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What is a parish?

A parish is the area assigned to a particular church. The entire country of Sweden is divided up into units which attend a particular church. A parish may be a town or village, or a city may have several parishes in it. The minister of the parish had responsibility for the spiritual growth of the people of the parish, but because he was an employee of the state, he had several functions for the state, as well such as issuing transfer passes to those who were moving out of the parish. It was his responsibility to keep track of everyone in the parish, and he did this with the husförhörslängd or clerical survey which he conducted yearly, and in the migration length, birth, marriage and death records.


How do I find out what parish my ancestors lived in?

Finding the parish from which your ancestors came can be difficult, but is becoming easier as more information becomes available. First gather as much information as you can about your Swedish ancestors on your side of the Atlantic. Find out their birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, where they lived after they came over there, what date they immigrated, their names before they emigrated from Sweden (as many times they changed their names when they came to the new country). Some of these things you can find approximate dates for in the U.S census records. Obituaries can give clues too, but sometimes the information is inaccurate, weirdly spelled or misconstructed.

More information about what you need to do research for your swedish ancestors you find at Research - Order.




House hearing length


Migration length

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