Finding Engagement and Marriage Information for Swedish Family History Research
As marriage had a prominent role in the life of your Swedish ancestors, it’s important to be able to verify if or when a person married. The process to get married was a series of multiple steps which included the parish priest, parental consent, terms of mutual agreement (with possible gifts from the families), engagement, public banns, the marriage ceremony, rental fees to the parish, or a donation to the parish.
With this said, information regarding engagement and marriage can be found on lots of Swedish records. The official marriage date was of course the date of the ceremony. In Swedish research, the marriage date found in the parish engagement and marriage records is the primary source for this information. To find this, you must know 2 things:
- 1. The approximate year of the marriage
- 2. The name of the parish where the marriage ceremony was performed.
Many times you will see the date or at least the year of a marriage in the Household Examination Records. Sometimes finding the estimated year or parish where the ceremony is recorded can be a challenge. In situations like this, you must turn to other records for clues. Then after you find enough clues, you can verify the marriage date. The good news is the entire kingdom of Sweden was organized into parishes long before engagement and marriage records were being written. This means the majority of marriages were recorded back to when the parish records begin. Unless there are gaps in the records, it’s not if a marriage date was recorded, it’s where it was recorded.
The table below is a list of Swedish records that show engagement or marriage 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.)
|Name of Record||Jurisdiction||Record Description|
|Lysning- och vigselböcker||Församlingar (parishes)||These are the engagement and marriage records of a parish. Often both engagement and marriage are recorded in the same entries. Time Period: 1600’s – 1991|
|Bilagor till lysning- och vigselböcker||Församlingar (parishes)||These are the supporting documents brought in by the individuals intending to marry (are more common in the cities.) Time Period: Varies to parish collections|
|Husförhörslängder||Församlingar (parishes)||Sometimes the marriage date is listed with the full day, month, and year, other times by only the year (depending on the time period and how the household examinations were kept.) If the time of marriage was not recorded, at least you see titles that indicate marital status (such as Hustru.) Time Period: 1600’s – 1894 (use Församlingsböcker after 1895)|
|Kyrkoräkenskaper||Församlingar (parishes)||Parish account records for donations, or rental fees such as the bridal crown, etc. Time Period: 1600’s – 1800’s|
|Äktenskapsförordsprotokoll||Rådhusrätt, Häradsrätt, or Tingslag||Premarital agreements, also found in court record collections. Time Period: 1776 -|
|Lysnings- och vigselböcker||Rådhusrätt||Civil marriages, non-Lutheran marriages after 1874. Time Period: 1909 -|
|Skiljobrev||Domkapital||Divorce records of the diocese. Time Period: 1700 - 1800’s|
|Länsräkenskaper: charta sigillata (lysnings-handlingar)||Länsstyrelse|| Engagement notary records sent to county administration
(sporadic.) Time Period: 1732 - 48
|Länsräkenskaper: charta sigillata (lysnings-handlingar)||Kammararkiv|| Engagement notary records sent to kammar-kollegium
(sporadic.) Time Period: 1732 - 48
|Lasaretts-räkenskaper||Serafimer-ordensgillet||Hospital donation records (sporadic regional.) Time Period: abt. 1750 -1860|
|Utdrag ur lysnings- och vigselböcker||Statistiska Centralbyrån (SCB)||Extracts of engagement – marriage records sent to the government statistical agency. Time Period: 1860 - 1967|
|Äktenskapsregister||Statistiska Centralbyrån (SCB)||Marriage Lists of the government statistical agency. Time Period: 1921 -|
|Lasaretts-räkenskaper||Lasarett||Hospital donation records (sporadic regional.) Time Period: abt. 1750 - 1860|
- Clemmensson, Per & Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska Steg för Steg. Natur och Kultur, Falköping 2005
- Norstedt Förlagsgrupp AB. Norstedts Engelska Ord. at www.ord.se