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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, two, or more congregations (församlingar) depending on the circumstances. The head minister (Kyrkoherden) of the parish often had assistance by another minister called a Komminister (sometimes called Kaplan). The parish that the minister lives in is called the mother parish or moderförsamling. The other parish(es) in the pastorat is called the annex parish or annexförsamling. Multiple pastorats make up a Kontrakt. Sometimes the parish records of the whole pastorat would be kept in one book, other times there is a separate book for each congregation.
While you are searching for your ancestors in the parish records, you should find out:
- If you are working in the moderförsamling or an annexförsamling.
- If you are working in an annexförsamling and cannot find your people, check the records of the moderförsamling.
- If you cannot find your people in the records of the moderförsamling, check the records of the annexförsamling.
- Beginning in 1686 every Pastorat had to keep a record of christenings, marriages, and burials. Copies of the originals are available through SVAR, Arkiv Digital, Family History Centers, Ancestry.com and on Microfilm. The actual books are stored and preserved at the respective Landsarkiv (Regional Archive) within Riksarkivet (National Archive System.)
How to find the Pastorat information?
You can find out what pastorat your parish belonged to in a couple ways:
1. Go to Nationell ArkivDatabase
a. Click on Orter
b. Type the name of your parish (type Å, Ä, and Ö for a correct spelling if needed)
c. Click on the name of the parish followed by the word församling
d. Scroll down to see what's under Pastorat
2. Go to Sveriges församlingar genom tiderna
a. Click on the letter that the name of your parish begins with
b. Scroll down (or use Ctrl + F) to find the parish you want
c. Look for the information written next to Pastorat (eget means this parish is the mother församling)
Eventually every Swedish Parish Page in the FamilySearch Wiki will show the pastorat information. It just takes enough people helping and time :)
Johansson,Carl Erik. Cradled in Sweden. Logan: Everton Publishers Inc. 1995
Sveriges Släktforskarförbund Wiki Community., "Pastorat". Wiki-Rötter, January 2011.