Today I attended a series of lectures from SwedGen Road Tour 2009 at the Worcester Public Library. The lectures mostly focused on Swedish genealogical resources available through CD and on the internet. The 1890-1900 Swedish Census are available in English CD, but the 1970-1980 Census are only available on CD in Swedish. I still am unclear on the huge gap between the census publications. Also available on Swedish on CD are the Death Index, 1947-2006 and the database Buried in Sweden which gives you a map of the burial ground and shows where the grave is approximately in the lot. The thing I enjoy about Swedish genealogy is how thoroughly the parish maintained its registers and records of individuals. She talked about the Swedish National Archives, Emiweb (emigration website), and the Stockholm City Archives, the links are posted below. The next lecture was on Genline, the program that has all the church books. This also attests to the thoroughness of Swedish Genealogy, as the Ministers of the parish did exams of the households every year. You can track people year by year in Sweden, unlike every 10 in the United States. Genline has most of these records on its software, im familiar with it and it is quite useful, I made lots of progress. Genline is adding more recent records to its database and it is partnering with familjebond.se where people can upload pictures related to the farms and places indexed in genline. A very cool feature! The next lecture was on Swedish emigration. The speaker did note some interesting facts such as the push factors and lives that emigrants led in Sweden, however her broken English sort of detracted from conveying that information well
Reasons for Swedish Emigration
-Population increase, Sweden doubled its population density in 60 years.
-Drought in 1867, caused mass famine and starvation
-simply longing for something better, new jobs and opportunity in the industrial US
What most interested was her explanation of the torp/torpare, which is essentially a poor tenant farmer. These torps rented land from a farmer, usually lived as second class citizens in houses such as these:
The last speaker spoke about DISBYT, which is a Swedish Computer Genealogy Society and bases most of it’s information on user-submitted. This lecture was my least favorite, he had lots of irrelevant history and talked less about the software program. While the Swedish history was cool, it got a little tired after a while and his broken English also made it boring. However, I intend to send my Swedish family tree to DISBYT and hopefully make some connections. I didn’t stay for the last lecture, which was on historical maps, I was sort of tired of the speakers even if the historical maps would be a useful resource to study (I got a handout so I can figure it out on my own).
Here are the links to the resources mentioned in the lectures.
Swedish National Archives http://www.statensarkiv.se/default.aspx?id=2138
Stockholm Archives http://www.ssa.stockholm.se/en/
DIS Society http://www.dis.se/denindex.htm
Historical Map Collection at Lantmateriet http://historiskakartor.lantmateriet.se/arken/s/search.html?locale=en_US
Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher