Getting started with Norway research
Welcome to the Norway Page!
FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping people throughout the world learn how to find their ancestors. Through the Norway Portal page you can learn how to find, use, and analyze Norwegian records of genealogical value. The content is variously targeted to beginners, intermediate, and expert researchers. Please visit the to learn more about using the site. The Norway Portal Page is a work in progress, your contributions and feedback are essential!
A wiki article describing an online collectons is found at:
- Norway Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Norway Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Norway 1875 Census (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Norway Marriages, (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- (helpful tools and resources, gazetteers)
- (language dictionary, handwriting guide or tutorial, etc.)
The Moderator for the Norway content is steuartrc. In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need to be done. You can help by:
Take a look at the Bergen Norway Page, it contains links to some of the Emigrants leaving Norway for the United States from the ports in Bergen. Another useful Website for Norway research is Fylkesarkivet i Sogn, can be read in English or Norweigian.
Did you know?
- You can view photos of churches in Norway.
- You can also view a Photo Album of Farms as part of the digital archives of the Norwegian National Archives. It contains patron-submitted photos of 1900-era farms. There is a link in the album between a farm photo and the respective farm in the 1900 census list, so that one can find information on the farm and household.
- During the 1500-1800’s it was very common for the Norwegian people to use what is called a patronymic naming system. They would take the father’s given name and add “sen/son” or “datter”. Others chose to use the name of the farm they were associated with as their last names. This really was an address, but some of these farm names were continued through many generations and have become last names.
- In 1923 a new naming law (Navneloven av 1923) came into effect, and people now had to choose a family name. The change from patronymics to family names had already started in the mid-1870; the cities had started a little earlier and the smaller parishes a little later. However, the law was approved 1923.
In 2003 another law was put into practice. It was now again legal to choose a patronymic or matronymic name.
- Farm names are very important in locating people in Norway. Through these names you can find parishes and then your ancestors in the parish registers.
Norway's Digital Archives (Digitalarkivet)
The National Archival Services of Norwaymaintains a website in which you can search in transcribed source material for free. Images of the original church books have also been placed there. The Digitised Parish Registers interface can be used in English, Norwegian (Bokmål), Norwegian (Nynorsk) or Samisk (Davvisámegiella). However, the records are written in Norwegian.
The Norwegian Church (Den Norske Kirke) kept the vital statistics of the population. See Church Records for the contents and in-depth descriptions of the records. The links to the records available at the Family History Library are found in the individual parish under the Parishes and Congregations Section of each county.
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