How Swede it is! Getting to know Swedish records

MR Bachman ErikI have recently signed up for ArkivDigital (AD), a pay site for Swedish records and am having great fun with the site.  While at NwGC, I attended a session conducted by Kathy Meade, the North American representative for AD.   I have been talking to Kathy at the last two or three conferences about access to tax records which are available on AD. The tax records led me to the record on the left which is a marriage record of Erik Bachman to Maja Ashman in 1722 (I love the record being filmed in color).  This is the couple that was a “low retaining wall” (not a brick wall) for me.  While I haven’t yet proven the couple are the parents of my Ana Marie Eriksdotter Beekman, but given the numbers of Eriks (like, one) and likely candidates with the true surname of Backman/Beekman/Beckman (one), I am probably only a few records away from solving this gap. Thank goodness I wasn’t looking for an Ole Olsson!

My goal is to develop a series of lectures on Swedish research:

  1. Beginning Swedish Research
  2. Using Swedish Parish Records (beginning)
  3. Using Clerical Surveys (beginning)
  4. Using the Swedish Emigration Records (beginning)
  5. Using Swedish Probate Records (Intermediate)
  6. Using Swedish Tax Records (advanced)

My interest in this has been heightened by my work with the tax records which I believe can answer some real problems with Swedish records including gaps, ancestral line extensions (tax records predate parish records) and “burned counties.”

In October I will be presenting a workshop at the Nordic Heritage Museum “An Overview of Scandinavian Records.”  This will cover Sweden, Denmark and Norway and in November I will present at the Family History Fair in Bellevue “How Swede It Is! Beginning Swedish Genealogy,” the first of my planned lectures on Sweden. I am excited about the Nordic Heritage Museum presentation as it is part lecture and part workshop.  Everyone will walk away with a research plan for their next steps.

In my exploration I have found some terrific info that I was previously unaware:

  • Places to look if you do not know your parish of birth:
    • : This site ($$) includes the Emibas CD index of individuals who declared to their parish pastor they were emigrating.  Great place to look if you don’t know the parish. Swenson also has it.
    • 1880 Swedish census and later censuses (AD, SVAR, Swenson and others)
    • The Gothenburg passenger lists (, and spelled like they do, sorry.)
  • Your Swedes may have left from Norwegian or Danish ports, so don’t forget to look there if you cannot find them in Sweden.
  • Probate records.  I have leafed through these records sheet by sheet trying to find my folks. NOW they tell me there is an index!

Here are some interesting articles on Swedish genealogical records sets that would be helpful even if you do not have AD:

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since my last posting: Although it has not been very long since my last post, some things are new.  The most important is that my hubby installed a new dishwasher! I submitted six proposals to Jamboree (Southern CA GS). I met with Lisa to discuss our proposal for the Popular Culture Conference (focus: genealogy) to be held in Seattle in March (proposals due in mid-September) and did some preliminary research on it, testing our hypotheses.  I found a surprising and little discussed issue, which we are pursuing. I also worked on my KDP and wrote through a particular tough spot. I even like how it reads.  I am excited because I was selected to present two lectures at the National Genealogical Society Conference 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Push/Pull and On Death & Dying).  It will be fun being in my previous stomping grounds . We lived in FL for about 2.5 years. I will be about 300 feet south of where my husband used to work and about five miles from where I worked.


2 comments on “How Swede it is! Getting to know Swedish records

  1. Ernst Stjernberg says:

    Glad to see you are presenting lectures on Swedish genealogy! One place you may want to look for emigrants is in Arkiv Digital -search under Malmö: “Poliskammaren i Malmö”, Series D3:1-80 covering the years from 1874 to 1939. The emigrants are listed by the day they left the port of Malmö (and that is always some time after the date they are recorded as emigrants in the Household Examination books). A rich source of information that also include who paid for the ticket.

    • Jill Morelli says:


      Thanks! I have used the Götenberg records for my own family. Good to know the Malmö records are there. My ancestor has been found on the record with all his family and ship mates to Hull BUT the cover sheet has been lost. Funny– I have the manifest but not know the name of the ship. Ancestry also has these Malmö as an index. Thanks for the AD name they are filed under–With all the items included in AD I sometimes get confused about what record is where. And, of course, we know that the lists at dockside were taken by the Police so I should be able to remember. Hope all is well up north. Jill

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