Obituaries and Genealogies in Swedish American Record Collections

We have Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital for several states in the United States primarily in the Midwest. One interesting collection is the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church in Trade Lake in Burnett county, Wisconsin. Among the types of records, you will find in this archive include the typical church books collections such as congregation books, death records, attachments to migration records and anniversary booklets.

But there are also newspaper clippings of obituaries and genealogies for persons who lived in Trade Lake or the nearby area. Many of these are for emigrants or families of emigrants from Sweden.

The obituary collection is titled dödsrunor in the volume list and the death notices are in alphabetical order. Below is the volume list showing these volumes. You can hover over the ‘i” to see the first letters of the names ncluded in the volume.

dodsrunor

Below is the obituary for Andrew Bjork who was born on September 7, 1838 in Ljusnarsberg, Örebro, Sweden.

bjork obituary

Another set of volumes are titled familjehistoria or family histories. If you hover your mouse over the ‘i”, the family name will be visible.

family history

Below is the first page for the family history for the descendants of Johan Olof Akerlind shown as born August 6, 1822 in Fellingsbro, Örebro.

akerlund family history

To find the church books for the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church:

  • Log in to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive Search
  • Select country, United States
  • Select state, Wisconsin
  • Open the archive for the Trade Lake Swedish Mission Church

 ArkivDigital

Immigrant Stories in the Swedish American Church Books

ArkivDigital’s online archive includes many Swedish American church books primarily from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota. But we also have a few from Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The types of records vary between congregations. The most common sets of records are congregation or membership rolls, birth, marriage, death, confirmation, church protocols, church accounts, anniversary booklets and other types of records.

One of the most interesting set of records is the anniversary booklet (jubileumsskrift). Often these booklets include a history of the church and settlement and describes the life of the early immigrants in North America. Some of these books also contain wonderful biographical sketches and pictures.

john benson imageBucklin Swedish Mission Covenant Church, Missouri, USA (MO) Vol:13 (1880-1980) Image 17 / Page 31 (AID: v950811.b17.s31)

The above image is taken from the Centennial Celebration booklet for the Swedish Mission Covenant Church in Bucklin, Missouri. There is a short biographical sketch of John Benson born Johannes Bengtsson in Skummeslöv parish in Halland county in Sweden on April 4, 1852. It states that he first lived in St. Louis, Missouri and worked for the Johansen Shoe company and then moved to a farm north of Bucklin in 1881. The sketch gives information about his wife and children and states that he died on July 24, 1900.

With the information in the anniversary booklet, we can search for his birth record in ArkivDigital and then trace him forward in the household books until his emigration in 1871. Below is his birth record showing his birth of the 4th of April 1852 at Allarp in Skummeslöv parish. His parents are noted as B. P. Persson and Christina Bengtsdotter. His mother was 32 years old at the time of his birth.

john benson's birth recordSkummeslöv (N) CI:3 (1824-1860) Image 380 / Page 69 (AID: v93216a.b380.s69, NAD: SE/LLA/13348)

To find the Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital:

  • Log in at app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select Archive Search.
  • Select country, United States.
  • You can also limit the search by state.

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Swedish American Church Book Status Update

Today, we will give an update of the status of the Swedish-American church books that are available in ArkivDigital. Most of the new books are for churches in Iowa and a few more in Minnesota.

We have church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 82 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 113 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

swedesburg church       The first Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church that was built in 1868 and destroyed by fire in 1883.

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select Archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Iowa). Then a list of congregations for that state will appear.
  • Select the congregation that you desire.

search for iowa church books

Click here for more information about Swedish-American church book records.

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April 2019 Events in North America

new england conference logo

ArkivDigital will be visiting Moline, Illinois, Manchester, New Hampshire and Beloit, Wisconsin in April. We would love to meet you if you are in the area.

 

 

New England Regional Genealogical Conference, NERGC 2019

We will be at the New  England Regional Genealogical Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 4-6, 2019. We will have an exhibit booth and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will give a presentation on Friday, April 5 titled, Research Your Swedish Heritage Using ArkivDigital. 

The exhibit hall is open 9 AM to 5 PM on Thursday and Friday and 9 AM to 3:30  PM on Saturday. Please attend our presentation and stop by our booth #502 to learn more about ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy. We look forward to meeting you. For more information, click here.


Stateline Genealogy Club at the Beloit Public Library
Kathy Meade will give a presentation and demonstration of ArkivDigital at the Public Library in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Friday, April 12.
Click here for more information.

45th Annual Quad Cities Genealogical Conference
ArkivDigital will be an exhibitor at the 45th Annual Quad Cities Genealogical Conference in Moline, Illinois on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
Click here for more information.

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Swedish Portraits (Svenska Porträttgalleri)

ArkivDigital’s online library includes many types of records such as the church books, estate inventories, court records, tax registers and military records. But there are many additional types of records within ArkivDigital including scanned books. One interesting set is the Svenskt Porträttgalleri.

The Svenskt Porträttgalleri includes 26 volumes of portraits and biographical data for over 20,000 persons who represented key segments of Swedish life including clergy, military officers, academics, doctors, publishers, financiers, and others. The series includes a general register or an index which lists all the individuals in alphabetical order and points to the volume that shows the photograph and biography. You can find these volumes in ArkivDigital by going to archive search and selecting archive type, printed litterature.

As an example, we will look for Gustaf Unonius, who was the founder of St. Ansgarius Church established in 1849 in Chicago, Illinois. This was the first Scandinavian church in Chicago. To find the biographical data for Gustav Unonius in the Svenskt Porträttgalleri, do the following:

  • Access ArkivDigital (app.arkivdigital.se).
  • Select archive search.
  • Select archive type – printed litterature.
  • Select the archive – Svenskt Porträttgalleri.
  • Open the general register volume. The names are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Below is the register entry.

unonius registerSvenskt porträttgalleri (o) Generalregister (1913) Image 3900 / Page 765 (AID: v903628.b3900.s765)

The information in the register is an abbreviated biographical sketch along with pointing out where we can find his portrait and a more detailed biography in Volume 15 (XV). The information shown in the register is the following:

Unonius, Gustaf Elias Marius was born in Helsingfors (Helsinki, Finland) on the 25th of August 1810. He was a pastor at an Anglo-American church, a customs collector in Grisslehamn and died in Hacksta parish in Uppsala county on the 14th of October 1902.

The next step is to go to Volume XV. You will see that Volume XV and XVI are in the same volume in ArkivDigital. The names are listed in alphabetical order for each volume. Browse through the book to search for Gustaf Unonius. Below is his photograph and a more detailed biographical sketch.

gustaf unonius full biographySvenskt porträttgalleri (o) XV-XVI (1897-1900) Image 990 / Page 181 (AID: v903622.b990.s181)

In the above record, you will find a few more details about Gustaf Elias Marius Unonius’s life. Additional information in this record includes that he studied in Uppsala, emigrated to America in 1841, studied at an Anglo-American seminary in Wisconsin in 1843, ordained to the priesthood in 1845, was a pastor at the Swedish-Norwegian parish, St. Ansgarius in Chicago in 1849 and still a priest in the Anglo-American church and returned to Sweden in 1858. In 1860, for his work with the Swedish immigrants in America he was given a reward of 3,000 riksdaler. He worked as a customs official in Grisslehamn from 1863 to 1888. The last portion of the sketch list some of his publications and probably the best known being Minnen fr. en Sjuttonåring vistelse in nordvestra Amerika or Memoir for a Seventeen-Year Stay i Northwest America. This work has been translated into English with the title of A Pioneer in Northwest America 1841-1858, The Memoirs of Gustaf Unonius.

The Svenskt Porträttgalleri is a wonderful source for finding photographs and some biographical information about persons active in Swedish society.

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Memory Album (Minnesalbum) from Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Wisconsin

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Iowa – 60 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 106 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest. In the archives for the Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Burnett County, Wisconsin, you will find a minnesalbum or a memory album.

This congregation was established on the 5th of June 1869 in Knut Anderson’s schoolhouse. Below is an image listing the names of the early congregants and where they came from in Sweden.

frederic trade blogFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (left side of the image)

Below is an image of John Ring, the first pastor of the church, and his wife.

john ringFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (right side of the image)

John Ring or Jonas Ring was born in Delsbo, Gävleborg, Sweden on the 16th of February 1829. (Note – the record in the album states that he is from Ilsbo but he was actually born in Delsbo but did live part of his life in Ilsbo.)  He and his wife and children emigrated from Sundsvall, Västernorrland. Below is the household record showing them moving to America along with a notation that he and his wife are Baptists.

ring household recordSundsvalls Gustav Adolf (Y) AI:6b (1851-1866) Image 179 / Page 468 (AID: v122499.b179.s468, NAD: SE/HLA/1010190)

ArkivDigital

Swedish-American Church Book Status

Today, we will give a status of the Swedish-American church books that are available in ArkivDigital as well as links to the English blogs giving more information about these records.

We have Swedish-American church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 29 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 101 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

madrid iowa church

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select Archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska). Then a list of congregations for that state will appear.
  • Select the congregation that you desire.

Below is a list of blogs with links for more information about the Swedish-American church books:

ArkivDigital

More Swedish American Church Books in ArkivDigital

Today, we will give a status of the Swedish American church books that are available in ArkivDigital as well as links to the English blogs giving more information about these records.

red oak church recordRed Oak Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Iowa, USA (IA) Vol:1 -1890 Image 31 / Page 35 (AID: v903645.b31.s35) Link.

We have Swedish American church books for the following states:

  • Iowa – 7 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 80 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 9 congregations

To search for Swedish American church books in ArkivDigital, do the following:

  • Select New archive search.
  • Select country – United States
  • Then select desired state (for example – Nebraska).
  • A list of the congregations for that state will appear.

select swedish american church

Below is a list of blogs with links for more information about the Swedish American church books:

ArkivDigital

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

September Events in North America

cropped-stor-logo-600x452px-namn-och-symbol-transparent-300x300

During September, we will be exhibiting and giving presentations about ArkivDigital at GenealogyKC 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Nordic Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah and at FinnFest USA in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will also be traveling with Swedish genealogists from Sweden for the SwedGen Tour 2017 with stops in Madison, Wisconsin, Rock Island, Illinois during September and Lindsborg, Kansas in October.

GenealogyKC 2017 – Kansas City, Missouri
GenealogyKC 2017 is a conference for those interested in family history and will be held in Kansas City, Missouri on September 8-9th. Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving presentations on ArkivDigital and Swedish genealogy on both days of the conference. Click here for program and registration information.

Nordic Family History Conference – Salt Lake City, Utah and Webinar
On Tuesday, September 12, Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving three presentations on ArkivDigital at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City as part of the week long Nordic Family History Conference. There will be 120 seats available onsite and 500 spots for webinar attendees. In person and webinar attendance is free, but you must register.  Click here for program and registration information.

FinnFest USA – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be giving a presentation about ArkivDigital at the Finland 100 Genealogy Forum on Thursday, September 21st at FinnFest USA at the Minneapolis Hilton in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More Information.

SwedGen 2017
Swedish genealogists from Sweden along with Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will be leading one-day Swedish genealogy workshops in Madison, Wisconsin on September 23rd, Rock Island, Illinois on September 30th and a 2-day workshop in Lindsborg, Kansas on October 7-8. There will be lectures on records on ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics along with opportunities for individual consultations. This will be a great learning opportunity for both the beginner and the advanced researcher.

Click here for program and registration information for Madison, Wisconsin on September 23rd.

Click here for program and registration information for Rock Island, Illinois on September 30th.

Click here for program and registration information for Lindsborg, Kansas on October 7th and 8th.

More information about SwedGen 2017.

Visit our event calendar to see events in North America.

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