Älvsborg County (now part of Västra Götaland), Sweden Genealogy

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Europe Gotoarrow.pngSweden Gotoarrow.pngÄlvsborg County

Guide to Älvsborg County, Sweden ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

How to Do Research in Älvsborg, Sweden

Most of your genealogical research for Älvsborg will be in online church records. Methods for locating and reading them are given here.

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Älvsborg County was created in 1634. On Dec. 31, 1997 the County was dissolved, becoming part of the County of Västra Götaland on Jan. 1, 1998. Älsvsborg County is part of Dalsland Province and Västegötland Province. The county letter for Älvsborg is: P

Knowing Your Locality

To search effectively, it will help if you know the farm, parish, and county where your ancestor lived. The Wiki articles Gather Family Information, Tracing Immigrant Origins, and Finding a Place of Origin in Sweden describe many strategies you can use to find this. Sweden 1951 Place Names Register and the Swedish Parish Pages list in this Wiki will give you searchable lists of places, particularly parishes and the farms within those parishes.


  • Ale härad
  • Bjärke härad
  • Bollebygds härad
  • Flundre härad
  • Gäsene härad
  • Kinds härad
  • Kullings härad
  • Marks härad
  • Nordals härad
  • Redvägs härad
  • Sundals härad
  • Tössbo härad
  • Valbo härad
  • Vedbo härad
  • Vedens härad
  • Väne härad
  • Vättle härad
  • Ås härad


Patronymics and Naming Customs

Most Swedish surnames are patronymic. Patronymic surnames changed with each generation. Also, Swedish surnames can be changed for a variety of reasons. Understanding surname changes is more important in Swedish research than in United States or Great Britain. To prepare yourself to cope with these changes, carefully study Sweden Names, Personal.

Church Records

Church records from the county of Älvsborg contain the following types of records. Click on the Swedish name of the record to link to important facts and clues that can be found in each record.

Household Examination Records (Husförhörslängder)

The Household Examination Records are a key source in Swedish genealogical research, not found in many other countries. Perhaps their greatest value is that they gave detailed data organized in families for each year. This is particularly helpful in sorting out the duplication of names created by the use of patronymics. The contents of a Household Examination Book varied according to time, place and the minister. As you search the books you might see:

  • The name of the farm, village, or rote (registration area).
  • Names of household members including any
pigor (female workers) or drängar (male workers).
  • Birthplace
  • Birth date or age
  • A score for catechism knowledge.
  • Dates of partaking communion.
  • Dates of participation with the Household Examination.
  • Moving information
  • Death date
  • Marriage date
  • Disciplinary notes
  • Vaccination against smallpox.
  • Reference to military conscription.

1. Online Digital Records for Church Records

The easiest way to access the Swedish Church Records is through the internet, using these sites:

Four of these sites require a subscription for access. (ArkivDigital, Ancestry.com, and MyHeritage.com are available at a FamilyHistory Center near you free of charge.)

FamilySearch Historical Records Online Databases for Sweden

The original copies of the church records before 1895 are preserved by the Naional and Regional Archives in Sweden. FamilySearch has partnered with The National Archives of Sweden to create indexes of the Swedish church records. For more detail on the contents and coverage of these records, see: Sweden Church Records, 1308 – 1940 Images Published on FamilySearch.

Ancestry.com Online Database for Sweden

Älvsborg Index and Images

Sweden Including Älvsborg

MyHeritage.com Online Databases for Sweden

ArkivDigital Online Databases for Sweden

These lessons will teach you how to use ArkivDigital:

Here are links for registering, direct link to Älvsborg records, the main search page, and a library of instructional articles on Swedish genealogy methods.


2. Microfilms of Church Records for Sweden

Microfilms of the original records used for developing the online databases are also available for research. You will find additional records that have yet to be digitized. These microfilms may be viewed at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Sweden, Älvsborg .
b. Click on "Places within Sweden, Älvsborg " and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
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Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:

Search Strategy and Tips

  • First find the birth and baptism record of your ancestor. Once you know his date and place of birth and his parents' names, you can locate the family in the Household Examination Records.
  • Search every Household Examination Record that your ancestor appears on (from birth to death). You will pick up valuable clues along the way, find children who died young, and establish correct family member relationships.
  • All birth, marriage, or death dates found in Household Examination Records need to be verified in the actual birth, marriage, or death records.
  • Pay attention to relationship titles, occupations, military status, and remarks. See word list for Vocabulary for Household Examination Records.
  • Dates are written in the European order of day, month, and year.
  • The Family History Library created a basic key words list to help with reading the column headings (for when they exist in the actual records.) This copy has been given out at the Nordic Reference Counter for many years. To print your own copy see: Swedish Parish Register and Household Exam Roll Headings