Finding Death and Burial Information for Swedish Family History Research

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Finding Death and Burial Information for Swedish Family History Research

Knowing when a person died can be an important clue in Swedish family history research. It directly affects other strategies such as looking for a probate. Because the infant mortality rate in Sweden was much higher in the past, knowing the death date may help to sort out the right children to parents (when multiple sets of parents have similar names in a parish.) A person’s death and burial dates can be helpful to correctly identifying an ancestor. In Swedish research, the entry in the parish death and burial records is considered the primary source for this information. To find a death record, you must know 2 things:

  • 1. At least the approximate year of death
  • 2. The name of the parish where the deceased was residing at the time of the death.

Sometimes finding the estimated year or parish where the death is recorded can be a challenge. In situations like this, you must turn to other records for clues. Then after you find other clues you can verify the actual death and burial entry. The good news is, the entire kingdom of Sweden was organized into parishes long before death and burial records were being written. This means the majority of deaths and burials were recorded (back to when the parish records begin.) It’s not if a person’s death or burial was recorded, it’s where was it recorded.

The table below is a list of Swedish records that show death and burial information. The records have been ranked with the best source at the top, followed by others that might help.

If you find a possible match in a record, but need help to read or interpret the entry, go to the  FamilySearch Sweden Genealogy Research page in facebook for assistance (the information in the FamilySearch Forums is easier to use at a later date.)

Död och begravningsböcker Församlingar (parishes) These are the actual death and burial books that were recorded by the parish priest at the time of the death or burial. The information from the entry is equivalent to a modern death certificate. Time Period: 1600’s - 1991
Husförhörslängder Församlingar (parishes) It is common to find a reference to death in the household examinations (depending on the time period and how the household examination was being kept.) Many times it might just be a symbol of a cross, or just the word död, but you can search for the death and burial entry within the span of years of the household exam to verify it. Time Period: 1600’s – 1894 (use Församlingsböcker after 1895)
Dödlistor Rådhusrätt, Häradsrätt, or Tingslag Death lists of the city or district Court (sporadic.) Time Period: 1700 - 1800’s
Bouppteckningar Rådhusrätt, Häradsrätt, or Tingslag Probate records of the city or district court (sporadic before 1736.) Time Period: 1736 -
Boupptecknings-protokoll Rådhusrätt, Häradsrätt, or Tingslag Probate proceedings (minutes) of the city or district court (earlier in domböcker.) Time Period: 1848 -
Förmyndarskaps-protokoll och handlingar Rådhusrätt, Häradsrätt, or Tingslag Guardianship documents of the city or district court (earlier in domböcker.) Time Period: 1757 -
Kyrkoräkenskaper Församlinagar (parishes) Parish accounting records, donations, and rental of cloth. Time Period: 1600 - 1800’s
Länsräkenskaper: avkortningslängder Länsstyrelse County records of people whose tax payment was delayed (sporadic.) Time Period: 1600 - 1800’s
Avkortningslängder Kronofogden Kronofogdens records of people whose tax payment was delayed (sporadic.) Time Period: 1700 - 1800’s
Länsräkenskaper: avkortningslängder Kammararkivet County accounting records sent to the Chancellery in Stockholm: pending taxation records (sporadic.) Time Period: 1600 - 1800’s
Lasaretts-räkenskaper Serefimer-ordensgillet Hospital donation records (sporadic regional.) Time Period: abt. 1750 -1860
Utdrag ur död – och begravningsböcker Statistiska Centralbyrån (SCB) Extracts of birth records sent to the government statistical agency. Time Period: 1860-1967
Sjukjournaler och dödböcker Sjukhus Hospital illness and death records. Time Period: abt. 1800 -
Lasaretts- räkenskaper Lasarett Hospital donation records. Time Period: abt. 1750 -1860

References[edit | edit source]

  • Clemmensson, Per & Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska Steg för Steg. Natur och Kultur, Falköping 2005
  • Norstedt Förlagsgrupp AB. Norstedts Engelska Ord. at