SweGGate Guide to Church Records

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What Church Records exist ?
Overview of church sources Overview which book for which question >>>
Description of individual documents
These records were done by the parish priests according to a 1686 church law, effective from 1688. General description here >> (under Facts)
Below are short descriptions of each source. Follow links to specific guides for each item
Book / Document Description
bok ... längd bok = book. längd = list or registry. These two words may be used interchangeably and there is no real difference. The layout of both is the same.
A group name for the church books is "ministerialböcker" = ministerial books referring to the minister (priest
Ministerialbok Term created in the 19th century as a collective term for 
födelse- och dopboklysnings- och vigselbok and död- och begravningsbok. The later konfirmationsbok was included in this group as well.
Födelse- och Dopbok BIRTH (and baptizm) BOOK
Other names:
Födelsebok, Födelselängd, Dopbok, Doplängd. (Födelse = birth, Dop = christening). Combined books are called Födelse- och Dopbok which is most common, except in very large parishes.
Records: Births and / or christenings
A birth record usually states: Date of birth (and/or christening), Given name, Name of parents, residence, witnesses/god-parents, sometimes age of mother (and father)
Find it: Archives or filmed copies - see Sources
Example (Rötter)
Vigselbok MARRIAGE (and Banns) BOOK
Other names:
Vigsellängd, lysnings- och vigselbok, lysnings- och vigsellängd. (Lysning = banns, Vigsel = marriage).
Records: Marriages, in periods also banns
A marriage record usually contains
Date of marriage, Names, titles and residence of both parties.
Lysning (banns) were not recorded in early times. When recorded it is done only in the parish of the bride-to-be.
Find it: Archives or filmed copies - see Sources
How to Find and Read
Example (Rötter)
Död- och Begravningsbok DEATH and BURIAL BOOK
Other names:
Dödbok, Dödlängd, Begravningsbok, Begrafningsbok (old spelling), Begravningslängd, Begrafningslängd. Död- och Begravningsbok / -längd is the combined book which is most common, except in large parishes.
Records: Deaths and / or burials.
A death record usually states: 
Dates of death and burial, name, age, residence, cause of death.
Find it: Archives or filmed copies - see Sources
Details and example  >Go>  (coming later). Example (Rötter).
CD Dödboken DEATH CD
The modern alternative of dödbok. Index of all deaths registered electronically, abt 1950 forward. Limited info 1950 - Nov 1970 but very useful for 1971 - onwards. Searchable in several ways. RECOMMENDED for modern research and finding living relatives. >check>
Konfirmationsbok CONFIRMATION BOOK
Later than the birth books etc. A simple chronological register of persons confirmed. Usually states the date, name and place of residence.
In most (smaller) parishes this info is found at the end of each HFL volume rather than in a separate book.
Flyttningsbok TRANSFER BOOK
Other names:
Flyttningslängd, Inflyttningslängd (separate book for moving into parish), Utflyttningslängd (separate book for moving out of parish), In- och utflyttningslängd (combined)
People were obliged to report when moving permanently and obtain a "flyttningsbevis" (certificate) from the parish they left.
If there is no flyttningsbok for a parish / time period you can try reading the HFL which usually has columns for "Moved in" and "Moved out"
Find it: Archives or filmed copies - see Sources
Details and example  >Go>
Husförhörslängd,

"HFL"

CLERICAL SURVEY (HOUSEHOLD EXAMINATION) BOOK
Other names:
commonly abridged "HFL". Ending -bok is rarely used.
Kept by parish priests since 1688, regulated by church law of 1686. Yearly -> 5-yearly entries of name, address, literacy and knowledge of catechism of every person in the parish. Often also other personal notes like moves, soldier number. Availability: Rare < 1750, increases after 1820.
The hearing was done every year but if no facts had changed sometimes no new note was made for that year. Look at later years if you want to see the marks of the examination.
Sort Order: Primarily by village / farm, within that families are recorded together starting with the owner's family, then tenants and employees. Look at the first pages of each volume to se an index of villages / farms.
Records: All people in a household (regardless of kinship), their knowledge of catechism and literacy. Commonly you will find notes about movements from parish, especially emigration and other interesting info like cause of death, economic trouble, banns, marriages and more.
History of husförhör >Go>.
Find it: Archives or filmed copies - see Sources
Details and examples  >Guide>Example (Rötter)
SCB Vital statistics Prepared by SCB (National Statistical Bureau), usually for the period abt 1860 - 1930 for most parishes. These records are based on the vital statistics books (birth, marriage and death) books but do not give the full text (e.g. no witnesses recorded). The original books for B, M and D are not filmed after ca 1860. Instead you may find these SCB summaries filmed
Note that all these records are to be regarded as secondary sources since they are copied twice !. The priest copied from his books to a yearly report and the staff at SCB copied those into their summary volumes.
Find it: They are filmed and available at SVAR (and through the Swenson Center). On LDS some of these are found under "Civil registration" so always check there !
On GenLine they are listed with prefix "_sc " plus the county name.
SCB Census Prepared by SCB (National Statistical Bureau) for the period 1895 - 1930 for most parishes. These records are based on the HFL books but do not give the full text. In effect they are a census without physical survey for the years 1900, 1910 and 1920 respectively.
Usually one line per individual. Note the big difference to HFL that people who died in the period are NOT listed like in any other census type register.
These are to be regarded as secondary sources - se comment to SCB vital stat.
Find it: They are filmed and available at SVAR (and through the Swenson Centre). On LDS some of these are found under "Civil registration" so always check there !
Flyttningsbevis TRANSFER CERTIFICATE
Other names: flyttningsbetyg, flyttningsintyg, flyttningsattest.
Every person who intended to move permanently out of the parish was obliged to obtain a standardized document from the parish priest. The document is a record of the most important data from the parish records (birth, social status, HFL data) that should be entered as "incoming notes" in the destination parish records (inflyttningsboken).
Find it: The only copy was delivered to the new parish and usually not saved there. You may find flyttningsbevis used by emigrants since they did not part with the document - at least not until they reached the new country.
Example 1 . Example 2 . Instructions (reverse page) . Example 3
Nattvardssedel COMMUNION CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the parish office to show when attending the Holy Communion as proof of being entitled to participate.
Find it: In your relative's belongings.
Details and example
Obituary Guide

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Last updated by F Hae 2005-06-04 18:08 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2001-5