Norway, Probate Index Cards (FamilySearch Historical Collections)
Title in the Language of the Records
What is in the Collection?
This collection is a card index to probates for the years 1640-1903. These index cards were created by staff of the regional archives in Norway and are typed or handwritten. Not all archives created these index so the collection does not cover all of Norway. FamilySearch has indexes for the following counties:
The indexes are grouped by county, then by registration district (sorenskriveri). In each district the cards are arranged alphabetically by the name of the farm where the deceased lived, and then chronologically by year. The alphabetical arrangement begins with AA followed by A and ends with Æ and Ø.
Each card contains the following information:
- Probate district
- Volume (inclusive dates)
- Page number
- Farm name
- Date of probate
- Name of the deceased & spouse
- Name of children/heirs
- Decision of the court
How Do I Search the Collection?
To search the index you will need to know the following:
- The name of the deceased
- The parish of residence
- The approximate death or probate date
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page number) to locate your ancestors in the probate records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
- Use the names and relationships as the basis for compiling family groups.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same parish or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are seeking, look in neighboring farms and parishes.
Keep in mind that there is some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
Note: This index does not cover all of Norway. For a list of the counties covered see the “Record Description” section above.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in Norwegian. For help with reading the records see the following wiki articles:
General Information About These Records
These index cards were created by staff of the regional archives (statsarkiv). As not all archives chose to create these indexes, national coverage is incomplete. For the indexes that do exist, they generally begin with the first volume of probates and go forward, but they do not all end at the same date. For example, the card index for Sør-Gudbrandsdal Sorenskriveri in Oppland County begins with volume 1 in 1682, but ends in 1859. The card index for Bamble Sorenskriver in Telemark County begins in 1695 with volume 2, and ends in 1972 with volume 11.
The index was created to provide quick access to specific probate records. The index is generally very reliable because it is transcribed for the court documents. However, as with any index transcription errors may occur.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Norway, Probate Index Cards, 1640-1903." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Riksarkivet, Oslo (National Archives, Oslo)
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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