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Welcome to the Rö website

his website is devoted to the nature and history of Rö parish, some 30 miles north of Stockholm, Sweden. It is the official website of Rö Local History Society.

For the benefit of our non-Swedish-speaking visitors, this page gives a short abstract of the contents of the website. We don't think that it can interest very many people outside Sweden, so we consider a site copy in English unnecessary. Should you however find something you really would like to know what it means, please don't hesitate to mail us. The address is info(at)rosocken.se.

The Swedish word "socken", here translated to parish, was the lowest level of both church and civic administration for many centuries. Today the term is used by historians and others as a geographic subdivision of the "kommun" outside the cities.

For you that are accustomed to the more usual English meaning of "parish" it is important to know, that in Sweden all but a very few (there were roughly 2300 of them) were territorial, i e each was defined by geographical borders, and which parish you belonged to was determined by where you lived. In 1866 the close connection between civic and church administration was dissolved, the civic "socken" renamed to "kommun" and the church "socken" to "församling". Their names were usually kept, but their borders did not always stay the same.

Today, of course, several different creeds and congregations exist outside the Swedish Church; but in the times we are telling about there was no such thing - if you disagreed on any point concerning religion, you'd better keep quiet about it to escape alive.

Rö is a still mainly rural parish first mentioned in the records towards the end of the 13th century. Our present church is considered to have been built about the same time, and its exterior has not been changed very much since then. The extent of the parish is about 47 square kilometers (18 square miles).

In 2007 Björn and Ann Britt Bergström started a local history research project and began publishing their results on the site. They also arranged excursions to interesting places in the parish, set up information boards at those places, and lectured about the history of the parish. These activities finally became a bit too extensive for two people to manage alone, so on 15 september 2011 the local history society was formally created.

The main menu has eleven items: Home, Society pages, Rö parish, Nature, Places, People, Events, Documents, Pictures, Research and Archive.

Under the Home Page menu you find links to pages about the current weather, the news archive, a guest book and more.

The society menu contains links to pages about the society, its activities, plans, board, by-laws; and the pages for members only.

Under "Rö socken" you can read about the meaning of the parish name, a historical overview, and how Rö gradually rose from the sea after the last ice age. There are also links to the official list of ancient remains in Rö and to various modern and old maps of the parish. There is also an essay about the patron saint of Rö church, St. Olof, under this heading.

The Nature menu so far only contains a list of birds we have seen in Rö, and pictures and descriptions of some 100 wild flowers found in Rö.

The Places section contains an extensive list of all place-names in Rö mentioned before 1930, information about places that have been specially researched, information signs set out at interesting locations, the economic history of Rö's manors, villages and farms, and more.

The People section contains material intended for genealogists with ancestors who lived in Rö as well as some pages of more general historic interest. The main feature of this section is a database containing all person references found in archive records available to us from the very earliest times. Until now, we have entered more then 16,000 references, and the database is still growing.

A second database contains the entire 1920 census for Rö, another the 1930 census and a fourth is a "census" of Rö's inhabitants in 1749, which we have reconstructed from the church records. Under this section, you can also read about soldiers from Rö and the regiments they served in; and the earliest available taxation rolls for Rö. We are also working with family trees for families living in Rö in the 17th and 18th centuries, and have so far published four. There are also a few items about other subjects connected with genealogy.

The Events section contains a selection of interesting stories from the 17th to the 20th century, some found in the Hundred Court Records, but also a few based on our own research.

The Documents section is a collection of various historic documents concerning Rö, including F W Radloff's and W Tham's descriptions of the parish from 1805 and 1850, respectively.

The Pictures section contains old and new pictures from Rö. The old pictures are photos (and some artwork) of places, people and events in Rö; the new pictures are recent photos from Rö, chosen mainly because they are attractive and/or interesting.

The Research section contains lists of archives where information about Rö can be found, and is intended primarily for genealogists and local history researchers.

Under the heading Archive you find the web archive, which contains stories about earlier events in the society. There are also some sundry items that don't fit in elsewhere in the menu structure.

Of course, you can use Google Translate to get an idea of what each page contains, but keep in mind that Google Translate sometimes fails utterly and produces hilarious misrepresentations of the text!

Page first published 2009-10-29, latest update 2015-07-18.