Want another reason to love Sweden and Swedish family history research? How about Husförhörslängder (that's Household Examination Records for us non-Swedish speakers). Time for a short history lesson - Beginning in the 1700s, it was the responsibility of the Swedish Lutheran Church to keep track of the people (the government and the church used one and the same individuals to do this). Throughout the course of the year, things happened in every community - births and baptisms, vaccinations, confirmations, marriages, moving in and moving out of the parish, disciplinary actions, leaving Sweden for another country or perhaps another continent and, the inevitable, deaths and burials. It is all recorded in the Household Examination Records (HERs). Additionally Swedish families received annual visits by their priest to check on each person's understanding of his or her catechism and whether they received communion. This status update kept track of the people and the changes in their lives. The HERs were maintained in clerical books that are set up on a 5 or 10 year basis.
Once you find your person, you can follow him or her backward and forward - a bit like an annual census. These HERs are great for confirming family members, learning when a person left home and where they went, and confirming deaths. Put these HERs together with maps of Sweden and the various parishes (to follow their migration) and Emibas records (to follow their emigration) to learn more about your ancestors. The HERs are a terrific resource and reading through the entries gives you a bit more insight into your ancestors, their extended family and their neighbors.
|My Swedish Research Notebook and |
a copy of the HER 513.42.14900 for 1861-1865