Categories for Swedish Parishes - how to organize them

+10 votes
How should we organize the categories for Swedish parishes in Swedish? What should we call them?

* Namn socken (länsbokstav)

* Namn församling (länsbokstav)

* Namn (länsbokstav)

I guess the last one would be the simplest but I still think it is good that we show that it is a parish and not something else.

What the level above that? Socknar och församlingar i xxxx eller socknar/församling (länsbokstav)?
asked in Policy and Style by Lena Svensson G2G6 Mach 4 (44.8k points)
What, exactly, will be the benefit of adding a category such as Ekshärad_(S) to a profile? Does it do anything other than (presumably) aggregating all profiles with that tag?

The challenge then, would be to find the aggregate list - entering the category system reminds me of the old game "Zork". 'You're in a room with exits in all directions".
I have already set up a lot of categories for swedish parishes but I am now considering changing them to a simpler system.

The lowest category I use for my profiles is where they were born, lived and died. With other words the name of the farm, croft, estate or something like that. And that category is placed under the parish category. That way I can find people who lived in the same place and might be related.

Gerry Hagberg did you read my answer? The user case explains all...

Dont understand your Zork metaphore..... 

For me doing genealogy is 

  1. a way of learn more about people and places and that is the information you gather on category pages
  2. try to gather knowledge that otherwise get lost

Category pages is an excellent place to gather information related to more profiles and also away to share/learn.... 

video I created to explain the basic concept of how t learn more about Ekshärad.....

Ekshärad at Wikitree what do we know? 

Nota bene: Ekshärad (E) that has a relation to our prime minister Kjell Stefan Löwen

Thank-you Magnus for the personalised video reply. I have experimented and added a couple of new sub-categories to [[Category:Värmland County]]. Hope that's OK.

Zork was a top-selling 'adventure' game for the PC back in 1980. At the start you're in a room - the challenge is to find your way outside. Analagous to clicking on "Categories" in the Find menu.

You are welcome Gerry. We have a lot of parishes in Sweden....please let us know what you added if you need help....

Feels like wikitree has no support for tracking change information of categories ?!?!?!?

FYI: I added on Sunne(X)


5 Answers

+2 votes

I think we need to have a phone meeting and/or a webhangut about this....
Today I feel not many people use categories in Wikitree for Sweden

When working with IT solutions I normally try to start set up user cases 

e.g. the user case I feel is most important = gather information about the parish and make it easy to access
User Case 1: I am an user with a profile in xxx parish in Sweden and need to find out more information about the parish

Suggested solution A1: The user create a category for the parishes the profile is connected to and get access to Category pages with information about that parish

e.g. Hubbo (U)

Suggested solution A2: Link the parish category page to a county category and gather information useful for the county


  1. Västmanland County
    1. Badelunda (U)
    2. Dingtuna (U)
    3. Fläckebo (U)
    4. Gunnilbo (U)
    5. Götlunda (U)
    6. Hubbo (V)

Best practice I have found out regarding category pages: 

Try to link as much as possible to other good resources as it will be easier to maintain... 
C1) Riksarkivet have the historical administration
C2) Byggdeband have maps and gather pictures of all the parishes in Sweden
C3) Ortnamsregistret - good resource when you try to find out the correct name for a place in the parish
C4) Family Search has information for parishes in Sweden
C5) Porträttfynd has pictures of people
C6) Wikipedia has text about the parish

A) Levels above County? I have no opinion feels like Sweden is enough. Looks like a minor problem..... add afterwards

B) Languages supported? I suggest 1 page and write in Swedish and English on that page. Tools like Google translation makes it ok to ranslate most pages to your language.....

a) Its a lot of parishes maybe write some software to generate pages
b) What is the correct name of a parish and what county it belongs to
Suggestion: Use what is in Arkiv Digital (or NAD) and if a parish has belonged to more counties add both with a link between

answered by C S G2G6 Pilot (267k points)
edited by C S
I have worked with the categories for Sweden for over a year and a half and set up a structure but I do feel that it would be ok to change the categories for the parishes to what you have suggested. I think we should let the categories for provinces stay since they are already there. Småland is Småland after all...

When it comes to language I think we should make it as easy as possible for those who speak/read only Swedish or only English and the category pages should not hold too much information. Links to wikipedia and FamilySearch could be helpful.

Here is another confused video with my thoughts....

I feel parish (code) is good and excellent if you have Arkiv Digital BUT if you dont have it feels impossible...

Maybe if we create all parishes the problem will be smaller.....

  1. What are the thoughts today with Province, County from beginning
  2. Problem with getting the correct parish if you just have Svar as a source video at 4 min
  3. How to create a Webhangout 4:30
I use county codes with my genealogy program DIS all the time so it is probably common knowledge for most Swedes who do genealogy in Sweden. That is why there is an explanation on the Sweden category page (or should be).

I do hope people read and look at examples before they start creating stuff on their own. There is, after all, a project for categories which I joined before starting setting up categories for Sweden.
Living in one of the worlds most ethno-centric countries, I have tried to spell out the names of states when ever possible.  I live in Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA.  I do this to aid others who might not have memorized our state abbreviations.  Please do the same with Swedish län abbreviations, e.g U, V, X

Good point Norm.....

I see the county code as a way to get uniqueness of Kila etc... the county code doesnt add to much value ==> we should both support Kilanda and Kilanda (P)

If we look at Wikipedia you use something called disambiguation and redirect for articles....


 may refer to:

My thoughts

  1. We use as the base form Kila (D) ==> we have something unique and that is the article and is also easy for hardcore old-school genealogy people like Lena
  2. We add Kila as a  disambiguation ==>
    Kila may refer to 
    1. Kila (S) a parish in Värmland, Sweden
    2. Kila (E) a parish in Södermanland, Sweden
    3. Kila (U) a parish in Västmanland, Sweden
  3. On the parish page we add more information to explain and links to Wikipedia that has excellent material....
  4. For a parish that is unique by its name Kilanda
    1. We use Kilanda (P) as the "base" category with all links and information and its the category to be used on a profile [[Category: Kilanda (P)]] 
    2. We have Kilanda --> redirects to Kilanda (P) (soft or hard redirect or ?category redirect?)
    3. On the target Kilanda we have a hatnote telling you were redirected from Kilanda (P)
+1 vote

Some challenges

A) A parish that has changed county

I have Simtuna that is U and has also been C
I solved in the following way see Simtuna (C)


answered by C S G2G6 Pilot (267k points)
Yes, I think that is how we have to do it. Like you say Magnus, lets use the current county letter and make a category for the old as well but direct it to the new one. Maybe the should be more information, that in 19xx the parish was transfered from x county to y county?

Problem is to find this kind of information....

As you can see we have 2609 parishes and I have done a list of them see Google drive (tab All) ==> we need to find all parishes that has changed county somehow..... 

Maybe its a non issue as in Arkiv Digital have more county letters for those counties....  

I will have a look....

Asked on Anbytarforum if they can make this easier

+1 vote
I favour Magnus' suggestion of using <name (code)>, e.g. Lysvik_(S). It is probably the least amount of typing.

I think that categories for county, province, län, and landskap should all be at the same level in the hierarchy and the parishes should be designated as being in each of them. See Västra Ämtervik (S).

So, each parish belongs to 4 categories. This could be intrinsically informative: e.g. Karlskoga_(T) - Örebro county & Värmland province.

It might also help navigating sites like anbytarforum (reference by province) and disbyt (reference by county).
answered by Gerry Hagberg G2G6 Mach 1 (11.4k points)
edited by Gerry Hagberg
But county and province are not on the same level. A county is in on or several provinces depending on how borders have shifted through time. Take Småland as an exampel which holds the counties of Kronoberg, Kalmar and Jönköping.
  • And where they belong change over time
  • And plans are to take away parishes

Rädda våra socknar

  • Det svenska samhället vilar i hög grad på den gamla sockenindelningen, som skapades redan under tidig medeltid. Socknarna bildades under 1100- och 1200-talen. De svenska ortnamnen har sockenområdena som grund. Såväl den kyrkliga som den borgerliga kommunen har vuxit fram ur sockenområdena. Byggtraditioner, dialekter, sånger, seder och bruk utgår ofta ur socknarna. Därför är det naturligt att museernas och arkivens samlingar har sockenområdena som registerområden. På samma sätt är det exempelvis när det gäller folklivsforskning, medicinsk forskning och naturhistorisk forskning.
So, using Småland as an example, are you suggesting that counties should be a sub-category of provinces?

What hierarchy would you suggest for the case of Gävleborg county, which contains provinces Gästrikland, Hälsingland, and (I think) part of Medelpad?

I found this site 
And we have 2609 parishes ==> we need to do some kind of automation when we know what we want....

I did this spreadsheet to count the number of parishes etc...

Parishes in Gästrikland


Parishes in Hälsingland

I have already put counties as subs to provinces. No need to change them, is there?

The provinces are "historical, geographical and cultural regions. Sweden has 25 provinces and they have no administrative function, but remains historical legacies and the means of cultural identification." (wikipedia) My identity as a smålänning (sombody from the province of Småland) is very important to me as well as it is for a skåning (somebody from the province of Skåne/Scania). Skåne used to consist of two counties: Malmöhus and Kristianstad but in 1997 they were merged into Skåne län. However, when we do genealogy research we still use the old counties.

In 1634 the country was devided into counties (län) and their number have changed several times as well as their borders so it is not always easy to know in which county a parish is located. I was born in the parish of Långaryd which today is situated in the county of Halland but used to belong to the county of Jönköping up until 1974. Until 1970 the borders of Halland county were the same as the borders of the province. The reason for the changes of county borders in later days are often economical.

So how should one organize this? I have always thought of the provinces as the larger units because that was true up until the 1990's when several merges were made. But Öland is a province situated in the county of Kalmar since 1632. See, there is no logic!!

Still, is the way it is set up now too confusing? Can't it stay the way it is?
Yes, there are instances of counties contained in provinces and vice-versa, which is why I made the suggestion to flatten the structure. It's not an issue of any concern to me, though, so I leave it to you.

For the parishes, it seems that the categories will be created as needed when filling out profiles. Do you have any objection to subbing them to all 4 categories (county, province, län, landskap) as I did for Västra Ämtervik (S) ?

>> parishes, it seems that the categories will be created as needed when filling out profiles 

I hope we can automate this and also some links....

>>Do you have any objection to subbing them to all 4 categories (county, province, län, landskap) as I did for Västra Ämtervik (S) 

No I myself never navigate up and down I stay at the parish and maybe move up to see if there is some information of interest at that category....

Question I did a Video of Västra Ämtervik and what I found. Maybe we should try to gather videos with people speaking about how to do genealogy in this area....

The video I did explaining what you find on a "standard" parish category page today 2015 dec 2

Please let me know if you have good resources that should fit in?

Please let me know if we should have a webhangout /video call?
Today I was out eating with another Swedish WIkitree person and its of much value sitting down speaking..... 

Lena Still, is the way it is set up now too confusing? Can't it stay the way it is?

For me its ok

Its complex and somethime I feel its difficult to find e.g when I have a soldier Storm I would like to find the correct categories for his Military regiment etc... and then I have problem how to find them....

If the solution is 

  1. to document it better
    (documentation that no one reads ;-) 
  2. something else 
  3. or that I should learn better how to do soldier research in Sweden....;-)
Maybe add more categories like we have Sweden with a lot of text and after sometime you navigates to the military section etc....
Maybe add a new topcategory Soldatforskning and Military Reaserch Sweden
or maybe if we start working more with category we will learn....
Since the parishes are connected to the counties first by the county letter I am not sure why there should be connections further up. Can you give me an example?


Magnus - about the military... I have tried to form some kind of structure for it when adding profiles for people who were soldiers but I am not an expert at the military structures so there might be need for further organizing of the structures.
+1 vote

Looked at wiki code on Wikipedia for Västerfärnebo

And they used an Infobox

{{Infobox distrikt Sverige
|distriktskod = 214061
| namn = Västerfärnebo distrikt
| bild = 
| bildtext = 
| land = Sverige
| landsdel = auto
| landskap = auto
| län = [[Västmanlands län]]
| kommun = [[Sala kommun]]
| församling = [[Västerfärnebo församling]]
| socknar = [[Västerfärnebo socken|Västerfärnebo]]
| lat_d = 59| lat_m = 56| lat_s = 41| lat_NS  = N
| long_d = 16| long_m = 16| long_s = 44| long_EW = E
| multikarta_rubrik = Västerfärnebo distrikts läge på kartan
| multikarta_storlek = 
| multikarta1 =  Distrikt Sala.jpg
| multikarta1_prickpos_x = 32
| multikarta1_prickpos_y = 58
| multikarta1_text = I Sala kommun
| länskarta = Sala Municipality in Västmanland County.png
| landskarta = 
|yta =
| yta_not = 
| befolkning = 
| befolkning_not =
| befolkningstäthet =
| täthet_decimaler = 2
| fotnot
'''Västerfärnebo distrikt''' är ett [[Sveriges distrikt|distrikt]] i [[Sala kommun]] och [[Västmanlands län]]. 


Question should we move in that direction for categories for Swedish parish and use templates?

  1. If we get a new source/link we would like to add then I assume its just to change the template
  2. We get more good looking pages


answered by C S G2G6 Pilot (267k points)
edited by C S
I am not sure what this would do.

Structure ;-)
that what we need.... easier to update when new sources appear and old sources changes....

If every parish page has the same structure its much easier to read....

e.g. just add the coordinates for Järvsö parish we could have a link to Geohack

add the Arkiv Digital number for the parish 3105 ==>
we could link and maybe in the future Arkiv Digital add more info for parish 3105 on another page and we could by changing the template also link to that resource....

That would be nifty.

Spoke 30 minutes with "Mr Wikipedia Swedish parishes" he spend about 5 hours per day and they are about 10 people maintaining Wikipedia about parishes, districts.... they are on a level so they send suggestions to the Swedish Government...

Lesson learned:

* use templates as urls change
* make it easy and use maybe redirect e.g.

Support Kila as a category but create a "förgreningssida" (eng Disambiguation pages) were you get did you mean Kila Västmanland or Kila Värmland compare Wikipedia for Kila

* parish is a good level to use and will be easy for 80% of the cases but problems in city and something else(my brain got information overflow problems)

Do not forget Kila Södermanland!! That is where I have a lot of my roots. :)
+1 vote

Having maps or not have maps (se example Bälinge district)

My vote is that its prio2 or prio3 but

1) Understand location of the parish is good

2) Understanding parish next to a parish is also cool

What I have seen at Wikipedia they have this functionalities on districts... maybe we can cheat and use the district maps.

They also have coordinates and link to a map engine

answered by C S G2G6 Pilot (267k points)

Svenska Ortnamn has pictures like this

Yes knowing the location is important and interesting.

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