Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tech Tuesday - DIS - The Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden

One of the great things about Swedish research is how much information is available on-line at a relatively low cost.  If you have already found some of your Swedish ancestors and have their basic information, one site you will want to check out is DIS - the Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden. 

DIS (founded in 1980) is a non-profit organization that works to develop the extensive use of computers with genealogy.  Anyone can search the DISBYT database which contains records of Swedish individuals who lived before 1910 and contains GEDCOMs and supporting sourced information submitted by members of DIS.  According to its website there are approximately 22.3 million records available for review including name, parish, birth, marriage, and death records.  The annual membership in DIS is 18 USD.  As a member of DIS you will not only be able to search the database but you will also have access to the family trees submitted by members (as well as an e-mail contact for the submitter).  You will be able to submit you GEDCOM to the database and be linked to other researchers who share family members.  There are additional databases at the DIS site including DISPOS (a method of finding the primary and secondary sources for your Swedish ancestors) and SPAR (birth records from Slaktdata's database).

I first learned about this website from Dee and Ray Kleinow who are members of the Swedish Genealogical Society, an affiliate group within the Minnesota Genealogical Society.  This energetic and enthusiastic couple run a day long workshop in Swedish and Swedish American research a couple of times a year through the Swedish American Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  After attending the workshop I checked out the website and joined DIS. 

I spent a weekend searching the database and found potential matches for various of my Swedish ancestors.  I contacted the submitters through the website and heard back from several of them.  Most happily answered my questions, and several provided me with copies of their GEDCOMs and additional information and photos for individuals past the 1910 online cutoff date.  Most Swedes on this website correspond in English (but you can always use the translation tools available with Google or Bing).  Since discovering this website I have found additional family members (the ones who remained in Sweden when my particular family emigrated to America as well as the ones who later emigrated to America) and I have a continuing email correspondence with a few of the DIS members and relatives. 

Hooray for technology!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for writing about this. Half of my branches are from Sweden so I can't wait to try it out for myself!


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