Sweden has kept excellent records of its citizens since the 17th century. This means that people of Swedish descent can trace their family's history in Sweden and discover distant relatives, if they just know some of the basic facts about their families. However, the first step is to find out about as much information as you can about your Swedish ancestor that you wish to research. You will need your ancestor’s name, birth parish, where your ancestor lived and a date such as birth, marriage and death or emigration date.
Personal Documents – Are there any personal documents? Look in your drawers. You might find legal papers such as Flyttningsbetyg – the official exit permit issued by the pastor of the parish in Sweden from which the immigrant came.
The Family Bible – the most important book and often a treasured possession. Since it was usually handed down from father to son, it was used to record important dates in the history of the family – births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials.
Letters to and from Sweden – may yield an old address in Sweden, which can be a valuable clue in determining the origin of your ancestor’s family.
Certificates of Naturalization – A useful document to find out when your ancestor emigrated from Sweden.
For many of us, the information we have in advance about the family is scarce. Thankfully there are a large number of very useful CD/DVD-records to help you find the way into the Swedish church records.
The Swedish Death Index – The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies has released a number of databases on DVD that facilitate the search for your Swedish family, the most important one is the Swedish Death Index.
The Swedish Death Index is a searchable database that is output on DVD and USB memory. The database is an extremely appreciated tool for genealogists, both in Sweden and abroad. For many Swedish genealogists, novice and experienced, searching the Swedish Death Index is the first step to find new relatives.
Swedish Death Index 7 is the most recent version that covers the years 1860-2016. It contains approximately 13 million entries and is almost 100 percent complete with regard to name, date of birth and death, marital status, convocation and address. Birth congregation occurs for 98.5 percent of all dead after 1900 and to 92 percent for the period 1860-1900.
Swedish census 1880-1990 – A total of six different CDs containing all persons who were registered in Sweden in the end of 1880 (4,6 million people), 1890 (4,8 million people), 1910, (5,6 million people) 1970 (8 million people), 1980 (8,3 million people) and 1990 (8,6 million people). The full details are name, residential address, date of birth and birth parish (both including county). The databases contain computerized transcripts of household examination rolls, prepared by the parish vicar or clerk and sent to the government agency SCB (Statistics Sweden).
The CD-records includes information on name, birth year, birth parish and place of residence (county, parish and village/city) relationship to others in the same household and occupation and sometimes, notes about health or legal status.
For other useful CD/DVDs, please look at The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies online Bookshop!