Sunday, March 20, 2016


DISBYT is a database of research of people who belong to the DIS society.

You can research for free using "guest" (no quotes) for both the user name and the password. You can see individuals but you can't see the contact information of the researchers.

If you join (about $22 a year), you can see individuals and you can see the contact information of individuals.

If you join and also submit a GEDCOM file of a certain size, you can see family groupings and the contact information of subscribers. Your information will be in the database and others can see it and they can see your contact information.

The subscribers are probably related in some degree. It is important to contact them to share information. They most likely have more information that what is shown in the online database.

This article is old and the percentage of Swedish ancestors included in the database has grown greatly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creating the extra Swedish letters using an iPad

Do you have an iPad? Do you wonder how to add the extra letters (å, ä, ö, Å, Ä, and Ö)?

This is how to add the Swedish letters. Go to Settings --> General --> International. Move down to Keyboards.Then select "Add New Keyboard".

There are lots of choices. Choose Swedish. When typing you can switch between the English keyboard and the Swedish keyboard by clicking on the globe at the bottom left of the keyboard which pops up when you want to type something.

You can add more than one international alphabet. For example, I also have Danish on my iPad.
Once you are in the right language, make lower case and capital letters the same way you would on an English language keyboard.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


One of the Swedish parish records is the husförhörslängd, a record similar in format to a census but much better and far more detailed. The husförhörslängd, often abbreviated as HFL by Swedes, is usually translated into English as household examination record or clerical survey record. It was updated continually, and not just every ten years as a census was taken. It is the main reason that Swedish genealogy is so easy compared to genealogy in most other countries, including the U.S.

The parish was divided into several groupings for each husförhör, the meeting at which the people were asked questions about what they knew about the Bible, Luther's Catechism, etc. Each group met at a predesignated home for the exam.

 Here are some images of a husförhör, the session at which the priests tested  people in the parish and wrote information in the husförhörslängd.

Scroll far down on this page.

Some HFL books have a listing in that book of where the husförhör groupings would be held at a particular period of time.

I found this information in Frändefors parish in Älvsborg county about locations of each husförhör group in 1824, 1825, 1826, 1827, and 1828. In this case the priest put the schedule at the end of the book.  Perhaps you will find your family listed as the hosts for the husförhör if you look carefully at your own HFL books. (subscription)

Frändefors AI:10 (1824-1829) Image 347 / page 343 (AID: v3949.b347.s343, NAD: SE/GLA/13133)

Frändefors AI:10 (1824-1829) Image 346 / page 342 (AID: v3949.b346.s342, NAD: SE/GLA/13133)

Frändefors AI:10 (1824-1829) Image 345 / page 341 (AID: v3949.b345.s341, NAD: SE/GLA/13133)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Clues from professional photographs

If you are looking for information about the location in Sweden where your ancestors lived, see if you can find some professional photographs from Sweden. The photographer put advertising information along the sides and even on the back.

Note the clue to an approximate location within Sweden in this photo of my farfar's mor in Sweden. The photographer's name and address were listed. The town is listed as Wenersborg, the old spelling of Vänersborg. We knew she had to live somewhere near there. She was born in Brålanda parish and was married and lived and died in Frändefors parish, both of which are fairly close to Vänersborg. Professional photos can be great clues.

This is the wedding photo of my farfar Johannes Olsson and farmor Signe Cecilia Elisabeth Ekman. They married in Storkyrko parish in the city of Stockholm in 1898. (She was born in Hedvig Eleonora parish in Stockholm city and he was born in Frändefors parish, near Vänersborg on the other side of Sweden, but his mother's sister lived in Stockholm and was the foster mother of Signe.) This is their wedding photo, with the photographer's information. If we hadn't already known where they married, this would have gotten us to the right area.

 Although the locations often tell the approximate area where our ancestors lived, it is always possible the location is not where your ancestor lived. My farfar's sister (my great aunt) lived in Frändefors parish (near Vänersborg) but she must have been visiting her mother's sister in Stockholm because the following photo was taken there. It is possible that other relatives live near the location of the photo. The person had to be there for some reason.

The clues you need may be in old photos you or relatives have in your possession. Good luck!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Arkiv Digital app for Ipad

Arkiv Digital is one of the services with scanned Swedish parish records online for those who are subscribed to it. (subscription)

Sometimes we would like to check those records but we are "out and about" and only have access to an Ipad. Before now, we couldn't download Arkiv Digital onto our Ipad, but now we can.

If you own an Ipad, go to the App Store and enter Arkiv Digital into the search. You will find the app, which is free. (Of course, you need to be subscribed to Arkiv Digital to see records.)

The search is not quite as good, of course, as the version on a full computer, but it allows us to go forwards and backwards five pages at a time. It was a big surprise and quite a pleasure to see a mention of this new app on Facebook today.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Arkiv Digital has another free weekend March 16 and 17

Arkiv Digital, which has free weekends a couple times a year, has another one starting Saturday, 16 March at midnight and ending Sunday, 7 March. Of course, this is Swedish time, so we in the U.S. and Canada, for example, can start on Friday evening. Directions are on the following page.

Free Weekend

You can save time during the free weekend if you do the following before then.

1. Register.


2. Install their viewing software.

Viewing Software

3. Check out their user guide.

User Guide

Do all of that before the weekend starts, and remember it will start earlier here because of the time difference.

Have fun with this wonderful opportunity to check out this popular service before you subscribe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Lesson Learned, or A Cautionary Tale, or A Confession :-)

I recently tried to help someone on a message board. That person's uncle had sources "somewhere" but he couldn't find them in a timely fashion. Therefore, there was not enough information to help that person since the facts weren't checking out and there was no way to know which facts were correct and which were not.

I empathize with that uncle but I have learned over the years that it is necessary to have sources for all facts in a family tree. This is what I wrote.

I can understand his problem. As a beginner years ago, I had many piles of paper. I thought I could remember exactly where I found everything. :-)

Of course I soon was overwhelmed by the number of facts I had discovered and I started using family group sheets and pedigree charts which I filled in by hand. At that point I didn't worry about sources. After all I had all the paper copies!

I had to constantly redo my pedigree charts and family group sheets and that took longer and longer as I learned more and more. Someone suggested using a computer genealogy program which would automatically create updated family group sheets and pedigree charts. I even tried putting in sources (but not consistently because it took time away from my real love, which was finding new information.)

I did not really understand the difference between a source and a citation to a source. All my "sources" were Family History Library film numbers and Genline GID Numbers. I became overwhelmed and gave up on my pathetic attempts to source.

A few years ago I decided to start over with my sourcing. I started a new tree (without GEDCOM because that would have transferred my "sources" along with the information in my tree.) Needless to say, I spent MANY months just re-entering old information and not looking for anything new. It was horribly boring entering years worth of sources all at once.

Now I am caught up. I know the difference between sources and citations. I try to enter sources and citations in ways which others should be able to check themselves without having io ask me where I found the information. I don't have to feel foolish if someone asks where I got a piece of information. I don't have to dig through papers.

I still find sourcing to be boring, but it is not as boring if I enter a source immediately after entering a fact. (I used to enter facts and sources at the end of the day when I went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, for example, but all too often I was too tired to finish, so I got behind. After all, I still had paper copies. That eventually led to my finding the same information again in a different year because I had been too tired to record a fact and its source.) I may still make changes in how I source in the future as I learn more, but I am now able to exchange information with others without having to constantly answer questions about where I found information.