All-in-one subscription and the register is only accessible in the web version of our program software which you find here: https://app.arkivdigital.se.

Below is an example of searching for the estate inventory for Sven Svensson who died on the 28th of August 1766 in Ljung parish in Östergötland county.

  • Access ArkivDigital.
  • Select new index search.
  • Select index source – Inventory of estate.
  • Enter Sven Svensson and Ljung in the search box. (Note – we could have limited the search to Sven Svensson and received many matches or we could also have added the year 1766 and further limited the number of matches.)
  • Click search.
  • A result list will appear on the right. In this case, there are 10 matches.
  • Select the one for the year 1766.

sven svensson ljung

Below is the result page. Notice all the headings are in English in the English version. The result page shows the following information: first name, last name, occupation, name of the archive, parish, place such as farm or village in the parish, year, and sometimes extra information. In this case the record gives the name of Sven’s wife, Brita Nilsdotter. There is also a link to the original estate inventory record.

svenson result

Additional Comments

  • In certain cases, only the place (farm, village, etc.) and not the parish name is mentioned in the register. If you cannot find a person, try searching by excluding the parish name in the search criteria.
  • The estate inventory year is the year that it was created. This could happen one or several years after the date of death. In the advanced search, you can search for an interval of years by entering the start and end years for the search.

Click here for more information about estate inventories.

Read original blog in Swedish here.

 ArkivDigital

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

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

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