Another look at Swedish American Church Books

ArkivDigital has Swedish-American church books for the following states in ArkivDigital’s online library:

  • Illinois – 2
  • Iowa – 88
  • Kansas – 99
  • Minnesota – 125
  • Missouri – 9
  • Nebraska – 120
  • Oklahoma – 1
  • South Dakota – 1
  • Wisconsin – 12

The Swedish-American church books include birth, marriage, death, membership, reception of members, dismissal of members, protocols and account records. Often you will find anniversary booklets, church histories, attachments to records and even in some congregation archives family histories. The types of records vary by parish and denomination. Click here for more information about types of church records.

The membership books for the Swedish-American Lutheran churches are very similar to the Swedish household/congregation books. These records have often been the link in helping Swedish-Americans identify where in Sweden their ancestor came from. Below is an example from Trade Lake Zion Lutheran Church in Wisconsin for Per Erik Erikson and his family.

per erik eriksonTrade Lake Zion Lutheran Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:2 (1895-1943) Image 54 / Page 23 (AID: v904701.b54.s23) https://app.arkivdigital.se/volume/v904701?image=54

The above record shows that Per Erik was born on the 27 of September 1848 in Linde (Lindesberg) parish in Örebro county and that he joined this congregation in 1889 and arrived in America in 1880. The record shows his wife, Anna Rosenqvist, who was born on the 16th of July 1862 in Vinslof (Vinslöv) parish in Kristianstad county, followed by the names of their children and their birth information. The record shows that Anna immigrated in 1881. Sometimes, the date of marriage will be shown on the membership record but in this case it is not. More research will be required to find the marriage date. The first child, Harry Lawrence, is shown as having been born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1884 and the next child was born in Trade Lake in 1886. So, it appears that the family moved from St. Paul to Trade Lake between 1884 and 1886 and then joined the congregation in 1889.

With the above information, we can search in the Swedish church books for Per Erik’s birth record.

per eriks birth recordLindesberg (T) CI:13 (1833-1850) Image 408 (AID: v53511.b408, NAD: SE/ULA/10851)
https://app.arkivdigital.se/volume/v53511?image=408

The birth record confirms his birth date as the 27th of September 1848 and that his parents were Erik Olsson and Maria Andersdotter. His mother was 29 years old at the time of his birth. The family lived in a place in the parish named Ryda.

Also, with a little further research, we can see the notation in the household record showing his move to North America in 1880.

erik move to americaLindesberg (T) AIc:19 (1871-1881) Image 229 / Page 225 (AID: v52142.b229.s225, NAD: SE/ULA/10851) https://app.arkivdigital.se/volume/v52142?image=229&page=225&register_collection=28

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Passenger Ship Manifests in ArkivDigital

Today, we will review the passenger ship manifests, passenger lists and emigrant registers within ArkivDigital. Earlier we have written about these records in a couple of blogs. See blog dated 8 December 2014 and blog dated 12 May 2015.

Passenger ship manifests for emigrants leaving from Göteborg (1869-1951), Malmö (1874-1939) and Stockholm (1869-1940) ports are available on ArkivDigital. Also, you will find passenger lists for persons leaving from Helsingborg and passport journals (passjournaler) for persons traveling from Norrköping both in and outside of Sweden. You will find these records in the police archives by doing the following:

  • Select Archive search
  • Select “police archives” under index source

You will find the following entries in the volume list:

  • Göteborgs poliskammare (-1900)
  • Norrköpings poliskammare. Huvudarkivet Polisen in Helsingborg
  • Poliskammaren i Malmö
  • Överståthållarämbetet för polisärenden 1 (ÖÄ): Äldre poliskammaren  (Stockholm 1869-1904)
  • Överståthållarämbetet för polisärenden 2 (ÖÄ): Poliskammaren (Stockholm 1905-1940)

While most of the passenger ship manifests and lists are not name searchable, there are name registers for the following years for passengers leaving from Göteborg: 1871, 1894, 1895 and 1896. Also, there are name registers for persons leaving from Malmö for the years: 1887, 1888, 1892, 1893, 1894 and 1895.

The emigrant registers for Göteborg are listed in alphabetical order both in last name and first name order. Below is the emigrant register for 1871 for Göteborg showing Jöns Svensson age 46 leaving from Unnaryd with the destination of St. Paul departing 9 June 1871 followed by the source code.

jons emigrant registerEmigrantregister EmiReg:1 (1871-1871) Image 2310 / page 443 (AID: v830632.b2310.s443, NAD: ) Link.

The source code is 5:383:4357. The source code includes: the volume number, page number and contract number. To find the manifest for Jöns, one does the following:

  • Return to the volume list in the police archives for Göteborgs poliskammare (-1900)
  • Open Volume EIX:5
  • Go to page 383
  • Look for contract 4357

Below is the manifest for Jöns showing him leaving on the ship, Rollo, traveling to Hull, England on June 9, 1871.

Jons manifestGöteborgs poliskammare (-1900) (O) EIX:5 (1871-1871) Image 1930 / page 383 (AID: v479729.b1930.s383, NAD: SE/GLA/12703) Link.

The format of the source code for Mälmo differs from the source code for Göteborg. Below is the emigrant register for Mälmo for the year 1888 showing Botilla P. Månsdotter age 25 leaving from Backaryd going to Chicago on the 31st of May 1888.

botilla emigration recordEmigrantregister EmiReg:7 (1887-1888) Image 1030 / page 191 (AID: v830638.b1030.s191, NAD: ) Link.

The source code is 3245: 1930. The format of the source code is entry number and contract number.  To find Botilla’s manifest, one does the following:

  • Return to the volume list in the police archives for Poliskammaren i Malmö.
  • Search for the volume for the year 1888 that includes the entry number 3245.
  • The information box will show the ranges of entry numbers for the volume. See below.

malmo entrySearching for Malmö passenger ship manifess for year 1888 and entry #3245

  • Open the volume and search for entry number 3245. The entry numbers are in numerical order. The contract number is next to the entry number. Below is the manifest.

botilla manifestPoliskammaren i Malmö (M) D3:28 (1888-1888) Image 1150 / page 250 (AID: v449930.b1150.s250, NAD: SE/MSA/00780) Link.

You can find an article, Introduction to Swedish Passenger Ship Manifests, on our website that gives more information about the manifests as well as heading translations.

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