Norway Birth Record Search Strategy1814-PresentEdit This Page

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1. Parish Register, Christening, 1875-Present: Church records
Churches required their clergy to keep christening (or baptism) records. The records give the names of the parents and the child and include birth dates. Information found in a christening depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Church christening records were the best source for determining when a person was born. They included nearly everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the child being christened.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian christening records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

2. Parish Register, Confirmation: Church records
Churches required their clergy to keep confirmation records. The confirmation could occur between ages 12 and 20, though most took place between ages16 and18. Confirmation records before1814 contain the name of the child, and sometimes include the child's age or place of residence. These records may not begin the same year for every parish. After 1814 confirmation records may include the names of the parent(s) or head of household where the confirmed resided, birth or christening date, and vaccination date. You can estimate a birth date from a confirmation record if other records are not available.

What you are looking for
Children were confirmed members of their church between the ages of 12 and 20. If the christening records do not exist, confirmation records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Confirmation records may not give a birth or christening date, but they may give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian confirmation records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

3. Parish Register, Marriage: Church records
Beginning about 1500, usually much later, churches required their clergy to keep marriage records. The dates of the marriage banns (engagement) or proclamations may be included in the marriage record, or a separate record. Information found in entries depends upon how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties, and sometimes later. Marriage records may not give a birth or christening date but may give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

4. Census: Census 
The king ordered the church clergy to take national census records beginning in 1701. Occasionally the clergy also took a ministerial census. You can use census records to estimate a person's birth year when an age is given. You can also use them to help identify all family members. Later census records may include a person's birthplace, birth date, and relationship to the head of the household, as well as other information.

What you are looking for
When marriage records do not exist, census records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Census records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian census records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

5. Parish Register, Burial: Church records
Beginning about 1500, usually much later, churches required their clergy to keep burial records. Before 1814 the name of the person who died may not be given, only the name of the principal male figure in his or her life. The printed record format introduced in 1814 included columns which asked for the deceased's name, death date, burial date, age, and so forth. You can estimate a person's birth year from his or her death or burial age.

What you are looking for
When marriage records do not exist, parish burial records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Burial records may not give a birth or christening date, but they may give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian burial records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

6. Parish Register, Vaccination: Church records
The church's vaccination (smallpox) records sometimes give an age or birth date for a person. The vaccination may have occurred at any time during a person's life.

What you are looking for
When burial records do not exist, vaccination records can be a source for determining when a person was born. Vaccination records may not give a birth or christening date, but they may give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all Norwegian vaccination records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

7. Probate Records: Probate records
Probate records are civil records, found at the parish level. They may begin before the actual parish records. You can use information found in probate record to estimate a person's birth, marriage and death date. Probate records can also help to identify the ancestral family.

What you are looking for
When vaccination records do not exist, probate records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Probate records may not give a birth or christening date, but they may give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record

Not all Norwegian probate records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.


 

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