Sunday, September 15, 2002

Scandinavian Genealogy and Family Search

The presenters: John and Linda Larsen met while at BYU in an off-campus singing
group. They love to sing and probably the only real thing of value that came from the
off-campus singing group was the John met Linda. They still love to sing together after
all the years.

John served a mission in Denmark as a young man in 1960. He always wanted to take
Linda to Denmark and show her some of the great things he had learned about. In
2008 they were called to serve in the office of the Copenhagen Denmark Mission of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for twenty-three months. While there
they met the Copenhagen Temple president who was from Sweden. The first time
Linda met Pres. Ljungh he was literally wringing his hands and said, “I understand your
have Swedish ancestry.” Linda said yes and Pres. Ljungh asked if he could “do” her
genealogy. Of course Linda said yes. Several months later the Larsens were invited
to the apartment of Pres. and Sister Ljungh where Linda was presented a large binder
filled with information about her ancestry. Was she thrilled?

John became interested in genealogy as his father tried to get him to sit down so he
could explain family names and places. John learned a little bit but was more interested
at that time in how to play basketball. John wishes now he had paid attention to his

Linda and John were called to work at the Delta Family History Center in the 1990s.
They have enjoyed working there both as staff members and as novices learning more
about family history and how it is done. It is their delight to have the opportunity to
share a little knowledge about Scandinavian family history research.

Lesson Description
This presentation will include discussion of the alphabets of each of the Scandinavian
languages and some sources you can use to find more information about your ancestor.
We will show the Gothic characters used in Scandinavian hand-writing found in many
records available from Scandinavian countries.

You Will Learn
You will learn the use of patronymics and some reasons for variations of surnames.
You will learn how to find the location of the records where your ancestor lived in
You will learn how to read the records you find.

Where do I begin?
- Find what information you already have
- U.S. information – after ancestor arrived, port of entry
- Ship logs and manifests
- Addresses of where they lived
- Documents
- Pictures
- Learn what living relatives may know


Scandinavian Research Tools
__*Patronymics in Scandinavian countries
__*Military names, names from farm or occupation
__*Names may have changed when the person entered a new country
-Locations/Jurisdictions: (farm) Town, Parish, County, Country
-Dates: Birth, Death, Burial, Marriage, Emigration, Immigration
- Alphabets, Gothic and Latin script
__*On computer

Maps and Gazetteers

Types of records to search
- Church records
__* Birth & Christening - Christening date may be the only date found
__* Death & Burial - Burial may be the only date found
__* Marriage
__* Household surveys
- Military Records
- Census Records
- Probate Records

Helpful internet sites for Scandinavian research
- Statensarkiver - Danish state archives is available online in Danish with a
link to English. Gives access to Danish Church Books (kirkebøger) and Danish
Census (folketælling) records.
-Family/Lineage/Relative Sources: Pictures of church buildings in Denmark where your
ancestor may have been christened/baptized and other helpful information.
For example:! We will talk about or show other
sources that may be useful to you.
-FamilySearch Wikis
or /Sweden, or /Norway, or /Finland, or /Iceland, or Scandinavia at the end of the
address. There are many other country wikis as well.
There is a lot of information available on these Wiki sites and more is added
almost daily.
Go to – on left side of screen and select the area of the
world you are interested in (“Continental Europe” for example) then click on the
country you are interested in.

What to do first:
• Gathering home and family information
• Organizing it into family group sheet and pedigree chart
• Finding your ancestor(s) in all possible U.S. censuses (state
and federal) to obtain a year of emigration, find possible
extended family, and help verify known facts
• Subsequently finding them in passenger lists originating in
their country of origin
• Finding them in naturalization/citizenship papers
• Finding their US marriage license applications
• Finding their U.S. church marriages
• Finding their U.S. confirmations
• Finding their U.S. death records
• Finding their US church death records
• Finding their obituary notices in the foreign language
newspaper as well as the English version
• Finding their passport applications
• Finding biographical entries for them in a U.S. county history
• Finding one-liners about them in a county history in the
township section
• Finding them in an ethnic history
• Finding them in a U.S. periodical dealing with country of
• Finding an old insurance policy, drivers license application,
and so forth
• Finding old letters, postcards, school memorabilia, photo
plates, pictures with names on them
• Finding anything written in a foreign language or with funny

Danish Genealogy and Family Research

 It has been suggested that the best place to start is with what you know already or what you have a hand. Talk with relatives, interview older members of the family, find out where your ancestors immigrated to after they left Denmark.

Where do I begin?

Name: Last name, first name                                    

Patronymics in Scandinavian countries

Location: (farm) Town, Parish, County

Dates: Birth, Death, Burial, Emigration, Immigration,


Similar but different from the alphabet you are used to.

Helpful words for Family History (Handout)

Gothic script - In handout and on computer


- Country

- County (Amt)

- Parish (Sogn)

- Town (By)

- Maps (Kort)

Types of records to search
 - Church records
* Birth & Christening (født & døbt)
* Death & Burial (død & begravelse)
* Marriage
- Military Records (lægd or lægdsrulle)
- Census Records (folketælling)
- Statensarkiver - Danish state archives is available online in Danish with a place to read it in English. Gives access to Danish Church Books (kirkebøger) and Danish Census (folketælling) records.
- (family/lineage/relatives sources pictures of churches in Denmark. Also other information can be obtained here.

Danish Genealogical Web-sites
Some of these are sites provided by the Danish government and are being developed
and added to from time to time. If at first you don’t find the information you are seeking
go back to the sites again at a later date. Remember to keep a Research Log as you
do your research.

1- Danish Online State Archive: This website has Danish Church
books which have been digitized. They are usually written in long-hand and can be
difficult to read.
There is a link to take one to the English version of the site, but the records are still in
the old Danish handwriting styles. (Or to get it directly in English use:
These records are not indexed and you will have to look through them to find the
information about your ancestor. The records are listed by location: County, Parish, and

2- The Danish Demographic Database [Dansk Demografisk Database]: http://
Contains Danish census records from 1787 and onwards along with other information
that may be helpful. The Danish State Archives are in the process of indexing these
records. This record is given in both Danish and English. To access the English
version click on the British flag at the top of the page.
To go directly to the English version go to:

3- Family/Lineage/Relative Sources: Pictures of church buildings in Denmark where
your ancestor may have been christened/baptized and other helpful information:

4- FamilySearch sites:
For additional help with these sites and other information regarding Danish research go
Family Search has lots of helps for the beginning to intermediate genealogist. Look
there for help with all sorts of questions that come up. Go to any of the sites and just
search around in the different categories or links.

Swedish Genealogy
Church Records/Clerical survey/Parish Records – Birth or Christening
• When using Swedish clerical survey records, first find the page with the name of
the village or farm where your ancestor lived, and then look for your ancestor’s
• A parish is usually named for the largest village in the area.
• To find births, marriages, or deaths in church records, you need to know the name of the
parish where your ancestor lived.
•To search clerical survey record, you need to know the name of the village or farm where
hour ancestor lived.

Civil Records - Birth or Christening
County – Sweden is divided into 24 counties. To search clerical records, it is helpful to
know in which county your ancestor lived.
Emigration and Immigration – Moving out or leaving and Moving in to a new country
Probate Records – Estate of a deceased person is inventoried and dispersed, family names and
relationships may be shown.
Household Surveys* – found in
Swedish Research – Where to look: you need the name of farm, or village, parish, and county in
Sweden where your ancestor(s) lived. Search by date in this order: day, month, year.
Places (jurisdictions) are usually listed from smallest to largest on family group records. The smallest
level can be either a village name or the name of a farm. The district (hӓrad) is not usually listed. The village or farm is usually listed on the birth record.

  1. SVAR Swedish Archival Services - Find “info” through Google, just put in svar. $
  2. Svenska Kyrkan, Genline - on FHL computers *
  3. Family History Library Catalog (30966)
  4. Clerical Surveys are listed under the name of the parish where your relative was born.Look in the FHL catalog for the parish where your family member was born and then look for “Church Records.” Find the “village” in the parish, then for the name of the person you are researching. The survey may list the entire family: names, ages and birthplaces, relationships and  ccupations. The record will not list children who were born and died in the same year. If you do not find your family in the clerical survey, look in nearby parishes.
  5. Church Records: BIRTHS 1686-1860 (Fӧdde) (Content - Child’s name, parent’s names, occupation, and residence (which is also the child’s birthplace) witnesses (“godparents’)  names, birth date, Christening (baptism) date. (Godparents could be family members.) Some church records give marriages, deaths, burials, or movings. An approximate birth date is needed to search these records effectively.
        • Family History Library Catalog:
        • Place search:
        • Place = name of parish
        • Part of = Sweden
        • Topics to choose: Church Records
        6.  Civil Registration: BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS -

FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping people throughout the world
learn how to find their ancestors. Through the Sweden page you can learn how to find, use,
and analyze Swedish records of genealogical value. The content is variously targeted to
beginners, intermediate, and advanced researchers. Please visit the help page to learn more
about using the site. The Sweden Page is a work in progress, your contributions and feedback
are essential!

  • 1 Featured Content
  • 2 Getting started with Sweden research Riksdagen (House of Parlament), Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3 What are you looking for?
  • 4 Research Tools
  • 5 Jurisdictions and Records
  • 6 County and Parish Pages
  • 7 Sweden FamilySearch Wikiprojects
  • 8 Related Country Pages

    Featured Content
    A new Swedish occupation page has been added called Backstugusittare. The word
    backstugusittare is an old term for people in rural areas that lived on someone else’s
    land, or on the commons in a small cottage or hut. See the full article at: Swedish

    See previous featured articles at: Sweden: Previous Featured Articles

    Norwegian Genealogy
    Site contains good suggestions and information to assist in
    researching your Norwegian people. There are lists of words, counties,
    maps, suggestions to guide and help you in many ways.
    This website is always being edited and expanded. You may be able to
    increase your understanding each time you go to this site.
    Included on the Norway Wiki site are:
    - Getting started with Norway research
    - Maps of counties and lists of county names
    - Research tools with internet links
    - Research strategies with internet links
    - Many other helps and pointers
    - Click on the links and learn a lot more

    Finland Genealogy

    Icelandic Websites
    This site leads to lessons, suggestions for searches, lists of words,
    locations,maps, sources of information, internet websites, links to Icelandic
    internet library sources, suggestions for doing Icelandic research, alphabet,
    word lists and much more.
    Iceland “FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping
    people throughout the world learn how to find their ancestors. Through
    the Iceland page you can learn how to find, use, and analyze Icelandic
    records of genealogical value. The content is variously targeted to
    beginners, intermediate, and expert researchers. Please visit the site to
    learn more about using the site. The Iceland Page is a work in progress,
    your contributions and feedback are essential!”
    2- Site has “Useful Website” links which you can access from your computer.
    3- Contents includes:
    -Getting started with Iceland Research
    -Research Tools
    -Much more

    Gothic Alphabeth Samples
    Gothic Handwriting Alphabet Samples
     Research Log

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