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the Sweden Project
A wealth of original records for Sweden can be found in digitized form, free of charge (mostly B&W) at Riksarkivet and (in colour) for a fee at ArkivDigital. The B&W images are also accessible through Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. Records from the church, state, county etc. are reliable in the sense of being the public record of events. They are, however, not always accurate - clerics do make mistakes. And so they need to be evaluated in context. Sources should be cited in a way that makes it possible for others to find them without a link available.
Earlier records will be sparser and more difficult to read and interpret. Church records for Swedish parishes (birth-marriage-death) may go back to the early 1600s, more typically they go to the last decades of the 1600s. In many cases, however there are no pre-1700 parish records. Court records (not for the fainthearted), taxation records and land deeds go further back. Using these original sources for Swedish pre-1700 profiles is perfectly appropriate, indeed preferred - with the necessary caution in interpretation and awareness of potential errors.
- Riksarkivet - a WikiTree page
For pre-1500 profiles there will be very few original sources available to the layman.
- User-contributed family trees at sites like: FamilySearch, Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage, Rootsweb, WikiTree, Geneanet etc.
- A tree without sources is insufficient as a source for WikiTree profiles.
- A tree with precise dates and places will usually be a good guide of where to look for original records. Please take the time to do so. In these cases it is courteous to give credit (under See also); however when the tree exists in multiple copies on the net you may not be crediting the original builder. (In quite a few cases, precise dates and places, particularly before 1700, may be signs of fabrication. Exact birth years and places before parish records exist are a warning signal.)
- When a tree does present sources, please take the time to look up the original sources. Give credit.
- User-contributed family trees kept privately. The same as above applies here.
- There are many Swedish family trees kept online by users with their own private sites. Some of them are very solid, often presenting their sources. These trees definitely deserve credit.
- There is, however, the drawback that links to specific pages in these trees tend to break when the owner updates the site.
- Find A Grave memorials are not a sufficient source for Swedish pre-1700 profiles
Frauds and fabrications
Be aware of the possibility of frauds and fabrications used to create connections to noble or otherwise desirable ancestors. There is a whole category listing some of the known frauds:
- Frauds and Fabrications, including the
- Gustave Anjou Fraud where some lines go back to Scandinavian nobility. This is not one single publication - Anjou made his living in America over three decades by selling fabricated genealogies to individual customers.
Reliable secondary sources
- Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon Biographical lexicon of notables in Sweden from medieval times and on. Signed articles including source references. Produced by Riksarkivet, still a work in progress (currently nothing after Söderberg)
Pastorologies / herdaminnen
A pastorology provides a history of the clergy in a given diocese, usually with short biographies. For many dioceses there is a pastorology published in the 19th century as well as a more recently published, re-worked version, with a better foundation in research and accounting more clearly for sources.
- Wikipedia:sv:Herdaminne in Swedish at Wikipedia
Genealogies for Swedish nobility
- From 2023 nine volumes of Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor are available in facsimile at Litteraturbanken
Elgenstierna based his work on Svenska adelns ättar-taflor by Gabriel Anrep, published 1858-1864, which is less reliable than Elgenstierna, since Anrep was bound by restrictions imposed by the House of Nobility.
Elgenstierna's work is the basis for the Adelsvapen-wiki, which is also updated with corrections.
There is plenty of more or less solid research done by local researchers, who specialize in times and places where the available sources need careful interpretation. For these there are many publication channels - from journals like Släkt och hävd, published by the Genealogical Society of Sweden, over magazines published by local genealogy associations, to self-publication on the Internet. Most of this material is, naturally, written in Swedish. The reliability of any given publication as a pre-1700 source depends on how well the sources in it are presented and how clearly the reasoning is based upon those sources.
Work in progress
If your favourite source for Swedish pre-1700 profiles is missing, please ask a question about it, either in the Project Sweden Google Group or in G2G with the tag SWEDEN - so that the source can be evaluated and added to this page.