Records of the Allmänna Barnhus in Stockholm, Sweden

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Sweden > Orphanages in Sweden > Records of Allmänna Barnhus in Stockholm, Sweden

Allmänna Barnhus registration form in 1807

Within the Allmänna barnhus records, you will find:
  • Every year had a roll for infant children at the orphanage (rulla över spädda barn)
  • Every year had a roll for older children at the orphanage (rulla över äldre barn)
  • Every year had a roll for children in foster care (rulla över barn utanför barnhuset)

In later years, the system was changed so the rolls were organized by the child’s birth year. Here is a short description of the different record types:

Name (Eng) Name (SV) Description Availability
Orphanage Registration Rolls Barnhus rulla över spädda barn, and över äldre barn Each child has a unique registration number, so it is easy to follow a child from one record to another. The information about a child in the Allmänna Barnhus records will vary according to the circumstances of admittance and foster care placement. On the rolls you should get at least, the name of the child, birth date, date (-s) of foster care placement, or a death date. The Allmänna Barnhus rolls have been indexed and digitized.

The years 1713 - 1802 are available through the Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies website at: Barnhus Sök.
The years 1798 - 1912 are available through the Stockholm City website at: Ur Allmänna barnhusets rullor fore 1913.

Admittance papers Handlingar till rulla över spädda och äldre barn These are the documents provided at the time a child was admitted. In these papers you might find birth certificates, letters from a parish priest (describing the level of poverty), a doctor, or documents describing how a child was found (if foundling), or even a sealed envelope with the name of the mother. Typically there are also papers that describe the placement of foster care, or if a parent came back for a child. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Records of Minutes for Admitted Children Handlingar till protokoll över intagna barn These are minutes, records, and reports of proceedings. In these records you may find a letter from the parent or foster parent to the orphanage. You may also find documents from the police, or a priest as they tried to find the parents of a foundling. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Roll of Foster Care Placement Rulla över barn utanför barnhuset or Utackorderingsrullor Register of the children who have been placed in foster care, or delivered from the orphanage. These records may include information about the child’s parents. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Record of Women who worked as a Wet-nurse Amrullor Record of women in the 1800’s and 1900’s who were hired to be a wet-nurse. This record may help when the mother is listed as anonymous in the maternity hospital records. Information about a woman hired as a wet-nurse may include her name, age, the children she is nursing, her health, and ability to nurse. In some cases the woman left the orphanage early if her child was placed in foster care and the remainder of the admittance fee was paid in money.In the catalog of the Swedish National Archives listed as DIBa. 18 vol. 1816 – 1937, for earlier years (DIIa and DIIca. Rulla över äldre barn) Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Ledger of Applicants who applied to be a Wet-nurse Ammebesiktningskontorets intyg Record of women who were seeking to be hired as a wet-nurse. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Instructions for employees Instruktioner till olika grupper av anställda Instructional material for the various groups of hired individuals. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Account Records Räkenskaper Accounts of incomes and payments. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Records of Illness Sjukjournaler Record of illness. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Record of post mortem examinations Obduktionsjournaler Record of post mortem examinations (autopsies.) Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Teacher’s Records Barnhuslärarnas handlingar in the Stockholm Domkapitlets arkiv School records kept by children’s teachers. Available at the Stockholm City Archive
Documents to the Main Diary Handlingar till huvuddiarium Within these journals, there are documents about mothers who were imprisoned and their children. Available at the Stockholm City Archive

Access to Records

1. The Allmänna Barnhus records can be found in the National Archives Catalog (NAD.) The original records are stored in the collection of Stockholm Stadsarkiv. The barnhusrullor before 1913 have been digitized and are available for free through the Stockholm City Archive’s website at: Ur Allmänna barnhusets rullor fore 1917

2. Allmänna Barnhuset 1713 – 1900 Database on C.D. which includes about 54,000 children that were registered one or more times at the Allmänna Barnhuset. For the time period 1743 – 1762 there is often information about the father and his occupation. After 1763 the mothers name is usually given. After 1802 there is no information about the parents in general, but you can contact the Stockholmstadsarkiv for further assistance.

3. Barnhus-Sök, is a database of over 7000 orphans in Stockholm city between 1713 – 1802. Information was taken from the Allmänna Barnhuset collection. Created by the StorStockholms Genealogiska Förening. This database is available through the Federation of Genealogical Societies of Swedens website:

4. Other orphanage records can be found in the Regional Archives (Landsarkiv) and the Municipal Archives (Kommunarkiv.) Links to each Landsarkiv can be found on the National Archives main page at:

5. Other information about other orphanages are listed in the Swedish Libraries Database Sondera at:

6. The sealed papers kept by the parish priest may be cataloged in a parish record collection as Bilaga till födelseböker (series HIII) in NAD.

7. Information about an orphan can appear among the City Archives (Stadsarkiv), or Municipal Archives (Kommunarkiv)


Sveriges Släktforskarbörbund, “Att forska om barn på Allmänna barnhuset” Släktforskarnas årsbok ´97. City Tryck Karlstad AB, Karlstad 1997.

Clemmensson, Per and Andersson, Kjell. Släktforskaa vidare. Natur och Kultur, Falköping: 2003

Clemmensson, Per & Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska Steg för Steg. Natur och Kultur, Falköping 2005

Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, ”Barnhusbarn spreds över hela Sverige”. Släkthistorisk Forum 1983, no. 2

Reuterswärd, Elisabeth. ”Oäktingen” Fader Okänd. Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, Falköping 2011