POPUM is one of the world’s most information-dense historical population databases. Here, we have linked individual records from different parish registers on for example births and baptisms, banns and marriages, migrations and deaths.
Swedish historical parish records are very rich in information, which makes them a gold mine for historical demographic research. Event registers were kept for births and baptisms, banns and marriages, deaths and burials and, mainly from the 19th century, migrations. Catechetical examination registers (husförhörslängder) constitute a dynamic source, unique for Sweden. The parishioners were to be included in the catechetical registers as soon as they were born or had informed the minister about their in-migration.
Life's events were steadily documented
A volume of a catechetical examination register covers a period of about 5–10 years, during which the information about the parishioners was continuously updated. When an event took place, like birth, marriage, death or migration (in, out, or within the parish), the information was entered into the register. Even when the more detailed information from event registers is missing, we can get a good grasp of the demographic events, including dates. At the yearly catechetical examination meetings, the individual information concerning for example literacy, and events or other changes that might have eluded the minister during the year, was updated.