One of the treasures for those of you with Swedish ancestors is the Sweden Household Examination Records. The pastor of the parish originally kept these records to track the family’s that lived in the parish as well as to track and evaluate their religious knowledge. For the genealogist, these records are great substitutes for census records. Let’s look.
In the Sweden Household Examination Records, the family historian can find all those details that we love including the list of all people living at a particular farm or location, their complete birthdates, marriage dates and death date if they passed during the time of the record. Much like a census record, the Sweden Household Examination Records, generally cover ten-year periods in time with a few variations. Within that timeframe, it is possible to understand events that happened to the family beyond births of children. For example, if one of the children left for America, that information is included in the record.
I found the records to be relatively straightforward to read. I would recommend finding your family for every record that is available. You can even go back a generation or two if you are careful to review the family members, birth dates, and farm names and locations. These are quite amazing records. Like our census records here in the states, there are occasionally errors. Once you have those key dates for your ancestors, take the time to find collaborating documents in the births, deaths, and marriages of the church records. You can find church records at Riksarkivet, the National Archives of Sweden.
Sweden Household Examination Records (Husförhörslängder) • FamilySearch provides additional details about these records, their history, and common terms.
You can find the Sweden Household Examination Records at
Sweden: Household Examination Vocabulary • FamilySearch
It would be challenging to find your family in these records if you didn’t know the town that they were from. The good news is that the free FamilySearch Sweden Household Examination Records and MyHeritage Sweden Household Examination Records are searchable. I would encourage you to search by a variety of spellings including abbreviations of the last name. Sometimes the indexes were rather creative. As an example, Hansensdatter might appear as Hansens. Or Hanssensdr. Or Hanssensdatter. And if you do know the village or general area, try searching for other members of the family, not just the head person. Women are listed by their maiden names.
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.