Posted by Juliana Szucs on March 4, 2015 in Website

SwedishGuideAncestry just updated the collection of Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893, adding records from  Jönköping, Malmöhus, Östergötlands and Skaraborgs. (Records for Älvsborg, Kalmar, and Värmland and a few from Göteborg och Bohus, Kronoberg, and Östergötland have been available since December 2014.)

Household examination rolls make up the main church register in Sweden. In them, everyone in a parish, including children, is listed household by household. These records were created to document examinations held each year to determine people’s knowledge of the catechism, but the result was a census-like record that can be a huge help in terms of tracking your Swedish ancestors.

The household examination has details such as name, occupation, date of birth, birth parish, marriage, etc. The records also document when people moved to and from the farms or crofts. The entire family is listed together, which makes it easy to find a person’s children or parents. The examination forms typically cover a five-year period, which can provide interesting details about how a household may have changed over that time.

These records are particularly valuable because they allow you to track your ancestors from place to place in Sweden. If your ancestor immigrated to America, that date will also be noted in the records, although the specific destination is typically not listed. Use that date to locate your ancestor in the Gothenburg, Sweden, Passenger Lists, 1869–1951 or in U.S. passenger lists.

With this collection, it’s important to note that most persons in the original record were not listed with surnames. In order to assist in searching records, surnames have been inferred. During this time period, surnames could be inherited, patronymic, or taken from another source such as a farm name. The inferred surnames are to be used as a guide.

Because vital events are often recorded in these records, they can be used in conjunction with the births, marriages, and deaths in Sweden, Church Records, 1500-1941, to help fill out what you know about the family.

To help you translate these records, we’ve created a free download with translations of each field. Click here to download a copy.

Search the Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893.

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Juliana Szucs

Juliana Szucs has been working for for more than 20 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program.


  1. Hi Juliana,
    This is a great article. I also saw the Are Your Ancestors Lost in Translation, and have a suggestion. For Swedish translation, Ancestry suggested using Google Translate and Babel Fish. These are o.k. but they are built upon modern spelling which does not match the old records all the time. Your customers would be better off using the Swedish Historical Dictionary Database, SHDD which is available for free through the Swedish Genealogy Guide. See

    Hope this helps,


  2. A Swedish detachment from Finland, probably early 1630s, was sent to secure land on the east coast, probably what is now New Jersey. It was later taken over by the Dutch. Nicholas Matttson Utter was probably connected with FINSKA Gardes Regimentet. He is my 9th greatgrandfather.

  3. Alice Smith

    Following my blood lines ,thru fathers, I find that Ragnar is mt 32 g.g.Grandfather.he is currently being depicted on T.V. The Vikings

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