Your Swedish Roots

Your Swedish Roots: A Step by Step Handbook may be the most comprehensive book on Swedish family history research available on the market today. The book focuses on Swedish-American research, from immigrant descendents back to their roots in the old country. Starting with basic instructions, the book quickly moves to detailed case studies full of examples.

The obvious challenge to researching foreign countries is the language barrier. However, this may seem easy to some people compared to the transcription problem some have when trying to read and transcribe old handwritten script. Your Swedish Roots attempts to help the researcher by placing a major focus on the translating and interpreting documents. Sweden has not seen war for over 200 years. This, along with some good luck and hard work, has kept many records intact and properly preserved.

On top of providing an easy to read primer on Swedish research, this book stands out in the manner it educates. The authors use specific examples following the lives of individuals and families. Using these examples, research topics cover everything from censuses to moving records. Through these examples the reader learns of available sources, how to search these sources.

Order Your Swedish Roots: A Step by Step Handbook from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TP768, Price: $19.55.


Table of Contents


1. A Name on a Gravestone

2. Clues to Your Family’s History

  • Old relatives
  • Home sources
  • Family Bible
  • Letters and postcards
  • Photographs
  • Legal document
  • American records
  • Swedish American church records
  • Census records
  • County courthouse records
  • Vital records
  • Probate records
  • Naturalization records
  • Newspaper – obituaries

3. The Emigration from Sweden to America

  • One out of five emigrated
  • Economic factors most important
  • Reasons for emigration
  • Early Swedish emigrants
  • A first wave of emigrants
  • Steamships cut travel time
  • The great emigration from Sweden to North America
  • The mass emigration between 1879 and 1893
  • The Swedish city of Chicago
  • Many Swedes moved on
  • From where did they come in Sweden?
  • Good for both parties
  • The travel routes

4. How to Find the Place of Origin in Sweden

  • Sweden – a general picture
  • Landskap, provinces
  • Lan, districts, “counties”
  • Harad, counties
  • Socken – forsamling, parish
  • Mother parishes and annex parishes
  • Addresses
  • Kommun – today’s municipalities
  • Names of farms and villages
  • Rote
  • Blocks and street numbers
  • In summary
  • Cities in Sweden
  • Cities in alphabetical order

5. Swedish Names and Swedish Spelling

  • The most common son-names
  • Different forms of son-names
  • Different forms of first names
  • Family names
  • Names from other countries
  • Old and new spelling
  • Some examples of old and new spelling
  • Alteration of Swedish names by immigrants to America
  • Good to know about the Swedish language and Swedish spelling
  • Standardized Swedish spelling
  • Latin and German writing
  • Name Calendars and name days

6. Where to Find Your Sources

  • The role of the local church
  • The church books
  • Complete records
  • The regional archives
  • The nine Regional Archives and their districts
  • Microfilm
  • Genline – Swedish church records on the web
  • Swedish church records until 1895 – where to find them
  • To summaryize – where do you find your sources?
  • Research centers in Sweden
  • Official records and right of access
  • Research centers in the United States
  • Genealogical societies
  • Good websites
  • What church records contain
  • How church records are listed
  • Molltorp in the catalog in Gothenburg Regional Archives
  • Molltorp in the SVAR ctalog
  • Molltorp in Family History Library
  • Molltorp in Genline
  • This is how Genline FamilyFinder works
  • Let us search step by step
  • Research centers
  • The House of Emigrants
  • The Kinship Center
  • the House of Genealogy in Leksand
  • The Research Center of Jorn
  • The National Archives in Arninge
  • SVAR Research Center
  • The Research Center of Kyrkhult
  • The National Archives and Regional Archives

7. The Rapp Family U.S. Sources

  • Swedish American congregation records on microfilm
  • The Rapp family in Portland
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Portland, Connecticut
  • Swedish–American congregations in the United States
  • The Rapp family in the U.S. federal census 1900
  • The U.S. Federal census
  • Ship’s manifests in New York and other ports
  • Passenger list from Germania 8 September 1879
  • Passenger lists with more detailed information
  • Passenger list for Oscar II 10 July 1905
  • A search for Emma Landgren
  • Ship’s manifests, passenger lists

8. Gustaf Adolf Rapp’s Family

  • Leaving Molltorp
  • Molltorp moving records
  • Moving records
  • The Rapp family at Hulan
  • Household examination roll
  • How to find the place (Hulan)
  • Gustaf Adolf’s birth
  • Ransberg birth and christening record 1858
  • Birth and christening records
  • Gustaf Adolf’s family in Ransberg
  • Ransberg household examination roll 1857-1868
  • The marriage between Gustaf Adolf’ Rapp’s parents
  • Marriage record for Ransberg and Molltorp parishes
  • Records of banns and marriages
  • Gustaf Adolf’s mother’s death
  • Death and burial record for Ransberg 1867
  • Death and burial book
  • Causes of death
  • Abbreviations of names
  • Abbreviations in a birth record
  • Birth and christening record from Gullered parish
  • Gustaf Adolf’s father becomes a hussar 1853
  • Ransberg household examination roll 1846-1857
  • Wrong birth date for Anders Gustaf Rapp
  • Ransberg birth records 1834
  • How to find the father of a child born out of wedlock

9. Anna Christina Carlsson’s Family

  • Molltorp household examination roll 1874-1887
  • Anna Christina Carlsson in Molltorp’s birth and christening records

10. Finding Your Ancestor in Swedish Passenger Lists

  • Anna Carlsson – a search in the database Emihamn/Emigranten
  • What does the database say about our Anna Carlsson?
  • Gustaf Adolf Rapp in Emihamn/Emigranten
  • Passenger list for the steamship Orlando
  • Swedish passenger lists
  • If you don’t find your ancestor in the passenger lists

11. Early Emigration

  • An early example: Carl Freeman (Friman) and his sons
  • The Freeman family in printed literature
  • Freeman and his sons in the ship’s manifests in New York 1838
  • Freeman and his sons in the passport journal in Gothenburg
  • Freeman in the navy’s pension fund
  • Freeman and his sons in the passport journal in Skovde
  • Freeman and his family in Varnhem
  • Varnhem parish household examination roll 1838
  • Carl Freeman and his son William Freeman
  • An emigrant in the 1850s: Ivar Alexis Hall
  • Ivar Alexis Hall’s family
  • Swedish nobility
  • Descriptions of farms and estates

12. Traveling with the Swedish American Line

  • The Swedish emigrant CD
  • Emihamn
  • Emibas Gothenburg
  • Emisjo
  • Emipass
  • Emisal
  • Emivasa
  • SAKA
  • The Ships

13. Old Records

  • The oldest church book in Ransberg
  • The earliest birth records in Ransberg
  • A remarkable priest
  • Other old records
  • Alvsborgs losen (special tax records)
  • Mantalslangder (population records for taxation)
  • Jordebocker (land records for taxation)

14. Finding Your Family in Sweden Today

  • Church books after 1895
  • Privacy during seventy years
  • Special sources
  • What happened to the Rapp family in Sweden?
  • Ransberg moving records 1888
  • The Rapp family at Stora Lakenas
  • Ranberg household examination roll 1877-1894
  • Agda Maria marries 1894
  • Ransberg household examination roll 1894-1899
  • Ransberg household examination roll 1894-1899
  • The death book
  • Sweden’s population 1970
  • A search in the telephone book
  • Useful database
  • Swedish databases
  • Other Scandinavian databases
  • American databases

15. Prepare for a Trip to Sweden

  • Places to visit locally
  • The local church and churchyard
  • Get a good road map
  • Get a good local map
  • Where to go in western Sweden
  • Maps available on the Internet
  • People know English
  • Travel in the summer
  • When visiting Swedes
  • Free access to land
  • Plan the trip

16. Meeting the Swedish Family

  • Agda Maria’s grandson
  • Gunnar Lagerin shows us around
  • Gustaf Adolf Rapp’s birth place
  • Hulan and Skafverud

17. Swedish Provinces

  • Skane (Scania)
  • Blekinge
  • Halland
  • Smaland
  • Oland
  • Gotland
  • Bohuslan
  • Vastergotland
  • Dalsland
  • Ostergotland
  • Sodermanland
  • Stockholm
  • Uppland
  • Vastmanland
  • Narke
  • Varmland
  • Dalarna (Dalecarlia)
  • Gastrikland
  • Halsingland
  • Medelpad
  • Harjedalan
  • Jamtland
  • Angermanland
  • Vasterbotten
  • Norrbotten
  • Lappland
  • Two special signs

18. Dictionary

  • Swedish words common in the church books
  • Abbreviations

19. Appendices

  • Chruch records destroyed – usually by fire
  • Genealogical societies in Sweden
  • Websites, Etc.
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrations in the book


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