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Tuesday Quick Tips – Swedish Emigration Contracts | Swedish American Genealogical Research Services

Tuesday Quick Tips – Swedish Emigration Contracts

So you’ve found your Swedish immigrant ancestor in the Göteborg Emigration lists-indexed on Ancestry.com, not indexed at ArkivDigital (or for from the Emigration lists in Stockholm or Malmö.)  And you see there is a contract number (Kontraktets N:o) to left of the name, is there any way to find a copy of the actual contract? And would that provide you with any additional information? Perhaps.

Copies of contracts may be available either microfilmed at FamilySearch or directly from one of the archives in Sweden. However, many contracts were apparently not copied, or the copies do not survive. For example, while Emigration lists begin in 1869, the contract copies do not really begin until 1891 in Göteborg. Also, even though the contracts are in numeric order, they can be difficult to find, depending on where, and from whom, the contracts were purchased. And finally, in most cases even if you find a copy of the contract it will not provide additional information, with the exception, typically, of the cost of the tickets.

For example, the Emigrant list for Per Johan Danielson and family from Elfkarleby (Älvkarleby), Uppsala provides just as much information as the duplicate contract number 532, except the contract provides a bit more specificity on the ages and indicates that they paid 1304 Kronor for passage for the family.PerJohanDanielsonGoteborg

“Gothenburg, Sweden, Passenger Lists, 1869-1951,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 August 2016), Calypso manifest, 12 June 1908, contract no. 532, Per Johan Danielson family; from Göteborgs Poliskammare, EIX 1-143, 1869-1950, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden.

PerJohanDanielsonKontract1

Bröderna Larsson & Co. Göteborgskontoret, “Dupletter av utvandrarkontrakt, 1881-1913,” loose records, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, vol. D III 3, 1893-1909: contract c no. 532, Per Johan Danielson Family, 12 June 1908; FHL microfilm 262,330.

The following contract indicates that Hilma was already living in the U.S. for over five years but she was not yet a citizen. This might be something that helps to clear up a question on your subject immigrant’s naturalization status or even a marriage question.HilmaAmaliaCharlottaAndersonKontract copy

Bröderna Larsson & Co. Göteborgskontoret, “Dupletter av utvandrarkontrakt, 1881-1913,” loose records, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, vol. D III 3, 1893-1909: contract c no. 546, Hilma Amelia Charlotta Andersson, 9 October 1908; FHL microfilm 262,330.

Generally, considering the potential difficulty of searching for the contract, the benefit of having the contract is probably small, although you never know if might find something interesting. However, there is a least one case where searching for contracts is likely very important, that is the case if there was any type of interruption in a migration trip–someone left their Parish to emigrate but returned to the Parish a few weeks or months later, or they left Sweden but did not seem to arrive to their intended Port.

For example when Johan Gustaf Dahlstedt left for Duluth, Minnesota in July of 1908 it seemed like a perfectly normal trip.JohanGustafDahlstedt

 

“Gothenburg, Sweden, Passenger Lists, 1869-1951,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 August 2016), Ariosto manifest, 3 July 1908, contract no. 5832, Johan Gustaf Dahlstedt; from Göteborgs Poliskammare, EIX 1-143, 1869-1950, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden.

However, it is only if you look at the contract will you find that Johan Gustaf committed suicide by jumping overboard. The contract is the only place that I have, to date, been able to find a reference to his death.JohanGustafDahlstedtKontract

 

Bröderna Larsson & Co. Göteborgskontoret, “Dupletter av utvandrarkontrakt, 1881-1913,” loose records, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, vol. D III 3, 1893-1909: contract pp no. 5832, Johan Gustaf Dahlstedt, 3 July 1908; FHL microfilm 262,330.

Similarly, because the shipping line was responsible for transporting anyone back who was not physically healthy enough to enter the U.S. they had an incentive to reject people who were not well. In this case Otto A. Anderson made it to Grimsby, England before they cancelled his ticket and returned him to Göteborg, for having Trachoma.OttoAAndersonKontractCancelledTrachoma

Bröderna Larsson & Co. Göteborgskontoret, “Dupletter av utvandrarkontrakt, 1881-1913,” loose records, Landsarkivet i Göteborg, vol. D III 3, 1893-1909: contract c no. 2971, Otto A. Anderson, 31 August 1904; FHL microfilm 262,330.

The bottom line is that the copies of contracts can be valuable resources, but they are by no means primary resources for most researchers. They can add the extra information that puts the meat on the skeleton of your family tree!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Emigration Records, Records, Sweden

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