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Blog | Swedish American Genealogical Research Services

Glad Lucia! (Happy St. Lucia Day)

Today in celebration of Saint Lucia, Scandinavians will celebrate with lighted processions and special treats. This is the start of the Christmas season and special time for many! Glad Lucia till alla!

Posted in Denmark, Finland, Holiday, Norway, Sweden

Tuesday Quick Tips – Danish Records at MyHeritage.com

I have enthused about MyHeritage.com in previous posts, but now there is even more reason to consider a subscription if you are doing Danish research. MyHeritage.com has recently posted a significant index to Danish records from 1813 to 1923. The index to over 26 million records includes birth/baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths and more.

The index is not complete, and it can be difficult to find people even using the index; but any new tool in the genealogical tool-box is great help. One word of caution if you are new to Danish research, there are an awful lot of Jens and Sørens and Kirstine and others. So just because you find someone with a similar name, born on the day you great grandparent was said to be born on, does not mean it is the same person. Indexes can lead you astray as fast as they can help, so confirm you have the correct person using F.A.N. research and matching on multiple data points.

Posted in Denmark, Records

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää! (Happy Independence Day Finland!)

On December 6th Finland celebrates its declaration of independence from the Russian Republic in 1917, best wishes to a great people and a great country!

Posted in Finland

Tuesday Quick Tips – Learning and Doing Good

There is no better way to learn to read old script than to just sit down and start working on it. I am not suggesting for someone who has never read any old scripts to jump into a meaty 17th century court record in poor gothic script. But working your way back in time and seeing how the language and script has naturally progressed in standardized formats is great way to learn and feel comfortable with the language and scripts. You will be surprised at how fast your language skills grow.

If you could do that AND help the entire genealogical community why would you not? One way to do this is to join a genealogical indexing project, like FamilySearch. They help you to grow in reading and understanding records and you help develop indexes of records like census, land, probate, birth/baptisms, marriages, and deaths/burials. You pick the project you are interested in and are offered a small set of records to index, maybe one or two pages. If you cannot read a set of records, you return it unindexed and get another set of records. Simple. But work through what you can and eventually you will find it is easier and easier. The projects are categorized as Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced and indicate time periods. At this time FamilySearch has one Norwegian projects, three Danish projects (not including one Schleswig-Holstein German project), one Icelandic project, one Finnish project, and four Swedish projects. Several of these would be great for introducing you to the language, scripts, records, and record formats.

Not feeling confident about doing indexing? FamilySearch makes sure that records are indexed twice and the results are compared and arbitrated if needed. They also provide recommendations and aids for working through the records. You will be in good hands, you will learn a lot, and will contribute to entire genealogical community!

Posted in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Records, Sweden

Tuesday Quick Tips – Midwife

When a child was born in Sweden, the birth was often attended by a midwife (barnmorska). The attendance of a midwife at the birth was in some cases recorded in the birth and christening record, especially in later records. The following is an example from 1863.

ejexSollefteå Parish, (Västernorrlands County, Sweden), Födelse- och dopbok (Birth and christening book) 1841-1870, C:4, p. 103, 4 October 1863, Anna Margareta [Classon]; digital images by subscription, ArkivDigital (http://www.arkivdigital.net : accessed 8 November 2016), AID #v122403.b96.s103.

In this example, the mother was attended by an “Ej ex. barnm.” [Ej examinarad barnmorska]-an unexamined midwife. Meaning a midwife, who had not received formal training.

Typical abbreviations seen in these type of notations are:

b. = barnmorska (midwife)

ex. = examinarad (examined/trained)

Oex. = Oexaminarad (unexamined/not trained)

– = A slash or blank space MAY indicate that there was no midwife, or that one was not recorded…

In some later birth records there is even a column for such information-entitled Förlossningsbiträde (Birthing Assistance.)

oexGrangärde Parish, (Dalarna County, Sweden), Födelse- och Dopbok (Birth and Christening Book) 1865-1879, C:12, unpaginated, chronologically ordered; digital images by subscription, ArkivDigital (http://www.arkivdigital.net : accessed 8 November 2016), AID # v130194.b332.

In these two example, the first has an trained midwife “Ex.” the second does not “Oex.”

Although, this may not provide any significant information in breaking down a brick wall, hopefully, it will give you just a little more insight into how your family experienced their lives.

Posted in Records, Sweden

New Blog Mail System

Hej All
Am using a new blog mail system, so if you seem to have stopped getting blog posts, give me a holler and I will try and see what the problem is.

Posted in Uncategorized

ArkivDigital 2.0 is Free 12-13 November 2016

41605_182139575145262_729212973_nA few weekends a month ArkivDigital offers its access to Swedish records free. Well, once you see what it is like to have 24-7 access to beautiful, color digitizations of almost all the basic records needed to do Swedish research you will subscribe, so maybe not so free 🙂 Anyway, this weekend 12-13 November 2016 you can register with ArkivDigital and download the program and stay glued to the computer for 48 hours!!!  NB: This is the full version of ArkivDigital with the index’s! So many of you with the original subscriptions should try out the new offering too.

Posted in Records, Sweden

Tuesday Quick Tips – Index for Halland Län Records Added to FamilySearch

FamilySearch is always adding additional digitized records online and continuing to index records so that they are freely available to all. In the last few weeks they have added almost 3/4 million index entries for the Halland Län! Even if you have checked in the past, it is always a good idea to keep checking back and see if additional records have been indexed. Obviously, indexing always has mistakes, just as the original records have mistakes, so you should never rely entirely on indexes, but when used carefully they will certainly help you break down those pesky brick-walls.

Posted in Records, Sweden

Tuesday Quick Tips – Witches in Sweden

Like the rest of Europe and America between the 15th and 18th century, Sweden experienced some witch hysteria. The most famous incident being the Torsåker Parish Witch Trials of 1674-1675, when 71 people (6 men and 65 women) were executed for being witches. (Salem, Massachusetts paled in comparison with a mere 20 executions.) There had been concerns about witchcraft throughout Europe for many years although the direct cause of this incident was the minister of the church directing that an investigation be carried out to find local witches. If you had family in the area at the time they were likely affected by the deaths as the 65 women amounted to about 20% of the women in the area. Almost all families lost someone.

Posted in Sweden

Tuesday Quick Tips – Stockholm City Archives

If you are doing research on families who lived in or around Stockholm there is one website you must become familiar with, Stockholm Stadsarkivet (Stockholm City Archives.) The Stockholm City Archives has many important archival resources available if you are able to visit in person: but even if you cannot drop by Stockholm their website has some great resources digitized or transcribed. I will note one initial difficulty, none of the site has been translated into English, so you must work in Swedish. This may give you pause, but I assure you it is well worth the effort. And if you are doing Stockholm research for the the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century it is essential for your research.

Among the most important resources are the following.

  • Rotemansarkivet: This is a substitution for the non-existant household examination records for Stockholm and it tracks individuals and families as the move in or out, and as they experience family events like births, marriages, and deaths. Like the household examination records it is important to confirm information as it is a secondary source for most major life events.
  • Mantalslängder (Census/Tax Records): Various years between 1760 and 1935 have been transcribed, indexed, and possibly digitized. These are important records for Swedish research anywhere in the Country, but they take on additional importance in Stockholm where it can be difficult to follow someone in such a large population.
  • Allmänna Barnhuset (Stockholm Orphanage): The Stockholm Orphanage records contain the list of orphans from 1798-1916. Many of the entries are very detailed, and may be the key resource for identifying an orphans family.
  • Various Police Records including Konkursärenden 1689-1849 (Bankruptcies); Stockholmspolisens signalementsfotografier 1869-1920 (Stockholm Police Mugshots); and Polisunderrättelser 1878 – 1894 (Police Reports).
  • Dödsbevis (Death Certificates): Stockholm death certificates from 1878 to 1926.

In addition to these, there are a number of maps, architecturals (so you can see what the home looked like-often inside layout and outside), and much more.

The Stockholm City Archives is required researching if you have Stockholm research.  Happy Research!

Posted in Records, Sweden, Uncategorized
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