Important years in Swedish history
Ca 1280 The Charter of Alsnö, proclaimed by King Magnus Birgersson, gave exemption from taxes for those, that served the King with a fully armoured horse and rider. This was the foundation of the Swedish nobility.
Ca 1350 King Magnus Eriksson proclaimed the first general law, that was common for the whole country except the cities.
1350 The Black plague devastated Sweden, some say that about half of the population died.
1381 The oldest still preserved book of city council minutes was started in Kalmar.
1442 King Kristoffer revised the earlier laws, and his rural law was in use until 1734.
1471 In the Battle of Brunkeberg (outside Stockholm) the Danes were defeated by the governor Sten Sture, and Swedish independence was saved.
1474 The continous series of Stockholm city council minutes starts.
1477 Uppsala University was founded by the archbishop Jakob Ulfsson.
1523 Gustav Eriksson (Vasa) was elected King of Sweden.
1527 At the meeting of the Riksdag in Västerås, it was decided that Sweden should change to the Lutheran doctrine.
1530s The continuous tax records start for most of Sweden.
1542-43 Nils Dacke from Småland started a rebellion, but was finally defeated by King Gustaf and his army.
1560 King Gustaf died and was succeeded by his son Erik XIV.
1561 Estonia is incorporated in the Swedish realm.
1563-70 War between Sweden and Denmark.
1568 King Erik is dethroned by his brothers Johan and Karl. Johan is elected King Johan III.
1570 In the peace treaty in Stettin with the Danes, Sweden had to buy back the fortress of Älvsborg for a huge sum of money. This sum was collected from the people according to their property, which caused detailed records to be made of all things of value.
Ca 1570 People from eastern Finland started to immigrate to the forests in Värmland and further north.
1592 King Johan III died and was succeeded by his son Sigismund, who also was King of Poland and a catholic. Sigismund tried to change Sweden back to catholicism, which caused bitter feuds and finally civil war, where the opposition was led by his uncle, Duke Karl.
1593 the clergy assembled in Uppsala and signed the Decision of Uppsala, which confirmed that Sweden was to continue as a Lutheran country.
1598 Sigismund was defeated by Duke Karl at the battle of Stångebro in Östergötland. The King then left the country, and Duke Karl took over as governor of the realm.
1604 Duke Karl proclaimed himself King Karl IX of Sweden.
1608 The death records of Heliga Trefaldighet parish in Uppsala start, the oldest church records preserved.
1611-1613 War with Denmark, which was followed by the 2nd ransom payment for Älvsborg fortress, and caused new detailed lists of personal property.
1611 King Karl died and was succeeded by his son Gustaf II Adolf.
1614 The first court of appeal, Svea hovrätt was instituted.
1620 Taxation on cattle started, and rolls were created on how many cows a farmer owned.
1620s Immigration of blacksmiths, blast furnace workers and charcoal-burners from the Walloon areas in modern-day Belgium started.
1620s Coins of copper were starting to be circulated at the same time as coins of silver.This continued for years and finally the exchange rate was about 1 daler silver for 3 daler copper.
1622 The bishop Johannes Rudbeckius in Västerås declared that church records should be kept within his diocese, later on also clerical surveys (husförhörslängder).
1625 A tax was imposed on all grain milled in public mills, the Mill Tax.
1628 The state Survey Office (Lantmäteriverket) started to draw maps of parishes, villages, cities and mines.
1630 The Swedish army went to war in Germany to take part in the 30 Years War on the Evangelical side.
1632 King Gustaf II Adolf was killed in action at the Battle of Lützen in Germany. His six-year old daughter Kristina was declared Queen of Sweden.
1634 A new adminstrative division of the realm was instituted. The old division of landskap, provinces, was changed to the new division into län, or counties, which still is in use, more or less changed.
1635 The Mill Tax was changed into a personal tax, Mantalspenningen, a sum of money to be paid for every person in the country above a certain age, half the amount for women. This caused the start of the Personal Tax Rolls, Mantalslängder, which continued until 1967, the tax was abolished in 1938.
1638 Sweden started a colony in the New World, New Sweden in Delaware.
1645 The newspaper Post- och Inrikes Tidningar started publication, and is still published.
1645 A result of the wars during this period was the Peace Treaty of Brömsebro, in which Sweden gained Halland for 30 years, and Jämtland, Härjedalen, Gotland and the island of Ösel.
1648 Another result was the Peace Treaty of Westphalia, where Sweden gained parts of Pomerania, the islands Usedom, Rügen and Wollin and the cities of Wismar and Bremen.
1654 Queen Kristina abdicated and gave the throne to her cousin Karl X Gustaf.
1655 New Sweden was conquered by the Dutch.
1658 After more wars with Denmark the Peace Treaty of Roskilde ended with Sweden gaining Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bohus län. Trondheim län and Bornholm were also gained for a short period of time.
1660 King Karl X Gustaf died and his son Karl XI succeeded him at age four.
1668 An epidemic of witch-hunting started in the northern provinces of Dalarna, Gästrikland and Ångermanland, and also had out-breaks in Stockholm and other places.
1676 War with Denmark again, where they tried to recapture Skåne and the other southern provinces, but this failed.
1680 During Queen Kristina's time and the minority of the King, much of the crown estates, and the income from them, had been given away to various officials and noblemen. The King had discovered this decrease in the internal revenue during the war with Denmark, when much money was needed for the army, and now started to reduce these gifts, to strengthen the economy of the country.
1682 A reorganisation of the armed forces was instituted, where soldiers were paid by a number of local farmers in a neighborhood, the indelningsverket.
1686 The new Church Law proclaimed among other things that church records should be kept in every parish.
1697 King Karl XI died and was succeeded by his son Karl XII, age 15.
1700-18 Sweden was attacked by Denmark, Poland and Russia, and at first managed well to ward of these enemies, but as the years went by, the wars continued and the country was brought to the edge of ruin.
1718 Karl XII was killed in the trenches outside Fredrikshald in Norway, and was succeeded by his sister Ulrika Eleonora, who shortly afterwards abdicated in favor of her husband Fredrik I.
1721 In the Peace Treaty of Nystad Sweden had to give up the Baltic provinces and most of the German conquests.
1726 The Conventicle Edict prohibited people to congregate in the homes and have religious meetings.
1734 A totally new version of the Swedish Common Law was instituted. Among other things it proclaimed that estate inventories should be taken after deceased persons, children born out of wedlock had no right to inherit and a woman was legally capable only as a widow.
1743 After an unsucessful war with Russia, Sweden had to give up parts of eastern Finland.
1749 The Table Office, Tabellverket, started to assemble statistics about the population of Sweden. The name of this authority was later changed to The Central Bureau of Statistics.
1751 King Fredrik I died and was succeeded by Adolf Fredrik, who was a very distant relative, but who had been chosen successor by the Riksdag.
1752 The first Seamen's Registries were started.
1753 The calendar was changed from the Julian to the Gregorian, February only had 17 days.
1757-62 War in Pomerania, which ended without great losses. The soldiers are said to have learned to eat and cultivate the potato during this war.
1766 The Edict of the Freedom of the Press, Tryckfrihetsförordningen, was proclaimed.
1772 KingAdolf Fredrik died and was succeeded by his son Gustaf III. The royal power had been very limited since 1719, but the King soon made a coup and declared himself an advocate of the doctrine of division of power between the Riksdag and the Monarch.
1778 The King decreed that women were allowed to give birth without revealing their names. This was supposed to bring down the number of children murdered by their mothers, to avoid the shame of an illegitimate child. Most women convicted of murdering a child were sentenced to death, and the number of death sentences worried the King, who had to sign them.
1788-90 War against Russia, which mostly took place in Finland.
1792 King Gustaf III was murdered at the Opera in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his young son Gustaf IV Adolf.
1804 An Edict of Inoculation was proclaimed, which soon brought down the fearful epidemics of small-pox.
1805-07 War against Napoleon in Pomerania, many Swedish soldiers were taken prisoners of war by the French.
1808 War with Russia, which mostly took place in Finland.
1809 The King was dethroned and replaced by his uncle Karl XIII. A new constitution was adopted.
1809 In the Peace Treaty of Fredrikshamn Sweden had to give up Finland to Russia.
1810 The French fieldmarshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince.
1812 The army was reinforced by more or less compulsory militia units.
1812-13 War against Napoleon and Denmark, which mostly took place in Germany.
1814 In the Peace Treaty of Kiel Denmark gave up Norway to Sweden. The Norwegians resisted, but the following year had to accept a union with Sweden, as a double monarchy. Both countries had separate laws, constitutions and governments, but the same head of state.
1818 Karl XIII died and was succeed by Bernadotte under the name of Karl XIV Johan.
1834 An epidemic of cholera troubled the country.
1842 The Law of Public schools was passed, every parish had to have a school for the children in the parish.
1844 King Karl Johan died and was succeed by his son Oscar I.
1845 The law of inheritance was changed so sons and daughters inherited equally, earlier sons inherited twice as much as daughters.
1845 The Swedish mass emigration to the United States started.
1846 The very old guild system of masters and journeymen was abolished and freedom of enterprise was declared.
1853 The first telegraph line is built between Stockholm and Uppsala.
1855 The old riksdaler is changed to a decimal system, 1 riksdaler = 100 öre.
1854 The Riksdag decided to start building the first railway lines.
1856 An unmarried woman could be declared legally capable by a court at age 25.
1858 The Conventicle Edict is revoked, and more religious freedom allowed.
1859 King Oscar I died and his son Karl XV inherited.
1860 Passports, both within and outside the country, were abolished.
1860 It was no longer an offense to renounce the Lutheran faith.
1861 Unmarried women were legally capable at age 25.
1865 The old four estate Riksdag is abandonded and a new two chamber constitution is passed. Only men of property had the right to vote.
1866-68 Famine years increased emigration.
1872 King Karl died and his brother Oskar II inherited.
1878 The metrical system is introduced.
1880 The first telephone net is built in Stockholm.
1899 The first provincial archives, at Vadstena, is started.
1901 The first Name law is passed in the Riksdag.
1901The army is reorganised and the Indelningsverket is abandoned. The army is now based on conscripted men.
1905 The union with Norway is dissolved.
1907 King Oskar died and was succeeded by his son Gustaf V.
1909 Men were given the right to vote.
1920 Married women were declared legally capable.
1921 Women were given the right to vote.
1950 King Gustaf died and was succeeded by his son Gustaf VI Adolf.
1973 King Gustaf Adolf died and was succeeded by his grandson Carl XVI Gustaf.
1986 The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies (Sveriges Släktforskarförbund) was founded.
1991 The keeping of vital records was transferred from the church to the local IRS offices (lokala skattemyndigheten).