MyHeritage has great news for genealogists who are trying to learn more about their Swedish ancestors. MyHeritage has added 46 million Swedish records to its website. This is the first time that these Swedish historical documents have become available online.
The 46 million newly added Swedish records at MyHeritage have been added to the MyHeritage SuperSearch. Genealogists can access a search engine that is connected to the Sweden Household Examination Books (1880 – 1920). There are a total of 46,583,546 records that are included.
MyHeritage describes the Household Examination Books this way: They are “the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600’s until modern times. The books were created and kept by the Swedish Lutheran Church, which was tasked with keeping the official records of Sweden until 1991.”
Each Household Examination Book (or series of them) represents a 3-10 year period of time within a parish. The information in it sounds similar to what was collected in the United States Censuses. Interestingly, instead of having a government appointed official, or government employee, gather the data, it was the job of the parish priest (up through 1884).
The parish priest would go to every home in the parish and test each individual’s knowledge of the catechism. In other words, the priests were doing annual assessments of how much the people in their parishes knew about their religion. He was testing, or giving exams, about the religion he preached and the family followed.
In addition, the priest would collect information that you might find on some United States Censuses. The priest would gather information about births, marriages, and deaths. He would write down where people moved to or from. Every year, the priest would review last year’s information and update it as needed. As a result, the Household Examination Books became a resource for genealogists.
MyHeritage worked with ArkivDigital (a Swedish partner) to produce an index of names from the Swedish Household Examination books. The archive also has over 5 million full-color and good quality images. The majority of the information is from the years 1880-1920. There are also some resources from the early 1800s and late 1700s.
The resources from the Household Examination Books has never before been digitized or put online in a way that was easily searchable. This new resource at MyHeritage is a treasure trove for genealogists who have Swedish heritage.
Image by BsOu1OeO on Flickr.
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