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!