Swedish Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry's resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

You can search by Subject in our Primo VE catalog using the “Advanced Search” function to the right of the search bar. Select “Subject” in the drop-down menu of search features in place of “Any field,” then copy-and-paste one of the following subject headings:

  • Sweden Genealogy
  • Swedes [locality]
  • Swedish Americans [locality]
  • Scandinavians [locality]

Results can be filtered by Material Type, Language, Date, Author, Title, etc. prior to searching by using the drop-down menus in the search panel. If your search produces too many options, you can also narrow results using the faceted options on the left-hand side, under the heading “Refine your results.” Clicking on one of these filter terms or the box to their left will limit results to only those that fit this criterion, while clicking on the red box to the right of the term will exclude those results. For more information about searching in our online catalog, please see our Guide to Primo VE.

Guides and Bibliographies

Ander, O. Fritiof. The Cultural Heritage of the Swedish Immigrant: Selected References. Rock Island, IL: Augustana College Library, 1956. Call # lowercase f 8398.035. Lists a variety of works related to Swedish Americans.

Guide to Swedish-American Archival and Manuscript Sources in the United States. Chicago: Swedish-American Historical Society, 1983. Call # Z1361.S9 G85.

Historical Background Affecting Genealogical Research in Sweden. Salt Lake City, UT: LDS Church, 1976. Call # folio CS923.H57 1976.

Johansson, Carl Erik. Cradled in Sweden: A Practical Help Guide to Genealogical Research in Swedish Records. Logan, UT: Everton Pub., 1977. Call # CS2601.J6 1977 (2nd floor open shelf).

Major Genealogical Record Sources in Sweden. Salt Lake City, UT: LDS Church, 1974. Call # folio CS923.M36 1974.

Erickson, James E. and Nils William Olsson. Tracing Your Swedish Ancestry. New York: Swedish Information Service, 2000. Call # CS922 .E75 2000 (2nd floor open shelf).

Atlases and Gazetteers

Landelius, Otto Robert. Swedish Place-Names in North America. Trans. Karin Franzen. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985. Call # E155.L36 1985.

National Atlas of Sweden. Ed. Leif Wastenson. Stockholm: SNA Pub., 1990. Call # folio G2070.N38 1990. See pages 152-153 for information on using Swedish maps for genealogical purposes.

An overview of the Newberry’s map holdings.

Biographical and Historical

Benson, Adolph and Naboth Hedin. Americans from Sweden. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1950. Call # F8398.088.

Johnson, Amandus. Swedish Contributions to American Freedom, 1776-1783. Philadelphia: Swedish Colonial Foundation, 1953. Call # F8398.454.

Kastrup, Allan. The Swedish Heritage in America. St. Paul, MN: Swedish Council of America, 1975. Call # E184.S23 K37.

Nelson, Olof Nickolaus. History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: O. N. Nelson and Co., 1900. Call # F8398.62. Focuses on Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Nordstrom, Lars, ed. Swedish Roots, Oregon Lives: An Oral History Project. Portland, OR: Swedish Roots in Oregon, [2013]. Call # F885 .S23 S96 2013

Norelius, Eric. The Pioneer Swedish Settlements and Swedish Lutheran Churches in America 1845-1860. Trans. Conrad Bergendoff. Rock Island, IL: Augustana Historical Society, 1984. Call # E184.S23 N8 1984. Selected chapters from Eric Norelius’ 1890 book.

Setterdahl, Lilly. True Immigrant Stories: the Swedes of Cleveland, Ohio 1873-2013. Cleveland: Vasa Order of America, Lodge No. 130. Call # F499 .C69 S23 2014

Swedes in America 1638-1938. Ed. Adolph Benson and Naboth Hedin. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1938. Call # F8398.09. Includes chapters on inventors, lawyers, doctors, etc.

Westman, Erik G. and E. Gustav Johnson. The Swedish Element in America: A Comprehensive History of Swedish-American Achievements from 1638-Present Day. 3 vols. Chicago: Swedish-American Biographical Society, 1931. Call # F8398.853.


Also see Passenger List guide.

Lagevik, Elsa. The People of the Red Barns: Emigrants from Västmanlands, Kopparbergs, Gävleborgs, Västernorrlands, Jämtlands, Västerbottens, and Norrbottens län, 1851-1863. Trans. Vicky Oliver. Ockelbo, Sweden: E. Lagevik, 1996. Call # folio E184.S23 L34 1996.

Olsson, Nils William and Erik Wiken. Swedish Passenger Arrivals in the United States, 1820-1850. Stockholm: Schmidts Boktryckeri AB, 1995. Call # E184.S23 O45 1995 (2nd floor open shelf).

Uppsala. Universitet. Emigrationsforskningsgruppen. From Sweden to America : a history of the migration. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1976. Call # 4A 22008.

Chicago Resources

Swedish-American Life in Chicago...1850-1930. Ed. Philip J. Anderson and Dag Blanck. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. Call # F548.9 S23 S88 1992.

Beijbom, Ulf. Swedes in Chicago: A Demographic and Social Study of the 1846-1880 Immigration. Stockholm: Läromedelsforlagen, 1971. Call # HN80.C5 B413.

Nilson, Allan T. An English Translation of Chapters Two and Three from De Byggde Jarnvagsvagnar: Emigranterna fran Ryfors hos Pullman i Chicago. Trans. Raymond E. Johnson. South Holland, IL: South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society, 2000. Call # folio F550.S23 N5517 1999. Relates to Swedes who lived and worked in Pullman.

Olson, Ernst Wilhelm. The Swedish Element in Illinois: A Survey of the Past Seven Decades. Chicago: Swedish- American Biographical Association, 1917. Call # F896.643. Includes biographical sketches, some church and industry information.

Swedish Voters in Chicago, 1888: Based on the Voter Registrations of 1888. Ed. Nils William Olsson. Winter Park: FL: SAG Publications, 1999. Call # F550.S23 O48 1999 (2nd floor open shelf).


Swedish American Genealogist. Winter Park, FL: Swedish American Genealogist, 1981-. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1981) currently received. Call # E184.S23 S88. Indexed yearly.

Swedish American Historical Quarterly. Chicago: Swedish Pioneer Historical Society, 1950-. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1950) currently received. Call # F8398.856. Index for 1950-1969 only. Articles published between 1950-2002 are listed in Jan. 2003 issue.


McKay’s Modern English-Swedish and Swedish-English Dictionary. New York: D. McKay Co., 1972. Call # Ref PD5640 .N613 1972 (3rd floor open shelf).

Additional Resources

The Swenson Center at Augustana College (309-794-7024) is a major repository of Swedish-American resources.

The F. M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections at North Park University 3225 W. Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (773-244-6223), maintains the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago.

The University of Minnesota Library, 309 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55455 (612-626-2227), collects materials related to Swedish-American heritage and history.

FamilySearch offers many Swedish-related materials.