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When the great Swedish migration took place between about 1845 and 1930 roughly 1.2 million (approximately 20%) of the population left the country. Most of those emigrants went to North America. This massive migration left its mark on the Swedish society and culture at many levels. The greatest impact was of course upon those who left, and the families they left behind. With this said, there is a great interest to better understand the Swedish emigrant experience from both shores. Many people in Sweden and in countries around the world still carry the question of “what happened to the rest of the family”?
Two archives in Sweden have been gathering records for decades to identify Swedish emigrants and better understand the migration story. Both archives are renowned for great collections and are excellent resources for Swedish emigrant research. They are:
- Swedish Emigrant Institute (Utvandrarnas Hus) in Växjö, Sweden
- Sverige Amerika Centret in Karlstad, Sweden