SwedGen Tour 2017

Once again this year, a group of Swedish genealogists will make a trip to the U.S. to present spectacular Swedish genealogical presentations.  This year they are making three stops: on 23 September 2017 at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin; 30 September 2017 at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois; and finally 7-8 October 2017 at the Old Mill Museum in Lindsborg, Kansas.

If you are ANYWHERE in the neighborhood you really have to attend.  These are professional Swedish researchers and they provide one-on-one assistance, in addition to lectures. If you plan on attending you must sign up however. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

ArkivDigital Advanced Search

Well, ArkivDigital has done it again! Another great update to their service. They have added an Advanced Search option for the 1950 Census, 1960 Census, and 1880-1920 Population indexes. Much of the update merely makes the searching a little more clear by having separate fields for entering specific types of information, rather than the one field for all searching. They have various search options in the categories of Name, Birth, Census, and Household.  So now you can distinguish in your search between someone’s residence and place of birth. AND what I find incredibly useful, you can search for two people in the same household!! This can be an incredibly useful capability depending on the information you have.  I would highly recommend a quick read of the blog that describes this functionality.

Note: The Advanced Search functionality is only available on the web version of ArkivDigital.

ArkivDigital Scanning Kansas, Minnesota, and NOW Nebraska Church Records

I have mentioned in the past, with great excitement, that ArkivDigital has begun scanning Swedish-American church records in the U.S. They started with Kansas (and a few Missouri and Oklahoma), they moved to Minnesota, and now they are working on Nebraska!

It is important to note that even if these are “Swedish”-American churches, many of them had Norwegian, Finnish, and Danish members. And it is often the best place to find where someone came from in the old country.

So can you expect to find in these records? Well, naturally birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial. But do not be surprised to find a whole lot more. You might find a moving certificate (Flyttningsbetyg) that includes where in Sweden Andrew Mellborg and his wife Kristina Johnson were born, it gives information on when, and from where, they came to America, and when the moved to Carver Salem Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Carver Salem Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Carver County, Minnesota), Församlingsbok (Church Register), 1891-1946, vol. 1, p. 69a, Flyttningsbetyg (Moving Record) for Andrew A. Mellborg and Kristina Johnson; digital images by subscription, ArkivDigital (http://www.arkivdigital.net : accessed 13 July 2017), AID #v843931.b53.s69a.

You might find the church kept a register like those-församlingsbok and husförhörslängd-kept in Sweden that detailed the lives of the members. Here is one for Buffalo Zion Lutheran Church for the Johan Bodin and Lisa Larsdotter family, listing their birth dates and places in Sweden, marriage date, immigration information, and death information for Johan, Lisa, and all their children! Imagine finding this if you did not know where Johan or Lisa came from in Sweden. Note they use Lisa’s maiden name, just as they did in Sweden. An incredible fine!

Buffalo Zion Lutheran Church, (Wright County, Minnesota), Församlingsbok (Church Register), 1886-1943, vol. 3, p. 8, Church Register for Johan Bodin and Lisa Larsdotter family; digital images by subscription, ArkivDigital (http://www.arkivdigital.net : accessed 13 July 2017), AID #v843158.b32.s8.

These records have many treasures like these and they are a “must research” if available for your family’s area. Once again, ArkivDigital doing incredible work for researchers!

Happy Hunting!

Glad Midsommar!

The high point of Scandinavian summers is certainly the celebration of the summer solstice. Norway and Denmark recognize the longest day of the year, but Sweden and Finland go all out: in fact the Friday and Saturday after the solstice are national holidays. Traditionally, Sweden celebrated on 24 June, Johannes Doparens dag (St. John the Baptists Day.)

So how do you celebrate Midsommar? You adorn yourself in traditional clothing and flower crowns; dance around a Midsummer-Pole; sing traditional songs (Små Grodorna); enjoy plenty of herring, new potatoes, snaps, and strawberries; and um…well, there is a saying that “Midsummer’s night is not long but causes many cradles to rock.”

If you are not lucky enough to be in Sweden during Midommar don’t worry! There are festivities all over the U.S.

The official site of Sweden has a great webpage on Midsommar and I highly recommend the playing their video clip!

More Swedish Newspapers Online

Sveriges Släktforskarförbund (The National Swedish Genealogical Society) reports that the Royal Library continues to grow its online newspaper collection with the ultimate goal of having 2 million pages from over 60 historic newspapers online by the end of 2017. This is a tremendous collection for those researching Swedish ancestors. The newspapers have been digitized and OCRed but keep in mind the OCR technology is far from perfect so even if you do not find your ancestor using “Search” a page-by-page review of a local newspaper may be necessary.

While the site is in Swedish, it is easy to use even if you don’t read Swedish. There are essentially two options. First, put your search terms in the big empty field in the middle of the page and press Sök (Search).

This will return hits from all newspapers-historic and modern. And if there are not too many you can read them all or at that point you can adjust the time period to limit the search.

The second option is to use the browse function “Bläddra Bland Dagstidningar” to narrow down which newspapers will be returned. 

You can click on the “+ Se fler” button to see the full list of newspapers. You merely click on the newspaper from the location you are researching and it returns the entire set of that newspaper that has been digitized. Than you either review, page-by-page, or Search in the newspaper.

Note there are 400 available newspapers (some are not viewable online, but most of the historic ones are.) The historic newspaper collection comprises the following.

TITLE                                          FROM                  TO
Arbetet                                        1887-08-06            1901-12-31
Barometern                                     1841-10-02            1895-12-31
Blekingsposten                                 1852-12-04            1884-12-09
Bollnäs tidning                                1876-07-01            1880-05-01
Borås tidning                                  1838-12-07            1895-12-31
Carlscronas wekoblad                           1764-01-21            1878-08-31
Carlscronas wekoblad                           1753-12-29            1754-12-31
Carlscronas tidningar                          1755-01-11            1764-01-14
Dagligt allehanda                              1767-10-20            1849-02-12
Dalpilen                                       1854-01-02            1926-12-31
Eskilstunakuriren                              1890-12-08            1900-12-31
Fahlu weckoblad                                1786-09-16            1821-12-29
Falköpings tidning                             1857-02-07            1896-12-30
Faluposten                                     1869-09-01            1890-12-27
Folkets röst                                   1849-10-06            1861-03-16
Gotlands tidning                               1867-01-18            1888-01-07
Göteborgs handels- och sjöfartstidning         1832-03-22            1895-12-31
Göteborgs weckoblad                            1875-01-02            1892-12-29
Göteborgsposten                                1859-01-05            1895-12-31
Götheborgs allehanda                           1774-01-01            1843-02-10
Götheborgs weckolista                          1749-12-16            1758-12-20
Götheborgska nyheter                           1765-01-05            1848-12-30
Härnösandsposten                               1842-05-26            1895-12-31
Inrikes tidningar                              1760-11-26            1820-12-29
Jönköpingsbladet                               1843-11-25            1872-11-30
Jönköpingsposten                               1865-01-17            1895-12-31
Kalmar                                         1864-07-30            1918-06-22
Karlshamns allehanda                           1848-01-15            1895-12-31
Karlskrona weckoblad                           1879-01-02            1895-12-31
Kristianstadsbladet                            1856-09-20            1895-12-31
Lindesbergs allehanda                          1876-01-07            1880-12-01
Lunds weckoblad                                1775-01-05            1782-12-18
Lunds weckoblad                                1813-01-02            1895-12-31
Malmö allehanda                                1827-07-06            1893-01-31
Nerikes allehanda                              1843-03-04            1895-12-31
Norden                                         1856-08-02            1861-12-07
Norra Skåne                                    1881-01-04            1897-12-06
Norrbottenskuriren                             1861-12-14            1895-12-31
Norrbottensposten                              1847-01-09            1895-12-31
Norrköpings tidningar                          1787-01-03            1895-12-31
Norrköpings weckotidningar                     1758-10-14            1786-12-30
Norrköpingskuriren                             1858-10-02            1862-12-30
Norrlandsposten                                1880-05-03            1880-12-31
Norrländska korrespondenten                    1851-10-11            1873-12-16
Nya dagligt allehanda                          1859-11-17            1895-12-31
Nya Wermlandstidningen                         1851-01-02            1895-12-31
Nya Wexjöbladet                                1846-12-11            1895-12-31
Nytt allvar och skämt                          1843-01-19            1851-10-08
Nytt och gammalt                               1783-01-03            1812-12-15
Post- och inrikes tidningar                    1821-01-02            1895-12-31
Posttidningar                                  1645-01-02            1820-12-31
Reformatorn                                    1887-08-05            1965-03-28
Stockholms dagblad                             1824-01-02            1895-12-31
Stockholmsposten                               1778-10-29            1833-03-30
Sundsvalls tidning                             1880-01-03            1895-12-31
Sundsvalls tidning Norrländska korrespondenten 1873-12-18            1879-12-30
Tidning för Wenersborgs stad och län           1848-12-12            1898-12-29
Umebladet                                      1847-09-25            1895-12-31
Upsala                                         1845-10-03            1895-12-31
Wermlands läns tidning                         1871-12-27            1879-11-11
Wermlandstidningen                             1842-12-21            1850-12-24
Wernamo tidning                                1876-10-04            1884-12-19
Vestmanlands läns tidning                      1831-02-10            1895-12-31
Wexjöbladet                                    1810-01-30            1855-09-24
Östergötlands veckoblad                        1885-11-07            1895-11-08
Östgöta correspondenten                        1838-09-24            1895-12-31
Östgötaposten                                  1895-11-15            1917-12-28

Glad Nationaldag! in Sweden

A very Happy National Day to Sweds this 6 June 2017. Although a fairly new recognized holiday–only being celebrated as a public holiday in 2005, and before 1983 it was Flag Day–nevertheless it coincides with the date of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the adoption of a new Constitution in 1809. A nice description of the Holiday can be found here. There are not a lot of significant traditions with the holiday, but it sets the stage for the big summer holiday in two weeks, Midsommer!

Swedish-American Newspapers Online

One of the great, but often overlooked, resources for Swedish-American research are the ethnic newspapers that were available to most Swedish immigrants. They read these papers, usually published in Swedish, for news from home or news about other friends who had migrated to the U.S. It is estimated that there were around 600 published titles of Swedish-American newspapers, albeit some had for short runs. Many of these newspapers still exist, but you may need to do a bit of searching. The newspapers exist as hard copies in archives, some have been microfilmed, and a few have been digitized.

One of the most significant online collections can be found on the Minnesota Historical Society Website. The collection consists of 300,000 pages, from 28 newspapers published across the U.S. The publications were made available through a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society, the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga Biblioteket), the American Swedish Institute, and the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois.Most Swedish American papers will have lists of immigrants, emigrants (many Swedes returned to Sweden after living in the U.S. for a while), visitors from the Old Country, births and marriages and deaths both in the U.S. and in Sweden.  I have found many of my Sweden-living cousins’ death notices in U.S. papers.

Most Swedish American papers will have lists of immigrants, emigrants (many Swedes returned to Sweden after living in the U.S. for a while), visitors from the Old Country, births and marriages and deaths both in the U.S. and in Sweden.  I have found many of my Swedish cousins death notices in U.S. papers.The Swenson Center has a large number of microfilmed newspapers that have not been digitized yet, a list of these can be found here: often these microfilms can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.

The Minnesota Historical Society has some newspapers that have not been digitized, onsite research will be needed to use these resources. You can search for these newspapers in the Society’s catalog.

I cannot overemphasize how important is the work of digitizing, and indexing of the records through OCR capabilities. And I especially cannot overemphasize the importance of using these records for your research!

Swedish Death Transcriptions

For those working in more recent Swedish records there is a very helpful resource Sveriges Dödbook the most recent version–number 6–covers the time-period 1901-2013.  It’s a list of all (or almost all, over 99%) of all deaths in Sweden transcribed and available on this CD.

The next iteration, version 7, is currently being developed and will cover 1860-2017! Apparently the plan is to publish a “pre-release” version in November 2017 that covers about 2/3 of the new material, and the final Sveriges Dödbook 7 will be released in November 2018. The price for version 6 is about $70 dollars, no notice yet on the price of version 7.  I have found this resource to be indispensable for my research and I am sure I will be early in line to get version 7.

ArkivDigital Digitizing Church Records in Minnesota

Great news for the many of us with Swedish ancestors in Minnesota, ArkivDigital announced that it has begun the process of digitizing many of the Swedish-American church records in Minnesota.  They tell us that the records should begin to be available soon. This follows the wonderful job they did with the church records of Kansas. Further reason why I believe ArkivDigital is the must have resource for genealogist with Swedish (and Swedish-American) ancestors!

Free Nordic Genealogy Webinars

I wanted to remind everyone that FamilySearch has some great free webinars on Scandinavian research. Some of the webinars are pre-recorded (they can be found in the Learning Center-But note, they have recently “upgraded” their Learning Center and its search functionality does not work very well and there does not appear to be a browse by Country capability.) Others webinars are in real-time which allows you the opportunity to ask questions of the instructor. For example, over the next two months FamilySearch is offering four live webinars:

  • Tue, 9 May, 11:00 AM MDT, Norwegian Emigration: The Experience
  • Wed, 24 May, 2:00 PM MDT, Databases for Swedish Genealogy
  • Tue, 13 Jun, 1:00 PM MDT, How to Find Ancestors in the Digitalarkivet
  • Wed, 28 Jun, 11:00 AM MDT, Introducing Danish Probates

New webinars are posted monthly, and can be found here. I highly recommend these webinars: they are from some of the top people in the field!