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This collection consists of digital images of microfilms of Swedish church records held by the Family History Library. Microfilming of the records began in the 1940s, with conversion to digital images beginning in 2006. These records contain accounts of baptisms, marriages, burials, household examinations, and other records kept by the clergy. It also includes records that supplement these events, as well as lists of person moving in and out of the parish, confirmation, communion attendance, and accounts of the church’s income and expenses, as well as other records.
In 1608 the archbishop of Uppsala, Olof Mårtensson, asked the clergy to begin recording baptisms, betrothals, and marriages. In 1622, Johannes Rudbeckius, bishop of Västerås instructed the ministers in his diocese to begin examining the members of their parishes to determine their knowledge of the catechism and record their names, birthdates, marriage dates, and to update these records regularly.
The earliest records are handwritten in narrative style, and all events were recorded chronologically. After a few years, the records were grouped by event and recorded in separate books. The National Archives of Sweden uses a specific classification schema to identify the content of each book. Clerical surveys are designated as volume A, births, volume C, marriages as E, deaths as F. More information about this schema is available here. After the records were microfilmed some changes were made to the classification by the archive. Because of this, the information on the titleboard image may not match the description of the record in the online Historical Records collection or in the Family History Catalog.
The earliest record in the collection is a copy of a letter from 1308 wherein Ingeborg Jonsdotter made a donation of land to Sånga church in Stockholm County. The most recent records are church accounts (räkenskaper) for 1940 from Alva parish in Gotland. These generally have limited value because of the genealogical richness of other contemporary records. However, the earlier ones may contain worthwhile information. As of February 2010, there were a few images that were not yet available online.
Searching This Collection
There are two ways to use this collection. One is to view the images (browse), and the other is to search the indexed records. The browse works by selecting the geographic location you are interested in, first by county, then by the name of the parish (församling). Once you have selected a parish, you will be presented a list of available volumes. Select one, and the image viewer will open and display the first image. You can move through the images by using the naviagation arrows or entering an image number in the image number field. Please note that image numbers and page numbers are not the same.
Before you search the indexed collections, familarize yourself with how the search functions work. Read "Searching the Indexed Records" in the article, FamilySearch Historical Record Collections. You should also be aware of some additional unique considerations when searching idexed record collections from Norden. In August 2011 the instructions for indexing names in these collections changed. Prior to that time the instructions were to "write what you see." This meant that if the scribe recorded the surname Jonsdotter as Jonsd., Jonsdt., Jonsdtr, or Jonsdr., you have to search using each possible variation. The change allowed indexers to record abbreviate names in full, when they were certain what the abbreviation stood for. This will allow users to make fewer searches, and get better results. When the change was implemented projects in Södermanland, Uppsala, and Örebro were underway, and Jönköping and Kalmar had just started. If you are searching for a baptismal or death record you may also want to search without using a patronymic surname. The indexing instuctions are to not record a surname for an individual where none is given, even if the father is identified.