parish registers

13 Sep 2015

Using ArchivDigital Sweden

Interested in using ArchivDigital Sweden to find Swedish ancestors?
On Wednesday, I was fortunate to be in the audience for the Legacy webinar with Kathleen Meade entitled, “Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online.”

There were so many helpful tips for using ArchivDigital Sweden that after this webinar, a one-year subscription seemed well worth the cost to me. Using ArchivDigital Sweden image database offers
about 190 000 historical books, documents and records or 56 million digital color images of Swedish church records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records and other historical records. We use modern technology to digitalize the records directly from the original books and we extend the image database with more than 600,000 color images each month.

Using ArkivDigital Sweden is a snap via an online subscription service called ArkivDigital online, which provides online access to the entire image database for a specific period of time. Download the Coverage Table here . You can also search their database by county […]

8 Nov 2014

Arkivdigital Swedish Records Free This Weekend

Arkivdigital Swedish Records Free This Weekend – apologies for the short notice, but those of us researching in Sweden should take advantage of this offer.
ArkivDigital features online archives containing church books (parish records) from the 1600s to 1894 for all of Sweden (household examinations, moving in and out records, birth, marriage and death records). Also available are many of the modern church books (1895-1942), including congregation books,moving in and out records, birth, marriage and death records that are available within Swedish record privacy constraints.

This weekend access is free to all available records.

Check to see what church books are available for a parish by going to and click on the section image database. (Swedish law limits access to records from 1929 to 1950 because it falls within the current restrictions on information from the last 70 years.)

ArkivDigital improves on the records available from LDS microfilm (about 100 million pages from the Swedish archives) and the records available from […]

13 May 2014

German Card for Genealogy Research

The German Card is the best $5 I’ve ever spent, certainly in research terms.
The SGGS German Card is a four-panel card, hinged and laminated, that folds up to the size of a credit card. Around the outside edges of the panels are Kurrentschrift or Alte Deutsche Schrift (“old German script”) and Fraktur alphabets, showing both upper and lower case, arranged so that you can hold each letter directly under the German word you are trying to decipher. It is designed to be carried in one’s wallet or purse for use in the library or at the archives. I have one in my wallet and one by my desktop computer.

This pocket research aid is exclusively available from the Sacramento German Genealogy Society.

The German Card includes:

Old German alphabets – upper case and lower case, for both the old German handwriting and the printed Gothic font
Basic German vocabulary words as used in church and civil records
U.S. census dates for years in which pertinent immigration information appears
Basic German genealogy resources
Major symbols used in old German genealogical recordkeeping
Soundex Code


30 Mar 2014

Some Thoughts on Reading German Parish Microfilm

Warning: genealogy whining ahead. I have some thoughts on reading German parish microfilm – a LOT of German parish microfilm that looked just like the screenshot on the right.

I was lucky to be at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with every roll of microfilm available. So I did due diligence, reading German parish microfilm for five days for every village in my search area – but with no results.

Why did I pick genealogy? Why not something easier, like taking up home dentistry, a backyard moon launch, or counting grains of sand on the beach?

So after all those hours and rolls of German records, I have to say there are two people I dislike, however pointlessly retroactive.

The pastor:

Let’s leave handwriting and spelling out of it. Not fair to pick on the guy when that was his job to be the educated person in a village who was responsible for creating vital records, now is it?

But I’m so glad the pastor made sure write JOHANN GOTTFRIED and MARIA ANNA in letters two inches high and then write the surname in tiny tiny script buried somewhere in the record like it was a secret. And of course, the pastor made sure use a mix of Sütterlinschrift, Kurrentschrift, Roman letters, plus some Latin and Polish mixed in, just to keep things light.

And yes, some of that handwriting strongly resembles a chicken on acid who ran through an inkwell before it made a break for freedom running across the pages of the parish register.