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Norway Vital Records
Digitalarkivet Online Web Site
Finding your way around the Digital Archives (Digitalarkivet)
The information is stored in two ways; as searchable databases, or on web pages with word for word transcriptions or digital images. By using the database selector both types of materials can be found.
All the materials in the DA and the Digital Inn can be found using the menu system. The materials are arranged geographically, chronologically or by type of source. By source type we are primarily thinking about what type of archive the original document belonged to, as well as where the databases could belong thematically. The aim of this organisation of materials is to enable anyone to be able to find their way round the DA whether they are familiar with archives or not. After one has chosen a category a text will appear in the window to the right. This will contain useful information which can be read before searching the databases.
In addition to the menu system in the database selector, one can also search for databases. This search cannot be combined with the menu system. On the upper blue bar there are shortcuts to the nation-wide censuses. The same databases can also be found by using the database selector.
Not all the information texts have been fully translated into English yet but these will follow soon.
Church Registers younger than 60 years are generally not available for the general public. However lists of baptisms from 1930 and later must be controlled for information about adoptions before they can be handed out to the public. Information about most adoptions younger than 100 years is not generally available. The Digital Archives cannot show searchable information about living people and have therefore even stricter limits. At present information about baptisms up to 1910 can be made available, confirmations up to 1925 and marriages up to 1930. Lists over deceased can be shown right up to the present day, but sensitive information ( health, religion, economy, adoption etc.) is removed. These limits apply only to the databases in the Digital Archives. Digital images of the church registers have different limits. Birth and baptism records are closed for the public from 1930, confirmation records from 1935, marriage and banns records from 2005, death, burial and stillbirth records from 1926, death and burial records without cause of death from 2005, migration records from 2005, joins and leavings of the State Church from 1945 and records about dissenters from 1945.
The category Clerical archives include all types of source materials penned by clerics with the exception of church registers which are listed in their own category. (Includes some marriage records)
A census is a list of all the inhabitants in a council area or parish at a given time. Thus only those who were present in the house or on the farm at that point of time were to be recorded.
There are two types of census; the nominative counts which gives us detailed information, and the numerical counts which only give us the number of residents arranged by district, age, occupation or other categories. The first nation-wide nominative census was in 1801. Later nominative counts were carried out in 1865, 1875, 1891 and 1900. After 1900 there has been a census every 10 years until 2000.
In addition to these there have been some nominative censuses in certain parishes at other times. There have, for example, been several counts during the 1780’s in parts of eastern Norway . For the period 1815-1855 a total of 198 lists of names, of varying quality, have been recorded. An overview of this census material can be found in Anna Tranberg: Folk og Fant, Norsk lokalhistorisk institutt 1986.
The Law of Statistics from 1907 restricts all access to state censuses for 100 years whereas the local council census has limited access for 60 years. The Digital Archives follow the 100 year rule for all the census materials, state and local council.
As opposed to a full census, the male census contains only information about the male section of the population. A male census was often related to a military purpose, often recording all able bodied men who would be available in case of war.
Tax rolls, listing all those liable to tax, both male and female, were occasionally reckoned to be among the male census. If we accept the term “male census” this would seem to be a contradiction. The tax rolls, e.g. the 2 mark tax from 1519, the Poll tax from 1645 and the Extra tax for the period 1762-1772, are therefore placed under tax-lists.
Skifte (Probate Registers)
Dei gamle norske lovane hadde i arvebolkane grundige føresegner om korleis arv skulle skiftast, men sjølve arveskiftet var ei privatsak, og vedkom ikkje nokon offentleg instans. Offentleg arveskifte (ofte berre kalla skifte) vart innført i Noreg kring midten av 1600-talet, og ved reskript av 31. mai 1690 vart det endeleg slått fast at arveskiftet på landet skulle styrast av Sorenskrivaren. I byane høyrde skifteforvaltninga under byfogden og magistraten, medan byskrivaren førte protokollen og skreiv breva.
Christian Vs lov slo fast at offentleg skifte ikkje skulle vera påbode ved alle dødsfall. Berre når den avdøde hadde umyndige, fråverande eller utanlandske arvingar, eller dersom det ikkje var arvingar etter avdøde i det heile tatt, måtte det haldast offentleg skifte. Gjenlevande ektefelle fekk ofte løyve til å sitta i uskifta bu, og skifte vart dermed utsatt til denne skulle gifta seg på ny eller døydde. Ut på 1700-talet kom det lovføresegner som gjorde at også dei fattigaste i samfunnet slapp offentleg skifte.
Geistlege og militære hadde eigne skiftejurisdiksjonar. Dette priviligiet forsvann for dei geistlege i 1809 og for dei militære i 1824.
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