Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What is a torpare?

Many of us find the title/occupation "torpare" for our ancestors when using Swedish records. The usual translation into English is "crofter". The problem is that crofter is British English and Americans still aren't sure what their ancestor did.

There is a very helpful article in "Swedish American Genealogist", the journal of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. Luckily for us, this journal and an article called "Torp and Torpare -- An Analysis" written by the late Nils William Olsson is scanned and online. This is a link to that journal. The article starts on page 10 of the scan, using the page numbers at the right.

Swedish American Genealogist journal Volume 30, number 2

Revision in way Arkiv Digital Lets Us Post Source Citations

The old way to make source citations on Arkiv Digital has changed, This is how it is done now.

Go to copy at the top of the image. Select "Copy Source Identifier" to get the source citation using the AID number so helpers can go immediately to the same image in one step.

Frändefors (P) AI:29 1886-1890 Image 415 / Page 398 (AID: v3968.b415.s398, NAD: SE/GLA/13133)

Some prefer "Pure Source Identifier" which does not include the AID number when putting the citation into their records.

Frändefors (P) AI:29 1886-1890 Image 415 / Page 398

Monday, January 16, 2017

Arkiv Digital Makes Source Citations.

When we make queries, we need to provide the source citation along with the query. This is easy with Arkiv Digital. We don't need to manually copy the source citation. It can be done automatically.

Some of us have both the old and new versions of Arkiv Digital on our computers at the same time. I am more used to the old version so I use it more often, but the newer version has some extra features which are very useful.

If you use an older version of Arkiv Digital, this is what you should do.

Go to Edit at the top and select one of the first two choices in the drop-down menu. I prefer the first one ("Copy Source Identifier") because it includes the AID (a code to get us directly to the same page in one step).Click on that choice and post in your message.

You will get this for the first choice, ("Copy Source Identifier"). This is the one I prefer when someone has a query because I can use the AID (v3963.b362.s820) to go directly to the location you asked about.

Frändefors (P) AI:24 (1871-1875) Image 362 / page 820 (AID: v3963.b362.s820, NAD: SE/GLA/13133)

The second choice ("Copy Pure Source Identification") looks like this. Helpers find this to be enough information but it takes more steps than the first choice to get to the image. It is better for entrance into your genealogy program, however.

Frändefors AI:24 (1871-1875) Image 362 / page 820

The old version of Arkiv Digital lets us enter the AID into a space at the bottom right of any page on Arkiv Digital and then we click on "Go" to find that page.

The newest version of Arkiv Digital can do the same thing but they have changed how things look. Click on the icon which looks like papers, just in front of the blue Open button. Do the same thing I described on the post about the old version.

The place to put the AID has changed. Find it right after "New Search" and just before the image of papers.

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!