Sweden Gazetteers

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Three gazetteers for Swedish genealogical research are: Svensk Ortförteckning, Geografiskt-Statistiskt Handlexikon öfver Sverige, and Svenska Orter, Atlas över Sverige med Ortbeskrivning. Below you will find examples from each gazetteer with English translations to help the researcher better understand the information found in each gazetteer.

Svensk Ortförteckning

Svensk Ortförteckning lists in a alphabetical sequences the farms and villages in Sweden. The letters Å, Ä, and Ö follow Z in the Swedish alphabet. Following the alphabetical listing of the farm or village is an abbreviation of what the place is. The most common abbreviations are gd (gård) = farm, gd: ar (gårdar) = larger farm, and by = village. The name of the parish (församling or socken) in which the smaller place is located comes immediately before the 4 letter abbreviation for the county.  If the name of a civil community has been given, the name of the parish may be in parantheses. Immediately after the name of the parish, whether it is in parentheses or not, is the abbreviation for the county (län) in which the parish is located. The county abbreviation is always shown in upper case letters. For example, the abbreviation for the county of Kopparberg is KPBG. A key to decode the abbreviations used in Svensk Ortförteckning can be found inside the book's front cover. Following the county abbreviation, the researcher will find the principle abbreviations P, Tf, and Tg. The P is followed by the name of the post office nearest to the parish, the Tf identifies the telephone prefix for the parish,the Tg identifies the nearest telegraph office, and the J identifies the nearest train station, with the number of kilometers it is away from that small place.

Names of farms or villages that are preceded by a descriptive term, such as, Stora (greater), Lilla (little), Västra (west), Östra (east), etc. will be found after all the singular listings for the places. For example, if the researcher is looking for the place name Stora Nybble, he would first find the listing for the place Nybble. Following the listings for Nybble, the abbreviation St:a is found. St:a is the abbreviation for Stora (greater). The information to the right of this abbreviation pertains to the place called Stora Nybble.

In the 1965 edition of Svensk Ortforteckning on page 655 is the listing for "Nybble". There are 16 separate listings for the place name "Nybble". Three of these listings are "Nybble" in Örebro county. One of the three listings follows:

Nybble – by hl lg: er fabr Tysslinge (Vintrosa) ÖREB P Vintrosa Tf 019 Ör Tg Örebro 15 J Fjugesta 10 Örebro 19.

This listing can be interpreted as follows:

Nybble – a village with apartments and factory located in Tysslinge civil community (Vintrosa parish) in Örebro county, the nearest post office is in Vintrosa parish, the telephone prefix is 019 and the nearest telegraph office is located in Orebro City.

The crucial information for the researcher is that Nybble is a village formerly located in the parish of Vintrosa in Örebro county. Now that this information is known the researcher can look up the Lutheran Church Records by the name of the parish.

The Swedish Postal Guide (Svensk Ortförteckning) is available at the Family History Library and has the call number of FHL 948.5 E8sv. 

Geografiskt - Statistiskt Handlexikon öfver Sverige

This gazetter, published 1882-1883,  is excellent for showing the spellings of Swedish place names prior to the spelling reform, which took place in 1906. As a result of the 1906 spelling reform, "c" became "k", "z" became "s", "w" became "v", "q" became "k", and places with an initial or interior "e" changed to "Ä" or "ä". Below are some examples of the 1906 Swedish spelling reform.

C became K  Carl became Karl
Z became S  Zidzel became Sidsel
W became V  Wilhelm became Vilhelm
J became I  Jngerd became Ingerd
Q became K  Qvistberg became Kvistberg
E e became Ä ä  Elfsborg became Älvsborg

Interior “f” became “v” or was dropped all together. For place names beginning with “Hv” or “Hw”, the initial H was dropped. Some examples follow:

F became V or was dropped Arfwid became Arvid
Hv or Hw became V Hvena became Vena
Hwällinge became Vellinge

For this gazetteer, it will be necessary to know the following Swedish word terms and their English equivalents:

Gård   Farm
By     Village
Sn (Socken)   Parish
Hd (Härad)    Court District
Län   County


On page 270 of Volume 3, the following citation is found:

Nybble i Örebro län och hd, Vintrosa sn. By. 3 mtl lyda under Svartå i Qvistbro sn.

This entry translates in English as:

Nybble, in Örebro county and court district, Vintrosa parish. Village. 3 mantals (acres) taxed under Svartå in Kvistbro parish.

Geografiskt-Statistiskt Handlexikon Öfver Sverige is available at the Family History Library with the call number of FHL  948.5 E5r.

This gazetteer is available on line through Svar Riksarkivet.  A subscription membership is required.  Access is available at the Family History Library and the Family History Center system.  The gazetteer is found under the Shortcuts - Databases and is called " Rosenberg -- Geographic dictionary of Sweden.  The website for Svar is:    http://svar.ra.se/


This online gazetteer is provided by the Språkrådet (the Institute of Language and Peoples Heritage).  It's a great reference to find Swedish place names, whether old and new, residential or landscape.  It is a free website.  Web address: http://www2.sofi.se/SOFIU/topo1951/_cdweb/index.htm

Svenska Orter, Atlas över Sverige med Ortbeskrivning

(Volume 1, parts 2 & 3, Volume 2, parts 1 & 2, Volume 3, parts 2 & 3)

This gazetteer allows the researcher to identify the names of the farms and villages in each Swedish parish. The six books are divided into three volumes with two parts per volume. The first book or part is for place names beginning with letter
A-K. The second book or part is for place names beginning with letter L-Ö.  (This set is found at the Family History Library with the call number of 948.5 E5so, Volume 1, parts 2 & 3, Volume 2, parts 1 & 2, Volume 3, parts 2 & 3.)

Under the listing for each parish, the researcher will find in italized letters the terms Herrgård (large farms), Byar (villages) and hemman (farms). Under each of these three headings will be listed in alphabetical sequence the names of all the large farms, villages and farms in this parish. This listing enables the researcher to record the correct spelling for each of these place names and to see the choices for places when attempting to interpret place names when using the microfilmed church records.

Because the parishes found in this gazetteer are in an order as if one was moving in Sweden from south to north, the following list of counties and the volume in which the county is located may prove helpful.

Volume 1 counties: (The southern part of the country as far north as an east-westerly line just south of Göteborg)

Blekinge, Gotland (part), Halland, Jönköping (part), Kalmar (part), Kristianstad,
Kronoberg, Malmöhus, Älvsborg (part)

Volume 2 counties: (The area immediately to the north of Volume One and as far north as just south of the capital Stockholm)

Gotland (part), Göteborg och Bohus, Jönköping (part), Kalmar (part),
Skaraborg, Södermanland (part), Örebro (part), Östergötland, Värmland (part)

Volume 3 counties: (The area just north of this line as far north as just south of the city of Gävle)

Gävleborg (part), Kopparberg (part), Stockholm, Södermanland (part), Uppsala,
Värmland (part), Västmanland (part), Örebro (part)

This gazetteer does not list parishes found in northern Kopparberg county, central and northern Gävleborg county, and all of Jämtland, Norrbotten, Västerbotten, and Västernorrland counties. However, 2/3 of the Swedish population lives in the southern ½ of the country. Because of the high concentration of the larger percentage of the total population residing in the southern ½ of Sweden, Svenska Orter is a very useful gazetteer to the researcher.

On page 1470 of Volume 3, Part 3 is found the listing for the parish (socken) of Vintrosa, Örebro county, Sweden. The listing shows the names of the smaller places found within the boundaries of Vintrosa parish. So that you can better understand the arrangement of places in this gazetteer, the following is an example of how place names in Svenska Orter are listed:

Herrgård: (large farms): Nybble. Byar: (villages): Arvaby, Bäck, Eskiltorp, Västra Granhammar, Östra Granhammar, Götavi, Götavitorp, Hyltran, Hässelkulla, Linneberg, Nybble, Ramsta, Sanna, Solberga, Spånga, Svartkärr, Säby, Västra Tomta and Östra Tomta, Västra Via and Östra Via; hemman: Brunnsvik, Fågelmon, Hummelbäcken, Klockargården, Kässlevad, Lannafors, Prästegården, Pölseboda, Rastorp and Svinbron.