Swedish American Church Book Record Types

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and a few from Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Below are the types of records that you will find in the various congregations However, the type of records that were kept and preserved varies by congregation.

  1. Congregation records or church registers (Församlingsböcker)
  2. Birth and christening records (Födelse- och dopböcker)
  3. Marriage records (Vigselböcker)
  4. Death and burial records (Död- och begravningsböcker)
  5. Catechetical records (Konfirmationsbok)
  6. Protocols (Protokoll)
  7. Accountings (Räkenskaper)
  8. Member reception records (Intagna medlemmar)
  9. Member dismissal records (Utträdda medlemmar)
  10. Anniversary documents (Jubileumsskrift)

Congregation Books (Församlingsböcker)
The congregation records or church registers include similar information to the Swedish household or congregation records. The type of information you may find includes:  the names of the household members, birth date, birth place, baptismal date, marriage dates of the head of the household, arrival date in America and arrival date in the congregation. Some of these books have alphabetical name indexes. These records are very helpful in identifying where a person came from in Sweden.

Omaha Congregation RecordCongregation book from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:1 (1868-1890) Image 74 / page 69 (AID: v883292.b74.s69, NAD: ) Link.

Birth and Christening Records (Födelse- och dopböcker)
The birth and christening records are somewhat similar to the Swedish birth and christening records. The contents do vary by congregation but they usually contain the child’s name, birth date, baptismal date, names of parents and names of baptismal witnesses.  Most of the time the mother’s married name and not maiden name is presented. These records are organized in chronological order often by baptismal date. Occasionally, there is a cross reference to the family in the church register or congregation record.

omaha birthsRecords of baptisms from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 21 / page 35 (AID: v883294.b21.s35, NAD: ) Link.

Marriage Records (Vigselböcker)
The marriage records are an important source because it is the one source where the female’s maiden name is shown. The contents in the marriage record usually include the names of the groom and bride, date of the marriage and the places where the bride and groom are from. These records are organized in chronological order.

omaha marriageRecords of Marriages from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 59 / page 173 (AID: v883294.b59.s173, NAD: ) Link.

Death and Burial Records (Död- och begravningsböcker)
The death and burial records sometimes called “Records of Funerals” show the deceased’s name, death date, burial date, age, sometimes names of nearest relatives and cause of death. Unfortunately, abbreviations may be used in names such as “P. A. Swanson” versus the complete name and married women are often noted as “Mrs. Charles Eklund”.  These are organized in chronological order usually by the funeral date. Occasionally, there is a cross reference to the family in the church register or congregation record.

omaha burialsRecords of Funerals from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 98 / page 291 (AID: v883294.b98.s291, NAD: ) Link.

Catechetical (Konfirmationsbok)
The catechetical records provide names of the persons confirmed. Most of the time, these are only list of names but occasionally, the birth date and the names of the parents of the confirmed will be shown.

Protocols (Protokoll)
The protocols are administrative records for the parish. They contain minutes of administrative meetings and decisions relating to parish matters.

Accountings (Räkenskaper)
The account books will include records of financial transactions such as cash books, bookkeeping records and real estate transactions.

Member reception records (Intagna medlemmar)
These records record new members of the parish usually stating the name of the person, date of admission and the place where the person came from.

Member dismissal records (Utträdda medlemmar)
These records record the names of members who leave the parish. Usually, you will find the name of the person, departure date and where the person is going to.

omaha dismissalRecords of Dismissals of Members from Omaha Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nebraska, USA (NE) Vol:4 (1894-1916) Image 85 / page 247 (AID: v883294.b85.s247, NAD: ) Link.

Church anniversary document (Jubileumsskrift)
In many congregation archives you will find a church anniversary document celebrating a number of years in existence such as 25 years, 50 years, 75 years or 100 years. These documents usually present a short history of the church or a church organization such as a singing group or other group within the church. Sometimes in addition to the history of the church, biographical information and photos of members of the church are included.

Other documents (Övriga handlingar)
You may find other documents dependent upon the parish such as church school records, tomb or cemetery records, historical notes, church constitution, and attachments to migration records, newspaper clippings and other types of documents.

More information about Swedish American church books:
Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books.

ArkivDigital

Many church books from Nebraska are now online

During the summer, we published a blog that we were photographing Swedish American church books in Nebraska. See earlier blog. Since then, we have been working at full speed photographing and publishing the material.

We have photographed many types of documents, everything from congregation books, birth, marriage and death books to protocols, church accounts and much more. We have published over 110,000 images from 110 congregations. Still more material will be added in the future.

bertrand church

An image out of the Bertrand Immanuel Lutheran Church’s “Church-Register” for the years 1883-1907. For church members born in Sweden, both the birth parish and county are noted in the record. Link.

 

You can access these records by doing the following:

  • Select New archive search in ArkivDigital
  • Select County
  • Select Nebraska

Click here to read original blog in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Sven Anderson’s Life in Bucklin, Missouri

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many Swedish American church books from Kansas and a few from Missouri and Oklahoma. While the record types will vary by parish, the most common sets of records found in the books include:

  1. Congregation records or church registers (Församlingsböcker)
  2. Birth and christening records (Födelse- och dopböcker)
  3. Marriage records (Vigselböcker)
  4. Death and burial records (Död- och begravningsböcker)
  5. Catechetical records (Konfirmationsbok)
  6. Protocols (Protokoll)
  7. Accountings (Räkenskaper)
  8. Member reception records (Intagna medlemmar)
  9. Member dismissal records (Utträdda medlemmar)
  10. Anniversary documents (Jubileumsskrift)

The anniversary or commemorative booklets for a church celebrating a number of years such as 25, 50, 75 or 100 years in existence can be very interesting to browse. Many present a short history of the church and even occasionally biographical sketches and photographs of early settlers. These can be wonderful sources for learning about the lives of early Swedish American settlers in North America.

 

The Bucklin, Missouri, Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church 100-year commemorative booklet includes a number of biographies of early church members. One of the biographies is for Sven Anderson who emigrated from Nydala parish in Jönköping County in 1869. Below is a photo of Sven and his wife, Matilda.

photo of sven anderson

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD: )  Link.

 

You will also find a short biographical sketch of Sven’s life in the new country. The sketch includes birth dates, birth places, emigration dates and death dates for both him and his wife along with information about their children. It also states, “In 1870, they came to Bucklin, Mo, and bought 40 acres of land north of Bucklin in the rolling hills of Mussel Fork from the Railroad Co. Sven being a skilled workman built a 3-room frame house with fireplace. The barn was made of logs with a prairie hay roof.” Below is the image of the written biography.

sven andersson biography

Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:1 (1870-1970) Image 10 / page 7 (AID: v811754.b10.s7, NAD:)

 

You can find the commemorative booklet for the Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in ArkivDigital by doing the following:

  1. Select new archive search
  2. Click on county and select Missouri (USA) MO
  3. Select Bucklin Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church
  4. Select printed document 1870 – 1970

Below are links to additional blogs about the Swedish American church books:

Searching for a parish of origin in the Kansas church books

Swedish American Church books in Kansas

ArkivDigital

New Records Added in January

Produktkatalog

During January, our online archive has been updated with about 600,000 new records or about 1.2 million pages of historical records. You will find many new volumes accessible online.

Estate Inventories (Bouppteckningar)
As during the past autumn, we continue to focus on photographing the estate inventories for the period from 1901 to 1940. The estate inventories for Blekinge and Halland counties are now available online up to 1930. For Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties, the estate inventories to 1920 are now available and volumes between 1921 and 1930 are now being added.  Estate inventories for Värmland county up to 1910 are now available and volumes for the years 1911 to 1920 are being added.  In addition, many estate inventories have been added for most of the other counties.

Prison Lists and Supreme Court Protocols
Two other projects that have been ongoing for a longer period are the photographing of the prison lists for all of Sweden from the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the Supreme Court protocols. The prison lists for the period 1750-1814 are now available online as well as the Supreme Court protocols for the period 1694-1769.

Military Records
In the Army Pension Archive (Arméns pensionskassas), most of the merit, seniority and service records (meritband) of commissioned and non-commissioned officers up to 1883 are available online. Some individual volumes are missing but will be added in the near future. Currently, we are photographing the muster rolls 1620-1723 which you can find in the archive, Rullor 1623-1723.

Read more about our image database.

ArkivDigital