Sunday, May 19, 2013

Church Record Sunday - Swedish Records and Patrinymics

I put off researching my Scandinavian ancestors for some time because I was worried about dealing with name changes. I thought it might prove to be very tedious. But once I took the plunge (I subscribed to Genline), I found the experience to be fun and fairly easy! The records are actually quite good and for the most part very legible. The farther back you go the more difficult the handwriting becomes but I was able to find several generations!
Anna's birth record
My great grandmother, Annie Peterson, was born in Sweden and immigrated with her parents. I knew where they were from so that started my search. I searched "Jonkoping Lan, Odestugu" and found Annie's birth record, her parents marriage record, their household registers and a moving out record that said they moved to "Nordamerica."

American records listed Annie's mother as Malena Swenson - the Swedish records list her as Maja Lena Svensdotter. The household register lists birthdates as well as names, and the women in Sweden always went by their maiden name so it was easier to be sure you had the right couple. Some of the records list page numbers of family registers and that helps as well. Sometimes it requires a page by page search of a hundred or so households.

Malena's birth record tells me her parents are Sven Mansson and Brita Stina Isacsdotter. By looking for their household register I was able to locate all of Malena's siblings and their birthdates as well as the birth dates for Sven and Brita. And when I looked up those records it named their parents and I was on a roll! It was a little more effort to put into my RootsMagic database - keeping all the names straight - and occasionally I found myself lost - the reuse of names can become a jumble as you look at records for Sven Mansson and Mans Svenson over and over.

Here is my Swedish pedigree 'at-a-glance' (meaning without all the specifics and citations):
And YES! Brita Stina Isacsdotter and Peter Isacsson turned out to be siblings!

Andrew and Malena's household examination record

By using resources I found on Genline and on the internet, as well as the book "Your Swedish Roots," I was able to read and learn quite a bit of Swedish in the process. I really enjoyed it. Now on to the Danes!

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