The immigration of Swedes to Wisconsin started in 1840’s, and the 1850 census reported 88 Wisconsin residents born in Sweden. During the 1850’s the number increased to 673. The first big wave came in the late 1860’s, and the second in the 1880’s. In 2011 there were 149,377 residents claiming Swedish heritage.

Finding one’s Swedish roots can be an interesting as well as a challenging task. SAHSWI’s Swedish Genealogy Research Group (SGRG) has been collaborating and supporting this effort for many years. The good news is that the resources for doing genealogical research today has been greatly improved as records have been digitized and made available in databases on-line.

This new main page for Swedish Genealogy is being added to our website to include suggestions from our SGRG leader Marge Jothen and Bev Wenzel to assist beginning researchers and beginning Swedish researchers. In addition, a packet of more intensive information is being compiled with suggestions from John Engel, Eva and Roger Wall and other member researchers and will include language notes and typing of Swedish vowels, Swedish websites, occupational titles, patronymics and many other topics. This packet will be shared with members of SAHSWI and SGRG. Please consider joining SAHSWI by completing the membership application in the “About Us” heading. Be sure to indicate your interest in Swedish Genealogy Research Group and Bev Wenzel will include you in all future SGRG mailings, packet material being compiled and continuing activities.


The key to getting started with your Swedish genealogy is knowing which county (län), Swedish Province (Landskap) and parish (socken) your ancestors came from in Sweden.

Link Swedish Landskaps and läns

Link Travel Routes for Swedish Emigrants

Once you have this information you will find a wealth of records: births, marriages, deaths, or clerical surveys (husförhörslängder). It includes people’s birth/baptism and marriage dates, when they moved in or out of the parish, and who is living in the household. These records can be accessed through the Family History Library and its branches and by subscription to ArkivDigital or as well as other websites.


Before exploring your Swedish heritage…Start here:

Beginning genealogy classes are the best introduction to researching your family history.  Online classes or in person classes are periodically presented by Milwaukee County Genealogy Society  (on  line fall schedule) and MPAFUG (Milwaukee Personal Ancesteral File Users Group) in this area. Check their websites for future schedules and contacts for classes. 

If you prefer to explore on your own, consider the beginning genealogy instructions at the Family Search Library site supported by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints or The National Government Archives.  Both web sites are free and provide free download of genealogy forms. The first step in doing genealogy is listing the information you already know about relatives and ancestors. These forms allow you to start immediately.    

A good genealogy computer program can save you valuable time.  Free programs are available with some upgrades available for purchase.       

  • Personal Ancestral File 5.2 – Free download of complete software program and user guide: (Download for program is located at lower left on screen. It is not necessary to log in on website.) 
  • Family Tree Builder – Free download – (upgrades to Family Tree Maker available for purchase at MacKiev)
  • Ancestral Quest – Basics software – Free download – (upgrades available for purchase)
  • Legacy Family Tree Std. – Free download – (upgrades available for purchase)
  • Roots Magic Essentials – Free Download – (upgrades available for purchase)                  

We hope you will consider joining us as we continue our venture to assist each other in Swedish genealogy research. To join SAHSWI and become a member of Swedish Genealogy Research Group, complete and submit the membership application in the “About Us” (membership) page. Indicate your genealogy interest and we’ll include you. If you are presently a member of SAHSWI researching Swedish genealogy and want to be included in SGRG, send an email to and we’ll include you.

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