How to Read Moving in and out Records

Parish priests were responsible for keeping track of who moved in and out of their parish. These records were kept in books where, usually, half the book is dedicated to those moving in, and the other half to those moving out.  They are invaluable in tracing your ancestors when they moved from one parish to another.  And they did. A lot.

What You Can Expect to Learn

The contents of these books vary from parish to parish, and priest to priest.  Some wrote detailed notices, others simply the name and a date.  On average, you should expect to be able to find:

  • The name of the person if male
  • The name of the person if female and single (otherwise may be recorded in the household or family of the male).
  • The number, and sometimes names, of any accompanying children.
  • Often, but not always, a date of birth.
  • The location they left, either a farm, village, or parish.
  • The location they were headed to.

Finding Relocation Records

The Swedish ministerial archives are categorised by letters, and the moving in and out books are designated by the letter B. Sub-designations can be BI (moving in) and BII (moving out) books if they’ve been sub-divided. It also happens that these records can be included in A- and C-volumes (A being household examination books and C christenings). Both Riksarkivet and Arkiv Digital will for the most part have cross references if the records are included in a different book.

1st Example – Bringetofta Parish, 1796

This is a great example of a fairly early set of relocation records.  It shows the typical division of people moving in to the parish (Inflyttade) on the left side, and those moving out (utflyttade) on the right.


For each person we find:

  • Sequence number
  • Their title or social designation
  • Their name(s) and if they’re with other people
  • Where they came from
  • And where they were going.

Here’s a close-up of row 6 and 7 for those moving in to the parish:


On line 6, we see the crofter Sven Erlandsson, his wife Martha Svensdotter from Malmbek to Ekelsjö torp, with att. (att. being short for attest meaning attestation or certificate).

On line 7, there’s the farm-maid Maja Carlsdotter, [moving] to Mattarp from Hjertlanda s. (short for socken meaning parish) with attestation.

The next step, if you were researching either of these people, would be to look up Eckelsjötorp or Mattarp in the household examination book to see what they got up to there.

2nd Example – Mora Parish, 1848

As with Bringetofta, the book is divided with those moving in on the left page and the departees on the right. The book is much better laid out in a grid format, for which we can be thankful!  Most importantly, there’s also a column here containing the page in the household examination book that they were last recorded on.  This is a great help in finding the people you’re interested in, and will save a lot of time.  If only all the priests had been so considerate.


Let’s zoom in on the first two arrivals on this page:


From left to right we have:

  • Our old friend the sequence number
  • The specific date they were recorded as moving out (for the first two that’s 16 December 1848 and 19 Jan 1849)
  • The names of the individuals – the Royal Guardsman Per Olsson Bernts, and below him the boy Clas August Heden.
  • The odd-looking number are page references, Per moved to page 207 in the 3rd household examination book, and Clas to page 192 in the 2nd book.
  • They came from Stockholm and Falun respectively
  • And both moved to the district Utmedl[andet].

3rd Example – Fuglie Parish, 1904

By this time the contents had been standardised and the leaves of the book had pre-printed headings.  The left/right division had also been formalised.


By now you should be able to make an educated guess about what this record says.  Have a go with the two first records here:


Remember that Hvarifrån translates quite literally to Wherefrom and Hvarthän to Whereto.  The handwriting is a little sloppy here, but the page numbers in the household examination book will help you understand where they went.

Further on Relocating

You can find other records pertaining to people relocating.  These are usually called certificates, and contained further details about the person who was moving.  In some locations, notably larger cities, you may find large volumes of these preserved.  They’re not commonly indexed, and to use them you will need to go through the books page by page. We’ll look at these in more detail in a future post.


Bringetofta (F) BI:2 (1751-1839), p. 787.

Mora (W) B:1 (1848-1864), image 5.

Fuglie (M) B:1 (1895-1920), p. 20.

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