Swedish Stift

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The Stift (translated into English as Diocese) is an administrative and geographical organization used by various Christian denominations. The geographical area is under the jurisdiction and leadership of a Bishop. Within the Roman Catholic Church a Diocese can be a Monastery that is lead by a group of Monks or an Abbot. Multiple Dioceses are grouped together and called an Ärke Stift (Archdiocese) under the jurisdiction and leadership of an Ärke Biskop (Archbishop).

Swedish Diocese[edit | edit source]

Multiple dioceses make up a Archdiocese that is under the direction of the Archbishop. Every diocese is under the direction of a Bishop. Each diocese belongs to a central administrative organization called domkapitlet. The diocese has authoritative jurisdiction over the pastorats. The bishops work together in leading the Swedish Lutheran Church with the Archbishop in Uppsala holding the leading position of primus inter pares (Latin, first among equals.) In the post-reformation diocesan reorganization another position was added called "superintendentia" or Superintendent.

The Dioceses[edit | edit source]

  • Göteborg Diocese - organized 1620: Includes Göteborg och Bohus county, the western part of Älvsborgs county, and Halland county
  • Härnösand Diocese - organized 1772 from Uppsala archdiocese: Includes Västernorrlands and Jämtlands counties
  • Karlstad Diocese - organized 1646: Includes Värmland and Dalsland provinces (Värmland and northern Älvsborgs counties
  • Linköping Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Includes Östergotlands county; northeastern part of Jonköpings county; northern part of Kalmar county
  • Lund Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Includes Skåne province (basically Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties) and Blekinge county
  • Skara Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Mainly the province of Västergotland (Skaraborg and Älvsborg counties)
  • Strängnäs Diocese - Pre-Reformation: The part of Södermanland province located in Stockholm county, Södermanland county, the part of Närke province located in Örebro county
  • Uppsala Arch Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Uppsala and Gävleborg counties, the part of Uppland province located in Stockholm county, Simtuna, Torstuna and Våla districts (härader) in Västmanland county
  • Visby Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Includes Gotland county
  • Västerås Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Includes Kopparberg county; Västmanland county except the part located in Uppland province; part of Västmanland located in Örebro county
  • Växjö Diocese - Pre-Reformation: Includes Kronoberg county, Jönköping county except for the northern part; southern part of Kalmar county

See Provinces of Sweden for a map showing the provinces.

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Authorities from the Diocese would periodically visit the pastorats to inspect the book keeping and accounts.
  • Although the format of the church records were never standardized throughout the kingdom, you will often see similarities of formats used by the pastorats in the same stift.
  • The local authorities in the pastorats would often notify (or invite) the stift authorities to be involved in more serious judgements or decisions of the pastorat. You can search the stift records for more clues if your ancestor was involved in a more serious matter, for example divorce, or convicted for a crime.You can search the stift records by contacting the Landsarkiv that has responsibility for the location you are working in.

References[edit | edit source]

Wiki-Rötter collaborators, "Stift," Wiki-Rötter, https://wiki.rotter.se/index.php?title=Stift&oldid=12443 (visited October 16, 2020).