The way to identify a place in Swedish genealogy is to specify the parish (socken) and the county (län). But there are many other regional divisions.
Here is a brief look at the most common geographical terms. Keep in mind that the exact borders vary over time. The most useful terms are in bold.
Landskap – Province. There are 25 provinces. They no longer have practical use, but are culturally important in large parts of the country. The provinces have been self governing to a varying degree, but lost their administrative use in 1634 with the introduction of the counties . Most of the provinces are listed as categories of this blog.
Landsdel – Lands of Sweden. It is a rare term, but the respective names are commonly used to describe locations in broad terms. Norrland consits of the provinces from Härjedalen, Hälsingland, and Gästrikland and northwardly. Svealand contains of Dalarna, Värmland, Västmanland, Uppland, Närke, and Södermanland. Götaland is made up of all other provinces in the south.
Län – The county is an administrative unit and the local representation of the state. There are 21 counties. They were first established in 1634. Changes are still made to the counties. Skåne County and Västra Götaland County were formed within the last 25 years . Most of the counties are listed as categories of this blog. Here’s an overeview of the current and most resent historical counties: Län – Swedish Counties.
Socken – Parish. An old form of municipalities. In 1863 the organization of the parishes was changed. The non sacred matters were moved to a rural municipality with the same area as the parishes. The current term for a parish is församling .
Stad – Town. A form of municipalities that existed parallel to the parishes. There were 88 towns in 1863 .
Köping – Borough. Another form of municipality that existed parallel to the parishes. There were 10-18 boroughs in 1863 .
Landskommun – The rural municipality took over most of the civil duties of the parishes in 1863. There were circa 2,400 rural municipalities in 1863 .
Kommun – Municipality. There are currently 290 municipalities in Sweden. All towns, boroughs and parishes were made into municipalities January 1 1971 .
Härad – Hundred. Juridical unit consisting of several parishes.
Stift – Diocese.
Rote – Can be any form of division of parishes. In genealogy it usually refers to the soldier rote, the part of a parish responsible for housing one soldier.
By – Village.
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- Landskap Län and socken maps derived from GSD-Sverigekartan 1:1 miljon, vektor 2018-12-01 retrieved November 28, 2019
- Landskap map derived from SCB lanskap_shp (corrected)
- Socken map derived from Svenska kyrkan forsamlingar_2008-01-01
- https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landskap_i_Sverige retrieved November 28, 2019
- https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sveriges_l%C3%A4n retrieved November 28, 2019
- https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socken retrieved November 28, 2019
- https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kommunreformer_i_Sverige retrieved November 28, 2019
- https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landskommun retrieved November 28, 2019