Church Book Tutorials

At conferences, we receive many questions from our English-speaking customers on where to find examples for reading the church books. Today, we would like to point out that we have some tutorials on our website. In addition, we want to point out a wonderful website that includes some instructional videos on reading birth records from the late 1800’s back to the early 1700’s using ArkivDigital images.

On our English website, you will find a section titled, Swedish Genealogy. In this section, you will find record examples with transcriptions and translations for birth, marriage, death, household examination and moving records and much more. Below are links to these tutorials.

birth tutorial

Also, we would like to point out a wonderful website (swedishgenealogyguide.com) which is free that includes some wonderful instructional videos including among others “Reading Gothic Handwriting for Swedish Genealogy” and several videos showing examples of reading birth records.

Click here to link to the learning center which lists the instructional videos.

ArkivDigital

Swedish Estate Inventory (Bouppteckning) Tutorials and Blogs

Estate Inventory Karl Johan ÖgrenAska, Dals och Bobergs domsaga FII:2 (1909-1909) Image 140 / page 3 (AID: v513944.b140.s3, NAD: SE/VALA/01625) (Link)

The Swedish Church Books are a gold mine for the Swedish genealogist providing a wealth of information and are usually the first source to use when researching one’s Swedish heritage. But there are many additional types of records that can help in researching one’s ancestor and gaining a better understanding of how one’s ancestor lived. One very wonderful resource is the bouppteckning or the estate inventory.

Today, we would like to provide a summary of our English tutorials and blogs providing tips on how to get started and researching in the estate inventories as well as the certificates of poverty in Stockholm.

  • Introduction to Swedish estate inventory research
    https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/swedish-estate-inventories (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/estate-inventory-bouppteckning-reading-example (Link)
  • Tips for finding an estate inventory register in an estate inventory volume
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/tips-for-finding-an-estate-inventory-register-in-an-estate-inventory-volume (Link)
  • Solving a genealogical mystery using an estate inventory
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/where-did-klara-settle-in-north-america (Link)
  • Browsing in the estate inventories
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/the-daughters-dowries (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/burial-costs (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/estate-inventory-more-than-300-pages (Link)
  • Introduction to the certificates of poverty in Stockholm
    https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/fattigbevis (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/certificate-of-poverty-fattigbevis-in-stockholm-city (Link)
    http://blog.arkivdigital.net/introduction-to-the-certificate-of-poverty-fattigbevis (Link)

ArkivDigital

Beginning Swedish Research Tutorials

churchbooksummaryAlgutsrum (H) CI:3 (1779-1854) Image 104 / page 203 (AID: v37085.b104.s203, NAD: SE/VALA/00005) Link.

Are you new to Swedish research and don’t know how to get started? Want to know more on how to research in the Swedish church books? Today, we would like to provide a summary of our English tutorials and blogs providing tips on how to get started and researching in the church books.

Tips for beginning Swedish research
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/research-tips (Link)

Introduction to Swedish Church Books
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/swedish-church-books (Link)

Birth Record Examples
1700’s birth record example (Link)
1800’s birth record example (Link)
1814 Christmas birth reading example (Link)

Marriage Record Examples
1700’s marriage record example (Link)
1800’s marriage record example (Link)
Marriage record example from Jönköping (Link)

Death Record Examples
1700’s death record example (Link)
1800’s death record example (Link)
Death record example from Söderfors parish (Link)

Household Record Example
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/late-1800s-household-examination-record-example (Link)

Moving In/Out Records Example
https://www.arkivdigital.net/swedish-genealogy/moving-records (Link)

Case Study – Searching for Birth Record
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/birth-record-search-and-reading-example/ (Link)

Case Study – Searching for Household Record
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/search-for-household-record-and-reading-example/ (Link)

ArkivDigital

Records over Non-Existing Persons

missing persons

At many conferences in North America, the question often comes up, “What are the records for non-existing persons?”  Volumes titled “records over non-existing persons” appear in the volume list for many parish archives on ArkivDigital’s English interface as shown in the above image.

The “records over non-existing persons” volume or “obefintlighetsbok” is a list of the persons within the parish whose whereabouts are unknown or in other words missing. Whenever a person moved out of the parish, they were supposed to advise the parish minister that they were leaving and where they were moving to. The minister gave the individual a moving out certificate showing information about his birth, last residence, character and religious standing and the minister recorded the information in the household examination book and moving out book. If the individual moved to another parish within Sweden, he or she would give the certificate to the new minister and that minister would record it in the moving in book and the household examination record. This is the reason why in most cases it is easy to trace a person whereabouts in the Swedish books.

However, there were many cases where the person left the parish without telling the minister. Before the 1880’s the ministers had much freedom as to how they would enter information in the household examination books about persons who disappeared. Some would just cross out the name while others would move the person to a “obefintlighet” page in the household examination book or the “obefintlighetsbok”.

In 1894, there was a requirement that the missing should be listing in a special category, “obefintlighet” or whereabouts not known.  Often you will find persons who emigrated without securing the necessary moving out papers in these lists.

You can read this article as well as other Swedish genealogy tutorials on our website in the section titled, Swedish Genealogy.

ArkivDigital

Birth record search and reading example

At many conferences in North America, many will stop by our booth and state that they have Swedish ancestry but are intimidated by the Swedish records because they are in Swedish. We explain that the church books are mostly tables of names, dates and places with headings and terms that are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, one finds it can be easy to work with the records even though one does not speak Swedish.

Today, we will search for a birth record and show that most of the record contains names, dates and place names. In order to search for a birth record, one needs the child’s Swedish name, birth parish and the birth date. Our search will be for the birth record of Elin Andersdotter born on the 13th of July, 1841 in the parish of Västra Torsås in Kronoberg county.

To begin the search, go to ArkivDigital and click on Search Archive. There are several methods for searching:

  • One method is to just enter Västra Torsås in the search box and click search. You will need to type in the Swedish characters.
  • Since we know the county, you can select advanced options and select county and then Kronoberg. You will now see a list of all the archives for Kronoberg county. Scroll down until you find Västra Torsås and then highlight the entry.
  • On the right side, you will see a volume list for Västra Torsås as shown in the image below.

search window

  • Search for the birth and christening records book that includes the year 1841.
  • Select the birth and christenings volume:  Västra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848).
  • Double click to open the book.
  • Search for a table of contents in the beginning of the book. Many volumes include multiple types of records.
  • In this volume, you will find a table of contents (Innehåll) (see image below).

birth contentsVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 3 (AID: v29905.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The table of contents shows the following entries:

  • Födelse- och dopbok 1815-1843 or birth and baptism book
  • ”              ”       ”             1844-1848
  • Lysnings- och vigselbok 1815-1848 or banns and marriage book
  • Död-och begravningsbok 1815-1848 or death and burial book

On the far right side, you will see the page numbers for each record type. Since we are looking for a birth record in 1841, we see that the birth records between 1815 and 1843 begin on page 5 and end on page 430. We now need to look for the birth records for the year 1841. One can estimate a page number and go directly to a page and then page forward or backwards until you find the records for 1841. Once you find the year 1841, then you search for the birth date, July 13th.  You will find Elin’s birth record on page 407.

elin birth recordVästra Torsås C:5 (1815-1848) Image 207 / page 407 (AID: v29905.b207.s407, NAD: SE/VALA/00453) Link.

The content and format of the birth records do vary by time and minister.  The format for this book is the following:

  • Column 1 – Child’s name
  • Column 2 – Birth date
  • Column 3 – Baptismal date
  • Column 4 – Parents’ names and residence followed by the names of the baptismal witnesses
  • Column 5 – Mother’s age

Record Transcription
Elin   13 14  Föräld. B. Anders Nilsson H. Ingrid Magnisdotter i Långasten   44
                      Vittnen Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson i Sjöby  H. Nil
                      la Nilsdotter i Källhult Pig. Maria Simonsdtr. i Sjöby

Record Translation
The child, Elin, was born on July 13, 1841 and baptized on July 14, 1841. Her parents were farmer Anders Nilsson and his wife Ingrid Magnisdotter residing at Långasten. The baptismal witnesses were Nils Petersson, Bengt Abrahamsson at Sjöby, wife Nilla Nilsdotter at Källhult and maid Maria Simonsdotter at Sjöby. Elin’s mother age is 44 years old.

As you can see this record contains primarily dates, names and place names. The only Swedish words in this birth record are:

B.              abbreviation for bonde or farmer
Föräld.     abbreviation for föräldrar or parents
H.              abbreviation for hustru or wife
i                 at, by
Pig.           abbreviation for piga or maid
Vittnen    witnesses

You can find more birth record examples on our website by clicking here.

In a future blog, we will show you how to locate Elin with her family in the household examination book for the year 1841.

ArkivDigital

“Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” “Grill”

Many persons who research their family history discover an ancestor who was a soldier. When one finds a soldier ancestor, one wants to find out what additional information one can find out about this person in the military records or primarily the general muster rolls. But where does one look in the muster rolls?   Often the church book does not provide any information about which regiment or company the soldier served in.

In order to find an entry point in the general muster rolls, the publication “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket” or “Statistical Digest of the Swedish Army System” by Claes Lorentz Grill (1817-1907) is a great help. Many researchers refer to this wok as the “Grill”.

“Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket”  was produced in four volumes during the years 1855-1858.

  1. ”Rusthålls-regementene” (1855)  – Calvary regiments
  2. ”Rothålls-regementene” (1856) – Infantry regiments
  3. ”Båtsmans-kompanierne” (1858)  – Navy companies
  4. ”Extra roteringen” (1857) – Extra districts

In ArkivDigital, you will find the four publications in the archive, “Printed literature”, where the volume names are Grill: 1-4.  Also, there is a parish register to the volumes and this is named, “GrillReg: 1”.

For each General Muster Roll archive (Generalmönsterrullor), there is a link to the actual part of the Grill applicable for that regiment. When you select the volume, the text will display the page numbers in the info box where you can find information about this particular regiment as shown in the picture below.

grillinfo

Example on using Grill
Let us assume that we are searching for a soldier who we know from the church records lived in Hinnäs in Stora Malm’s parish.

  1. Click on advanced search.
  2. Select archive type and select the printed literature archive.
  3. Search in the parish register: Tryckt litteratur GrillReg:1 volume.
  4. Search for Stora Malm and you will see “II 38” which directs us to page 38 in the volume Grill: 2.
  5. Open the volume for Grill: 2 and go to page 38. There you will discover that Hinnäs in Stora Malm parish belonged to the Södermanland regiment, Livkompaniet and is rote number 3. (See image below.)

storamalmTryckt litteratur Grill:2 (1856-1856) Image 240 / page 39 (AID: v792654.b240.s39, NAD: SE/AD/00001)  Link

We now have a starting point where we can begin to search for the soldier in the muster rolls for the Södermanland Regiment.

This article was previously published in the Swedish blog on March 13, 2015.  Read the Swedish version.

ArkivDigital

Research in Stockholm City 1878-1926

A question that is often asked at conferences and lectures is, “Why are there not any household examination books for Stockholm city parishes at the end of the 1800’s?”  The answer is simple. No household examination records were produced so they do not exist.

Researching in the cities is a little different from researching in the rural areas. And Stockholm research has some unique challenges because of the non-existence of the household examination records beginning in the late 1870’s.   Instead of the household examination books and congregation books for the years 1878-1926, there exists a population register in Stockholm called the roteman’s archive (rotemansarkivet).

Stockholm grew rapidly during the second half of the 19th century and it was common for individuals to frequently move. In order to maintain an accurate population register, a new municipal organization was created called the Roteman’s Institution (rotemansinstitutionen). Stockholm was divided into a number of districts called rotar.  In each district or rote, there was a city employee (roteman) responsible for recording the population statistics.  All who lived in a real estate property (fastighet) were registered in a special ledger.

Currently, the Stockholm City Archives is in the process of digitizing these records and making the material searchable online for free at the Stockholm City Archives site.  While not all the records have been registered, much has been completed and is now available online. This is an extremely valuable resource for Stockholm research. However, it is important to remember that this is a register and there is always a possibility of an error.

Other church books such as the birth, marriage, death, moving in and moving out records exist for Stockholm parishes and these are found in ArkivDigital. The moving in/out records for Stockholm are a very good source because these often contain more information than the moving in/out records for rural areas.

As in other cities, there are many parishes in Stockholm and not all have Stockholm in their name. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to identify which parishes exist in the city of Stockholm. You can create a list of Stockholm city only parishes by doing the following:

  1. In ArkivDigital, click on the advanced options search button
  2. Select county, Stockholm stads
  3. Select archive type, parish/congregation

stockholm city research

To search in the roteman’s archive on the Stockholm’s city archives site, click here.  Click on the English flag for the English version.

ArkivDigital

 

Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)

The tax/population registers (mantalslängderna) are an important replacement source in cases where the parish records have been destroyed.  Even in cases where the church records have not been destroyed, the household examination records only go back to the early 1800’s or late 1700’s in many parishes.

The tax/population registers exist from the middle of the 1600’s and while they are not as detailed as the household examination records; they do provide the possibility to continue to follow a family backwards.

Several copies of the tax registers were created. ArkivDigital is photographing the two copies which are preserved at the regional archives primarily the district/city registers and the county rural copies.

The original copy of the tax register exists in the district (häradsskrivarnas) archive. This is the copy that one should use since as a rule it is the one that generally contains the most information. The district office was responsible for the tax registers for the rural areas.  For the cities, you can find original copies of the tax registers in the city hall and magistrates archive, crown treasurer’s archive (kronokassörens arkiv), crown accountancy (kronokamrerarens) or tax collection (uppbördsverkets) archives.

Below is an image of a 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish in Jönköpng county.

Svenarum mantal Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 158 / page 299 (AID: v400751b.b158.s299, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link

To search for the above record, one method is:

  1. Click on advanced options in the ArkivDigital program.
  2. Search by archive type.
  3. In the archive selection, select country office.
  4. Select Jönköpings läns landskontor.
  5. Open the population register volume that includes the year 1787.
  6. Open the volume and look for a place or parish index.
  7. You will find a place index at the following reference: Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 3 (AID: v400751b.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link
  8. The place index states that the tax register for Svenarum for 1787 begins on page 298.
  9. Go to page 298 and you will find the beginning page for the 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish as shown above.

For most counties, the copies of the tax registers up to 1820 from the regional archives are now available on ArkivDigital. These records are found in the district registrar or country office archives.

ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital at RootsTech 2015

Exhibit Hall

ArkivDigital was represented at RootsTech 2015 (February 12-14) in Salt Lake City by Kathy Meade, ArkivDigital’s North American representative, along with Dan Hubbard from Chicago and Anneli Andersson from Sweden. RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference in North America and RootsTech 2015 was huge.  There were over 20,000 registered attendees from 49 U.S. States and 35 countries, 170 exhibitors and over 300 lectures plus several evening events.

Kathy Meade gave a presentation on ArkivDigital to a packed room on Friday, February 13th.  There was strong interest and every seat in the presentation room was taken with some persons standing and sitting on the floor.

Presentation BloggTable

ArkivDigital had a booth in the exhibit hall with three workstations and there was a steady stream of visitors every day asking questions about  ArkivDigital and how to use the service, how to find the place where their Swedish ancestor came from in Sweden, requests for reading assistance in reading records and many other Swedish genealogy and research questions.  We wish to give our thanks to the many who stopped by and said, “ArkivDigital is the best for Swedish research”.

You can read more about RootsTech 2015 here.

ArkivDigital

Via Handelsaffär (A General Store) in Hackvad

ArkivDigital is much more than just church books. We have many types of records that can help you gain a better understanding of how your ancestor lived.  One interesting source is an accounts book for the general store (Via Handelsaffär) in Hackvad in Örebro county. In our online library, you will find an account book for the years 1882-1886. Karl Johan Nilsson, the shopkeeper of Via Handelsaffär, recorded the names of all who shopped at the store listing the items purchased and the amounts paid.  So, if you happen to have ancestors who lived near Hackvad at this time; you may have ancestors who shopped in this store.

Hackvad Journal

Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad Journal:1 (1882-1886) Image 80 / page 12 (AID: v785801.b80.s12)  Link

In the above image, we can see that the farmhand (drängen) Joh. Emil Carlsson purchased the following items on the 2nd of February 1883:

  • rakknif (shaver)
  • borste (brush)
  • tvål (soap)

On the 10th of February, he purchased 6 pairs of socks (par strumpor).

Also, you can find some pictures of Karl Johan Nilsson and Via Handelsaffär in the volume, Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad Historik:1.

You can find these volumes, by using the advanced search function in ArkivDigital online and selecting archive type, private archives.  Then select the archive, Via Handelsaffär, Hackvad.

ArkivDigital