The importance of counties in Swedish genealogy
In Swedish genealogy it’s important to know what county your ancestor lived in. This is because an address in Swedish genealogy is written in the order settlement, parish and county.
Swedish place name: settlement, parish, county
Practically, some parishes in different counties have the same name. So including the county will make things easier for you, even if you never share your work with anyone.
Each county has a a letter or two as a symbol. Before 1973, this symbol was on the registation plates for vehicles. It’s rarely used these days. But some genealogists use them as shorthands for the county name in place names.
The counties have been changed during the years. It has happened that a parish was moved from one county to another. Many county borders coinside with the borders of the provinces, but that’s not always the case. So if you’re researching a person near any of the borders, you need to be careful when writing the place name.
The current and historical Swedish län
These are the current counties of Sweden, along with the historical counties from the time that is most relevant for family history.
|Swedish name||English name||Changes||Symbol|
|Älvsborgs län||Älvsborg County||Now in Västra Götaland County.||P|
|Bleking län||Blekinge County||K|
|Dalarnas län||Dalarna County||Former Kopparberg County.||W|
|Gävleborgs län||Gävleborg County||X|
|Göteborg och Bohus län||Gothenburg and Bohus County||Now in Västra Götaland County.||O|
|Gotlands län||Gotland County||I|
|Hallands län||Halland County||N|
|Jämtlands län||Jämtland County||Z|
|Jönköpings län||Jönköping County||F|
|Kalmar län||Kalmar County||H|
|Kopparbergs län||Kopparberg County||Now named Dalarna County.||W|
|Kristianstads län||Kristianstad County||Now in Skåne County.||L|
|Kronobergs län||Kronoberg County||G|
|Malmöhus län||Malmöhus County||Now in Skåne County.||M|
|Norrbottens län||Norrbotten County||BD|
|Ölands län||Öland County||Now in Kalmar län.||J|
|Örebro län||Örebro County||T|
|Östergötlands län||Östergötland County||E|
|Skåne län||Skåne County||Formed from Kristianstad and Malmöhus Counties.||M|
|Skaraborgs län||Skaraborg County||Now in Västra Götaland County.||R|
|Stockholms län||Stockholm County||AB|
|Södermanlands län||Södermanland County||D|
|Uppsala län||Uppsala County||C|
|Värmlands län||Värmland County||S|
|Västerbottens län||Västerbotten County||AC|
|Västernorrlands län||Västernorrland County||Y|
|Västmanlands län||Västmanland County||U|
|Västra Götalands län||Västra Götaland County||Formed from Gothenburg and Bohus, Älvsborg and most of Skaraborg Counties.||O|
So there you have it. The counties are vital to know and understand, in order to research your family history in Sweden.
A complete place name include the county, but can be replaced by a letter symbol. The borders are reason to be careful. This is all you need to know.
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https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landskap_i_Sverige retrieved November 28, 2019