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The purpose of this page is not to teach Swedish genealogy but to give information to Americans and other non-Swedes on how to trace their roots in the Swedish sources.

In Swedish Genealogy newsgroups, you often see Americans asking about census records in Sweden. However, in Sweden the Church records are the primary sources of information you need to look at.

The Reformation in 1525 divided the Catholic Church into two parts, the Protestant Church and the Roman Catholic Church. In 1527 the Swedish King Gustav Vasa proclaimed Sweden a Protestant nation with an Evangelical Lutheran Church; Church of Sweden
At the same time the King made himself Head of the Church. The Catholic Church was forbidden and if you belonged to any other religion than the Lutheran Church, you were subject to the death penalty.

So, from that day Sweden only had one Church. This also means that the Swedish Church records covers the entire population of the nation.

In 1608, the archbishop ordered the parish ministers/clergy to begin recording christenings, marriages and deaths. However, most ministers did not comply. In 1622, the bishop of Västerås instructed the parish ministers in his diocese to keep records.
In 1686, Sweden enacted a law stating that the Church had to keep official Church records. There were, of course, Church records before that but now every minister had to keep records in his parish. 

So, from the 17th century on, Sweden has excellent records of its citizens, which makes it easy for you to trace your Swedish family history.
Before you start, gather what you know about your family and its Swedish roots. Ask the your oldest living relatives about names, places and dates etc. 

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What do I need to know about my family before I start?

The Church records are organized parish by parish. Every parish kept its own records. So, to get an entry you need to know the parish name (socken / församling) and the years when your ancestors lived in that parish. It is also good to know the county or the province because there could be more than one parish with the same name.
If you don’t know the name of the parish, write down the name of the place where your relatives lived, nearby cities, rivers etc. Have a look in family Bibles, old letters etc.
Together this information could help you to identify the parish.    

The Swedish counties are quite large by area and have a role more similar to the States in the USA and are therefore better compared to the US states rather than the US counties.
A socken (after 1862 the kommun) on the other hand is better compared to the US county.

So, when you do a reference to a place in Sweden you should state both the county (or the province) and the parish, socken (after 1862 to the församling).
A county is a
too large area to pinpoint a place; you should always include socken/församling (parish). The parish is also your key to the archive records.

Be aware that the spelling of places and names could be “Americanized.” For example, we have three more letters in the Swedish alphabet, å, ä and ö, than the English alphabet. See below.
See
How to type Swedish characters.

The spelling of places could also be old, that is the name of a place could be spelled a bit differently today.
The spelling of a person's name could have been changed in the U.S. An immigrant could have changed his name to sound more American.
For example Nils became Nels, Bernt became Bent, Karl or Carl became Charles, Gustav - Gust etc. The surname Svensson became Swanson or Swenson, Bergström became Bergstrom, Andersson became Anderson. The “son” names are always spelled with two “ss” in Swedish.

In Sweden country people begun using family names at the end of the 1800-hundreds, that is the children inherited the surname of their fathers. Other groups in Sweden, such as the nobility, town people, craftsmen, clergy etc adopted family names much earlier than the country people.
However, from early times Sweden has used patronymic surnames. That means that the children were given a last name ending with -son or -dotter (daughter) that started with the father’s first name. If a man called Anders had a son named Karl then Karl very given the last name Andersson and a daughter of Anders received the patronymic (last name) Andersdotter. If Karl had a son then his son's last name would be Karlsson.
If you have traced your family history to a man by the name Anders Persson,
you will
then know that his father's first name was Per.  
See also
Swedish naming practices in earlier times

In Sweden we have a law called "The Secrecy Act." According to this act no church records etc. is "public" until it is 70 years old. Parish ministers and court officials will, however, give information for any legitimate reason from the records under their jurisdiction, which are still under the 70-year rule. 

The Swedish Alphabet

The Swedish alphabet has three more letters than the English; Å, Ä and Ö. They are distinct letters and ordered at the end of the alphabet, after Z; [ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÅÄÖ].

So, letters Å and Ä are not a variant of letter A and letter Ö is not a variant of letter O.
Å, Ä and Ö are instead distinct letters in the alphabet.

It is therefore not a good idea to replace all letters Å and Ä with an “A” and all letters Ö with an “O” in your family tree, since this type of incorrect spelling might cause confusion regarding names of people and names of places.

Names of people:
For example, suppose that you have an ancestor by the family name Jönsson listed as Jonsson in your family tree.
This is very doubtful since Jonsson is another surname but not the same surname as Jönsson. Both Jönsson and Jonsson is petty common surnames and by listing him by the surname Jonsson he has become a person with an incorrect surname.
However, since both Jönsson and Jonsson are existing names it is difficult to know if Jonsson should be interpreted as Jonsson or Jönsson.

An ancestral name such as Sjöberg for example is not causing much problems when listed as Sjoberg since Sjoberg is not a name used in Sweden and therefore easy for a Swede to interpret as Sjöberg.

Names of places:
I was helping an American a few years ago with an ancestor of his. The place his ancestor came from was, according to him, Boda.
Boda is a place in Småland, known for its many glassworks. However, I couldn’t find any trace of his ancestor in Boda.
Then I came to think that he might have misspelled Boda. Maybe he meant Böda?
Böda is a place in Öland. So, when I searched his ancestor in Böda I found him.
So, Boda and Böda are two different places.

Try to avoid replacing letters Å and Ä with an “A” and letter Ö with an “O”. The dots matter.

I can understand that it is a is a bit more difficult to type Å, Ä and Ö on an English keyboard but not impossible. I have a webpage describing how to type these three Swedish national characters on an English keyboard and why it can cause problems or confusion by replacing them by A or O.
See How to type Swedish characters

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Church Records

Sweden did not really have any equivalence to the US birth, marriage or death certificates. Births, marriages and deaths were instead kept in special ledgers in each parish. So, what you want to look at are these ledgers or church books / church records.
I guess you can get an excerpt of these records if you ask the Archives but a better idea is to copy the page with the actual entry in the church book, once written by the parish minister.

Other records

All these records are in handwriting and of course, in Swedish. They will provide you with information about your family.

What kind of information will you find? It depends upon the record, of course. The fact that the Church and Military Records are in Swedish should not give you too much problem. If you learn a few keywords you should be able to understand them. It probably will be more difficult to understand handwriting in old Swedish (which also can be difficult for Swedes) rather than the fact that they are in Swedish. But normally the old Swedish should not be a large problem. The records from the 19th century are easier to read then the ones from 18th century.  

Dictionaries:

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Content of the Church Records  

In the archives every source of information has a code name or a record code. Each type of Church record has its own code. Within each group, the volumes are numbered in chronological order. The first or oldest record within a group of records for a parish are numbered 1 and thereafter in chronological order.
For example, the record code for the Household Examination Rolls are AI. The oldest volume of Household Examination Rolls of a parish would then be AI:1, next AI:2 etc.

Household Examination Rolls (Husförhörslängder, HFL)

Record code: AI.

The Household Examination Rolls only go back as far as 1700, but most rolls start much later. From the beginning of the 19th century they are available for most parishes. The records were kept parish by parish. Entries were made currently during the year, like an annual census. In the beginning each parish roll (ledger) included a period of one year but later the periods were extended to 5 years. That means that the same entries were used for 5 years (later even for 10 years). All the changes in a family, for example, birth, marriages, death, moving etc were made on the same pages. That could mean that an entry is crossed out or changed (over written). 

In the Household rolls the minister kept information about his congregation and parishioners. These rolls were a clerical examination of the household members for their competence in Luther’s Catechism and reading.

In the rolls each household was recorded separately. So each roll was arranged in order farm by farm or dwelling by dwelling. For each dwelling you can follow the family. All members of a family were entered and also farmhands, maids etc. that lived on the farm. Here you will find changes to a family, information when they moved to the dwelling or when they moved to another place. If they moved within the parish, the name of the place and date will be listed. If then moved to another parish, the name of that parish and date will be listed. If a child is illegitimate it will be noted, often with the code (Oäkta barn).  
All the children in a family will be listed together with the parents. 

Other information that you will find about each person is:  
Full name, birth date, birth place (normally the parish name), marriage date, confirmation dates, occupation, common notes about each person etc.
The later rolls have more information than the earlier ones. 

If the man was a soldier you will find his soldier’s name and number. 

So, the household examination rolls (HFL) are ledgers covering a certain amount of years, normally 5 or 10 years. Within a parish’s household roll you will find village by village and per village household per household. In a way each page in a rolls correspond to an address.
If a family moved within the parish during such a period, they would be listed at several pages in the roll. They would be listed at the old address (page) but here crossed over with a forwarding notation. Then they would be listed at the new address (page) with a notation regarding which place they moved from. So, it is common to find people listed at different locations within the parish if they have moved. They will then be crossed over at pages where they no longer lived.

Use this roll as your major source to trace your family roots. Confirm dates in the birth-, marriage- and death records. If you find differences between this roll and for example the birth records use the date in the birth records. 
If you find a birth record in the roll, look it up in the birth records and you will find the name of the parents and the place where they lived at that time. 

The first volume of the rolls within each parish is called AI:1, the second AI:2 etc.   

Example of an extract from a household examination roll:

Left-hand side: 
Household examination roll
Above is an extract of an household roll: Ekshärad (S) AI:38 (1886-1890) image 75 / page 65 (AID: v10795.b75.s65, NAD: SE/VA/13100). Left-hand page.
This roll covers the period 1886 - 1890 for Ekshärad parish, Värmland (S). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The above image shows Bengt Jönsson and his family between 1886 and 1890. The family then lived in Basterud, Ekshärad parish.
Bengt was then a settler (Nyb. = Nybyggare) in Acksjön, Basterud, Ekshärad parish. In the top left corner, we also see the parish minister's note "öst på skogen" (east of the forest) as a direction to Bengt's settlement.

Explanations:
1st column: names of the family members. After daughter Maria's name the reverend has made the remarkable notation "idiot".
2nd, 3rd and 4th columns:  Birth data, Year (år), day and month and place of birth (ort). Bengt above was born on September 18, 1844. Note 18/9 = September 18 (DD/MM).
5th and 6th columns: Marriage data (gift). Date of marriage and date widower/widow. Bengt and his wife Anna was married on October 8, 1865.
7th column: "Koppor". Vaccination, smallpox.
8th and 9th columns: Moving-in data (Flyttat). Moved into the parish from....
10th column: Reference to the entry in the Moving-in record.
11th column: Date of death (Död). Daughter Maria died on September 20, 1888.
Right-hand side: 
Household examination roll
Above is an extract of an household roll: Ekshärad (S) AI:38 (1886-1890) image 75 / page 65 (AID: v10795.b75.s65, NAD: SE/VA/13100). Right-hand page.
The above image shows the right-hand side of the page shown further above.

Explanations:
1st and 2nd columns: ability to read (läser ...) and knowledge of Christianity / Scripture (Kristendomskunskaper).
3rd to 7th columns: Attended household examinations and the Holy Communion (nattvard) years 1886 - 1890.
8th column: Notations about conscription (Excercerat).
The 5th row above has a notation about conscription. It is son Jöns who is listed on the 5th row. The notation is 294 101/1888. This is his enrollment number when he was drafted. 1888 is the year of enrollment. Jöns was born in 1867 and normally young men was called up for conscription at the age of 21. Jöns turned 21 in 1888 which fits.
9th column: Reputation and special remarks (frejd och särskilda anteckningar). On the 7th row we can read that daughter Maria was crippled (krympling).
10th and 11th columns: Moving-out data (Flyttat). Moved from the parish to.... In the moving-out column we can read that Jöns moved to Undersåker, Jämtland on July 8, 1890.
12th column: Reference to the entry in the Moving-out record. Jöns entry in the Moving-out record for 1890 is number 32.

Note that there was no universal form for the household examination rolls. They can therefore be somewhat different from parish to parish and in different periods of time.

Parish books (Församlingsböcker)

In the middle of the 1890’s the household examination rolls (husförhörslängder) was succeeded by the parish books/records (församlingsböcker). The content of the parish books is about the same as the content of the former household examination rolls. 

Record code: AIIa. 


Back to Church records list.

 

Birth/Baptism Records (Födelse- och dopboken)

Record code: C.

Birth records go as far back as the beginning of the 17th century. The birth records were also kept parish-by-parish and arranged in order by year. For each birth an entry was made on that date. The time period for the birth records could be as much as 50 years.  
The first volume of birth records within each parish is called C:1, the second C:2 etc.
 

In some birth records the children are listed by christening date instead of birth date. The christening was almost always held within a week of the birth. 

In the records you will find the child’s name, birth date, christening date, parents names, the child's legitimacy, the family’s place of residence, father’s occupation, names of the witnesses (testes) and godparents. The witnesses were often relatives of the family. If the child was stillborn or died within a week or so after the birth, it will be listed.

Back to Church records list.

Example of an extract from a birth record:

Left-hand side: 
 Birth records
Above is an extract from a birth record: Ekshärad (S) C:9 (1868-1894) image 284 / page 629 (AID: v6419.b284.s629, NAD: SE/VA/13100). Left-hand page.
This roll covers year 1885 for Ekshärad parish, Värmland (S). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The above image shows two entries in the Ekshärad parish's birth book for 1885.
The first entry is for baby girl Elin Ingeborg, born to Per Olsson and his wife Stina Larsdotter in Nore, Ekshärad parish. Per Olsson was a tenant farmer; Torp = short for torpare which is crofter or tenant farmer.
Elin Ingeborg was born on August 14, 1885, and baptized on August 23.
The second entry is for baby boy Herman, born to Anna Maria Jonsdotter, Hamra, Ekshärad parish. Herman has the notation o.ä. which is an abbreviation to oäkta which means illegitimate child. Only the mother's name is listed. She is a crofter's daughter (Torp. dotter).
Herman was born on August 15, 1885, and baptized on August 23.

Explanations:
1st column: entry number in the birth book for 1885.
2nd, and 3rd columns:  Date of birth, Month (månad) and day (dag).
4th and 5th columns: Date of baptism, Month (månad) and day (dag).
6th and 7th columns: Gender, male (m.) or female (q.).
8th column: Name of the born child.
9th column: Name of the parents, occupation
10th column: Place of recidence and page number in the household examination roll where the family is listed.
11th column: Member of the nobility
Right-hand side: 
Birth records
Above is an extract from a birth record: Ekshärad (S) C:9 (1868-1894) image 284 / page 629 (AID: v6419.b284.s629, NAD: SE/VA/13100).  Right-hand page.
The above image shows the right-hand side of the page shown further above.
Explanations:
1st column: Mother's age or both mother's as well as father's age.
2nd column: Midwife
3rd column: Godparents or sponsors (Dopvittnen / testes)
4th and 5th columns: Churching of the woman after childbirth / Absolution
6th column: Special notations. In this case we have the name of the officiator at the christening (Dopf. = dopförrättare), O. A. Groth.

Marriage Records (Vigselboken)

Record code: E.

Marriage records go as far back as the beginning of the 17th century. Like the other church records, the marriage records were kept parish-by-parish and arranged by year. For each marriage an entry was made on that date. The time period for the marriage records could be as much as 50 years.  
The first volume of marriage records within each parish is called E:1, the second E:2 etc. 

In the records you will find the grooms name, the brides name, the date of the marriage, the name of place where the groom lived before the marriage, the name of place where the bride lived before the marriage, the groom's occupation, names of the witnesses etc. The record also normally indicates whether the bride or groom were single or widowed. Sometimes you will also find the age of the bride and groom, birthplaces, parent's names

Back to Church records list.

Example of an extract from a marriage record:

Left-hand side: 
Marriage records
Above is an extract from a marriage record: Ekshärad (S) EI:7 (1895-1915) image 17 / page 9 (AID: v169632.b17.s9, NAD: SE/VA/13100). Left-hand page.
This record covers year 1896 for Ekshärad parish, Värmland (S). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The above image shows an entry in the Ekshärad marriage book for 1896 and lists two people who were married in 1896. They were Olof Jonsson Englund and Anna Maria Jansdotter. Olof's occupation is shoemaker (Skomak.). Anna was a tenant farmer's daughter (Åbodtr = Åbodotter). Olof is from Norra Öjenäs, Ekshärad parish and Anna from Sälja, Ekshärad parish. Olof was born on August 18, 1873 and Anna on September 1, 1878.
Prior to the marriage Olof was listed at page 826 in the parish book and Anna at page 714. The banns were announced three time in the church by the reverend; April 26, May 3 and May 10. The Remarks column has the notation regarding their consent to the marriage: "Båda närvarande" (Both present) and regarding impediments to marriage: "Intet hinder" (no impediments to marriage).
Banns were announced by the reverend in Church on Sunday services on three successional Sundays to give the parishioners time and opportunity to object to the upcoming marriage.
Lysning = Banns, vigsel = marriage.

Explanations:
1st column: entry number in the marriage book for 1896.
2nd column:  Dates of the three banns; April 26, May 3 and May 10. (Lysningsdagar).
3rd column: Names of bridegroom and bride.
4th and 5th columns: Date of birth for the two people being married.
6th column: Page in the parish book for the two being married (prior to the marriage)
7th column: Remarks about approval/consent to the marriage, possible impediments to marriage etc
Right-hand side: 
Marriage records
Above is an extract from a marriage record: Ekshärad (S) EI:7 (1895-1915) image 17 / page 9 (AID: v169632.b17.s9, NAD: SE/VA/13100).  Right-hand page.
The above image shows the right-hand side of the page shown further above.
The couple was married on October 4, 1896 (columns 9 and 10).

Explanations:
8th column: Marriage held in the parish.
9th and 10th columns: Date of marriage; Månad (Month) and Dag (Day).
11th column: first, second marriage etc
12th column: Officiator at the wedding (Vigselförrättare)
13th column: Remarks

Death/Burials Records (Dödsboken, Döda/Begravna)

Record code: F.

Death records go as far back as the beginning of the 17th century. Like the other church records, the death records were kept parish-by-parish and ordered by year. For each death an entry was made on that date in the parish where the burial took place. The time period for the death records could be as much as 50 years.  
The first volume of death records within each parish is called F:1, the second F:2 etc. 

In some death records the deceased are listed by burial date instead of death date. The burial was normally held within a week from the death. 

In the records you will find the deceased’s name, death date, burial date, the age, place of residence and cause of death.  Stillborn children were usually recorded.

Example of an extract from a death record:

Left-hand side: 
Death records
Above is an extract from a death record: Ekshärad (S) F:5 (1870-1894) image 163 / page 317 (AID: v6433.b163.s317, NAD: SE/VA/13100). Left-hand page.
This record covers year 1888 for Ekshärad parish, Värmland (S). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The above image shows four entries in the Ekshärad death book for 1888.
The first entry (74) is for a 15-year old girl Maria. She died on September 20, 1888. Since she was young also her parent's names are listed; tenant farmer Bengt Jönsson and his wife Anna Jönsdotter in Basterud, Ekshärad parish. The burial took place on September 30.
The second entry (75) is for pauper (fattighjon) Anders Eriksson, Solberg, Ekshärad parish. He died 78 years old on September 24, 1888. He was then a widower. The burial took place on October 7.
The third entry (76) is for Marit Larsdotter, Hamra, Ekshärad parish. She died 76 years old on September 29, 1888. She was married. The burial took place on October 7.
The fourth entry (77) is for barley 11-days old Ida Karolina. She was a daughter to Jon Eriksson and Karin Karlsdotter, M. Skoga, Ekshärad parish. Ida died on October 3, 1888. The burial took place on October 14.
 
Explanations:
1st column: entry number in the death book for 1888.
2nd and 3rd columns:  Date of death. Månad (month), Dag (day).
4th and 5th columns:  Date of burial. Månad (month), Dag (day).
6th and 7th columns: Gender; M = male, Q. = female
8th column: Name of the deceased, occupation, place of residence
9th column: Member of the nobility (Tillhör adel)
10th, 11th and 12th columns: Age of the deceased; År (years), Mån. (months), dag. (days)
13th column: marital status; og. = ogift (unmarried), gift (married), enk. (änka or änkling) widow or widower
 
Right-hand side: 
Death records
Above is an extract from a death record: Ekshärad (S) F:5 (1870-1894) image 163 / page 317 (AID: v6433.b163.s317, NAD: SE/VA/13100).  Right-hand page.
The above image shows the right-hand side of the page shown further above.
The first column above lists "cause of death" (dödsorsak). Kramp = cramp/spasm/convulsion, Slag = stroke, Ålderdom = old age (infirmity), Okänd = unknown. For further information, see Names of Diseases

Explanations:
1th column: Cause of death
2ndth and 3rd columns: certificates: By doctor (af läkare), by midwife (af barnmorska)
4th column: Notations about social care, medical care, penal institutions etc.
5th column: Page in the parish book
6th column: Remarks

Back to Church records list.

Moving Records (In- och Utflyttningslängder)

Record code: B.

The Household Examination Rolls normally have a notation about a person's moving in or out of a parish. The rolls also have notes of moving between addresses within the parish.

There are also special records, In- och Utflyttningslängder (Moving-In / Moving-Out records), which lists people moving to and from a parish. These records have not always been preserved. You are most likely to find moving records for the 19th century. Inflyttning = moving-in and utflyttning moving-out.

They are kept chronologically, giving the person's name, occupation and marital status. The records show which parish a person moved from or was moving to. A person moving out from a parish had to obtain a moving certificate (flyttningattest) from the parish minister. This certificate had to be presented to the parish minister of the new parish.

The first volume of moving records within each parish is called B:1, the second B:2 etc. 

Back to Church records list.

Example of extracts from the moving records: 

Moving-out record (Utflyttningsbok): 
Moving-out record
Above is an extract from a moving-out record: Rödön (Z) B:4 (1902-1915) image 240 / page 36 (AID: v115161.b240.s36, NAD: SE/ÖLA/11090).
The above moving-out extract covers year 1905 for Rödön parish Jämtland (Z). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The first entry (47) is for Selma Kristina Norman, Hismon, Rödön parish. She emigrated from Sweden to "Amerika" (America) on September 29 [29/9], 1905. Her occupation was maid (jungfru). She is listed on page 130 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok).
Selma Kristina was born 1890 which means she was only 15 years old when she left Sweden.
The second entry (48) is for Martin Hilmar Johansson, Hismoböle, Rödön parish. He emigrated from Sweden to "Amerika" (America) on October 1 (1/10) 1905. His occupation was laborer (Arb.). He is listed on page 348 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok).
The third entry (49) is for Brita Pettersson, Backen, Rödön parish. She moved to the city of Östersund, Jämtland (Z) on October 1 (1/10) 1905. She is listed on page 6 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok).

Explanations:
1st column: entry number in the moving-out record for 1905, Rödön parish.
2nd column:  Date of moving out, Day (dag) and Month (månad).
3rd column: Name and occupation of the people moving out, "Utflyttade".
4th column: Date of birth (födelsedag).
5th column: Gender, males (mankön).
6th column: Gender, females (qvinkön).
7th column: Place of recidence in the current parish.
8th column: Page in the parish book in the current parish.
9th column: Place (parish, city, country) of the new place of recidence (whereto).
10th column: Remarks
 
Moving-in record (Inflyttningsbok):
Moving-in record
Above is an extract from a moving-in record: Rödön (Z) B:4 (1902-1915) image 240 / page 36 (AID: v115161.b240.s36, NAD: SE/ÖLA/11090). 
The above moving-in extract covers year 1905 for Rödön parish Jämtland (Z). AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The first entry (51) is for Nils Gunnarsson. He moved-in to Rödön parish on October 19, 1905, from Näskott parish, Jämtland. He is listed as "Hem:egare" which is Hemmansägare" and means freeholder or farmer in English. Nils is listed on page 134 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok).
The second entry (52) is for Erik Löfgren. He moved-in to Rödön parish on October 19, 1905, from Näskott parish, Jämtland. His occupation was laborer (Arb.). He is listed on page 294 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok).
The third entry (53) is for Mårten Löfgren. He moved-in to Rödön parish on October 19, 1905, from Näskott parish, Jämtland. He is listed on page 294 in the Rödön parish book (församlingsbok). After his name is a note "den föreg. s." or "den föregåendes son" or in English "the former's son". So, Mårten was a son of Erik Löfgren.

Explanations:
1st column: entry number in the moving-in record for 1905, Rödön parish.
2nd column:  Date of moving in, Day (dag) and Month (månad).
3rd column: Name and occupation of the people moving in, "Inflyttade".
4th column: Date of birth (födelsedag).
5th column: Gender, males (mankön).
6th column: Gender, females (qvinkön).
7th column: Name of the former parish (from where).
8th column: Place of residence in the current parish.
9th column: Page in the parish book in the current parish.
10th column: Remarks

Summary:

Type of information

Household Examination Rolls

Birth / Baptism Records

Marriage records

Death / Burials Records

Moving Records

Date of birth, age

X

X

(X)

(X)

(X)

Place of birth

X

X

(X)

(X)

(X)

Baptism

X

X

 

 

 

Marriage

X

 

X

 

 

Date of Death , age

 

 

 

X

 

Place of Death    

 

 

 

X

 

Cause of death

 

 

 

X

 

Move

X

 

 

 

X

Place of living

X

X

X

X

X

Civil status

X

 

X

X

X

Occupation

X

 

X

X

X

Confirmation

X

 

 

 

(X)

Holy Communion

X

 

 

 

(X)

The X's marks the Records where you will find the information in. The (X) marks the Records where you might find the information in.

Parish Record Extracts (Utdrag till Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB)

The Church Records from 1860 and onward were extracted annually and sent off to Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB (Central Bureau of Statistics) in Stockholm. In 1992 they were forwarded to Riksarkivet (The National Archive).  

These records contain extracts of the birth, marriage and death records of all parishes in Sweden. They are cataloged by year and county.

These extracts are easy to use as they are standardized for the whole nation. Web address: SCB

Back to Church records list.

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Content of the Military Records  

There is much information to be found in the military rolls if your ancestor has been a soldier or an officer.

General Muster Rolls (Generalmönsterrullor, GMR)

A general muster (GM) was held at each regiment every 3rd year (later every 5th year). The general muster rolls (GMR) were kept at every regiment and since a new general muster roll was set up at each general muster you must know the time frame when your soldier served in the regiment.
A general muster was an inspection of the regiment, where its strength in numbers, equipment, etc. was noted. The GMRs were kept between 1685 and 1885. The GMRs were kept regiment-by-regiment and within each general muster roll the soldiers were listed company-by-company. So you need to know the regiments name but it is a good thing if you also know the company of your soldier.

Example of an extracts from a general muster roll: 

General Muster Roll (Left-hand side): 
General muster Roll
Above is an extract from a General muster roll: Generalmönsterrullor - Södermanlands regemente (D) 169 (1879-1883) image 890 (AID: v372963a.b890, NAD: SE/KrA/0023). Left-hand side.
The above extract shows a GMR for the Södermanland Regiment (infantry). The general muster was held on June 18, 1879.  AID is the image ID used by Arkiv Digital.
The image is an extract of the soldiers of the Life Company and in this case soldier number 1, Carl Johan Berg. Berg served in the Life Company.
Berg's soldier number was No 1, both within the regiment as well as within the company since the Life Company was the 1st Company. The name of the "rote" was Hönstorp, which was located in St. Malm parish, Södermanland (D). Södermanland Län was formerly called Nyköping Län.
The text in the third column reads: Carl Johan berg, formerly known as C. J. Jonsson, born on August 12, 1841, in Björkvik parish, Nyköping Län (county). Berg was enrolled on March 30, 1864.
Berg was his soldier name, while Jonsson was his patronymic.
The 5th column (age) shows that berg was 37 years and 10 months old at the time of the muster and the 7th column shows that he then had 15 years and 2 months of service time. Berg's height was 5' 9". His marital status was "gift" (married).

Explanations:
1st column: Soldier numbers; Soldier number within the regiment, normally 1 - 1,200.
2nd column: Soldier numbers; Soldier number within the company, normally 1 - 150.
3rd column: Name and location of the "rote".
4th column: Name of the soldier
5th column: Age of the soldier at the time of the muster.
6th column: Number of years served in another regiment
7th column: Number of service years at the time of the muster
8th and 9th columns: Height of the soldier (Längd); foot and inches (fot and tum).
10th column: marital status (Gift eller ogift). Gift = Married, Ogift = unmarried.
 
General Muster Roll (Right-hand side): :
General muster Roll
Above is an extract from a General muster roll: Generalmönsterrullor - Södermanlands regemente (D) 169 (1879-1883) image 890 (AID: v372963a.b890, NAD: SE/KrA/0023). Right-hand side.
The above extract shows a GMR for the Södermanland Regiment (infantry) in 1879.
Berg was present at the previous general muster as well as at the current general muster (pres. / pr.).

Explanations:
1st column: Notations transferred from the previous general muster roll.
2nd column: Notations made at the current general muster.

Typical notations in those two columns:
Pres/Präs, Pr., Presens or Praesens: Soldier personally present at the muster.
Abs. or Absens: Soldier absent at the muster.
Appr. or Approbera: approved as a soldier at the muster.
Avsked/afsked: The soldier was discharged.
Sjuk: The soldier was absent at the GM due to sickness/injury.

Back to Military records list. 

Draft Cards (stamkort/värnpliktskort)

Conscription:
In 1812 Sweden introduced a military conscript system called Beväringen. Every male between the age of 21 to 25 was required to serve in the military as a conscript (draftee). Beväringen was a complement and reinforcement to the regular professional army. The conscription service was universal which meant that all able-bodied men fit for military service had to undergo a minimum military training in the armed forces. Hiring of substitutes was allowed until 1862, i.e. to pay someone to do the service in his place.
The enrollment numbers (inskrivningsnummer) were introduced in 1885 and were a three-part conscript identification number.

In 1901 both the standing allotted army and the Beväringen was abandoned and instead Sweden established an army and navy entirely based on a Universal National Service System called Allmän Värnplikt (Universal Conscription). This new conscript system was to fully replace the old standing Army and Navy with a military force fully based on conscription.
In a way Beväringen was a forerunner to the National Service System. 

Draft cards:
The general muster rolls were kept until the 1880's. They were then replaced by the "stamrullor" and "stamkort" (draft cards). 
The American draft card is just a registration card while Swedish cards serve a dual purpose in that they also contain service data the American doesn't have.

Example of a Draft Card (Värnpliktskort / Stamkort):  

Page 1:
Draft card, page 1
The above image is page 1 of a draft card (värnpliktskort) for a draftee assigned to the infantry (infanteriet) [Section 2 above]. The draftee’s name is Johan Anton Bergwall, born in 1894, and drafted in 1914 (section 1 above). His enrollment number was 497 72/1914. He was drafted at Piteå rullföringsområde (72) [draft board] which belonged to Norrbottens inskrivningsområde [Norrbotten enrollment area].
Section 5 above contains information regarding when the draftee had served on duty; year (år), duty (tjänstgöringens benämning) and number of days (antal dagar).
He did his military service in the Norrbotten Regiment (I19). In section 5 above there is a column with the heading “Reg:t, station osv”. This column contains information about the unit’s name. In this case I19, which is the unit code for the Norrbotten Regiment (Norrbottens regemente). This regiment were garrisoned in Boden town, Norrbotten. "I" is short for Infantry and I19 means the 19th infantry regiment.
More information about each unit’s code can be found at: Unit codes (förbandsnummer).
Further, Bergwall served in the 3rd Company; information that is found in the next column with the heading "Komp., skv., batt. osv". Number “3” stands for 3rd company.
Source; the above image can be found at: Norrbottens inskrivningsområde (Io 19), Piteå rullföringsområde (Ro 72) D4:3 (1914-1922) Bild 7770 (AID: v806614a.b7770, NAD: SE/KrA/0473/B19002Ö).
Page 2:

Draft card, page 2
Page 2 of the draft card is shown above.
Section 7 above contains information about possible misconduct and punishment a draftee was charged with while serving in the military. This draftee has no notes in this section.
Section 12 has information about the draftee's service periods.
Source: Norrbottens inskrivningsområde (Io 19), Piteå rullföringsområde (Ro 72) (BD) D4:3 (1914-1922) bild 7780 (AID: v806614a.b7780, NAD: SE/KrA/0473/B19002Ö).

Back to Military records list.

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Where do I find the records

Now days the Swedish church records, military records, court records etc. are found online on the Internet which makes it easy to do genealogy research.
There are three major online providers of these records. They are:

You will need a subscription with one of the three providers in order to browse the records.

All three providers have a complete set of church records.

SVAR, a division of the Swedish National Archive, is the provider with most different types of records, in other words most complete. SVAR has digitalized the old black & white microfilm records which means the records have a varying quality.

Arkiv Digital has digitalized the original records with modern technique and therefor have their records a very high quality and they are in color. The AD image database consists of about 210,000 historical books, documents and records or 60 million digital color images of Swedish church records, military records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records and other historical records.

Ancestry, has like SVAR, digitalized the old black & white microfilm records which means the records have a varying quality.

See each provider's web site for detailed information about the content of their respective image database!

The Church Record Codes

The following examples are from the parishes of Hög and Hälsingtuna in Gävleborg Län (X).  
The first column shows the record codes, the second column the time period for each record.

Record codes: Household Examination Rolls for Hög parish (X). 
 
Record codes: Birth and Baptising Records for Hälsingtuna parish (X). 
Record codes: Banns and Marriage Records for Hälsingtuna parish (X). 

Record codes: Death and Burial Records for Hälsingtuna parish (X). 

Extracts of the church records began in 1860. The extracts were sent to the Statistiska Centalbyrån, SCB (Central Bureau of Statistics). The extracts are available on microfiche.
 

Record codes: Moving records for the parish of Hög (X). 
Record codes: Confirmation Records for Hälsingtuna parish (X). 
General Muster Roll for the Regiment of Södermanland (D). This image shows musters the regiment held in the17th and 18th century.  

 

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Archives

Sweden:

·        The National Archive in Stockholm (Riksarkiver, RA). http://www.riksarkivet.se/
The acts, documents and other sources are available to the public unless otherwise stated in the Act of Secrecy.
At the National Archive there is a printed guide available to help you find the sources in the Archive (Riksarkivets beståndsöversikt). Another aid is the NAD CD-Rom. 
At Arninge, some kilometers north of Stockholm, is the National Archive Reading Room for genealogical research. The parochial records of the whole of Sweden can be found there as microfiche, from the 17th century unto the 1890s, as well as records of immigrants and emigrants.

·        SVAR (Svensk Arkivinformation), a division of the National Archive. https://sok.riksarkivet.se/svar-digitala-forskarsalen    
SVAR has online copies of most of the different types of records that are kept in the National Archive, the Regional archives and the War archive.
 

·        The Regional Archives (Landsarkiven, LA) http://www.riksarkivet.se/

·        The City Archives (Stadsarkiven, SA).
Stockholm City Archive: http://stadsarkivet.stockholm.se/  

·        The War Archive in Stockholm (Krigsarkivet) http://riksarkivet.se/default.aspx?id=102108 

·        The Royal library in Stockholm (Kungliga Biblioteket, KB) http://www.kb.se/  

·        Military Museums: Army Museum  (Stockholm), Navy Museum  (Karlskrona), Air Force Museum (Linköping)

·        Swedish records online
Arkiv Digital (AD), SVAR and Ancestry keep images (digital photo copies) of various records online at the Internet such as church records, military records etc .

·        Demographic Database at Umeå University (Demografiska databasen i Umeå)  
The Demographic Data Base
(DDB) is a national research resource. Its principal responsibility is to make historical records - 19th century parish records and early statistical information - easily available to researchers.  

·        The House of Emigrants in Gothenburg. The House of the Emigrants in Gothenburg is a migration centre for research. http://emigranternashus.se/ 
The Migration Center in Karlstad:
Svenska migrationscentret i Karlstad

·        The Swedish online Emigrant Database EmiWeb.

Swedish maps from The National Land Survey of Sweden: http://www.lantmateriet.se/en/ 

·       The 1890 census online: http://www.foark.umu.se/census/Index.htm covers so far only the northern parts of Sweden (English)

 The Central Soldier Database - A soldier database, free of charge to search for your Swedish soldiers

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The Regional Archives   

There are nine Regional Archives. Most records of genealogical value are kept at the Regional Archives. All archives are open to public. The Regional Archives:  http://www.riksarkivet.se/

·        The Regional Archive in Gothenburg (Landsarkivet i Göteborg) covers the following counties: Bohus län, Älvsborg län and Skaraborg län.

·        The Regional Archive in Härnösand (Landsarkivet i Härnösand) covers the following counties: Gävleborg län, Västernorrland län, Västerbotten län and Norrbotten län.

·        The Regional Archive in Lund (Landsarkivet i Lund) covers the following counties: Malmöhus län, Kristianstad län, Halland län and Blekinge län.

·        The Regional Archive in Uppsala (Landsarkivet i Uppsala) covers the following counties: Uppsala län, Örebro län, Västmanland län and Kopparberg län.

·        The Regional Archive in Vadstena (Landsarkivet i Vadstena) covers the following counties: Östergötland län, Jönköping län and Kronoberg län.

·        The Regional Archive in Visby (Landsarkivet i Visby) covers the following county: Gotland län.

·        The Regional Archive in Östersund (Landsarkivet i Östersund) covers the following county: Jämtland län.   

·        The Stockholm City Archive in Stockholm (Stadsarkivet i Stockholm) covers the following county: Stockholm län. The Stockholm City Archive:http://stadsarkivet.stockholm.se/

·        The Värmland Archive in Karlstad (Värmlandsarkiv i Karlstad) covers the following county: Värmland län. The Värmland Archive: http://www.ra.se/vla/

Län = County.

 USA

  • FamilySearch, LDS
     

  • The Family History Library and the Family History Centers, LDS 
    The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the main repository of all the genealogical information the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has collected. More than 3,400 branches of the main library, known as Family History Centers, are located throughout the world to help you search the records of your ancestors. Use of the Family History Library and Centers is free
    The Family History Library and Centers has microfilmed Swedish church records up to 1920. You can order the microfilm at a low cost. Contact your closest Family History Center
    . 
     

  • The Swanson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana Collage, IL.
    The Research Center is a national archives and research institute for the study of Swedish immigration to North America.
    The Swanson Swedish Immigration Research Center sells microform copies of the records.  
     

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Chicago, IL), ELCA, has microfilm of most Swedish immigrant church records in the U.S. The microfilm is available through Augustana Collage, se above. http://www.elca.org/

  • Swegate, Sweden Genealogical Gate, a Gate to Genealogical Research in Sweden
     

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 Other sources 

The e-zine RÖTTER

The e-zine RÖTTER (Roots) is published by The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies, a national organization with over 38,000 members. RÖTTER is both for beginners and more experienced researchers. Most of the information is in Swedish, but many pages also have English summaries. Roots: http://www.genealogi.se/finding-your-swedish-roots 

Rötter also has a Genealogy News Group called Anbytarforum, where genealogists can meet and discuss, ask questions etc. The discussions are both in Swedish and English.
Anbytarforum: http://forum.genealogi.se/

To add or to answer a message go to the end of the page, fill in your full name in the box marked: Användarnamn, leave the box Lösenord blank and fill in your e-mail address in the box: E-post. Then click on the gray button "Förhandsgranska/Skicka meddelande" (Pre view/send). After you have previewed it, click an "Skicka meddelande" to Send or "Ångra" to Cancel.  

When you put in an advertisement in a News Group, be specific, add as much information you know about the person you are looking for. It’s a waste of time to advertise “I'm looking for more information about my great grandfather. His name was Karl Andersson and came from Småland”. 
To ask for information about a person with a common name in a large area is like asking information on a John Smith from Texas. It won't give you much.
Always give the name of the parish if you know it or at least a name of a place together with the name of the county or the province. And always give a time period when your ancestor lived at that place. Add the date of birth if you know it, information on wife, children, date of emigration etc.

One of the major Swedish genealogy programs are DISGEN for Windows. 
DISGEN: http://www.dis.se/

The parish

As mentioned several times on the page it’s important to find the name of the parish where your ancestors lived and the period of time were they lived there. This is the key to the records.

But what is a parish? The parish is a local congregation that may have included many neighboring villages in its boundaries.
In the records you will find the Swedish word socken (in short sn). In Swedish the modern word for parish is församling (in short fs).
In one sense socken means the same thing as a church parish, a congregation. But socken was also the area for local government ruled by the Sockenstämma (the council of the socken).
A socken had a church and the boundaries of the church parish and the socken was the same.
In the 1860s the municipalities (kommun) replaced the socken.  
See
Swedish parishes. At this site you will find all the Swedish parishes, arranged by municipality. Use your browser’s search function to check if the name of a place you have is the parish name (församling) or not.
At the above mentioned link you ill also find the Swedish municipalities.  See also subdivisions of Sweden into regions, provinces and counties.

 

Seeking information about Swedish ancestors by their last name

See Seeking information about Swedish ancestors by their last name
 

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Literature

  • Cradled in Sweden by Carl-Erik Johansson, Logan Utah, 1995.

  • Swedish Passenger arrivals in the United States 1820–1850, by Nils William Olsson och Erik Wikén, 1995.

  • 24 Famous Swedish Americans and their Ancestors, 1996.

  • Släktforska! Steg för steg (Guide book to Swedish Genealogy) by Per Clemensson and Kjell Andersson, Stockholm 1997, 5th edition.

  • Emigrantforska! Steg för steg (Guide book to Swedish emigrant research) by Per Clemensson, 1996.

  • Hembygdsforska! Steg för steg (Guide book to Local History Research in Sweden) by Per Clemensson and Kjell Andersson, Stockholm 1990.

  • Statistiskt sammandrag av det svenska indelningsverket (Statistical Digest of the Swedish Allotment System) by Claes Grill.

CD-ROM

  • The Swedish telephone dictionary.

  • Svenska ortnamn, Names of places in Sweden (400.000 places listed)

  • NAD (The National Archive Database on CD). Lists the sources that can be found in the Swedish archives (by the National Archive)  

  • Emigranten, two CDs with a database covering Swedish emigrants.

  • Sveriges dödbok 1950 -1999 (Swedish death records 1950 - 1999)

  • Centrala Soldatregistret, Military records covering (at this point - Nov 2001) about half of the soldiers within the Allotment System (Indelningsverket).

  • Sveriges befolkning 1880, The Swedish 1880 census on a CD/DVD. It contains all persons who were registered in a Swedish parish on December 31, 1880 - almost 4.6 milion records.

  • Sveriges befolkning 1890, The Swedish 1890 census on a CD/DVD. It contains information about the 4.8 million persons living in Sweden at the turn of 1890/1891.

  • Sveriges befolkning 1900, The Swedish 1900 census on a CD/DVD. It contains all persons who were registered in Sweden in the end of 1900, 5.2 million people. 

  • Sveriges befolkning 1910, The Swedish 1910 census on a CD/DVD.

  • Swedish Death Index 1901 - 2013. This is the fifth edition of the Swedish death index. This edition has been updated with information about 2.5 million deceased during the period 1901-1946, which means that 70% of the dead for that period are added since last edition. From 1947 and forward are all deceased included, where the period 2007-2009 is completed with 272 000 since last version. The DVD-rom contains 7 880 000 deceased in all.

  • Sveriges befolkning 1970, The Swedish population 1970. It contains information about the 8.0 million persons living in Sweden in 1970.  

  • Sveriges befolkning 1980, The Swedish population 1980. It contains information about the 8.3 million persons living in Sweden in 1980.  

  • Sveriges befolkning 1990, The Swedish population 1990. It contains information about the 8.6 million persons living in Sweden in 1990.  

  • Söder i våra hjärtan (Söderskivan) - Södermalm in our hearts. Södermalm is a district (and an island) just south of the Stockholm city center and this CD covers the population living here in 1900.  

  • Klaraskivan - The Klara CD. Klara is a parish in central Stockholm and this CD covers the population living here 1878-1926.  

  • Gamla stan under 750 år - The Stockholm Old Town during 750 years. This CD and DVD informs you about the history of the Stockholm Old Town and about the persons living here between 1878 and 1926.  

  • Sjöfolk - Sailors in the merchant navy. A CD with all the sailors registered at 10 of Sweden's mercantile marine offices, about 700.000 entries.  

 

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Copyright © Hans Högman, last updated 2016-11-15 15:26