Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
Researching Swedes and Swedish Immigration Worldwide


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Blog Entries: 1 to 8 of 8
March 24, 2021 By: Virginia Taylor
Swedish Genealogy Research Books
If you haven't purchased a Swedish genealogy research book in the last 5 years or so, I strongly urge you to consider one of the following books for your ongoing research.  They all were published in 2020, and are very up-to-date on how the information you need for research is presented. Using these books will make your research efforts more knowledge based and efficient. They are available for purchase on Amazon through the links below. (When you purchase a book from Amazon through these links, you are benefiting SGSM. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.)
Household Examination Records are the foundation of your Swedish ancestral search. Each chapter is devoted to a specific column in the HH Examination Record, and the history and purpose of the column is explained. The authors examine the abbreviations, symbols, and other markings used by the priests in this record to make your research more complete.
The reader of this book is taken from the very beginning of a person search, and goes through their birth, marriage, household examination, moving in and out and death record. Along the research way, the author gives us the history and reasons for each record. Photos of each of these records from differenct time periods and different counties gives a broad view and explanations of the old script and language used in the records.
Explore Your Swedish Heritage: by Håkan Skogsjö 
This book familiarizes the researcher with the AkivDigital database and the online access to the registers and indexes available on AD.
The Children of Ash and Elm: by Neil Price
This book is the definitive history of the Vikings and their time.  The author, Neil Price, has been studying Viking culture for 35 years, and wanted, through this book, to present the story of the Vikings on their own terms, not through the distorted lens of others throughout history. 
December 19, 2020 By: Virginia Taylor
All Tidningen Issues Now on This Site
We have completed the process of uploading ALL the Tidningen back issues encompassing 1997-2020 on our website. This is available to all of our members and we will add new issues as they are published. Everyone will continue to receive their printed copies in the mail, but if you haven't received your Winter 2020-2021 issue yet, it is already on this site for you to access in the Members Area.
You may have heard about people binge-watching their favorite TV programs, well now you can binge-read your favorite newsletter! A number of members have told me that they have saved all the issues, but if you aren't one of them that have, now you can see all the issues too.  
The Tidningen has changed somewhat over time, such as the length of each issue and the use of more color.  But one thing is exactly the same in every single issue - they all say "Editor: Ronald Swanson". So, give a shout-out to Ron for publishing 95 issues over the years, and for now digitizing those issues for the website.  
Of course, there have been many other contributers of articles and stories, some of whom contribute to almost every issue and others less frequently.  As you look thru the Tidningen issues you will see many familiar names in the bylines, but you will also notice some articles contributed by members too humble to attach their names. All of these contributers have provided the grist for Ron to work with. Contributing your articles will help keep the Tidningen vital as well as memorialize your family stories. 
You can find all Tidningen back-issues in the Members Area. If you have fogotten your Username or Password, contact us at membership@sgsmn.org for assistance. 
On the "Tidningen Online Resources" page in each issue, you can click on the hyperlinks to take you to the respective website rather than typing the long URLs. Links from the "Online Resources" page  can also be found on the Tid Resource Links page.
June 16, 2020 By: Virginia Taylor
Sweden Epidemics & Famines (Hans Högman)
Sweden has had its share of epidemics and famine which both severely affected the country's population. Go to Hans Högman's website to find information regarding the various famines that occurred and epidemics that spread throughout the country. You may want to look back at your research to find which of your ancestors were victims of any of the events that Högman mentions.
My great, great grandmoher lost her husband and four of her five children within a week from a particularly severe outbreak of cholera in 1834. Eighty people in her parish died in October 1834 from that epidemic. Half of the 25,000 people in Sweden who contracted it died.
If I hadn't found my great, great grandmother though research, the people in that parish might have felt abstract to me if I had just looked at the totality of that event. But looking at this epidemic through the lens of how it affected my ancestor's family gave it much greater impact on me. This ancestor and her family were not just names of some people living in Sweden during a 19th century epidemic. I'm carrying their genes. I am part of their narrative, as they are a part of my family narrative.
Most of our ancestors lived through some very difficult times. Find out more about Sweden on Högman's website and you will learn more about your ancestor's lives and the history they lived through. - Virginia
April 25, 2016 By: Virginia Taylor
Members Vignettes | Medlemmars Vinjetter
By now you probably have noticed that we've added a new a new page to our website and we want you to be a part of it. This is a fun and personal way you can be involved with our society, by sending us a story (and I know you all have at least one) you'd love to share with us. Given the many facets of genealogy, the topics are endless:  surprises, problems solved, customs observed, skeletons in the closet, travel, a funny incident, a sad story - genealogy has them all!  We'd love to hear from you so we can add you to Members Vignettes | Medlemmars Vinjetter!
March 31, 2016 By: Virginia Taylor
Headstones and Genealogy
If you have never visited any of your relative's or family grave sites, or haven't done so in a long, long time, I encourage you to go, or go back and take another look.  When my grandchildren were young (before their teen years), I would take several of them, who were interested, and make the tour of all the cemeteries where my relatives, family, and close family friends were buried. These people were all a part of my history, so this activity bacame a way of passing down stories connected with the person named on the headstone
Armed with a bucket filled with brushes, grass shears, gloves and a spray cleaner, off we'd mindfully trek through the cemetery, with site maps in hand to find the spot where the "x" marked the gravesites.   The care I give a headstone is to cut the grass arouond the stone, and pull up any headstrong weed that threatens to sprout up the minute I leave. I brush the dirt and sand from the indented letttering, and then give it a splash of water or lightly spray it with a gentle cleaner.  I do not go after the mold or other hard to remove debris, as I do not want to damage whatever is left of the stone finish.  As long as I can read the lettering and it is free of overgrown grass and dirt, I am content with that.  
When I have taken care of the relative or close family friend, I take a quick look around the immediate vicinity, and if I spot a headstone that has only a couple of square inches left showing through a grass overlay, I immediately do the 'neighborly' thing and start clipping away.  A neglected grave site has a particular sadness about it:  "gone but not forgotten" too often becomes "gone and forgotten."  Taking care of neighbors is a good thing, even in cemeteries. 
These last few years I have not been as vigilant in my care taking, but I will never regret making the decision one day to clean the family headstones.  The following years of 'cleaning' gave me an heightened awareness of the genealogical information that is available only 'on location', so to speak.  By that I mean, particular types of inscriptions on the headstones, who did not get a headstone, the unknown child  in the family plot.  This type of information and more may not be found anywhere else, and is there to be discovered from a mindful and purposeful visit to a family gravesite. 
July 26, 2015 By: Virginia Taylor
Runeberg Project
Have you visited any digital libraries recently?  If not, I invite you to go to http://runeberg.org/ to view an impressive published collection of free electronic editions of classic Nordic literature.  This project contains books and sheet music significant to the culture and history of the Nordic countries.  Project Runeberg was started at Linköping University in 1992, and as of 2013 1.49 milion pages have been scanned that include 33,000 authors.  The books are in English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Finnish and Icelandic.
The Runeberg Project website has a lot of interesting information on it besides its catalog of books;  there is a link to other digital libraries around the world, and you can find out how to be a volunteer to help on this project as it relies heavily on volunteers, who are, by the way, worldwide.  
Wondering about the name Runeberg?  It was named after Finland's national poet, Johan Runeberg, with the further allusion to Rune ("letter") and berg ("mountain"), giving the loose translation of "mountain of letters." Enjoy your visit to the library! 
June 26, 2015 By: Virginia Taylor
Harald Bluetooth
Who is Harald Bluetooth and why am I writing about him in my blog?  Well, for starters his name was Harald Gormsson, and was given the nickname "Blåtand" (Bluetooth) because of an obviously conspicuous dead tooth in his mouth.  He was the Viking King of Denmark and Norway during the mid 900's.   Harald was known for uniting warring Danish tribes together into a single kingdom, and also unifying with Norway through his effecive communication skills.  
Fast forward  to 1997 and Eridsson, a Sweden-based company.  Ericsson and several other companies  had been working on wireless technology standards for interconnectiion of cell phones, computers and other devices to be able to 'talk' to each other. Once developed, there was the conundrum of what to call this new technology.  See where this is going?  After reading a book about King Harald and his accomplishments, an Ericsson employee suggested "Bluetooth".  If only Harald knew he is still busy uniting, in ways he could never ever have imagined.
The Bluetooth symbol?  The symbol is a Bind-Rune, meaning that it is the 2 Runic letters H and B merged together. I thought this was an interesting bit of Scandinavian history behind technology we all use everyday, and wanted to share it with you.
June 14, 2015 By: Virginia Taylor
Welcome to Our New Site
Helping to build and furnish the various pages on this site has been an exhilerating experience for all involved.  As we are still working on page building to add information that you want, need and expect, come back often to find out more about our society, more about genealogy, Swedish genealogy and even Sweden itself.  To keep our site fresh and inviting when you come back to it, you will often find new snippets of educational, surprising and fun information scattered throughout the pages.  
It is our hope that after you find out more about us you will consider becoming a member of our society.  You may wonder why should you join a society when so much genealogical resource and research information is available online, and aren't we grateful that it is?  Yes, we are!  But a society membership with its newsletter, its meetings and member gatherings provide a venue to share information, stories, and meet people who are as passionate about genealogy as you are.  In the chance that you live too far from a society to attend meetings, you will still have a newsletter that connects you wtih your genealogical interest.  Just remember, genealogy is at its best when shared.