Are you new to discovering your Norwegian roots? Or have you discovered a bit about your Norwegian ancestors and are itching to learn more? Fortunately, plenty of records are available online that can help you find your Norwegian ancestors, and Norwegian genealogical societies can help guide you in your journey to find your family.
Starting Your Norwegian Genealogy Research
A good place to start your research is the FamilySearch wiki page on Norwegian research. There you will find the following:
- Research tools and strategies
- Word lists
- Country and cultural background information
- Lists of available records
The article on Norwegian genealogy research gives additional insight and helpful information as you organize and plan your strategy on your quest for Norwegian family records. These resources include:
- Record hints
- Naming conventions
- Emigration patterns
- Other helpful tips
Several different types of records are available, including parish records and farm books that contain local histories, called bygdebøker. Learn about these books and other items of interest about Norwegian genealogy at Norway ancestry records.
Norwegian Genealogical Societies Offer More Help
In addition to these resources, try looking at the following associations and sites to help you learn more about your Norwegian American ancestors.
The Norwegian-American Historical Association collects and preserves material about the Norwegian American experience. They have many relevant publications and manuscript collections; they also have an archive of articles, obituaries, and newspapers.
Another place to look is the Norwegian-American Genealogical Association. They have church record transcriptions, a collection of books, maps, publications, family histories, and a Facebook page!
The Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library has access to a large selection of research materials at the Naeseth Library in Madison, Wisconsin. Their collection includes immigration lists, local histories, obituaries, topographical maps, and Norwegian American family histories. They also have genealogists, videos, and webinars available to help. The Norwegian Genealogical Society has a large collection of books and other publications, projects, workshops, and a family history wiki to help with your research needs.
Check out the FamilySearch wiki for a longer list of genealogical societies.
Norwegian Genealogy Research Groups
If you are interested in connecting with others who are researching their ancestry, FamilySearch has a number of research groups that you can join. One that you might consider looking into is the research group on Nordic countries.
The Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad is an umbrella organization for North American bygdelags, which are societies that nurture and perpetuate Norwegian culture and heritage. The organizations are made up of descendants of people who immigrated to North America. The website also has links to Facebook pages for each area, additional pages, and links, along with other research helps.
Various Facebook groups focus on Norwegian genealogy and are worth checking into, such as Minnesota Norwegians—Genealogy, North and South Dakota Norwegians—Genealogy, and Wisconsin Norwegians—Genealogy.
Start Now to Explore Your Norwegian Connections
Societies and research groups are a great way to start learning about your Norwegian heritage. The FamilySearch Where Am I From? feature can give you additional insight into where your ancestors lived during important world events, and it allows you to trace family lines across the world. Try using this feature in tandem with Google Maps to see photos of your family's homeland and virtually stand where your ancestors stood. As you take time to learn about the history and culture that impacted your ancestors, consider learning about local traditions or finding dishes that your ancestors may have enjoyed and incorporate them into your family traditions.
Be sure to share what you learn on your FamilySearch tree and in FamilySearch Memories to help your ancestors’ stories come alive for future generations.