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Connecting with Your Swedish Ancestry

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 15:07

What comes to your mind when you think of Sweden? Is it ABBA, the Swedish pop group that gained worldwide fame in the 70s? Or is it Sweden’s breathtaking, frigid landscapes with spectacular views of the northern lights? If you are Swedish or have Swedish ancestors, you may think of the patronymic surnames in your family tree, something that is common both in Sweden and in other Scandinavian countries.

If you have Swedish heritage, you’re not alone—over 14 million people worldwide are Swedish or have Swedish ancestry. FamilySearch’s online Swedish records collections can help you connect with your ancestors. Whether you’re trying to learn more about the lives of your family members or find new branches of your family tree, there is so much you can discover.


Search for Your Swedish Ancestors

Swedish Family History

Learn how to start researching your Swedish ancestry on FamilySearch.

Swedish Surnames

Discover the significance behind Swedish surnames in your family tree.

Swedish Church Records

Learn how to use Swedish parishes that date back as far as 1686.

Traditional Swedish Foods

Connect with your Swedish ancestors by trying these Swedish dishes.

Historical Insights from Sweden’s Records

FamilySearch’s freely accessible archives make it easy for anyone to search for Swedish ancestors. FamilySearch has over 60 million Swedish records and images available online that have millions of searchable names. More records and images are being added as they become available through indexing.

Looking through Sweden’s records can provide you unique insights on the history of Sweden and what life may have looked like for your ancestors. For example, Sweden did not fully adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1753. Before then, Sweden used their own calendar (which was most similar to the Julian calendar, the calendar most used by the Romans). This calendar shift affects how genealogists interpret dates from Swedish records created before and after the 1750s.

Other historical events such as the establishment of the Lutheran church and the unification (and later dissolution) of Norway and Sweden also affected Sweden’s records. Many of the most valuable genealogical records from Sweden were created by the Lutheran church.

Sweden Emigration

Sweden’s records can give you a look at the trends of emigration (people leaving the country) and immigration (people entering the country). A significant portion of Sweden’s population left between 1850 and 1930, with emigration during the period coming to a high point in 1887. Those who left accounted for nearly one-fifth of Sweden’s total population. They traveled to countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

In recent years, Sweden has seen another surge of emigrations and immigrations. Emigration in 2011 broke the record made in 1887; over 51,000 Swedes left the country. Those emigrating from Sweden in recent years have mostly gone to neighboring countries such as Norway and Denmark. In 2016, immigration rates to Sweden also peaked.

Many people worldwide have strong Swedish heritage. Are you curious about your own Swedish ancestry?

Use the FamilySearch fan chart to discover what countries your ancestors were born in. If you’re just starting to build your family tree, search for your ancestor’s names in millions of records for free on FamilySearch.org.


Types of Swedish Church Records

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 15:04

Did you know that Swedish parishes have been keeping records since 1686? Although individual parishes may have a few records from earlier dates, church law required Swedish church records to be diligently recorded after this time.


Search Swedish Church Records

Sweden parish staff used many types of records to account for the people living in the parish boundaries. The ones that are most useful to family history work are christening and birth records, engagement and marriage records, burial and death records, household examination records, and moving-in and moving-out records.

Swedish Birth and Christening Records

Records of each child born or christened in the parish. In Swedish, these are called födelse och dop anteckningar.

Information you can find in these records:

  • Name of the child
  • Parents’ names
  • Parents’ residence
  • Names of the godparents

Learn more about Sweden christening and birth records.

Swedish Engagement and Marriage Records

Records of each bride and groom that were engaged or married in the parish. In Swedish, these are called lysnings och vigsel anteckningar.

Information you can find in these records:

  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Date of public announcement (banns)
  • Date of the wedding
  • Other information, such as character references for the bride and groom

Learn more about Sweden engagement and marriage records and finding marriage information in all types of Swedish records.

Swedish Death and Burial Records

Records of each person who died or was buried in the parish. In Swedish, these are called död och begravning anteckningar.

Information you can find in these records:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Date of burial
  • Place of residence
  • Age at the time of death
  • Cause of death (when known)

The Swedes have recorded all the deaths in Sweden between 1860 and 2016 and created a database called the Swedish Death Index. This database is a more complete collection of death records than can be found elsewhere, but it is only available in certain formats. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, offers free access to the Swedish Death Index at the library. It is not available through the FamilySearch desktop at family history centers. (See the Swedish Roots Bookshop site for more information on how to purchase this database on CD or DVD. To view an English version of this site, look in the main navigation bar.)

Learn more about Sweden burial and death records.


Stockholm cemetery

Swedish Household Examination Records

Records of meetings between the priest and the parishioners. In Swedish, these are called Husförhörslängd.

Information you can find in these records includes the following:

  • Name of the person
  • The person’s knowledge of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism
  • When the person took communion

These records might also include the following information:

  • Place of residence
  • Age or date of birth
  • Moving information

Sweden has indexed all the household examination books from 1860 to 1930. These books include information about every member of a parish and were recorded every year, so they are a great resource for starting your Swedish family history. You can go to FamilySearch.org to access most of this database (1880 to 1930) for free. To search for your ancestors’ names in the full Household Examination database, visit MyHeritage.com or ArkivDigital.com.

Learn more about Sweden household examination records.

Swedish Moving-In and Moving-Out Records

Records of every person who moved into or out of the parish. In Swedish, these are called Inflyttnings och Utflyttningslängder.

Information you can find in these records includes the following:

  • Name of the person who moved
  • Where the person came from
  • Where the person was going
  • Date of the move (or at least when the priest was notified)

Many times, these are records of people who moved outside the chapelry (pastorat). If a person moved from one parish to another within the chapelry, the move might not have been mentioned in the moving records.

Learn more about Sweden moving-in and moving-out records.

Additional Resources

Need help getting started with your Swedish family history? Read “Swedish Family History for Beginners” on the FamilySearch blog. You can learn even more about Swedish record types and how to access them on the Sweden Church Records page on the FamilySearch wiki.

Swedish records are available for free online on FamilySearch.org and the Swedish National Archives website. You can also find Swedish records on Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, and ArkivDigital.

More about Swedish Ancestry

Swedish Family History

Learn how to start researching your Swedish ancestry on FamilySearch.

Swedish Surnames

Discover the significance behind Swedish surnames in your family tree.

Swedish Ancestry

Learn about your Swedish ancestors and their lives in Sweden.

Traditional Swedish Foods

Connect with your Swedish ancestors by trying these Swedish dishes.

 


Remembering World War I

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:23

From 1914–1918, millions of brave men and women around the world left their homes to fight for their countries in the Great War. It’s likely that someone in your family tree was among them. Do you know their story? Draft and service records from World War I can be a rich source of information about your ancestors, including physical descriptions, vital information, and details about their involvement in the war. Discover the part your ancestor played in the war to end all wars, preserve their legacy, and find out how it lives on in you.

Search World War I Records

Discover your relative’s WWI draft card.

 

Find Your Ancestors in WWI Records

 

Find out how to uncover and share your WWI ancestors’ stories with records on FamilySearch.

Armistice Day and the End of WWI

 

November 11, 2018 is the centennial of armistice, which marked the end of World War I.

 

WWI: Indexed Records Connect Families

 

Military records can provide insights into your ancestors’ lives and the lives of those around them.

 

Access US Soldiers’ Records from WWI

 

Learn about some of the most valuable WWI records with this presentation from RootsTech 2018.

The Significance of Poppies in WWI

 

Poppies are a symbol of respect and remembrance of those who died in World War I.

WWI Records and Genealogy

There are plenty of records available to help you learn about your ancestors who fought in World War I, including draft and service records, local newspapers, burial registers, and more. If you know where your ancestor was from or what unit they served in, you can look for them in United States World War I State and Local Histories or United States World War I Unit Histories. Dive into FamilySearch’s collections to see what you can discover. Or, help others find their ancestors by helping to index WWI records.

Find more information about United States World War I military records.

WWI Time Line: A Brief History

World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Russia and Germany soon joined the conflict, followed by Britain, France, and Italy. On April 6, 1917, the US declared war on Germany, and 2.8 million men were drafted to fight. Over the course of the next eighteen months, more sixty million troops worldwide and 4 million US troops were involved. By the end of the Great War on November 11, 1918, the violence across Europe resulted in an estimated thirty-seven million casualties and more than sixteen million deaths (including both civilians and military personnel).

The Harlem Hell Fighters

One group of men who served on the front lines was the 369th infantry of the 93rd division, a group of African American soldiers better known as the Harlem Hellfighters and Men of Bronze, nicknames given to them by the French. These men were known for their fierce combat, fighting longer and harder than any other infantry. The tenacity and toughness of the Harlem Hellfighters continue with us today as we remember and honor their lives and the lives of all who valiantly served in the military.

Continue reading . . .

Military Dogs in the War

More than 50,000 military dogs served in World War I, including the famous Sergeant Stubby. World War I was the first war in which military dogs were mobilized on a massive, organized scale.

Continue reading . . .

WWI Files to Download and Print

You can download and print this poster and rack card to spread the word and invite others to honor and remember those impacted by WWI.


Download here
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Download here
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Traditional Swedish Foods

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 16:05

Learn more about traditional Swedish foods from native Swedes and families with strong Swedish heritage. Recipes are included so you can try them yourself!

Do you have Swedish ancestors?

Discover your Swedish heritage with FamilySearch.

Search Sweden Records
  How to Enjoy Swedish Food

In Sweden, it isn’t just what you eat, but how you eat it. According to Swedish-born Jan Jonson, the best family meal times are social times. “A meal could take three hours,” he says.

The Swedish smörgåsbord embodies this leisurely, shared approach to eating. Favorite Swedish Recipes describes the smörgåsbord as an old country tradition where each guest would bring a food item to share. The food was then placed on a long table, and guests would serve themselves.


Image by Wikipedia user dnm
Image by David J
Image by Chinmayee Mishra

Fika is another Swedish food pastime. “Fika is basically getting together with friends for open-faced sandwiches, saft (water and a concentrate of juice), and tea, along with desserts sometimes” says Dee Wilhite.

Even the act of preparing Swedish meals at home is a social affair, often involving the entire family in the kitchen.

Have Some Swedish Fish (Not the Candy)

In some parts of the world, the phrase “Swedish fish” conjures images of a gummy, red candy. But actual fish dishes have been central to Swedish menus for centuries. The country has an extensive coastline and boasts numerous lakes and rivers, including the enormous inland Lake Vänern.

Jan and his family’s favorite foods include fish, especially salmon, found in the country’s cold rivers. However, his most memorable Swedish dish is the salted, sour, fermented herring, or surströmming. “It stinks up the whole house, your skin, your clothes, everything,” Jan notes. After moving to the United States, Jan’s parents would continue to order it from Sweden. “The can was bulging from the fermentation when it arrived.”

Sweden’s national website also mentions the infamously smelly surströmming. “The dish has become increasingly popular, even among gourmets. . . . A well-prepared fermented herring doesn’t taste the way it smells. On the contrary. The taste is simultaneously rounded and sharp, spicy and savoury.” You can buy it canned or make your own.

Popular Swedish Desserts

So strong is the Swedish sweet tooth that in the mid-1950s, health officials began advising Swedes to limit their consumption to once a week. Thus was born a tradition of “Saturday sweets.” However, decadent traditional desserts are still available year-round—and pretty much any time of the day or week in the country’s many bakeries.

Over 20 million servings of one dessert alone—semlor—are served every year in Sweden, especially on Shrove Tuesday and the weeks leading up to Lent. Dee describes semlor as traditional sweet rolls made with almond paste, powdered sugar, and milk and topped with whipped cream. According to the Jonsons, “Swedes love their cream and butter. They don’t sweeten the whipping cream, and they use a lot of it. Any dessert is lathered with whipping cream.”


Image by Steven Depolo

Chocolate is also a favorite ingredient in many Sweden desserts. Dee recommends Swedish sticky chocolate cake (kladdkaka), “a rich and gooey chocolate cake that is very common and amazingly delicious.”

In honor of the birth of the Swedish princess Märtha, a Princess cake (Prinsesstårta) takes center stage during the third week of September. Jan describes this treat as layers of cake with fresh fruit and jam, pastry cream, and stiffly whipped cream between the layers. The entire cake is then wrapped in marzipan. (Here’s a recipe from Swedish-raised chef Marcus Samuelsson.)

Other Swedish desserts are seasonal too. Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden is October 4, a good day to try these yummy, spicy buns. During the month of December, saffron buns and gingersnaps appear in bakeries and home kitchens. There are many different occasions that can satisfy your Swedish sweet tooth.

If you haven’t found a Swedish food you’re eager to try yet, check out our favorites below. Connect with your Swedish heritage by cooking up some of these traditional recipes!

Traditional Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

Swedish pancakes can be thin like crepes or made heartier with potatoes. However they’re made, they are definitely a staple.

Savory Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Swedish Meatballs are a huge tradition in Sweden and can be bought from almost any local store. But you can also make them at home!

Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

So popular are chocolate balls in Sweden that they have their own holiday. They are also great for any day you need a special treat.

Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

Swedish potato pancakes can make a light or hearty meal. If you’re looking for crispy, buttery goodness, find it with raggmunk.

Many thanks to our writers and the Swedish families who donated recipes!

  • Sunny Morton
  • Glen and Debbie Greener
  • Jan and Betsy Jonson
  • Sunniva Salomonsson
  • Dee Wilhite
  • Rebecca Wood Haggard

 

More about Swedish Ancestry


Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 12:43

If you’ve been to Sweden, you might have noticed that most Swedish pancakes are eaten during brunch, lunch, or dinner—not for breakfast. Two popular types of potato pancakes are perfect for trying at your next meal: råraka and raggmunk.

Some Swedish potato pancakes come in a thin, lacy variety known as råraka, made by grating the potatoes and frying them in a thin layer.

A thicker variety of Swedish potato pancake is raggmunk, a hearty, cold-weather recipe. “The more crispy and buttery the pancake is around the edges, the better it tastes,” according to Sweden’s national website.

For when you want a lighter dish, SwedishFood.com offers a good råraka recipe. And the next time you need comfort food on a chilly evening, you can also try the following recipe for raggmunk.

Image taken by Wikipedia user Travel100.

Raggmunk Recipe Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) milk
  • 1¾ lbs potatoes (not new potatoes), peeled
  • 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 g) salt, to taste
  • Butter, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir the egg and milk together, and then add it to the flour mixture. Stir until all lumps are gone.
  3. Grate the potatoes. Add them to the batter. If time permits, let the batter rest for up to 30 minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
  5. Pour about ½ cup (120 ml) of batter into a frying pan. Distribute the batter evenly as you pour, or shift the pan around to spread the mixture more evenly across the pan.
  6. Fry the batter until the pancake is golden brown on the bottom. Flip it, and let it brown on the other side. It should take only a few minutes on each side.
  7. Keep the finished pancakes warm as the other pancakes cook. You may need to add more butter between pancakes.
  8. Serve the pancakes warm, preferably with fried salt pork (or thick bacon, if salt pork isn’t available) and lingonberries (or lingonberry jam, if fresh berries aren’t available).

Do you have Swedish ancestors?

Discover your Swedish heritage with FamilySearch

 

More Swedish Recipes to Try Traditional Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

Swedish pancakes can be thin like crepes or made heartier with potatoes. However they’re made, they are definitely a staple.

Savory Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Swedish Meatballs are a huge tradition in Sweden and can be bought from almost any local store. But you can also make them at home!

Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

So popular are chocolate balls in Sweden that they have their own holiday. They are also great for any day you need a special treat.

Traditional Swedish Foods

Food provides a unique way to celebrate your heritage. If you have Swedish heritage, try these traditional Swedish recipes and foods

Many thanks to our writers and the Swedish families who donated recipes: Sunny Morton, Glen and Debbie Greener, Jan and Betsy Jonson, Sunniva Salomonsson, Dee Wilhite, and Rebecca Wood Haggard.

Additional recipe credits: SwedishFood.com, Sweden.se, and VisitSweden.com

 

More about Swedish Ancestry


Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:45

So popular are chocolate balls (chokladbollar) in Sweden that they have their own holiday—May 11, Chokladbollens Dag. “The rule in our family was that we could make them anytime of the year because they were so yummy and satisfying to eat,” says Rebecca Haggard, who shares this easy-to-make family recipe for Swedish chocolate balls. From her experience, she suggests:

“They taste especially good cold from the fridge or even freezer. Throughout my life, my family has made Swedish chocolate balls for any and every occasion: holiday parties, birthday parties, family reunions, neighbor gifts, school party treats, and just because.

Chokladbollar is one of the first desserts my mother taught me and my siblings how to make. . . . I know my wonderful mother appreciated our tiny hands rolling and molding the mixture into balls, knowing at the same time she was passing on a sweet and cherished tradition to her children.  And of course we ate from the mixture throughout the process.”

Before you make this recipe, take Rebecca’s warning into consideration: “It is hard to eat only one chocolate ball!”

Recipe provided by Rebecca Wood Haggard, passed down from her mother, Birgitta Dagny Sjoberg Wood.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (230 g), softened
  • 2 cups (389 g) sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 3–4 tablespoons (21–28 g) cocoa powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) Pero coffee alternative (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (325 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 11.5 ounce bag (320 g) milk chocolate chips
  • Sugar, flaked coconut, or sprinkles
Instructions
  • Mix butter, sugar, salt, cocoa, Pero (optional), and vanilla.
  • Add oats and chocolate chips.
  • With your hands, roll the mixture into small, bite-sized balls, about the size of a meatball.
  • Roll balls in sugar, flaked coconut, or sprinkles.
  • Refrigerate the balls for an hour or two (or freeze for 30 minutes) before serving.
  • Store them in an airtight container, or cover them well with plastic wrap. They will easily last in the refrigerator for a week, or longer in the freezer.

Note from Rebecca: “Most, if not all, Swedish chocolate ball recipes call for coffee. But since we don’t drink coffee, we don’t add it. Years ago, my mother would add 1 teaspoon of Pero here and there which would give the chocolate balls a coffeelike flavor, similar to authentic Swedish chocolate balls. Mostly we went without. We also like to add a bag of chocolate chips, simply because we love chocolate chips. Mint-flavored chips are also pretty yummy if you like mint.”

Do you have Swedish ancestors?

Discover your Swedish heritage with FamilySearch

 

More Swedish Recipes to Try Traditional Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

Swedish pancakes can be thin like crepes or made heartier with potatoes. However they’re made, they are definitely a staple.

Savory Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Swedish Meatballs are a huge tradition in Sweden and can be bought from almost any local store. But you can also make them at home!

Traditional Swedish Foods

Food provides a unique way to celebrate your heritage. If you have Swedish heritage, try these traditional Swedish recipes and foods

Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

Swedish potato pancakes can make a light or hearty meal. If you’re looking for crispy, buttery goodness, find it with raggmunk.

Many thanks to our writers and the Swedish families who donated recipes: Sunny Morton, Glen and Debbie Greener, Jan and Betsy Jonson, Sunniva Salomonsson, Dee Wilhite, and Rebecca Wood Haggard.

Additional recipe credits: Sweden.se and Swedishfood.com

 

More about Swedish Ancestry


Savory Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:33

Köttbullar, as meatballs are known, are made with ground meat and breadcrumbs softened in milk. The exact preparation varies from kitchen to kitchen. Sometimes the meatballs include ground pork or diced onion, and sometimes they are served with gravy. According to Sweden’s national website, the most important ingredient of this home-cooking staple is that the meatballs “must be prepared, above all, with love.”

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (45 g) day-old white breadcrumbs
  • 1¼ cup (300 ml) milk
  • 1½ lbs (680 g) ground beef, or ground beef mixed with ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion (use less if desired)
  • ⅓ teaspoon (0.6 g) ground allspice
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Butter, for frying
Instructions
  • Place breadcrumbs in a bowl, and pour milk over the top. Soak for about 5 minutes.
  • Peel and grate the onion.
  • In a large bowl, mix the meat, egg, onion, allspice, salt, and white pepper until they are well mixed.
  • Shape meat mixture into small balls, using wet hands or wooden spoons.
  • On medium-high heat, melt butter in a frying pan until it stops sizzling.
  • Place meatballs in the frying pan (not all will fit at once). Stir or shake the pan frequently to brown the meatballs on all sides.
  • After the meatballs have browned, turn down the heat but continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until desired doneness is reached. (Use a meat thermometer if you would like—the meatballs will be almost well done at 160° F, or 70°C.)

Makes 45–60 meatballs, depending on the size.

Traditional Swedish meatballs may be served without sauce or with thick or thin brown gravy.

Do you have Swedish ancestors?

Discover your Swedish heritage with FamilySearch

 

More Swedish Recipes to Try Traditional Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

Swedish pancakes can be thin like crepes or made heartier with potatoes. However they’re made, they are definitely a staple.

Traditional Swedish Foods

Food provides a unique way to celebrate your heritage. If you have Swedish heritage, try these traditional Swedish recipes and foods

Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

So popular are chocolate balls in Sweden that they have their own holiday. They are also great for any day you need a special treat.

Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

Swedish potato pancakes can make a light or hearty meal. If you’re looking for crispy, buttery goodness, find it with raggmunk.

Many thanks to our writers and the Swedish families who donated recipes: Sunny Morton, Glen and Debbie Greener, Jan and Betsy Jonson, Sunniva Salomonsson, Dee Wilhite, and Rebecca Wood Haggard.

Additional recipe credits: Sweden.se and Swedishfood.com

 

More about Swedish Ancestry


Traditional Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:09

A favorite food for many people with Swedish heritage is Swedish pancakes. They “are simple, yet super good, and we eat them throughout the year,” says Dee Wilhite. Traditional Swedish pancakes are light and thin—comparable to crepes—with a hint of sweetness. You may find them folded (not rolled) and topped with cream, jam, or fruit such as lingonberries, an essential Swedish fruit.

Here is a traditional Swedish pancake recipe shared by Rebecca Wood Haggard, passed down from her mother, Birgitta Dagny Sjoberg Wood.

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1¼ cup (300 ml) milk
  • ¾ cup (158 g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter
Instructions
  • Beat the eggs and milk with a hand mixer or blender.
  • Add the flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and melted butter, and mix until smooth.
  • Pour about ¼ cup (30 ml) of batter onto the frying pan, and quickly tilt and swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
  • Cook over medium heat for 1–2 minutes.
  • Flip the pancakes with a spatula, and cook about 1 minute more, until golden brown.

Do you have Swedish ancestors?

Discover your Swedish heritage with FamilySearch

 

More Swedish Recipes to Try Traditional Swedish Foods

Food provides a unique way to celebrate your heritage. If you have Swedish heritage, try these traditional Swedish recipes and foods

Savory Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Swedish Meatballs are a huge tradition in Sweden and can be bought from almost any local store. But you can also make them at home!

Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

So popular are chocolate balls in Sweden that they have their own holiday. They are also great for any day you need a special treat.

Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

Swedish potato pancakes can make a light or hearty meal. If you’re looking for crispy, buttery goodness, find it with raggmunk.

Many thanks to our writers and the Swedish families who donated recipes: Sunny Morton, Glen and Debbie Greener, Jan and Betsy Jonson, Sunniva Salomonsson, Dee Wilhite, and Rebecca Wood Haggard.

Additional recipe credits: Sweden.se and Swedishfood.com

 

More about Swedish Ancestry


Swedish Surnames: What’s in a Name

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 14:54

Have you ever poked around your family tree and run across a line of people with Swedish names such as Lars Andersson, Karen Svensdotter, Britta Johansdotter, and Per Lindström? Were you confused when the family surname changed a lot? Why didn’t Nils Hansson and his father Hans Eriksson share a surname? Something must be wrong! Right?

In fact, what is going on here is a classic case of patronymics (except in the case of Mr. Lindström). A patronymic name is one that is created when a prefix or suffix is attached to the father’s name. For example, the patronymic name Hansson can be broken into two parts: Hans and son. This patronymic means that someone with the surname Hansson was the son of Hans. Understanding this basic concept–and some related pointers outlined below–will go a long way in sorting out and solving your Swedish genealogy problems.

 

Need a hand finding your Swedish ancestors?

Use the FamilySearch Fan Chart to view your ancestors’ birth country,

or search for their names in Swedish records.

 

Beginnings of Modern Surnames and Patronymics

Throughout history, cultures have used different naming practices to distinguish one person from another. In Europe, the practice of attaching a surname to a given name began to be standard toward the end of the Middle Ages. Many surnames were descriptive in one form or another. They were often derived from an occupation (for example, Baker, Smith, or Miller), a nearby location (such as Hill, Wood, or Hamilton), or a characteristic (for example, Brown, Strong, or Young).

Another method of creating a last name was using the father’s first name and attaching a prefix or suffix that denoted the relationship. William the son of John became William Johnson. This is the patronymic system described above, which became the norm in Sweden and other Nordic countries.

Swedish Patronymics

So now we understand that Swedish names such as Andersson, Hansson, and Olofsson came from the father’s name plus “son,” but what about Johansdotter, Svensdotter, and Andersdotter? That’s easy—“dotter” simply indicated that the person was the daughter of Johan, Sven, Anders, or whatever the case may be. Because of this pattern, male and female siblings would have had similar but different surnames. That is, if Per Andersson had a son and a daughter, their last names would have been Persson and Persdotter, respectively.

In English-speaking countries, a family may have adopted a patronymic surname (such as Johnson) that stuck throughout the generations, but in Sweden (and other Nordic countries) the patronymic name most often changed with every generation. For example, Hans Persson was the son of Per Andersson and Per was the son of Anders Johansson.

Another important naming convention in Sweden was that a woman did not adopt her husband’s surname upon marriage but kept her own patronymic birth name. So, if Karen Persdotter married Hans Andersson, she did not become Karen Andersson, but remained Karen Persdotter throughout her life.

When children were born out of wedlock in Sweden, the naming convention was less clear. They may eventually have adopted a patronymic name based on their biological father’s given name, but the child could also have adopted the mother’s patronymic name. For instance, if Lars was born out of wedlock to Stina Andersdotter, then Lars could have been known as Lars Andersson. In rare instances, the child may have used a matronymic name (that is, Lars’s surname could have been Stinasson).

Nonpatronymic Surnames

As mentioned above, surnames were not always patronymic. They could have described the individual in another way, such as by an occupation, a personal characteristic, or a location. In Sweden, members of the clergy or nobility would sometimes adopt nonpatronymic surnames. By the beginning of the 17th century, this practice had become so common that clergy and nobility generally stopped using patronymic names.

Soldiers were another group who adopted nonpatronymic names, at least during their military service. This practice was key to differentiating between men who bore the same name. Some examples of these nonpatronymic names are Rask, Dahl, Åberg, and Lindström. A soldier may have kept the nonpatronymic surname throughout his life or may have dropped it when he left the military. In some instances, children may have used the father’s soldier surname but in most cases, they used the patronymic system.

End of the Patronymic System

As society changed in the mid- to late 19th century with increased industrialization, migration into cities, and emigration, the conventions surrounding Swedish surname usage also changed.

Women began using the -son suffix rather than the -dotter suffix. Sometimes a woman may have taken her husband’s patronymic surname upon marriage. A person or family may have chosen to freeze the father’s patronymic surname and carry it forward through multiple generations. Siblings may have chosen different surnames.

As Swedes migrated to foreign countries, they frequently modified their surnames to be more closely aligned with the language of the new culture. That surnames could change so much serves as a reminder that when researching, it is vital to rely upon multiple details—relationships, residences, occupations, vital dates, and so on—to uniquely identify an ancestor.

Spelling of Names

One last note! It is important to remember that although we often think that spelling is set in stone, it was not always so in the past. Clerks often spelled Swedish names phonetically or how they thought the names should be spelled. Similarly, some given names (and therefore patronymic surnames) were interchangeable. For example, the name Peter could have been spelled Petter, Peder, Petrus, Pelle, Per, Pehr, Pär, Päder, or Pähr. In other words, Hans Petersson may have been the same man as Hans Pehrsson, Hans Pederson, Hans Pärsson, and so on.

Don’t let spelling variations be a roadblock! To find common variations of your ancestor’s name, try visiting the Sweden Names page in the FamilySearch wiki or looking up Swedish names on sites such as NordicNames.de.

You can use this knowledge of Swedish surnames to better understand your Swedish family lines. Knowing the ins and outs of Swedish naming practices, you can also be much more successful in discovering your ancestors in Sweden’s extensive genealogy records!


Search Swedish Records

Legacy Tree Genealogists is a genealogy research firm with expertise in researching Swedish ancestors and ancestors from many other backgrounds. Founded in 2004, the company provides full-service genealogical research for clients worldwide, helping them discover their roots and personal history through records, narratives, and DNA.

More about Swedish Ancestry

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Traditional Swedish Foods

Connect with your Swedish ancestors by trying these Swedish dishes.


Swedish Family History for Beginners

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 16:26

Perhaps you’ve heard that Swedish records are some of the best resources in the world to find ancestors. It’s true! If you have Swedish ancestry, then you are among the fortunate. But how do you do Swedish genealogy? Here are some simple steps to get started.


Search Swedish Records

Use FamilySearch Record Hints to Find Records Easily

If you have a FamilySearch Family Tree, finding your family member’s records might be a lot easier than you think. First, find out if your Swedish ancestors have any record hints:

  • Browse your family tree on FamilySearch.org, and find one of your Swedish ancestors. Click the person’s name to bring up his or her information and then again to pull up their full person page.
  • From their person page, look in the Research Help section for a record hint. (Research Help will be in the right sidebar. For smaller screens, click the 3-dot menu to the right of your ancestor’s name.)
  • If you find a record hint, click the hint, and then click Show Details. To compare the record to your ancestor’s information, click Review and Attach. Now check if the names, places, and dates match your ancestor’s information.
  • If the information matches, click Attach and finish the attachment process.

Each record you find could tell you more about your family, and new record hints will pop up as more Swedish records are added to the FamilySearch database.

Many Swedish record hints come from Sweden household examination books. Sweden parishes used these books to keep track of all the families in a parish. When using this type of record, keep in mind that the relationships in a household examination book might not be correct or obvious. Use birth and christening records to verify the relationships between your Swedish ancestors and their children as you’re doing your Swedish genealogy.

If there are no record hints for your ancestor, then what?

Search for Swedish Records Online

Many Swedish records are available for free online at FamilySearch.org and the Swedish National Archives. You can also find Swedish records on Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, and ArkivDigital.

To look for your ancestor’s birth, marriage, and death records, start at the FamilySearch Sweden page. Here you can search for your ancestors in all the indexed historical records. To begin searching, simply type your ancestor’s name in the search box.

To find the Sweden page from the FamilySearch home page, click Search in the main navigation menu at the top of the page. Find Europe on the research map, and click it. Then, in the pop-up menu, click Sweden.

If you’ve searched the indexed collections and can’t find your family members, don’t fret! More Swedish records are being indexed all the time to make them easily searchable. For now, you can also look through digitized parish records to discover your ancestor’s information.

Finding Unindexed Swedish Parish Records

There are many collections of Sweden parish records that can help with your family history, but many Swedish records haven’t yet been indexed. Fortunately, some good resources are available to help you find the records you’re looking for.

  • ArkivDigital: The Swedish records on ArkivDigital are organized by parish, and the database is very friendly. You can access ArkivDigital online for free at a FamilySearch family history center or go to ArkivDigital.net to learn more about their subscriptions.
  • FamilySearch: If you go to the FamilySearch Sweden Research Page, you can find the image-only collections at the bottom right of the page under “Image-Only Historical Records” and “Catalog Material.” If you need help here, read more about finding image-only records on FamilySearch.org.
  • Swedish National Archives: You can also search the Swedish National Archives for free online. Their site, Riksarkivet, is available in both Swedish and English, but you may need to switch the language manually at the top right corner.

The first step to finding your ancestor in one of these collections is knowing the name of the parish where your Swedish family member lived.

How to Identify Your Ancestor’s Parish

If you already have some basic information about your Swedish ancestor, you can usually identify the parish from a major event in the person’s life. Look for an event that happened in Sweden (for example a birth), and note the specific location of the event. (On FamilySearch.org, you can probably find an event on your ancestor’s person page.) If you see three or four place-names, they are usually in this order—farm, parish, county, and country.

Next, use the FamilySearch wiki to confirm which of these place names is the name of your ancestor’s parish. From the Sweden genealogy wiki page, type the place-names in the search box at the top right.

The FamilySearch wiki has a page for every Swedish parish, so one of the top search results will probably be the parish you’re looking for. (If you need a list of Sweden parishes in alphabetical order, check the Swedish Parish Listing.)

Strategies for Searching Parish Records
  • Use the place of residence and parish to look up your family member in the parish’s household examination books. Start by looking up a birth, marriage, or death entry (usually organized chronologically).
  • Find your family members in as many household examination books as you can to gather information about their life events. There may be a church book for each year of their lives.
  • Once you have found birth, marriage, or death information in the household examination books, be sure to verify the information in the parish’s birth, marriage, or death records. These records are more accurate and should be much easier to find now that you have approximate information for the events.
  • If your Swedish ancestor moved, you can use the parish moving records to follow the ancestor from one parish record collection to another.

Read more about the different types of Sweden parish records and what information each record can tell you about your ancestor.

Getting Help with Swedish Family History Research

For help with Swedish translation or Sweden research strategies, see the following resources:

If you have a family history center near you, it can also be a great resource for extra help with Swedish genealogy.

Enjoy the journey to find your Swedish ancestors!

Learn More about Swedish Ancestry

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Learn how to use Swedish parishes that date back as far as 1686.

Traditional Swedish Foods

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New Records on FamilySearch from October 2018

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 16:40

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in October 2018 with over 12 million new indexed family history records and nearly 400,000 digital images from around the world. New historical records were added from Belgium, Chile, Colombia, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, which includes California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia. New digital images were added from BillionGraves and Belgium.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

Country Collection Indexed Records Digital Records Comments Belgium Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541–1914 11,018 54,878 Added indexed records to an existing collection Chile Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821–2015
23,310 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Colombia Colombia, Diocese of Barranquilla, Catholic Church Records, 1808–1985

1,852 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection France France, Calvados, Civil Registration, 1792–1942

1,692,790 0 New indexed records collection France France, Rhône, Military Registration Cards, 1865–1932 40,223 0 New indexed records collection France France, Vienne, Census, 1896 365,772 0 New indexed records collection French Polynesia French Polynesia, Civil Registration, 1780–1999 169,018 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Germany Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701–1875 299,779 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Germany Germany, Prussia, Westphalia, Minden, Miscellaneous Collections from the Municipal Archives, 1574–1912 499 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Ireland Ireland Civil Registration, 1845–1913
987,286 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Bergamo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866–1901
1,279 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Brescia, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1797–1943 69,233 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Pesaro e Urbino, Urbino, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866–1942

4,625 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Roma, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1863–1930 48,063 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Savona, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806–1813, 1838–1936 1,615 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Italy Italy, Torino, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1802–1816 21,343 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection New Zealand New Zealand, Cemetery Transcriptions, 1840–1981
1,525 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Other BillionGraves Index

319,320 319,320 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection Other Find A Grave Index
2,471,668 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Peru Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1935–1999
2,550 0 New indexed records collection South Africa South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriage, 1870–1930 241,425 0 New indexed records collection Spain Spain, Diocese of Lugo, Catholic Parish Records, 1550–1966 14,035 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Switzerland Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1880 4,705 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection Ukraine Ukraine, Kiev Confession Lists, 1799–1911 310,347 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States California, Sacramento Cemetery Records, 1900–1959 31,773 0 New indexed records collection United States Connecticut, World War I, Military Census of Nurses, 1917 5,494 0 New indexed records collection United States Delaware, World War I Servicemen Records, 1917–1919 2,968 0 New indexed records collection United States Florida, World War I Navy card roster, 1917–1920
5,813 0 New indexed records collection United States Georgia, World War I statement of service summary card files, ca. 1920–1929
102,472 0 New indexed records collection United States Hawaii, Kauai County, Obituaries, 1982–2010 108,056 0 New indexed records collection United States Iowa, Birth Records, 1921–1942 441,684 0 New indexed records collection United States Iowa, Death Records, 1904–1951 228,954 0 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection United States Kansas State Census, 1915 1,609,914 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States Kansas, Gove County Enumeration Books and List of Residents, 1909–1950
96,391 0 New indexed records collection United States Louisiana, Orleans Parish Vital Records, 1900–1964 7 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States Mississippi, World War I Service Cards, 1917–1919 62,781 0 New indexed records collection United States Montana, Rosebud County Records, 1878–2011 10,335 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866–2010 1,891 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States New York, County Naturalization Records, 1791–1980
131,053 0 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection United States North Dakota, County Marriages, 1872–1958 40 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States Ohio, Bloomfield Township, Brownwood Cemetery Records, 1824–2012 2,550 0 New indexed records collection United States Texas, Houston, Historic Hollywood Cemetery Records, 1895–2008 200 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States United States Mexican War Pension Index, 1887–1926
212,068 0 New indexed records collection United States Maine, Knox County Cemetery Records, ca. 1800–2007 27 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States United States Western States Marriage Index 963 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States United States Western States Marriage Index
913,552 0 New indexed records collection United States Michigan, County Births, 1867–1917
746,011 0 New indexed records collection United States United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885–1940 1,974,407 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection United States West Virginia Will Books, 1756–1971
69,063 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Over 6 billion searchable historic records are available from around the world on FamilySearch.org. Records are published with the help of thousands of volunteer indexers who transcribe digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. To help make more historical records from the world’s archives available online, volunteer with FamilySearch Indexing.

Learn how to search the records on FamilySearch to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 


Día de Muertos: A Day to Honor Your Ancestors

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 09:16

How do you remember tus antepasados—your ancestors? Do you have those memories preserved so they can be passed on to future generations?

Recently, I told my children the story of a man who recorded all his knowledge on the walls of a cave with the hope that one day this knowledge would be passed on, and others would remember him. The drive to be remembered and to remember your ancestors is powerful. That is why so many cultures have holidays and festivals to celebrate the memories of deceased loved ones.

If this man in my story were living in the 21st century, his journal may have been a notebook, video, blog, or album full of pictures. His children may have added their memories of him as they gathered around their ofrenda or wrote calaveras literarias. We take these memories of our ancestors and celebrate them, share them with our familia, our family. Do you have memories from tus abuelos—your grandparents? What about tus padres—your parents? How can you pass on your own story?

 

Honor and Remember Your Ancestors

 

Día de Muertos—Celebrating Day of the Dead and All Saints Day

If you celebrate a holiday such as Día de Muertos or Día de Difuntos, you already have traditions for keeping the memories of your ancestors alive and retelling their stories. Or maybe you haven’t participated in these rich traditions but find them interesting after learning about them from secondary sources such as the Disney movie Coco. Exploring both old and new traditions is a great way to begin remembering your ancestors as unique individuals.

In Guatemala, where I live, the end-of-the-year holidays are very popular. There’s “All Saints Day” or “Day of the Dead” in November (Día de todos los Santos or Día de Muertos). There’s Día de los Niños, “Day of the Children,” in October. We even include remembering our ancestors as part of our Christmas celebrations in December. The way people celebrate these holidays depends on where they live. Mi padre was born in the west part of Guatemala, and I was born in Guatemala City. The traditions we have for Día de Muertos are different, but both are very rich and significant, focusing on family relationships and remembering ancestors.

Cometa—Sending Messages to Ancestors

My father was raised with the tradition of making cometa, or kites, for Día de Muertos. He would search for straws in the dried stalks to help mi bisabuela (my great-grandmother) make kites and sell them to friends and neighbors. A few weeks before the Day of the Dead celebration, the rain would slow and the wind would start to blow to make the kites fly. Mi padre learned the kites symbolized sending messages to loved ones who have left this life. Later, my great-grandmother would let my dad make his own kites, which he loved to fly.

Cempasúchil, Calavera, and Fiambre—Decorating the Tombs of Ancestors

Day of the Dead celebrations, regardless of the country, are filled with cempasúchil, flowers, and calavera, skulls. Both are symbolic of the temporary nature of mortality and the immortality of the soul or human spirit. Many people use marigolds during Día de Muertos, preferring them for their rich colors and aroma. Mi abuelo made stone flowers for people to use, and I remember selling both with my family for the holiday.

Families spend a lot of time preparing the graves of deceased ancestors with marigolds, calavera, photos, memorabilia, and the ancestor’s preferred foods and drinks. All these practices are believed to attract the spirit of the deceased ancestor, who is believed to visit living family members during the festivities.


Image by Eneas de Troya

Three or four days before Día de Muertos, mi abuelo would buy paint and make a mixture with a water base. He would send my dad with his brothers to the San Marcos cemetery to clean and paint our ancestors’ tombs. We honor our ancestors’ resting places and appreciate the heritage of family recipes. Today mi familia prepares a fiambre, a special plate for the Day of the Dead. The fiambre is a mix of cultural recipes with Creole and native flavors from the region, and it’s a way to bring families together.

Recordando a los Muertos Comienza con los Vivos—Remembering the Dead Starts with the Living

More than 33 years ago, mis padres started to write a family journal in a blue notebook. It was in this journal that the history of my life first began to be recorded, including details from before my birth.

Today we have Instagram Stories, Facebook Biographies, Memories on FamilySearch, and thousands of other applications that offer easy and simple solutions for keeping a diary of our lives. Why do we share so much on social media?

The other day I found the answer in something a youth said: “We share stories because we want to be remembered.” Simple.

At the birthday of my third child, we decided we would start a new tradition in my family. I asked family members to look for a connection with our ancestors by sharing a memory they have—one that others might not know. During the activity, I could see my family members were each having a significant experience, especially with the connections they were making between themselves as they spoke about their ancestors. It was like an invisible power was bonding them together as they told stories to each other.

How can you remember your ancestors? Do you have a place to store all these memories of your family, both the living and the deceased?

Using FamilySearch to Remember Your Ancestors 

FamilySearch has an app you can use to help you record, preserve, and share these family stories. With the Memories app, you can gather and preserve the stories of tu familia and each of your ancestors. Download the app, and consider these five tips for how you can preserve memories during Día de Muertos—or any time you want to honor your ancestors.

  1. Preserve memories as they are celebrated. When your family places your ancestor’s photo on your ofrenda, have you thought to preserve that photo somewhere you can see it any time? You can upload the photos of your ancestors—and much more—to the Memories app as you honor your ancestor year after year. Favorite recipes from tu bisabuela, pictures of her decorated gravestone, poems you write for her, and all sorts of memories can be stored and shared with the Memories app. You can tag these memories with your ancestor’s name so all your relatives can experience your great-grandmother’s traditions as well.
     
  2. Record stories as they are shared. Do you have a tradition of sharing family stories? Would you like to start one? Every time a story is passed on, there’s an opportunity to record it and place it somewhere you and your family can revisit any time. You can record a story or memory as text or audio right when you hear it and then upload it to the FamilySearch Memories app.
     
  3. Upload memories as they are created. Your deceased relatives are not the only ones worth remembering. All of us cherish precious moments with our children, siblings, parents, or whomever we consider our family. The photos you save on your phone, the stories that come from family gatherings, events, and random life moments—preserve those memories now so your family will have them to look back on. The great thing about the Memories app is that you can use it to collect all your family stories in one place, and you can do it from your phone or other mobile device.
     
  4. Make preserving memories part of your tradition. You and each of your family members have so many stories to share. Día de Muertos, Día de Todos los Santos, and every tradition for remembering your ancestors are perfect opportunities to help build a collection of your family stories. When you start or participate in family traditions, use the Memories app or your family’s choice medium to grow this precious family history.
     
  5. Start now! Using the Memories app is very simple, and it is freely accessible. With the Family Tree app and the FamilySearch.org desktop site, you can upload and access your family’s memories on your FamilySearch tree. This resource is a great way to preserve and look at the stories of tu familia from each generation.

Family history is something that is worth sharing. Through it we are remembered, and we remember our ancestors. They deserve to be remembered, as do you.

 


The 1940 United States Census

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 20:19

The 1940 United States census was released to the public in April 2012, and more than 163,000 online volunteers indexed millions of names in just four months. Why all this dedication and excitement? The 1940 U.S. census is the most recently released United States census to date. Because of this, it is extremely valuable to genealogy work.

Most people in the United States today have living memories of a family member who was documented in the 1940 U.S. census. The 1940 census records have already connected family members across the United States and have helped build many family trees. Now that the 1940 census is public record and fully indexed, you can search these census records to discover a wealth of information about your family and grow closer to them. By sharing their stories, you may also grow closer to your living family.


Search 1940 U.S. Census Records

1930s America and Culture

How did life and events in the 1930s impact questions on the census? And what can you learn about your ancestors’ lives?

Questions on the 1940 Census

What questions were on the 1940 census form? How was it different from other U.S. censuses?

 

The Genealogical Value of the 1940 United States Census

The United States Census Bureau put a lot of effort into conducting the 1940 census. More than 123,000 census takers were tasked to gather census information in 48 different states and various territories. The cost to perform the 1940 census was more than $67 million.

All this effort put into creating 1940 census records can pay off as you learn about your family history. Because the Census Bureau reexamines the questions asked in each census, 1940 census records will tell you more than just where your ancestors lived and who lived in their household. In the case of the 1940 census, your ancestors may have answered up to 50 questions, and their answers can illuminate their personal struggles during the time of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the start of World War II.

In the 1940 census, you can also find famous people such as Albert Einstein, Louis Armstrong, Marilyn Monroe, Neil Armstrong, Babe Ruth, and Rosa Parks and see how they or their households answered the census questions. Each of these individuals had a different impact on the eras before and after 1940 and were listed in the census.

From the theory of relativity, to the first man in space, to forwarding the Civil Rights movement, a lot was going on in during this time period. How many of these famous people can you find in the 1940 census? Can you find your own family members?

 


New Questions on the 1940 U.S. Census

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 20:08

What’s the difference between the 1930 and 1940 United States censuses?

While the question may sound like the opening to a joke, it isn’t a joke at all! Basically every United States census has differed from previous censuses, an interesting challenge for people doing family history. While the 1930 and 1940 U.S. census questions have minor differences, such as using the word “home” instead of “abode,” the more important changes were all the new questions added after the events of the 1930s.

Searching 1940 census records will provide you with insight into the life events of American citizens who had just experienced the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and beginning events of World War II. And while you won’t find out if your ancestor had a radio set (a question in the 1930 census), the 1940 census might reveal your family member’s income level and occupation.


Search 1940 U.S. Census Records

Types of Questions in the 1940 United States Census

The 1940 census had 34 questions on the short form for the general public and 16 supplemental questions to be asked of 5 percent of the population. Written by the United States government to gain insight on how to guide public policy, the 1940 census questions are very descriptive and focus noticeably on migration, education, and work.

The 1940 U.S. census form (including the supplemental section) had the following types of questions:

  • 6 home and household questions
  • 6 personal description questions
  • 2 education questions
  • 3 place of birth questions
  • 1 citizenship question (for foreign-born citizens)
  • 1 mother tongue question
  • 4 questions on residence in 1935 (for tracking internal migration)
  • 3 Social Security questions
  • 4 marriage and natural-born children questions
  • 3 veteran status questions
  • 17 employment and occupation questions

That is a lot of questions! With all that information available on a 1940 census record, the record can be hard to read (especially since the census takers took notes by hand). Here’s a guide to help you find the information you’re looking for: “Questions Asked on the 1940 Census.”

New Questions on the 1940 U.S. Census Form

The bulk of the new questions on the 1940 census form are employment and occupation questions, but questions were also added about migration and education.

General Employment Questions

The 1940 census added 11 new questions on employment, including some about “emergency government work.” If your ancestors participated in this type of work, they may have been hired by one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” organizations, which sponsored federally-funded jobs for farmers, artists, other laborers, and even students.

Income—A Controversial Question

Fun fact, the very last questions asked on the main section of a 1940 census form were income questions, and this placement was very deliberate. This was the first time the government had asked about a person’s income on a federal form, and the Census Bureau anticipated it would be a sensitive topic for many United States residents.

As noted by Edwin D. Goldfield, a retired Census Bureau worker, “That question was put at the end of the interview because if the enumerator got kicked out of a household when [the] question was asked, the interviewer would have already obtained the answers to the previous questions. It caused a great uproar in the country.”

To encourage more citizens to answer the income question honestly, census takers were instructed to just write +$5,000 for larger incomes.

Internal Migration and Immigration

You may wonder why the 1940 census asked for each person’s residence on April 1, 1935—five years before the census was taken. This question gave the government insight about internal migration in the United States.

Your family members’ answers might help you learn if they moved just before this census, whether they lived on a farm, and whether they lived in a large town or city.

Their immigration information might also be found on the 1940 census, and this census is the first one to indicate whether they might have been an American citizen born abroad.

Education

Among the 2 education questions on the 1940 census, only one was new. If you want to know the highest grade of school your family members completed, their 1940 census records may clue you in.

The Newfangled Supplemental Section

The 1940 census was also the first to include a sample survey. Statistical sampling was a fairly new at the time, and the Census Bureau took the lead in following newly-tested survey procedures. Census takers were instructed to ask additional survey questions to people whose names landed in rows 14 and 29 on the general census, no matter if it was a man, woman, or child. These survey questions can help you learn even more details about your ancestor’s life story.

This supplemental section is where you will find veteran information in 1940 census records, including which wars your ancestors may have served in or if your family member was the wife, widow, or child of a veteran.

Whether your family members had a Social Security number is also included in the supplemental section. (If so, try looking them up in the U.S. Social Security Death Index!) Alongside the retirement information, you can also see what your family members described as their “usual occupation,” which, just following the Great Depression, was different for many people than their current employment. just following the Great Depression.

Lastly, about female ancestors who answered these additional questions, you might learn if they had been married more than once, what their age was at the time of their first marriage, and how many naturally-born children they had (not including stillbirths).

Find Your Own Family Members’ 1940 Census Records

Whether you have living memory of your 1940 ancestors or not, you might learn some unique information about them in the 1940 census, or the information may help you build branches of your family tree!

You can explore the full 1940 United States census collection and find your family members on FamilySearch.org.


Search 1940 U.S. Census Records

Learn More about the 1940 U.S. Census

1930s America and Culture

How did life and events in the 1930s impact the census? And what can you learn about your ancestors’ lives?

The 1940 U.S. Census

Learn about the 1940 U.S. census and how it can provide important clues about your family history.

 


FamilySearch Recognizes and Honors the World War I Armistice Day Centennial

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 14:53

One hundred years ago—on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month—World War I ended. Thanks to the treaty signed on November 11, 1918, this day is known as “Armistice Day.” As the centennial of the armistice approaches, many people worldwide are remembering their family members who were affected by World War I.

Search World War I Records

 

The Great War

World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Russia and Germany soon joined the conflict, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Portugal, and several other nations. In 1917, the United States also declared war on Germany and, consequently, on the other Central Powers (Austria-Hungry, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria).

Over the course of the next 18 months, 65 million troops worldwide were involved in the conflict. By the end of World War I, on the day of the armistice, the violence across Europe had caused an estimated 37 million casualties and more than 16 million deaths, including both civilians and military personnel.

Armistice Day for World War I

The armistice was signed at 5:12 a.m. on the morning of November 11, 1918, in Compiègne, France, and came into effect six hours later at 11 a.m (Paris time). It is estimated that in those last six hours of fighting, a further 2,738 men were killed before the war came to an end.

After the treaty came into effect, emotional celebrations broke out in every nation the war had affected. Whether it was in the frontline trenches, war-torn battlefields, small towns, or large cities, people united to rejoice at the conclusion of the Great War that had taken so great a toll on life and property. The celebrations of the time are reflected in several Daily Mirror press clippings describing the events of previous day:

DAILY MIRROR, 12 NOVEMBER 1918

“Bells burst forth into joyful chimes, maroons were exploded, bands paraded the streets followed by cheering crowds of soldiers and civilians and London generally gave itself up wholeheartedly to rejoicing.”

“Processions of soldiers and munition girls arm in arm were everywhere.”

“Conversation in the Strand was impossible owing to the din of cheers, whistles, hooters and fireworks.”

Remembering the End of World War I

Today, Armistice Day is a national holiday in France and several other countries around the world. Some nations remember World War I soldiers on different days, during memorial holidays such as Veterans Day, Anzac Day, and Remembrance Day. In Germany, a Volkstrauertag, or “people’s day of mourning,” was first held in 1922 to mourn the deaths of German soldiers in World War I.

Whether you commemorate Armistice Day with a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. or remember World War I veterans in other ways, this coming November 11 is a good opportunity to learn more about World War I and discover your own ancestors who might have been affected by the war.

Search World War I Records

 

Research Your World War I Ancestors

Search out your own World War I ancestors with tips shared in the blog post titled “Discover Your Ancestors in World War I Records.” FamilySearch offers an extensive collection of World War I records for you to use—United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, United Kingdom World War I Service Records and Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, and several items for other countries, such as Australia.

Learn more about how to research and honor your World War I ancestors.


20+ Questions to Capture Grandma’s Story—#MeetMyGrandma

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 10:09

What do you know about your grandmothers? They may live far away or with your family, but each has had experiences that should be recorded and preserved. Those stories will help you understand your grandmothers and yourself better.

Now is a great time to start, especially if your grandmothers are living. The best way to learn about them is to ask them questions. If they have passed away, ask your family to share their memories with you. Then preserve what you learn for future generations at FamilySearch.org.


Record Your Grandma’s Stories

How to Record Your Grandma’s Stories

 

20 Questions to Ask Your Grandma

Brainstorm what you would like to know about your grandma. Use the questions below to get started! Feel free to skip or modify the questions to make them fit your situation.

  • What is your full name, and what are the names of your parents and siblings? 
  • How did your parents choose your name, and does it have a special meaning? 
  • Did you have any nicknames? 
  • When and where were you born?
  • When and where were your family members born? 
  • What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young? 
  • Who were some of your friends, and what are your fondest memories of spending time with them? 
  • What schools did you attend?
  • What were your favorite subjects in school?
  • Who were your favorite teachers and why were they your favorite?
  • How did you meet Grandfather?
  • How did Grandfather propose? 
  • When and where were you married? 
  • What are your children’s names, and when and where were they born? 
  • What are some special memories you have about your children? 
  • Where have you lived? 
  • Who have you worked for, and what jobs did you do? 
  • Has faith or religion played a role in your life?
  • What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life? 
  • What are your favorite holiday memories and traditions?
  • What are some of your favorite things (such as favorite colors, flowers, books, songs, foods, or pets)?
  • What trips or vacations do you remember, and which one was your favorite? 
  • What experiences in your life have molded you into the person you are today?
  • What are your favorite things to do now?
  • What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
Preserving Grandma’s Stories with FamilySearch Memories

Now that you’ve recorded the stories, why not share and preserve them for future generations? Adding the stories to your family tree will protect them from natural disasters, from changes in technology, and from being accidentally discarded.

To preserve your stories with FamilySearch, go to the Memories site or download the mobile app. Once you sign in or create an account, follow these simple instructions:

  • Click on the Green Plus Sign to add your grandma’s stories.
  • Be sure to tag your grandma if she is in your FamilySearch tree!
    • Click on the memory you just added, and click Add Tag (on a desktop) or click the Person Icon (on mobile).
    • Don’t have a family tree yet? Get started with FamilySearch.

If you already use FamilySearch and have a family tree, you can always view or add stories to your grandma’s profile by going to the Memories tab on her person page.

 


New Discovery Fan Chart: Explore Your Family Tree in Depth

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 17:38

Family trees on FamilySearch can store huge amounts of information about your family. This is one of their greatest strengths. Sometimes sorting through this amount of information, or even figuring out what information your tree contains, can feel overwhelming. That’s why FamilySearch has released a new version of the fan chart.

This new fan chart provides an overview of up to 7 generations of your family tree—and helps you see your tree in a whole new way. In just one glance, you can discover your ancestral heritage or learn which family members have an abundance of sources, family photos, and family stories—and which could use a little more work!


Try the New Fan Chart

 

Accessing the Fan Chart

Viewing your family in a fan chart is simple. From the Family Tree page on FamilySearch, click the arrow beside Landscape to see other viewing options. Then select Fan Chart. This will build a fan chart starting with the person you have in the primary position. You can also access the fan chart directly.

To see a fan chart starting with someone else on your tree, simply find that person on your fan chart, and click on the name. A box with basic information about the person will appear. At the bottom, you can select Tree or Person. If you select Tree, FamilySearch will build a fan chart with that person at the center.

New Ways to View Your Family Tree

Once you’re on the fan chart screen, you’ll see several new options. For one thing, your chart can now display 5, 6, or 7 generations. You can also choose from several display themes: Birth Country, Sources, Stories, or Photos. In each case, the fan chart still shows the ancestors’ names as well as birth and death years. However, now the chart blocks are color-coded. A key on the side tells you what each color represents. This makes the information easy to digest quickly.

For example, choosing Birth Country will bring up the fan chart colored according to where each ancestor was born. In the example shown, ancestors born in the United Kingdom are colored with pink blocks, while those born in England have orange blocks.

When you choose a different display option, the fan chart is color coded according to how many of that particular item (sources, stories, or photos) each ancestor has. From the key displayed here, you can see that in this example, ancestors with 10 or more photos have the darkest color blocks. Those with fewer have lighter blocks until those with 0 have white blocks.

How the Fan Chart Can Help You

When using these new fan charts to look at your family information, you’re bound to make some new discoveries. Instead of scrolling through your tree or clicking on individual screens to gather information one piece at a time, you can now get an overview on one screen. Ever wonder how much German heritage you have? Or what your strongest ancestral heritage is? Now you can see this on your FamilySearch fan chart.

The color-coded fan chart also helps you recognize patterns you might not have seen before. Maybe one branch of your family tree is filled with sources and photos while another branch hardly has any. With this understanding, you can more effectively focus your attention on a particular family or branch. Maybe you will want to spend some time reading stories you hadn’t realized existed. Noticing some branches of your tree that don’t have sources or photos may inspire you to add some yourself!

The next time you’re looking at your family on FamilySearch, take a moment to try the new Fan Chart view. You just might see your family in a whole new way.

 


New Ordinances Ready Feature

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 15:55

 
Have you seen this? Watch as Elder Bradley D. Foster shows the new Ordinances Ready feature available in the Family Tree app. Ordinances Ready helps you and those you serve find family ordinances that are ready for the temple.

 

Download the Free FamilySearch Family Tree App

 

Learn more about using Ordinances Ready.

 


Life at the Time: 1930s America and the 1940 United States Census

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 13:29

Have you ever wondered what events in 1930s America affected your ancestors who were listed in the 1940 U.S. census? Social history is an important part of any family’s history, and learning what was going on in the world around your ancestors can add interest and insight to their life stories.

The people listed in 1940 U.S. census records were greatly affected by what was going on in 1930s America. The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the start of World War II on the European front were some of the most impactful historical events of the time. These events influenced what our ancestors wore, what they did for work, how they managed their homes, where they lived, what they did for fun, and much more. If your ancestors were included in the 1940 census records, these events likely played a role in their lives.

 

You can search for your ancestors in the 1940 United States census for free on FamilySearch.org. Find out how they were employed, where they lived, and if they had migrated—all life experiences that were likely shaped by the major historical events of the 1930s.

Search 1940 U.S. Census Records

 

To understand what life might have been like for your ancestors, let’s take a look at some of the historical events in the 1930s leading up to the 1940 United States census.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression (1929 to 1939) was brought on by many factors, but its catalyst was the October 1929 stock market crash. The effects were felt not only in the United States, but in virtually every country of the world. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25 percent, and other countries experienced similar or worse unemployment rates.

When people lost their jobs during the depression, they stopped earning money, and as a result, they stopped spending money. The adage “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” reflected the spirit of the times. Frugality and resourcefulness helped many families withstand the economic crisis of the 1930s. Women started transforming flour and feed sacks (made out of cotton) into dresses, underwear, dish towels, curtains, and other items for the home. Some manufacturers noticed this trend and began creating flour and feed sacks with appealing, colorful designs so the sacks could be multipurposed as attractive clothing fabric.

1930s Clothing and Entertainment

While the Great Depression ended up having a major impact on 1930s culture and fashion, people still found ways to enjoy life with what they had. The common house dress was quite practical, and feed-sack dresses became a popular trend of the time. Some women in the 1930s still wanted to “look smart” when going out, however. Afternoon tea might call for a dress of silk or rayon crepe with puffed sleeves and belted waists. And don’t forget the hat!

Though fashionable suits with padded shoulders and tapered sleeves were popular for men, the average man wore work clothes most of the day because of the hard times. Work attire sometimes meant a white button-up shirt, slacks, and a tie. A jacket and cap were also very practical for men in the early 1930s. Trench coats and waistcoats also became quite popular.

Though life was difficult and money was tight, some entertainment options still grew in popularity during the 1930s—particularly the radio. Many found a way to purchase a radio set, knowing it would provide unlimited free entertainment. The whole family could sit together around the radio at home and enjoy big band music, sporting events, and comedy programs, such as Amos ’n’ Andy.

Not surprisingly, people still enjoyed going to the movies as well, if only to escape the pressures of life for a little while. To draw in viewers during this era, Hollywood would hold sweepstakes and drawings for prize money at movie theaters. The beloved Wizard of Oz was released toward the end of the Great Depression, in August 1939, and sung by Judy Garland, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The Dust Bowl

1930s America was also devastated by the Dust Bowl, a series of dust storms brought on by a lengthy drought in the Midwest and Southern Plains regions of the United States. Heavy wind conditions across millions of acres of overcultivated and dry ground in the country’s agricultural belt caused massive dust storms that killed people, livestock, and crops.

Many farming families of the plains left their land in search of work and better living conditions. Nicknamed “Okies” because many came from Oklahoma, they actually came from other states as well, including Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. An estimated 2.5 million people fled the Dust Bowl, making this migration the largest in American history.

Many refugees went to California, which at the time had a reputation for abundant opportunities and resources. However, there weren’t enough jobs in California for the refugees who arrived there, and pay was low. As a result, many continued living in poverty, making their homes in tents and makeshift towns.

These events of the “Dirty Thirties” influenced many artists. For example, the Dust Bowl and the plight of the Okies was the inspiration behind John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath. Woody Guthrie, a folk musician, created an album titled Dust Bowl Ballads in 1940 that told about the hardships the refugees endured.

The Dust Bowl compounded the effects of the Great Depression. To counteract these effects, President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced The New Deal, a series of programs, projects, and reforms intended to help Americans get back on their feet. One of the notable projects of the New Deal was the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which provided jobs to the unemployed. These jobs focused on building the nation’s infrastructure and promoting the arts. The Social Security Act was also introduced in the New Deal.

The United States Social Security Death Index, available for free on FamilySearch.org, is another resource to research your ancestors.

The Start of World War II

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, on September 3, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and New Zealand declared war on Germany. World War II had begun. Other countries joined both sides of the war in the months and years that followed, with the United States entering the conflict in December 1941.

At the end of the 1930s in America, having survived a depression and a severe drought, our ancestors would again prove their resilience in the 1940s. With the Second World War looming internationally, the American people rallied around a common cause. The war marked the end of the Great Depression. With government-funded factories and millions of soldiers deployed overseas, employment rates slowly rose, and the standard of living rose with it.

At the beginning of this turning point in American history and culture, census takers arrived in 1940 on our ancestors’ doorsteps.

How did your ancestors answer the questions in the 1940 census? Find out by searching the 1940 United States census records for free on FamilySearch.org.

Search 1940 U.S. Census Records

 

Learn More about the 1940 U.S. Census

The 1940 U.S. Census

Learn about the 1940 U.S. census and how it can provide important clues about your family history.

Questions on the 1940 Census

What questions were on the 1940 census form? How was it different from other U.S. censuses?


Italian Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:05

Do you have Italian ancestors? If so, you may qualify for Italian dual citizenship from your heritage alone. This type of dual citizenship is called “dual citizenship by descent,” reclaiming citizenship of another country through jus sanguinis (right of blood) while maintaining citizenship in your country of birth.

For Italian descendants around the world, the idea of reclaiming the citizenship of Italian ancestors has become very popular over the last 10 years–so much so that long waits for citizenship appointments have become standard with many Italian consulates around the world. However, the benefits of reclaiming Italian citizenship might very well be worth the wait!

 
 

8 Ways You Can Use Italian Dual Citizenship

  1. Reconnect with the heritage and culture of your ancestors.
  2. Travel more easily in certain regions and countries (Schengen Area).
  3. Access government-run medical insurance (if you plan to reside in Italy or during your travels in the country).
  4. Find jobs more easily in the European Union.
  5. Live in Italy and purchase property without as many requirements.
  6. Enjoy lower college tuition costs in Italy.
  7. Vote for leaders in certain Italy elections.
  8. Access investments available only to European Union citizens.
How Do I Get Started?

To apply for Italian citizenship by descent, you need to prove your eligibility by presenting required records for your Italian ancestors. Present these documents (with apostillesi and translations) at a citizenship appointment with your Italian consulate (if you live outside of Italy) or your town hall (if you reside in Italy). Each consulate has some discretion as to what documents they require, so it’s wise to find out more from your Italian consulate before gathering your documentation.

In general, your consulate or town hall will require proof of naturalization (or lack of it) for your immigrating Italian ancestor and all vital records for each generation between you and your Italian ancestor. This documentation will include the immigrating ancestor’s Italian birth and marriage records (if married in Italy). The records you use for your citizenship application must be issued by the town hall (Municipio) in your ancestor’s town of birth or marriage, but digital record searches are very helpful in finding the details you will need when requesting acceptable records from Italy. Only certain record formats are acceptable, so check your consulate’s website for instructions.

FamilySearch currently has the world’s largest digital collection of historical Italian records online.

Search Italy Historical Records

 

Mary Tedesco, a professional Italian researcher, second-generation Italian, and host for PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow, says that FamilySearch’s Italian records initiative is very exciting for the world of Italian genealogy. “It’s wonderful that beginning your Italian genealogical research for many can begin online,” she notes, “and that more information about our Italian ancestors is more accessible than ever before!” As you search for your Italian ancestors in FamilySearch collections, you can also track your relatives in the global FamilySearch tree to make your research easier.

Italian Nationality Laws That May Affect Your Dual Citizenship

While having Italian ancestors is the key requirement for dual citizenship by descent, some Italian nationality laws may affect your eligibility. These laws may have affected your immigrating ancestor’s Italian citizenship or may affect whether you can claim citizenship from your ancestry. As you find your Italian relatives’ records, consider the following questions before applying.

  1. Where Was Your Italian Ancestor Born?
    1. The Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Trentino areas of northern Italy were previously ruled by Austria. If your ancestor left these areas before 1920, they may not have Italian citizenship, and you will need to check if they requested citizenship later during their lifetime. A new amendment involving descendants from these areas is in the works, so if your ancestor is from one of these regions, it would be wise to clarify current laws before beginning a dual citizenship application.

  2. When Did Your Italian Ancestor Immigrate to a New Country?
    1. If your Italian ancestor emigrated before Italy became a country (on March 17, 1861), they may not have had Italian citizenship through birth.
    2. If the ancestral line you descend from lost Italian citizenship (because they naturalized with another country between 1912 and 1992 or other reasons), you may not be able to claim citizenship as their descendent. An important point is to find out whether your immigrant ancestor naturalized before or after the birth of the child you descend from. If after, you may still qualify!
    3. If your ancestor immigrated after 1992, dual citizenship may have been granted to them already, and you may only have to declare your citizenship to take advantage of this opportunity.

  3. Was Your Italian Ancestor Male or Female?
    1. Some older Italian laws may have affected whether female Italian ancestors could pass citizenship to their descendants and whether your ancestor gained or lost citizenship when they married. (Some of these laws are now considered discriminatory, so you may be able to challenge your ancestor’s loss of citizenship in court if this situation affects your application.ii)

  4. Was Your Italian Ancestor Adopted or Were You Adopted into an Italian Family?
    1. Multiple laws govern adopted children and their rights to Italian citizenship. If your adopted ancestor was not registered in Italy while still considered a minor, your Italian consulate may challenge your citizenship application.

  5. How Old Was Your Ancestor When They Immigrated?
    1. Every country has different laws about the naturalization of children. You may want to research some of these laws if your ancestor was a minor when he or she immigrated.iii

Additional Resources
  • Italian Dual Citizenship Experts—If you need help applying for dual citizenship, several organizations (nonprofit or for-profit) can assist with your application. Search for a local group or consider some of these resources:
  • Italian Nationality Law”—Wikipedia has a more complete description of the various laws affecting Italian dual citizenship. However, the above summary reflects the majority of laws that would affect most Italian dual citizenship applications.
  • Citizenship”—Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Citizenship Laws of the World”—United States Office of Personnel Management Investigations Service. This resource is a good one-stop summary of citizenship laws for the majority of the countries in the world.
  • Facebook has several Italian dual citizenship groups where you can ask questions and get support while you gather the necessary documentation. Enter Italian dual citizenship in the search box.
  • Your Italian Heritage—Learn more about Italian records research and connecting with your Italian heritage on the FamilySearch Blog.

Want to learn more about your Italian roots? Visit “Your Italian Heritage” on the FamilySearch blog.

Italian Heritage

An overview of your Italian heritage and genealogy research

Italy Emigration

A history of Italian immigrants and immigration records

Italian Last Names

Common Italian last names and their origins and meanings

Italian Dual Citizenship

Italian heritage and dual citizenship laws

Italian Records

How to find and use Italian genealogy records

 

Melanie D. Holtz has been helping people research their Italian genealogy and apply for Italian American dual citizenship for over 20 years. She is the owner and principal researcher of Lo Schiavo Genealogica, a board-certified professional genealogist, and the author of “The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Italy.”