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A Guide to Norwegian Genealogy, Emigration, and Transmigration

Have a peek into the Book!

A Guide to Norwegian Genealogy, Emigration, and Transmigration

Ready to dive into Norwegian Genealogy? Here is all you need to start tracing your ancestor’s journey back to Norway – the emigration history, the sources, where to find them, and the methodology. It is also helpful for those who have already started doing Norwegian Genealogy.

The first part of this book, “A Guide to Norwegian Genealogy, Emigration, and Transmigration” gives an overall view of the Norwegian emigration history before taking you to Great Britain, which was one of several routes for transmigration. Further, you will get an insight into what happened when Norwegian emigrants arrived in North America.

The second part is a description and a guide to sources in the United States, Canada, and Norway. What information can you find in genealogical sources in the US and Canada that show the way back to Norway? What clues do they contain, and how could they be used to find traces of them in Norway? The book also thoroughly covers Norwegian sources, like emigration records, censuses, church records, probates, mortgage registers and mortgage books, land registers, seaman records, military records, and bygdebøker (farm books). Finally, the whole book finishes with a chapter about genealogical methods. In the appendix, we have a Norwegian-English dictionary.

This book has a proper source citation, so use the sources to find more information about a topic.

About the author

Liv Marit Haakenstad, AG® (b. 1965) is a well-known author, speaker, and genealogist. She started with genealogy at age 12 and has been working with it ever since. She has experience with classic genealogy, heir research, and forensic genealogy. She has also done research for genealogy TV shows and is a RootsTech speaker.

Liv Marit Haakenstad is an Accredited Genealogist® (AG®) in Norwegian genealogy, and she has a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from USN (University of South-Eastern Norway).

More about the book

A Guide to Norwegian Genealogy, Emigration, and Transmigration is a how-to book in English about Norwegian genealogy research. It is used elements from two of my previous books, published in Norwegian – Slektsgransking. Steg for steg med praktiske eksempler (Genealogy. Step by step with practical examples, Aschehoug 2010) and Slektsgranskerens guide til utvandringen 1825-1930 (The Genealogist’s Guide to Emigration 1825-1930, Vigmostad & Bjørke 2013) with add-ons. The book is mostly done, and a donation to help us finish the translation had been appreciated!

Family history research has become remarkably popular in recent years, and many Norwegian-Americans are researching their roots. Throughout the years, I have answered many inquiries regarding Norwegian genealogical research. Every spring, many Americans contact me and ask for guidance in finding the farm (and surrounding area) from which their ancestors came. I have also held several lectures in the United States about Norwegian genealogy research, and these have drawn a considerable audience.

Norway has a free online service called The Digital Archives (Digitalarkivet). They have both transcribed and scanned original documents which are relevant to family history research. Parish records are examples of scanned original resources, while most censuses are available in transcribed form, as searchable databases.

The following statement was made about usage of the Digital Archives: “May had 140.000 unique users in May 2020”.1 The majority of these are sitting at their computers in Norway, but the percentage of non-Norwegians is nevertheless considerable. Of these, users from the USA and Canada comprise the largest group, while Denmark and Sweden are also regular patrons. Genealogists are by far the largest group of users and have been so as long as the service has existed. In addition, there are two other websites with Norwegian records which we will discuss. The LDS family history website, FamilySearch, has some Norwegian records in its databases, and these will also be described in the book.

The aim is that readers will be able to find some generations of their ancestry, even if they are not proficient in the Norwegian language. The book will also contain some history of migration, especially about the journey from Norway to North America. It is important to know the route the immigrant took in order to be able to trace him or her in the available records.

I will also demonstrate how she solved actual cases with examples from her own archive. Many years of experience as a genealogist have taught her to combine resources in order to maximize the potential information they offer. The book will also be a guide to the types of records since it helps to have a theoretical basis in order to be able to utilize the records in the search for one’s ancestors. A small detail may lead to the solution to a large mystery.

Liv Marit Haakenstad received a grant from NFFO to write the book. I am, however, still in need of funding for the translation from Norwegian to English, even though the book already has willing publishers in the United States. The translation is done by Tynlee Roberts.

Do you have any questions? Please use the contact form.

1 https://www.digi.no/artikler/koronakrisen-forer-til-rekordbruk-av-de-digitale-samlingene/493361

Some Donations and Grants
– Magnus Lindblom, Sweden
– Commander Benedikt, Germany
– Sons of Norway, 2012 General Heritage and Culture Grants
– Harold Lyster and Laura Lyster-Mensh, US