Church Records

The Swedes have a very important genealogy tool and that’s the Household Examination records or Husförhörsläng in Swedish

Everybody over the age of 15 had to go to a meeting once a year, when they were examined in the knowledge of their religion. Everybody should be able to read the Cathechism, so even in early times the Swedes could read. You had to pass the examination or you were not allowed to take part in the Communion, and that made you a social outcast.

To keep track of the parishioners' knowledge of religion, the parish priest made lists of all persons in the parish, household by household, with spaces for entering age, place of birth, moves, inoculations, knowledge of different parts of the catechism and many other facts of life. These records were kept continuously, in big books, every volume covering mostly a period of five to ten years. The information in these records varies, according to the interest of the clergyman to keep records, some were interested, others weren’t. Sometimes there were notes in them describing the person.

The records were divided by parishes. A parish is a geographical area, the smallest administrative unit in Sweden . All people in the same parish went to the same church, were registered in the same books, and were buried in the same church yard.

When someone moved from his home parish to another one, he had to have an exit permit, and that was also the custom, when someone emigrated. As people were moving from parish to parish they were also registered in books. The books are:

 

AI = husförhörslängder - Clerical Surveys, or House examination rolls

AII = Församlingsböcker - Parish books

BI = Inflyttningslängder - Moving-in records

BII = Utflyttningslängder - Moving-out records

C = Födelse- och dopböcker - Birth and baptismal records. These commonly also include marriage and death records, sometimes marriage records are separate.

DI = Konfirmationsböcker - Confirmation records

DII = Kommunionslängder - Communion rolls

E = Vigselböcker - Marriage records

F = Död- och begravningsböcker - Death and burial records

H = Bilagor och kungörelser som rör kyrkobokföring - Appendices and proclamations related to church accounts

K = Protokoll - Parish meeting minutes

L = Räkenskaper - Parish accounts

SCB = extracts from vital records, such as birth, marriage and death records from the Central Bureau of Statistics, each type listed under the correct heading, birth extracts follow after birth records.

It isn’t necessary to be able to read Swedish for these records but it is helpful to know some words so that you can know what the extra comments are that the priest wrote in the margins.

No source-my experience as a Swedish researcher!

 

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