Volunteers to Bring Sweden Church Records Online

FamilySearch and Svensk Arkivinformation (SVAR), a division of the National Archives of Sweden, announced today the launch of the largest online indexing initiative ever undertaken. The two groups unveiled plans to engage Swedish-speaking volunteers throughout the world to help create a highly searchable, free online index to the parish registers of Sweden—200 years of recorded Swedish history—comprising over 400 million names.

In 1608 the archbishop of Sweden asked the clergy to begin making records of births, christenings, marriages and burials of all the residents of Sweden. By 1686, the clergy were conducting regular examinations of the population of each parish. The church records (often called “parish registers” or “church books”) span over two centuries and chronicle the vital life events of an estimated 418 million people who moved in and out of parishes in Sweden.

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