WITB? Flyttningsbevis

By this time you know WITB stands for “What’s in the box?”, i.e., the metal safe-deposit box I found last week in our basement. The document I’m writing about today would have been more helpful if I’d found it a few years ago when I started the search for my husband Bill’s Swedish grandfather.

05-19-2014 12;51;10PMThe form is titled Flyttningsbevis, which roughly translates as “exit permit.” It’s written entirely in Swedish. However, even without speaking the language, I can comprehend several entries:

  • Anders Ludvig Eliasson was born 9 May 1865.
  • He was leaving his home in Svenljunga, Elfsborgs lan, for North America.
  • The form is dated 12 September 1887.

Flyttningsbevis (also known as  flyttningsbetyg or flyttningsattester) was also a moving certificate within Sweden. The party wanting to relocate – let’s say they live in parish A – applied for the certificate in parish A. The document is like a domestic passport. When the person received it, he/she has permission to move to parish B. Within a day or two of relocating, the flyttningsbevis paperwork is then given to the vicar in parish B.

The process is similar when someone intended to move to another country. Anders Eliasson went to his church and applied for permission to leave the parish and go to the United States. He received his flyttningsbevis on 12 September 1887 although this isn’t necessarily when he actually departed.

When Anders arrived in the United States, no government or church official wanted the flyttningsbevis. But Anders knew it was an important piece of paper, and he carefully kept it with his other treasured belongings.

There may be other helpful genealogical hints on the flyttningsbevis, if one speaks Swedish. Next month, we are expecting houseguests from Svenljunga who will be able to translate it for us.

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