Norwegian Americans: Church Records

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The Norwegian Lutheran Church in the United States is a general term to describe the Lutheran church tradition developed within the United States by immigrants from Norway.

Norwegian-American Lutheran Church Records are useful because for recording of new members you will find, names, dates of birth, names of communities in Norway where they came from and date they joinded the congregation. Three thousand congregations have been microfilmed. (Not available at the Family History Library). Access to these films is possible by permission of the congregation unless a congregation is presently defunct where no permission is required. Films may be loaned for a service fee. Contact: Archivist, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa.

A guide to the Norwegian-American Lutheran congregations is: O. M. Norlie, Norsk Lutherske Menigheter i Amerika, 1843-1916. 3 vols. Minneapolis, Minnesota 1918. (Family History Library have vols. 1 and 2 only).

Most Norwegian immigrants to the United States, particularly in the migration wave between the 1860s and early 20th century, were members of the Church of Norway, an evangelical Lutheran church established by the Constitution of Norway. As they settled in their new homeland and forged their own communities, however, Norwegian-American Lutherans diverged from the state church in many ways, forming synods and conferences that ultimately contributed to the present Lutheran establishment in the United States.

Information about the early foundations, Norwegian colleges, language bodies and other sources can be found here:

The Norwegian Lutheran Churches in the United States: