Norway Handwriting

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Norway Handwriting Helps

Parish Registers Pre - 1814
Parish Registers Post - 1814

Language Characteristics

Norwegian Genealogical Word List

Variant Forms of Words

In Norwegian, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they are used in a sentence. Who—whose—whom or marry—marries— married are examples of words in English with variant forms. The endings of a word in a document may differ from those in this list. For example:

Mann man Kone wife Mannen the man Kona the wife Menn men Koner wives Mennene the men Konene the wives

Alphabetical Order

Written Norwegian has three letters not found in the English alphabet: Æ (æ), Ø (ø), and Å (å). In most record sources prior to 1915, Å (å) is written as Aa (aa) and filed at the beginning of the alphabet. Modern Norwegian dictionaries, indexes, the Locality section of the Family History Library Catalog, and this word list use the following alphabetical order:

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z æ ø å


Spelling was not standardized when most early records were made. The following spelling variations are common:

  • aa used for å
  • b used for p
  • c used for k
  • ch used for k
  • d used for t
  • e used for æ
  • f used for v
  • g used for k
  • hj used for j
  • i used for j
  • j used for gj
  • ld used for ll
  • nd used for nn
  • q used for k
  • tj used for kj 
  • u used for v
  • w used for v
  • x used for ks



gjørtler spelled as giørtler mann spelled as mand  kvinne spelled as quinde


Genealogy Key Words

In order to find and use specific types of Norwegian records, you will need to know some key words in Norwegian. This section lists key genealogical terms in English and the Norwegian words with the same or similar meanings.

For example, in the first column you will find the English word marriage. In the second column you will find Norwegian words with meanings such as marry, marriage, wedding, wedlock, unite, legitimate, joined, and other words used in Norwegian records to indicate marriage.


English Norwegian
banns  lysninger
birth fødte, født
burial begravelse, jordet
census  folketelling
child  barn
christening døbte, døbt
clerical district prestegjeld
confirmation konfirmasjon, konfirmerede
death  døde, død
engagement  forlovelse, trolovelse
father  far
female  kvinnekjønn
husband  ektemann
index register
male mannkjønn
marriage copulerede, egteviede, gift, vielse
military  militær
mother mor
moving in innflyttning
moving out  utflyttning
name, given  fornavn
name, surname  etternavn
parents  foreldre
parish  sogn
probate  skifte
vaccination vaccinerede, vaksinert
wife hustru
year  år