Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Norway Branch

So while waiting for death certificates to arrive in the mail, I've been spending time focusing on the Norway branch of the family. has not been terribly helpful with that, although they do have some birth and death databases from Norway available.  But the best resources have been from a few great sites in Norway.  The Norwegian Historical Data Centre has searchable census records from 1865, 1875, 1900 and 1910.  These census records are also available from the National Archives of Norway.  Both searches are a little clunky - I'd love to be able to combine terms differently.  And the National Archives site has a habit of flipping you from the English to the Norwegian in the middle of your search.  So I've also been employing Google Translation a lot. Both these resources also have parish records available, including baptism, marriage and death records and more. 

Interesting tidbits about genealogical searching in Norway:
  • The "farm" name is important.  Families tended to stay put, I guess.  If the census record includes a farm name, you can use that to search older census records.
  • Once you get past a certain time period, surnames are based on your gender and your father's first name.  So you don't have the same last name within families, which can be confusing but the rules are understandable.  E.g., we have a Peder Hansen in our family and his son Hans is not Hans Hansen but Hans Pedersen. And his daughter is Inger Pedersdatter.  
I was getting pretty confused about place names, since I don't have the same understanding of towns, counties, "states" and equivalents in Norway, so I set up a Google Map to see where people were born, hoping that would help know things like which parish record collection might be relevant to someone. I've added a few family members even outside Norway, just because it's cool.  So zoom out to see those.  If you click on a pin, you'll see some limited info about the relatives, including a few links to census records and other things. 

View Beth's Genealogy Test Map in a larger map

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