Sweden: Death Record Search Strategy 1500-1859Edit This Page

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'1.'Parish Register, Death: Church records

Beginning about 1500, usually much later, the clergy began to keep death/burial records. The earlier records may not give the name of the person who died or was buried, rather, the name of the principal male figure in his/her life. Example - "Pehr Olofsson's wife/child of Nygaard was buried today". The record may also include the age and residence of the decedent. Information found in a death/burial record depends upon how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Before civil registers began, death or church burial records were the best source for determining when a person died. They included nearly everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the deceased.

Why go to the next record
Not all death or burial records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'2.'Parish Census Records: Church records
Clerical surveys (husforhorslangd) often give death dates. Before 1800, death dates are often recorded in the remarks column of the surveys. After 1850 most clerical surveys have a column for death dates. This record is found under the jurisdiction of parish-church.

What you are looking for
Parish Census Records or clerical surveys often contain death information. The minister indicated that the person had died by doing one of the following: drawing a line through the person's name, drawing a cross to the left of the person's name, or writing the word död and the death date to the right of the person's name. Some clerical surveys have a special column for recording death dates.

Why go to the next record
Not all clerical surveys contain death information. A line drawn through the person's name could also mean the person moved out of the parish.

'3.'Probate Records: Probate records
Probate records "bouppteckningar" often give the date the probate or inventory took place. Sometimes the date of death is listed. Names of all legal surviving heirs are often listed. Married female heirs will be listed with the names of their husbands. This record is found under the jurisdiction of court district-court.

What you are looking for
In the absence of parish registers or clerical surveys, a probate record is the best record for determining the person's date of death. Probate records were usually completed within 30 days of death. In the preamble of some probate records, the death date is recorded. The date at the beginning of the probate's preamble is the date the probate was completed. The person's death usually took place in the year of the probate.

Why go to the next record
Not everyone had a probate record, and not all probate records have been filmed. The beginning date of probates varies from place to place.

'4.'Baptism: Church records 
Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep christening (or baptism) records. The records give the names of the parents and the child and include birth dates. Information found in a christening depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
In the absence of clerical surveys and probate records, church christening records were the best source for determining when a person died. In the christening record next to the person's name, the minister may put the symbol of a cross and death date, indicating the person died. When the father or mother appears in the christening records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.

Why go to the next record
Not all church christening records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'5.'Marriage Record: Church records 
Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Second and third marriages may have occurred anytime after that. If the church christening records do not exist, parish marriage records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the marriage records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.

What you are looking for
Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Second and third marriages may have occurred anytime after that. If church christening records do not exist, parish marriage records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the marriage records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.

Why go to the next record
Not all parish marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'6.'Tax List: Taxation
Tax lists (mantalslängd) provide little or no information regarding the death on an individual. If a person's name is not found on a successive tax list, it means the person died, moved or was dropped because he or she was older than 63 years. This record is found under the jurisdiction of county-government.

What you are looking for
Persons were considered "taxable" between the ages of 15 and 63. If a person was in a previous tax list but not on the present, it means either the person died or became older than 63.

Why go to the next record
Not all persons were required to pay taxes. Sometimes in a parish where several persons had the same name, you may have difficulty determining which person is your ancestor. Not all tax lists have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'7.'Muster Rolls: Military records
Military records (muster rolls) may contain death information if a soldier was killed in combat. Generally the date of death and how the soldier died will be given in the remarks column. This record can be found under the jurisdiction of country-government.

What you are looking for
When tax lists do not exist, military records are the best source for determining when a male died. Military records may not give an exact death date, but they provide the year of death.

Why go to the next record

Not all military records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 20 October 2011, at 12:02.
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