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

Research

The key to getting started with your Swedish genealogy is knowing which county (län) and parish (socken) your ancestors came from in Sweden.  Once you have this information you will find a wealth of records at your fingertips like births, marriages, deaths, and the Husförhörslängder!
 
The Husförhörslängder,  or clerical survey, is the holy grail of Swedish genealogy. It's like a yearly census of those people living in the parish. It includes their birth/baptism and marriage dates, as well as if they moved in or out of a parish and who is living in the household. 
 
Microfilm records can be accessed through the Family History Library and its branches, as well as by subscription to ArkivDigital, SVAR and/or Ancestry.com. As part of our research collection, ArkivDigital, Emiweb and SVAR are available at the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library where our entire collection is held.
 
 NOTE  The Swedish-American church microfilm collection (i.e., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Red River Valley Conference, and Minnesota Convenant) is stored in a secured cabinet because they are held in trust from the ELCA Archives. Call the MGS Library at (651) 330-9312 prior to your visit to make sure an SGSM Research volunteer is scheduled for that day. 
 
In-person research is conducted on Swedish Research Day (the third Thursday of the month) at the Hoffman Research Library at MGS. You can also submit research and translation inquiries at info@sgsmn.org, or submit a written request by sending it to the address below.
 
Swedish Genealogy Society of Minnesota
1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1367
 

Research Tools

 
German Alphabet ChartAlphabet Chart of Old Script Characters
 
This chart will help you distinguish all those letters while viewing old church records and other old documents. 
 
The old Germanic script in most cases was what was used in Sweden, particularly in the 1600s when many ministers went to Germany for their seminary training. It happens occasionally in those early Swedish church books that you run into the umlauted U along with the Latin. It is the original Gothic script, and can be used as a valid guide when translating early records. Eventually the Germanic letters fell out of use, but all of the other letters continued to be valid.
 
 
 
 
 

Learn Naming Patterns and Class Structure
Here are some wonderful articles pulled from the pages of our newsletter, the Tidningen. All are authored by our very own John von Walter. Each one contains a wealth of information for the Swedish researcher. 

Swedish Military Research
A two-part document that Jeff Benson authored for the Tidningen regarding Military research. 

The Swedish Church
A seven-page article written by John von Walter for our Summer 2004 issue of Tidningen. The different pages were 'stitched' together so ignore the page numbering: The Swedish Church
 

Swedish Church Villages
Another article by John von Walter about the church villages of northern Sweden. This was featured in our Winter 2001 Tidningen: Swedish Church Villages
 

Sweden's World Heritage Sites
Learn about the twelve World Heritage Sites in Sweden by John von Walter. This appeared in the Winter 2003 issue of Tidningen: World Heritage Sites
 

Finding Your Ancestor's Passenger and Ship Records

Home/Farm Rental vs. Ownership
Every issue of Tidningen contains Because You Asked, authored by Janet Carlson. This article explains where a typical ancestor stood on the economic status levels of Sweden: Because You Asked: Home/Farm Rental vs. Ownership