Swedish Church Jurisdictions for Family History Research

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Why Church Jurisdictions?

As you search for your Swedish ancestors, you will spend the majority of your time in the Swedish Lutheran Church Records. After all, they contain the household examination, birth, marriage, death, and moving records. But there are times when a parish record has gaps, was not well kept, or is even missing for the years you need. In situations like this, you may need to search the rest of the parish record collection (that was never microfilmed or digitized), or search records created by other church administration levels. This article will help you understand the administrative levels of the Swedish Lutheran Church. Knowing this will help you to identify the records to search.

Medieval - 1650's

1650's - early 1900's

The chart below represents the organizational structure of the Swedish State Church from the 1650's up to the early 1900's. See the table below the chart for English definitions and links for information about the records associated to each jurisdiction.

Swedish Church Jurisdictions 1650s to 1900.jpg
Administration Levels Definition Records
Kunglig Majestät The Swedish Government and Monarchy see: Records Page
Stift med domkapitel (konsistorier) Diocese with its Domkapitel (consistory council, bishops court.) To learn more about the Stift in Sweden see the article Swedish Stift see: Records Page
Läroverk School System see: Records Page
Kontrakt Deanery see: Records Page
Pastorat A Pastorat (translated means Parish) is the geographical area that a minister has responsibility for within the Swedish Lutheran Church. It is made up of one, more congregations (församlingar) depending on the circumstances. To learn more about the Pastorat in Sweden see the article Swedish Pastorat.


Records Page

Församlingar The word församling translates to mean congregation, but the meaning also refers to parish (socken.) To learn more about the socken in Sweden see the article The Swedish Parish (Socken). see: Records Page

To print a copy of this chart with the definitions see: File:Swedish Church Admin Structure 1650's - 1900's.pdf.


Asker, Björn, Hur riket styrdes, Förvaltning , politik och arkiv 1520 – 1920, Edita, Stockholm 2007   (further reading chapter 8. Kyrkan, skolan och sjukvården)

Clemmensson, Per & Kjell Andersson. Släktforska vidare. Natur och Kultur/LTs förlag, Falköping 2003