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How to research in Swedish parish records
Posted by: Judy Baouab (ID *****7724) Date: January 28, 2009 at 09:48:35
In Reply to: Re: Johnsons of Porter/Laporte Co. Indiana by jeaneen dougherty of 35043

If you want to do further research in Sweden, be sure to also post on the Sweden forum. Type Sweden into the "Jump to Forum" space at the top right of this page.

1. The records were kept in the parish, so it is important to see those records. They can be seen for free in Sweden, of course, and can be seen on microfilm you can see for free at the large Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City. However, you will spend a lot of money going to those places and you have to pay for hotels and restaurant meals, so researching in those "free" places isn't really free.

You can order microfilms of the Swedish parish records from any Family History Center.

You need to pay approximately $5.50 per microfilm for a month's use at the Family History Center and of course you'd need to pay this for all of the many films you need. You have to go to the Family History Center to order and then you wait a few weeks for the films to arrive from Salt Lake City. Then you have to go back to the Family History Center to view the film or films. If you have problems reading those films, you have to pray that someone there has knowledge of Swedish parish records. If not, then you need to scan the copies you make and post them online somewhere so that you can ask others to look at the record and help you.

You could join the fee-based Genline site.

You have a variety of subscription plans to choose from, and there are frequent specials. Just as people seldom pay the sticker price on a new car, it is unnecessary to pay the regular amount for the subscription. Members of certain Swedish American groups or people who read particular genealogical magazines get huge discounts, and if you go to a genealogical conference where Genline has a table, you get the best discounts of all. Each page on Genline has its own unique page number, called a GID number (Genline Identification Number). You can make pages larger or smaller. You can even make the pages lighter or darker and you can't make that sort of adjustment on microfilm. If you have a problem reading a name or a location or a word on a particular page, you post the GID number and someone else with a Genline subscription can look at the record and help you out. Genline is the most convenient way to see the parish records. It is probably even less expensive than microfilm if you plan to see a lot of records.

There are some locations in the U.S. which have Genline.

2. The SweGGate website describes the Swedish parish records and gives advice on how to use them. Follow the Themes --> Church Records pathway on this site.

You can find a huge number of Swedish genealogical words on SweGGate. Go to its home page and click on "Dictionaries & Encyclopedias". That leads you to one of the webmaster's glossary pages. The top of that glossary page provides links to more of his glossary pages plus links to glossary pages developed by others.

You need information on the Swedish naming customs. You can find several interesting and very informative articles about those customs by using the Facts --> Names and Naming Practices on the SweGGate site.

To make the extra letters in the Swedish alphabet, use the Facts --> Language --> Alphabet, etc. pathway on SweGGate.

The entire SweGGate site is a goldmine of information, most of which is in English.

3. There is great information on the Swedish Roots website too. Don't forget to check out the information on the left side of that page.

4. You can obtain a free booklet with an overview of Swedish genealogy, plus ideas on how to gather more clues. The following url has a link to downloading the free booklet and also a link to ordering the booklet to be sent by mail (also for free). The booklet comes very quickly, so it is better than using up a lot of ink and paper copying the download.

5. It is best to purchase at least one guidebook. These are excellent. "Your Swedish Roots" is easier to start with and "Cradled in Sweden" is more detailed. I own both.

6. Most of us are not fluent in Swedish and probably most knew no Swedish at all when they started. Even so, most of us are able to get great amounts of information out of these records. If you have problems, just ask for help (using the GID numbers if you are talking about a specific record) on a Swedish board (such as the one on Genforum) and people will try to help you.

7) Many have problems trying to find the birth, marriage, and death records after about 1860 and think, incorrectly, that they don't exist but they do exist. The normal procedure is to look under the name of the parish and there are still parish records after 1860 which are found under the parish name but in the case of births, marriages, and deaths in 1860 and later, you need to use a different set of records which are accessible under the name of the county.

On Genline, choose SCB instead of the name of the parish (SCB is found under the name of the county.) but those records only go to the mid-1890s on Genline. Read about those records here.

Those records exist on microfilm until 1920. This is how to find them.

a) Go to

b). Look on the right side to find the Family History Library Catalog.

c). Choose the "Place Search".

d). Enter the Swedish län = county on the first line and ignore the second line.

e). Choose "Civil Registration".

f). Choose "utdrag ur ministerialböcker".

g). Choose the year.

h). Choose the type of record.(Births: Födde; Marriages: Vigde; Deaths: Döde)

i). Go to a Family History Center.

j) Order the film or films from any Family History Center.

k). Search the film for your parish (which will be among all the other parishes in that county) and make sure you also have the right type of record.

l). Repeat until you have found the records you need. (I usually do this at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City since it takes less time than ordering one film after another after another and waiting for the films to be shipped to the Family History Center.

I find research in Swedish records much, much, much more easy than research in U.S. records. Swedish records are very complete and very detailed.

To research these people in the U.S., try the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. They have a website but their extensive collection of records is NOT online. The Swenson Center has records which are difficult or even impossible to find elsewhere. Many of us have learned a great deal from this fantastic archive.

Post on the Sweden board for further help. Type Sweden into the "Post to Forum" board on the top right of this page.

Since I first wrote the above information, more ways have become available to see Swedish records online, but so far the Genline site has the most of the older records. Another fee-based site, SVAR, has more of the post-1900 records but Genline has announced its plans to start scanning records up through 1937. That scanning probably will take quite a while, so make sure that records you need are available online before joining.

This is the url for SVAR.

There is at least one more Swedish company entering this competition for customers but Genline and SVAR are the only ones so far who are marketing to U.S. customers.

SVAR has scans of the birth, marriage, and death records from 1898-1937 but only on the SWEDISH section so far. This is how to find those records. Of course you need to subscribe and then log in. SVAR is fee-based.

This tells how to subscribe.

This is a site which can be used to convert SEK to another currency, such as U.S. dollars.

Once you are a SVAR member and have signed in, stay on the Swedish version instead of changing to English.

1. Click on "Snabblänkar skannat mater" near the top right of the Swedish version of SVAR.

2. Scroll down to "SCB's utdrag 1898-1937" and click.

3. The next page has a 1, with "Skannad län" and "Välj län" underneath. Click on "Välj län" and select the län (county). Click again.

4. Select the year and the type of record and click on "Bild". (Fbu are birth records. Vbu are marriage records. Dbu are death records.)

5. Most of the records aren't indexed yet. Some of them have the starting point for each parish and type of record, but it will take time to get all of them indexed that way.

6. Find the parish among the other parishes in that county and then look at the records to find your family members.

7. If you need help reading a record, post on the Sweden forum and include the source and image number. You can find those by clicking on Källa (Source). Copy/paste the page that comes up next.

Have fun!


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