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Friday, September 23, 2011

Births, Marriages, and Deaths on SVAR until 1940

SVAR has the SCB birth, marriage, and death records scanned until 1940. If you know the parish where your relatives lived, this is very helpful. The records for 1941 should be released near the start of 2012.


SCB records are extractions from the full birth, marriage, and death records. They leave out baptism dates, banns dates, and funeral dates, for example. They are still a very useful source of information.

SCB stands for Statistiska Centralbyrån. The Genline site has a useful article which will explain them better than I can do.

http://www.genline.com/databasen/SCB-materialet.php

I will try to explain how to get to those records. Unfortunately, there is no English translation on the SVAR site for this part of the site.

1. Sign into SVAR.

http://www.svar.ra.se

2. Select "Släktforskning" on the left side of the SVAR home page.

3. More choices will open up. Select "SCB utdrag".

4. There are now more choices. Choose "SCB-utdrag-födelse, vigsel, och död 1860-1940".

5. You should have reached a full page called "SCB-utdrag födelse, vigsel, och död 1860-1940". Move down to the box below.

Församling (Parish): Fill in the parish name. Be sure to spell the parish the Swedish way. The letters a, ä, and å are not equivalent, and the letters o and ö are not equivalent.

Län (County) Select the county from the drop-down menu.

Startår (Starting Year)

Slutår (Ending Year)

Typ av SCB utdrag (Type of SCB extraction)

Alla Typer (All Types)

Födelese (Births)

Vigsel (Marriages)

Död (Deaths)

6. Sök (Search) and Rensa (Clear).

7. There will be a listing of available records. Bild means image.

8. You can adjust the size of the image at the top of the page, but the size will change back to "Fit Page" unless you use the "Installningar" (Adjustments) link at the bottom right of the page.

9. I use the "Zoomnings grad" adjustment. The choices are "Hela sidan" (the whole page) and then the percentage of zoom. "Spara" means Save.

10. Källa (Source): When you find the page you want, click on Källa and then copy the highlighted section. Then paste into your genealogy program.

11. You can move forwards or backwards one page at a time by clicking on the forward or backward arrow points.

12. You can move forwards or backwards five pages at a time by clicking on the +5 and -5 numbers.

13.  You can move to the beginning or end of the volume by clicking on the double arrow points.

14. There is also a drop-down menu which can be used to select the number of the image, which is probably not the exact page number.

15. If you find an image you want, then right click on the image. Move to "Selection" and then to "Select Region". You will see a + sign which can be dragged around the part you want to copy. Move to the top left edge of the image and drag that + sign around the outside of the image.

16. Once you have highlighted the image, right click again, move to "Selection" and then to "Copy". Paste into an image program. I use Irfanview, which can be downloaded for free.  (I discovered Irfanview at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.)


17.  You can then save the image using Irfanview.

I know that SVAR can be confusing. SVAR is a great site with much valuable information, but it hasn't made things easy for those of us who are not native speakers of Swedish. If you need further elaboration, let me know.

Judy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting into the Swedish Content of the World/International Version of Ancestry.com

I'm taking a detour from discussing how to use SVAR. I've discovered how to get into the Swedish content of the international/world version of Ancestry.com.

http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2225

Judy

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SVAR has images of records too.

I used SVAR for quite a while before I found that it had scanned parish records. I've found that quite a few people are unaware of these scanned records. I think that SVAR is an excellent site, but unfortunately it is rather confusing to use. I'll try to explain how to use that site.


http://www.svar.ra.se (subscription)


To view their records, you need to download their reader using the link on the following page.

http://tinyurl.com/3hgcqgy

1. Sign into SVAR.
2. Click on "English" at the top of the page.
3. Click on "Search Records".
4. Find the "Archive Search" box.
5. Select the county from the drop-down box.
6.  Select the "Archive Type". There is a drop-down box with the choices "General Part", "Fire Insurance", "Court Records", "Church Records", and "Military Records".
7. Select "Type of Material". (Select "Scanned Images".)
8. Type in "Archive Name". (In the case of "Church Records, type in the parish name. Be sure to spell the parish the way the Swedes do or you won't get any hits.)
9. Click on Search.



There are many scanned church records if that is what you have selected. Not all possible records have been scanned. Look for the blue arrow point to chose records which are currently available.


Example:


I am using this site to look at records for Brålanda parish. I chose "Älvsborg" from the drop-down county menu. I chose "Church Records", "Scanned Images", and typed in "Brålanda" (without the quotes). Then I clicked on "Search". Then I clicked on the "Reference Code" on the next page.


There are a number of records listed, but the only ones which are scanned so far have a blue arrow point. I clicked on  "Husförhörslängder" (Household Examination Records). I looked at the listings which had "Image" at the end. Choose the one you want and click on "Image".

You can move forwards or backwards one page at a time by clicking on the forward or backward arrow points.


You can move forwards or backwards five pages at a time by clicking on the +5 or -5 numbers.


You can move to the beginning or end of the book by clicking on the double arrow points.

There is also a drop down menu which you can choose to select the number of the image.



You can adjust the size of the image by hitting the + or - signs, or by using the drop down menu in the middle to choose the size of the image. That only lasts for one page, so if you don't want to continually adjust the size, you can use the link at the bottom right of the page called "Adjustments".  Use the "Zoom Scale" to select the size of the image and then "Save".


If you find the image you want, click on "Source". Then copy/paste the highlighted source into your document.


If you find an image you want, then right click on the image. Move to "Selection" and then to "Select Region". You will see a + sign which can be dragged around the part you want to copy. Move to the top left edge of the image and drag that plus sign around the outside of the image.


Once you have highlighted the image, right click again, move to "Selection" and then to "Copy".


Paste into a image program. I used Irfanview, which can be downloaded for free. (I discovered Irfanview at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


http://www.irfanview.com/


You can then save the image using Irfanview.




I'll continue another time with using other parts of SVAR.


Judy

Some Transcribed Records on SVAR

SVAR is one of the fee-based sites for Swedish research.

http://www.svar.ra.se

SVAR has  a number of useful transcribed databases.

1. Click on English at the top of the page.



2. Click on "Search Records".






3. Click on "Databases".




A popular database is the one with censuses. The censuses are complete for 1880, 1890, and 1900. There are "some" census entries for 1860, 1870, and 1910.





If you think you have a released convict from 1877-1925, check out the convict database. There is a transcription and if you click on "Show Source", you will find the original record plus a photo of the convict. This is very interesting.




Here is an example of what you will find about a convict. First you will see his transcribed record.



If you click on "Show source" in the transcribed record, you will see the best part, which is the actual record with the criminal's photo!








I like the "Rosenberg" database. It has geographical locations in Sweden from the 1880s. It might help you read that scribbled location in the old records.




There are other transcribed databases too. Perhaps you will find one which is useful.

Judy

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Swedish Alphabet

There are extra letters in the Swedish alphabet. The letters å, ä, and ö follow z, in that order. If you are using a Swedish database, you MUST use the correct Swedish spellings. You can not substitute with an a or an o or a", etc. If you do, you won't get any hits.

A Swedish woman named Ingela Martenius has listed these words as the reason why it is important to use the proper Swedish letters. Note that the only difference is the vowel.

kar - tub
kår - corps
kär - dear
kor - cows
kör - choir

There is a very helpful guide telling how to form those letters on the following site.

http://www.augustana.edu/x14886.xml



If you can't create those letters using those directions, then copy/paste these letters.

å

Å

ä

Ä

ö

Ö

Save those letters on your computer so you will always have them when you need them.

Judy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center

I highly recommend an archive called the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. It is located in Rock Island, Illinois, near the Mississippi River. The Swenson Center can be found in the former Denkman Memorial  Library on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

http://www.augustana.edu/x13856.xml

Here is their genealogy page which tells about "some" holdings and also has links leading to some other holdings.

Swenson Center Genealogy Page

This tells about their Research Services.

Research Services

They have translation services.

Translation Services

There are microfilmed newspapers. These newspapers can be borrowed through interlibrary loan, but their other materials cannot be borrowed.

Swedish American Newspapers

There are church records.

Swedish American Church Records

There are lodge records.

Lodge Records

You can visit, for a fee, and use the Swedish subscription services SVAR and Arkiv Digital to research in the parish records.

SVAR and Arkiv Digital research at the Swenson Center

This is their Frequently Asked Questions page.

FAQ

They have far more than I can list in this blog to help with our research, but here is something which they have digitalized and you can enjoy. There are some digital projects, including some digitalized old issues of the fantastic journal "Swedish American Genealogist".

Digital projects



The Swenson Center is inside this building at the front of this old postcard.




Once you are inside the building, this is the door you enter to start your research at the Swenson Center.



This is a partial view inside the Swenson Center.




The Swenson Center's extensive collection of records is NOT online. We need to go there to research or pay them to research for us. They have records which are difficult or even impossible to find elsewhere. Many of us have found the parish of birth there, if they were a member of a Swedish American church. A surprising number were not. The records often indicate that someone was suspended for non-payment of dues. Perhaps joining was a luxury that newly arrived immigrants could not afford. However, there are plenty of member records, arranged in family groupings. In my experience the records for the Lutheran churches are much the same as the ones in Sweden, and the Swedish Covenant Church records are also quite detailed for membership records.

http://www.augustana.edu/x14874.xml


Here is an example of a membership listing from a Lutheran church which I found at the Swenson Center. (My farmors [father's mother's] brother was Johan Ernst Ferdinand Eckman, who is listed with his family at the bottom of this record.)

Left side:



Right side:



Even non-members had baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals recorded in the church records and much of what I know about my family in the U.S. comes from those records. The records mostly exist until about 1930, but I have found records in one church which went well into the 1960s.

 Here is an example of a Lutheran Church baptism record found at the Swenson Center. Lester Ernest Ferdinand Ekman was the nephew of my farmor = father's mother, so he was my father's first cousin.

Left side:


 Right side:




Here is an example of a confirmation record from a Lutheran Church. I found this record at the Swenson Center.  Alfreda Olson was the daughter of my farfar's brother (father's father's brother), so she was my dad's first cousin.




Here is an example of a marriage record from a Lutheran Church which I found at the Swenson Center. This shows the marriage of my farmors (father's mother's) sister Ulrika Matilda Theresa Eckman [written as Mathilda T. Eckman here] to Gustaf Herbert Johnson.


Here is an example of a funeral record from a Lutheran church which was found at the Swenson Center. This is one of the few records with information later than 1930. My farmor (father's mother) was Mrs. Signe Olson.






I have also found obituaries and more using the microfilmed Swedish American newspapers at the Swenson Center. Those records actually can be ordered through inter-library loan. They are in Swedish but it is not hard to pick out names, dates, and locations. You can always scan the obituary and ask for help translating it. I have also found information about births, marriages, and deaths, even from other parts of the country. There also will be listings with information about people in Sweden.

http://www.augustana.edu/x14666.xml

 Here is an example of a burial notice found in a Swedish American newspaper. This is for Gustaf Herbert Johnson, brother-in-law of my farmor. (father's mother). The English language obituary did NOT name the pallbearers but this did.



 The newspapers also have other information, such as these lodge notices after the death of Johan Ulrik Ekman, father of my farmor (father's mother).



If you can't get to the Swenson Center, they do research, for a fee. If you can research there, be sure to make an appointment.

http://www.augustana.edu/x19627.xml

The Swenson Center sponsors the Swedish American Genealogist Workshop (SAG Workshop) each fall at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Many people go every year. If you are interested in information about next year's workshop , contact Jill at the Swenson Center.

http://www.augustana.edu/x19446.xml

This year's workshop starts today. (It is sold out.)

Judy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some Things I've Learned While Researching My Swedish Roots

When I started researching my family in 2000, I knew very little.  I only knew their countries of birth.  I did not know birthdates or maiden names or specific locations. A family letter mentioned that my father's father (farfar) and mother's mother (mormor) came from the same part of Sweden. The letter informed us that my parents met at the funeral of my Dad's father. My mother's mother (Mormor) found that my dad's uncle had died in Chicago and since she knew him from Sweden, she wanted to attend the funeral. Mom went with her, and that started a romance which culminated in the marriage of my parents one year and one day later. Few people know the exact day and location where their parents met, but we do.

My cousin had asked one of our dad's first cousins for information on the Olson side of the family back in the early 1970s. Her letter told about the parents and siblings of our farfar but dates and locations were not mentioned.  It also told us about the foster parents of our father's mother (Farmor). We later learned that most of the information in the letter was correct. There were only a few tiny errors. We knew we would recognize the family in Sweden if only we could find the parish in Sweden, but we had no idea how to do that. We didn't have much in the way of home sources, or at least I didn't because a fire had destroyed old photos and letters and other useful information a few years previously. We weren't sure if we would ever be able to solve the problem but of course we had to try.

My cousin and I became inspired to start researching our family history during a family reunion in 2000. We had discovered that although family members didn't know much about our family's history, we knew some different things. Our talks during that reunion added some missing details. We started digging in U.S. sources to find more clues. Sources included old letters, censuses, city directories, vital records, etc. I also went to the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. They don't have online records but what they have provided a lot of detail about our Swedes after they came to the U.S. Unfortunately our grandparents weren't church members at the time, so we didn't find their parishes of birth at that time. We did find a lot about baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals, providing additional information to build upon. I also spent a lot of time at the Great Lakes NARA branch. (NARA stands for National Archive and Records Administration.)

A big breakthrough came after my cousin posted on a message board called Rootsweb. (It is actually the same board which can be accessed, for free, though Ancestry.com.) A Swede answered him and offered to help. Our helper used a cd called Emigranten. (That cd has been updated in recent years and is called Emigranten Populär.) More specifically, he used the Emihamn database. Emihamn was made from registrations with Swedish port police before leaving Sweden. There are about 1.1 million Swedes listed. He found our farfar's sister emigrating from Frändefors parish in Älvsborg county, and found our farfar and farmor going to the U.S. in 1898. No Swedish parish was listed for our grandparents because both had already been to the U.S. However, I was able to find their passenger arrival manifest, which told us that they had left from Frändefors.  It seemed quite clear that we should be able to find the Olson side of the family in Frändefors, although we didn't know if they were born there.  We also thought that my mormor should also be in the records for Frändefors, although it was certainly likely that she came from a nearby parish. Finding my mormor was going to be hampered by the fact that we didn't know her maiden name.

I knew that my mom's cousin had graduated from Augustana College about 1915. I wrote to the Alumni Office and they had records which told the names of her parents, the name and city of her high school, her major, plus information about her husband and children. (I had already known who they were, but it was amazing how much the  college was able to find about someone who graduated so long ago.) Armed with that information, I knew the maiden name of my mormor and her sister, so they were also found in records in Frändefors parish. My farfar and mormor and their ancestors had been born in and lived in Frändefors parish for generations.

My farmor remained a problem for a while.  I owned her old Swedish to English dictionary which had her address but no town. The Swede found by my cousin solved the problem. He looked in a  cd  called "Söder", which covered part of the city of Stockholm. She was listed there with her parents and siblings. Later he also checked "Gamla Stan", which covered another part of the city of Stockholm, and that record had the address found in her dictionary. He later learned that the street name had been changed, but the building still existed. (I saw it last summer, but that is another story.)

I'm in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City at the moment, so I want to keep researching. Next week the Swedish American Genealogist Workshop (SAG Workshop) will be held, and I want to dig deeper into my roots while I'm here.  I'll try to write more when I have a chance.

Judy

Introduction

I am an American with Swedish roots. Three of my grandparents were born in Sweden and  one was born in Denmark.I am starting this blog to share some of the information I've learned about how to research in Swedish parish records. I owe a lot to the wonderful people who willingly do lookups, share tips and favorite sites, etc., and I have discovered some things on my own which I think will be useful to others.


My farfar (father's father):

Johannes Olson (John Olson) was born 26 February 1872 in Grunsbo, Frändefors parish, Älvsborg län, Sweden.

 My farmor (father's mother):

Signe Cecilia Elisabeth Ekman (Eckman) was born 22 November 1877 in Hedvig Eleonora parish in the city of Stockholm, Sweden.



My morfar (mother's father):

Christian Erik Bergstrøm (Bergstrom) was born 29 February 1860 in Maribo købstad, Musse herred, Maribo amt, Denmark.


My mormor (mother's mother):

Sara Maja (Sarah Marie) Andersdotter was born 12 May 1862 in Tjärtakan, Frändefors parish, Älvsborg län, Sweden.