Norway Farm Books or Bygdebøker

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Norway Farm Books (often referred to as: Norwegian Farm Books)

Norwegians (outside of cities) lived in communities called "bygd" which really were small towns and villages. Norwegian Farm Books contain histories of these bygds, their families, and their communities. There is a surprising amount of information contained in them about families who lived in these communities, sometimes they list parishes that families have come from as well as where they move to. They have been transcribed from the original manuscripts and can be found in book form now...although they are not yet transcribed into English.  There is an extraction program underway to extract the information from these farm books.

Many Norweigians used patronymic names ending in "sen" or "son". Now they have all taken a common surname, many took the surname of one of the patronymic names, but others took the farm name where they lived as their surname. If a Norwegian surname does not end in "sen" or "son" it may be a farm name and the name itself may be a clue to help you locate where they lived. Finding the parish where the Farm was located will tell you where the family records can be found.