Swedish Genealogy

We have talked with many of our customers and we understand that our customers have different needs. Some are very experienced researchers and know how to research the various types of Swedish records and are anxiously waiting for more records to be added to the online archive. Another group is comfortable researching in the church books but they haven’t researched in other books such as the estate inventory registers and would like a better understanding of those records and many of are brand new to Swedish research and want more help in English.

Below you find tutorials, which can be useful when searching for your Swedish ancestors.


Introduction to Swedish Church Books

ArkivDigital’s online archive contains church books from the earliest times in the 1600’s to 1894 for all of Sweden (household examinations, moving, birth, marriage and death records) as well as many of the so-called modern church books (1895-1942) which includes the congregation books, moving, birth, marriage and death records as far as is allowed by privacy regulations.  Swedish law limits the availability of some records younger than 70 years online. So if a book covers the years 1929 to 1950, it can’t be published because it contains information within the last 70 years. You can check to see what church books are available for a parish by going to www.arkivdigital.net and click on the section, image database.

The Swedish church books are usually the first Swedish records that one uses when tracing one’s Swedish roots. These records are a "gold mine" because they are so complete and contain such detailed information. In many cases, one can trace a person’s life in the church books from birth to death or birth to emigration.

Read more about Swedish Church Books

ArkivDigital online and Släktdata

Släktdata is a free online site where you will find transcription registers for many Swedish church birth, marriage and death records. While you will find transcriptions for many parishes throughout Sweden, many of the records are for parishes in the provinces of Bohuslän, Dalsland and Västergötland. These transcriptions are very helpful to decipher the old handwriting especially in the older records and in cases where the priest’s handwriting is difficult to read.

There is a link between ArkivDigital online and www.slaktdata.org when there is a transcription register for a particular parish. This information is noted in the info box in the search window. To learn how to use this feature, download this file.

Read more about ArkivDigital online and Släktdata

Introduction to the Swedish Estate Inventories

The Swedish Church Books are a gold mine for the Swedish genealogists 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 and one very wonderful resource is the bouppteckning or the estate inventory.

The Swedish Estate Inventories (bouppteckningar) provide genealogical information and help one gain a better understanding of one’s ancestor’s life. The estate inventory details the assets and debts of the deceased person’s estate.

Read more about Swedish Estate Inventories

Introduction to the Fattigbevis

Click here to read the Introduction to the Fattigbevis

Population Register 1941 (Mantalslängd)

On ArkivDigital you will find population registers (mantalslängder) for 1941. These records can be helpful in researching an area where the congregation records or vital records are not published online because of Swedish privacy regulations. 

Most of these records are typewritten so they are easy to read. You will find the following types of information in these records: place name, names of persons living at the place, birth date, birth place, marital status. 

Read more about Population Register 1941

Name Register (Släktnamnsregister)

While the church books are not searchable by name, there are some indexed name registers for some parts of Sweden on ArkivDigital online. These indexed name registers are only for non-patronymic names in church books up to 1800 but these can be very helpful if you are researching a person with a soldier’s name or non-patronymic name.

Read more about Name Register

Non-existing persons book (obefintlighetsbok)

At conferences, several have asked what “non-existing persons” are because they have seen in the parish archives volumes for “records for non-existing persons”. These are lists of the names of persons whose whereabouts are unknown. Usually, they have left the parish without notifying the minister of their departure and securing the proper certificates.

Read more about Non-existing persons book

Introduction to Swedish Passenger Ship Manifests

Passenger ship manifests for emigrants leaving from Göteborg and Malmö ports are available on ArkivDigital online. These lists include information such as the name of the ship, departure date, name of the emigrant and age and often you will find birth place or residence in Sweden and final destination.

Read more about Swedish Passenger Ship Manifests

Swedish Church Book Birth Record Examples

Many have stated that they feel intimidated by the Swedish Church books because they are in Swedish. One does not need to. The Church books are mostly tables of names, dates and places and yes there are Swedish words but these are used repeatedly. Once one becomes familiar with the commonly used words, one finds it can be easy to work with the records.

As part of our commitment to add more educational tools in English, we have added two examples of birth records: one from the 1700’s and the second from the late 1800’s with transcriptions and translations.

Click here to see a 1700’s birth record example

Click here to see an 1800’s birth record example

Marriage Record Examples

Click here to see a 1700’s marriage record example

Click here to see a late 1800’s marriage record example

Household examination record example

Click here to see an example of household examination record from late 1800's

Death Record Examples

Click here to see a 1700’s death record example

Click here to see a late 1800’s death record example

Moving In (Inflyttning) and Moving out (Utflyttning) Records

Read more about Swedish Moving Records

Stockholm Folk Register Cards (1926-1939)

If you are researching in Stockholm city during the period of 1926-1939, you will find the Stockholm Folk Register Cards very helpful. Read more about Stockholm Folk Register Cards

Malmö Research Tips

If you are researching in Malmö city parishes, you will find the name registers and topographical registers very helpful. Read more about Malmö Research Tips.


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