The term genealogy is used in this outline and in the Family History Library Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information gathered by individuals, other researchers, societies, or archives. These records include pedigree charts, compiled information on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These can be excellent sources of information that can save you valuable time. Because they are compiled from other sources of information, they must be carefully evaluated for accuracy.
Major Collections and Databases
The Family History Library has several sources that contain previous research or can lead you to others who are interested in sharing family information. These sources include the following:
- International Genealogical Index. The names of a million deceased individuals who lived in Norway are listed in the International Genealogical Index (IGI). Copies of the IGI are located at the library and at each Family History Center. The index for Norway includes names extracted from parish registers by volunteers as well as names submitted by other researchers.
Norway is divided into 18 counties and the autonomous cities of Oslo and Bergen. The Norwegian IGI index can be searched by last name or given name..
The IGI is available at www.FamilySearch.org The computer will search the entire country for any name.
- Ancestral File. The Family History Library has developed a computer database of family information called Ancestral File, which currently includes over 30 million names from many countries, including Norway. This file must be used with great caution, as file merges have caused some patronymic name families to mix erroneously.
- Family Group Records Collection. More than eight million family group record forms have been microfilmed in the Family Group Records Collection. This collection includes many Norwegian families. There are two major sections: the Archives Section and the Patrons Section. The film numbers for both sections are listed in the Title section of the catalog under FAMILY GROUP RECORDS COLLECTION.
- Family Histories. Many Norwegian families have produced histories that include genealogical information, biographies, photographs, and other excellent information. These usually include several generations of the family.
- The Family History Library has a large collection of Norwegian family histories. They are listed in the surname section of the Family History Library Catalog. Not every name found in a family history will be listed. Only the major surnames discussed in the family history are included in the catalog. See also the "Biography" section.
- Genealogical Collections. The Family History Library has some collections of pedigree charts and notes gathered by different researchers for prominent Norwegian families. The collections are organized in alphabetical order by family surname and are handwritten. They are listed in the Place search of the Family History Library Catalog under.
- Charles Delgobe: A wonderful collection of genealogical research notes, photos, newspaper clippings, pedigree charts, letters and other miscellaneous information collected and written by Delgobe while researching 5.400 Norwegian families for the time period 1611 to 1914. The register is an alphabetical list of all the family names in this collection.
- Wilhelm Lassen: This is a collection of the research investigations of Wilhelm Lassen. It consist of compilations of many Norwegian family genealogies, Post Office personnel, biographical extractions from newspapers, sermons by various priests, guest books of relatives and others, letters written to W. Lassen, his diaries, diaries of others, extractions of church records, family histories, family pedigrees, Carl Lous collection with coats of arms, etc., also includes three published books. (See G.S. # 948.1 D2l for Norske stamtavler / Wilhelm Lassen) This collection (most of which is bound in volumes) is arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the families or as in the case of the letters by surname of the letter writer. The research is always reliable but may be helpful and indicate new research methods.
- Gerhard Munthe: A collection of research notes, pedigree charts, newspaperclippings, correspondence, extractions of church records, censuses, and probate records compiled by Gerhard Munthe, Hartvig Munthe (a nephew of Gerhard), and C.M. Munthe (a son of Hartvig) while searching out their family history and genealogy. A partial listing of these families is included in this record.
- Slekt1.com has a list of digitized family genealogies which are available on the internet.
Local Histories. A special type of local history book called a bygdebok (community book, such as rural or farm history) is available for many rural Norwegian communities. These bygdebøker often include several volumes for a single community. Part of the material is devoted to the general history of the area, but more of it is devoted to the individual farms and the genealogies of the people living on the farms. Information found in a bygdebok should be considered secondary and needs to be verified using primary sources such as births, marriage, and death records.
The Family History Library has one of the largest collections of Norwegian local histories in the United States. Genealogical collections and these rural chronicles are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under:
- NORWAY, [COUNTY], [PARISH] - GENEALOGY
NORWAY, [COUNTY[, [PARISH] - HISTORY
Many local periodicals published in Norway also contain excellent family information. The main places and families that are described in these periodicals are indexed. See the "Periodicals" section.
If you find your surname in any of the sources described in this section, determine whether the entry actually pertains to your family. All persons with the same surname are not necessarily related. You might have to do some research before you can connect your ancestry to families listed in these sources.
Internet. Norwegian GenWeb has produced a comprehensive Norwegian genealogy web site that allows users to locate lost ancestors. It contains the entire 1880 United States census listing of people of Norwegian ancestry. Research tips and helpful links to other good genealogy sites can also be found at this site. It's address is:
To get started, post a query on the web site's surname or farm/parish bulletin boards. This is similar to Viking's "Lost Branch" (see the "Societies" section). The bulletin boards are a forum for questions about specific family members or branches of the family. You might also search the site's online census records.