There is a positive and a negative side to researching Swedish family. Swedish records, which include the usual births/baptisms, marriages and burials also include frequent Household Examinations by the parish vicar, population registers which are actual tax registers, detailed probate records and various other records kept mostly at the local level either by the parish priest or the city military or courts.
The negative side is that the most complete records are only available on two subscription sites – the world version of Ancestry.com, which purchased the former Swedish company, Genline, and ArkivDigital.
First, here are some free resources:
FamilySearch has a browsable collection of Swedish records, a few of which are indexed and appear as abstracted data when a name is entered in the search box. To view the full browsable collection, one must visit a local family history center. Here is more information on what is in the collection and how to access items.
Demographic Database of Southern Sweden – This is a site that has begun to abstract records from parishes in the old Malmohus, Kristianstad and Blekinge counties in southern Sweden. The link is to the English page.
Scandinavia Feast Day Calendar – Many old baptismal records are written as “1st Sunday after Epiphany.” This will help you determine what the calendar day and month were.
Scandinavian and Nordic Genealogy – Lots of links.
Slakdata.org – This is also a database of parish records that have been abstracted. It is in Swedish, so click on registerlista and then click on the first letter of your parish name (forsamling) to see if your parish of interest is listed. This website is more of a complement to the DDSS listed above because I find that many of my parishes of interest in southern Sweden haven’t yet been added to Slakdata.org.
The Swedish Genealogy Guide – A blog, videos, dictionary and links will help acclimate you to Swedish records and research.
Swedish National Archives – Unlike Denmark and Norway, Swedish records are not free, but the link is included here if you would like to find out what types of records they hold and how to obtain them.
If you are ready to begin research in Sweden, I highly recommend that you find a webinar (Free on line – BYU 17 minute YouTube clip) that explains the basics and/or read up a bit (FamilySearch Swedish wiki) on how Swedish records are organized.
As mentioned before, the most complete records are accessible only through subscription. Ancestry.com purchased Genline a few years back, which had been the only source of early Swedish records. If you currently have a world subscription with Ancestry, then you are good to go and can start searching immediately.
If you don’t have a world subscription, then the other choice to consider is ArkivDigital. In my opinion, and it is only my own opinion, there is no contest between ArkivDigital and Ancestry for two reasons.
First, Ancestry purchased Genline, but has never scanned new images of the records, some of which are difficult to read.
ArkivDigital, pretty much the new kid on the block, scanned all new images of the records it offers on line. Newer technology equals better quality today and the ArkivDigital images are often of better quality.
Second, Ancestry offers a six month membership for $149 or a year for about $300.
ArkivDigital offers multiple subscription tiers: one week, one month, three months, six months, one year, or two years. Prices are all in Swedish kroner, but I subscribed for just one week this month. My cost was $11 (85 SEK) and, by choosing a week when I had lots of free time to read (mostly unindexed) records, I got plenty of bang for my buck. In fact, I’m about at the point where I need to sit and regroup because I’ve run out of records to read relating to my family.
Yes, a year’s subscription is $267 U.S. However, most people don’t spend the same amount of time every single day reading genealogical records so you would be paying for days that aren’t being used.
In summary, ArkivDigital offers excellent quality images and more flexible subscription options than Ancestry.
ArkivDigital would be my choice every time.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is my opinion. I receive no benefits, recompense or payments of any kind from ArkivDigital.