Tips for Norwegian American Researchers

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Norway The best place to start your Norwegian American research is to start at home! 

What do you already know?  Have you talked to older relatives; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins?  They may have information that can be very helpful.  Pay special attention to any mention of people, names, places, and old family stories.  The stories could be true!

Pay extra attention to last names, they could be farm names.  Farm names can help you identfy a home parish in Norway.

Make sure you look for information in old Bibles, journals, letters, books, on postcards and old photos.  You may find information in US sources like US Censuses, naturalization records, military records, homestad applications, Norwegian American Lutheran church records, obituaries, and newspapers. 

You may be lucky and find records written in Norwegian; it is possible to find help to translate those records.

Did your family members serve in the military?  There could be pension records.  Were any members of any Norwegian fraternities?  What about county histories? 

Places that could be of help :

NAHA St. Olaf college, Northfield Minnesota

Norwegian American Genealogical Center in Madison Wisconsin

Bygdelagenes Fellesraad