There are three principle gazetteers when doing genealogical research in Sweden. These gazetteers are: Svensk Ortförteckning (The Swedish Postal Guide), Geografiskt-Statistiskt Handlexikon öfver Sverige (The Geographical Gazetteer over Sweden), and Svenska Orter, Atlas över Sverige med Ortbeskrivning (Swedish Places). Below you will find examples from each gazetteer with English translations to help the researcher better understand the information found in each gazetteer.
SVENSK ORTFÖRTECKNING – The Swedish Postal Guide (FHL 948.5 E8sv)
Svensk Ortförteckning lists in a alphabetical sequences the farms and villages in Sweden. The letters Å, Ä, Ö follow Z in the Swedish alphabet. Following the alphabetical listing of the farm or village is an abbreviation of what the place is. The most common abbreviations are gd (gård) = farm, gd: ar (gårdar) = larger farm, and by = village. Next is the name of the parish (församling or socken) in which the smaller place is located. After the name of the parish is an abbreviation for the county (län) in which the parish is located. The county abbreviation is always shown in upper case letters. For example, the abbreviation for the county of Kopparberg is KPBG. A key to decode the abbreviations used in Svensk Ortförteckning can be found inside the bookäs front cover. Following the county abbreviation, the researcher will find the principle abbreviations P, Tf, and Tg. The P is followed by the name of the post office nearest to the parish, the Tf identifies the telephone prefix for the parish and the Tg identifies the nearest telegraph office.
Names of farms or villages that are preceded by a descriptive term, such as, Stora (greater), Lilla (little), Västra (west), Östra (east), etc. will be found after all the singular listings for the places. For example, if the researcher is looking for the place name Stora Nybble, he would first find the listing for the place Nybble. Following the listings for Nybble, the abbreviation St:a is found. St:a is the abbreviation for Stora (greater). The information to the right of this abbreviation pertains to the place called Stora Nybble.
In the 1965 edition of Svensk Ortforteckning on page 655 is the listing for Nybble. There are 16 separate listings for the place name NYBBLE. Three of these listings are NYBBLE in Örebro (Öreb) county. One of three listings follows:
Nybble – by hl lg: er fabr Tysslinge (Vintrosa) ÖREB P Vintrosa Tf 019 Ör Tg Örebro 15 J Fjugesta 10 Örebro 19.
This listing can be interpreted as follows:
Nybble – a village with apartments and factory located in Tysslinge parish (formerly Vintrosa parish) in Örebro county, the nearest post office is in Vintrosa parish, the telephone prefix is 019 and the nearest telegraph office is located in Orebro City.
The crucial information for the researcher is that Nybble is a village formerly located in the parish of Vintrosa in Örebro county. Now that this information is known the researcher can look up the Lutheran Church Records by accessing the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) and looking for the catalog listing for SWEDEN, ÖREBRO, VINTROSA – CHURCH RECORDS.
GEOGRAFISKT-STATISTISKT HANDLEXIKON ÖFVER SVERIGE (948.5 e5R, Volumes 1-4)
This gazetter is excellent for showing the spellings of Swedish place names prior the spelling reform, which took place in 1906. As a result of the 1906 spelling reform, “c: became “k”, “z” became “s”, “w” became “v”, “q” became “k”, many words with “j” used “I” instead, and places with an initial or interior “e” changed to Ä or ä. Below are some examples of the 1906 Swedish spelling reform.
C became K Carl became Karl
Z became S Zidzel became Sidsel
W became V Wilhelm became Vilhelm
J became I Jngerd became Ingerd
Q became K Qvistberg became Kvistberg
E e became Ä ä Elfsborg became Älvsborg
Interior “f” became “v” or was dropped all together. For place names beginning with “Hv” or “Hw”, the initial H was dropped. Some examples follow:
F became V or was dropped Arfwid became Arvid
Hv or Hw became V Hvena became Vena
Hwällinge became Vellinge
For this gazetteer, it will be necessary to know the following Swedish word terms and their English equivalents:
Sn (Socken) Parish
Hd (Härad) Court District
On page 270 of Volume 3, the following citation is found:
Nybble i Örebro län och hd, Vintrosa sn. By. 3 mtl lyda under Svartå i Qvistbro sn.
This entry translates in English as:
Nybble, in Örebro county and court district, Vintrosa parish. Village. 3 mantals (acres) taxed under Svartå in Kvistbro parish.
SVENSKA ORTER, ATLAS ÖVER SVERIGE MED ORTBESKRIVNING (948.5 E5so, Volume 1, parts 2 & 3, Volume 2, parts 1 & 2, Volume 3, parts 2 & 3)
This gazetteer allows the researcher to identify the names of the farms and villages in each Swedish parish. The six books are divided into three volumes with two parts per volume. The first book or part is for place names beginning with letter
A-K. The second book or part is for place names beginning with letter L-Ö.
Under the listing for each parish, the researcher will find in italized letters the terms Herrgård (large farms), Byar (villages) and hemman (farms). Under each of these three headings will be listed in alphabetical sequence the names of all the large farms, villages and farms in this parish. This listing enables the researcher to record the correct spelling for each of these place names and to see the choices for places when attempting to interpret place names when using the microfilmed church records.
Because the parishes found in this gazetteer are in an order as if one was moving in Sweden from south to north, the following list of counties and the volume in which the county is located may prove helpful.
Volume 1 counties:
Blekinge, Gotland (part), Halland, Jönköping (part), Kalmar (part), Kristianstad,
Kronoberg, Malmöhus, Älvsborg (part)
Volume 2 counties:
Gotland (part), Göteborg och Bohus, Jönköping (part), Kalmar (part),
Skaraborg, Södermanland (part), Örebro (part), Östergötland, Värmland (part)
Volume 3 counties:
Gävleborg (part), Kopparberg (part), Stockholm, Södermanland (part), Uppsala,
Värmland (part), Västmanland (part), Örebro (part)
This gazetteer does not list parishes found in northern Kopparberg county, central and northern Gävleborg county, and all of Jämtland, Norrbotten, Västerbotten, and Västernorrland counties. However, 2/3 of the Swedish population lives in the southern ½ of the country. Because of the high concentration of the larger percentage of the total population residing in the southern ½ of Sweden, Svenska Orter is a very useful gazetteer to the researcher.
On page 1470 of Volume 3, Part 3 is found the listing for the parish (socken) of Vintrosa, Örebro county, Sweden. The listing shows the names of the smaller places found within the boundaries of Vintrosa parish. So that you can better understand the arrangement of places in this gazetteer, the following is an example of how place names in Svenska Orter are listed:
Herrgård: (large farms): Nybble. Byar: (villages): Arvaby, Bäck, Eskiltorp, Västra Granhammar, Östra Granhammar, Götavi, Götavitorp, Hyltran, Hässelkulla, Linneberg, Nybble, Ramsta, Sanna, Solberga, Spånga, Svartkärr, Säby, Västra Tomta and Östra Tomta, Västra Via and Östra Via; hemman: Brunnsvik, Fågelmon, Hummelbäcken, Klockargården, Kässlevad, Lannafors, Prästegården, Pölseboda, Rastorp and Svinbron.