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Title: Orphanages in Sweden

Due to life’s circumstances, there have always been children who needed to be provided for when their parent (-s) could not. In medieval Sweden the monasteries, abbeys, and sanctuaries provided assisted for this need. After the reformation, the church in rural areas and civil orphanages in the cities took this role. If you have an ancestor that was an orphan, finding their biological parents can be difficult. This article will help you understand how the orphanages came about, how they changed through the years, and introduce you to the records they left behind.

Swedish society addressed these needs differently in the cities than in rural areas. In rural areas, the local parish was the first place to turn for assistance. Generally the local rural parishes had a meager budget to meet their social needs. Parishes in the cities had larger budgets but the social demands were also much greater. City authorities were concerned for these social problems and their consequences. In 1624 King Gustaf II Adolf presented a plan to require an orphanage in every Swedish province and city. One example of this is the Stora Barnhus in Stockholm that was founded in 1633. This was the beginning of many orphanages in Sweden.


Orphanage Pages

To learn more about the orphanage and the records they kept, click on the name of the orphanage from the list below:

Name of Orphanage Location Time Period
Allmänna Barnhus

- before 1785 see the Stora Barnhus page.

Stockholm 1785 - present
Arbetarklassens barnhem Lund 1868 - 1908
Borgerskapets Barnhus Göteborg (private)
Frimurarbarnhus Stockholm (private) 1753 - present
Frimurarbarnhuset Göteborg (private) 1757 -
Gustavianska Barnhus Norrköping (private) 1772 -
Gustavsbergs Barnhus Uddevalla (private)
Göteborgs Stads Barnhus Göteborg 1737 - 1999
Kungsholm Stockholm 1893 – 1943
Malmqvistska Barnuppfostringsanstalten Stockholm (private) 1882 – 1922
Malmö Barnhus Malmö abt. 1682 - 1890
Murbeckska stiftelsen Stockholm 1754 – 1920
Politiekollegiums Barnhus Stockholm 1754 - 1785
Prins Carls Uppfostringsinrättning (Gålöstiftelsen) Gålö (Stockholm) 1832 – 1848
Stora Barnhus

- after 1785 see Allmänna Barnhus

Stockholm 1633 - 1785
Östads Barnhus Östad Säteri near Alingsås (private) 1774 -

Category: Sweden, Category Historical Maps in Sweden