Hej! My name is Kristina…

I hate to admit this but I am addicted to my Swedish genealogy project.

I’ve been happily pursuing my interest in my Swedish family. I signed up for a beginners Swedish Language class at North Park College, thinking that going into the city would also “force” me to spend a little more time out in the field researching. North Park is located in the area where my mother was born (Swedish Covenant Hospital, which is disappointingly modern) and grew up. It’s not too far from the cemeteries where some of my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. It also is not too far from the Swedish-American Museum, Swedish restaurants, Swedish bakeries and The Sweden Shop.

But this week I took a small dose of a gateway drug and now, I’m completely addicted.

For about $10 US ($88 SEK) I signed up for just one week of ArkiDigital, an online site for Swedish Genealogy. Oh my.

For a genealogist who started with paper records, actual snail mail letters and the Newberry Library, graduating to microfilm and microfiche, and then on to Ancestry.com, this is simply amazing. With the click of my touchpad, I can scroll through pages and pages of original records in color from 1650-1940, some recorded at the time of America’s Revolutionary War. I can zoom in and out, rotate the pages, print them or save the image to my computer.

I spent a few days happily clicking on household records (husförhörslängd och församlingsbok) before venturing down the list to birth and christening record (födelse och dopbok), banns and marriage record (lysnings och vigselbok), and then on to death and burial records (död och begravningsbok), moving in and out records (in-och- utlyttningslängd.) Yesterday I figured out how to use the estate inventory registers (after spending hours trying to efficiently scan through two 1000 page books looking for familiar name–in Swedish.)

Yesterday I got an email from ArkivDigital suggesting that I might want to renew my subscription because it was going to run out at 2:42 CET on February 9th. I entered Stockholm into my World Clock and figured that meant sometime around 7:42 tonight and started clicking even faster, trying to “save” as many records as I could find.

I stayed up too late last night and grabbed my computer when John and I headed to the ER this morning. I clicked away while they poured IV fluids into my somewhat dehydrated husband. I took some time to nap and talk to a real live cousin today, but soon opened up the computer and started clicking away. I was actually hoping to be on line when the notice came up saying that my subscription had ended. It is now 8:04 pm (CST) and that hasn’t happened yet.

It’s like I need the subscription to end so my addiction is cut off.

Oh, I know I will sign up for another week or month(s) but for now, I need a break. I have enough sources that it will take me quite awhile to figure out what I have, what more I want to look for, and what questions I should be asking.

I still have 8 more weeks of Swedish classes, more places to visit, more  leads to follow. Oh, and did I mention that I decided to finish a Swedish quilt at the same time? I’ve even been neglecting that this week.

But I’m strong. Even though the subscription still hasn’t expired, I’m going to shut down the site and stay off of it–for now. Cold turkey.

My name is Kristina and I’m a Arkiv-aholic.






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