Norway Occupations

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Occupations were a measure of social status. Some trades were viewed as more prestigious than others. For example, goldsmiths had more prestige than shoemakers. Many trades, such as butchers, tanners, shoemakers, tailors, and others were organized into guilds, which were in charge of training apprentices and regulating a trade's practice in an area. Guilds were usually established in each city. Guild records include lists of members, information on journeymen practicing in the town, marriages of journeymen, and advancements from the rank of apprentice to journeyman and from journeyman to master craftsman. In addition, contracts between masters and parents of apprentices may be included.

There are records not often used that can be of great help and interest for the researcher, and they are:

Borgerskap (citizenship) records in Norway[edit | edit source]

A new idea, that resulted in little used record show up in Oslo during the 1300’s.
A man could apply for “borgerskap” in a specific city, and if granted would be given certain rights, as well as certain responsibilities. As a “borger” or citizen he would be able to set up shop in town; as a merchant, skipper, master craftsman with apprentices etc.
He would also be expected to pay taxes and accept different city assignments from the government.
The word “borgerskap” can have many different meanings. In modern times we talk about having citizenship in a country, or the word can refer to a specific social group in society; “borgerskap” versus the working class or nobility.
In earlier years the word “borgerskap” describes the judicial relationship a person had with the city he lived in, (“borgerskap” was not made available to women in earlier times).
In the 1600’s it became required that the new “borger” swore allegiance to the King and city, and paid a licensing fee. He was then recorded in the city’s “borgerbok”, and given a “borgerbrev” as a proof that he was a “borger”.
The eldest known “borgerbok” today is from mid 1551-1751, and is found in Bergen city.
The “borgerbøker” can be very helpful to the genealogist, especially during the time period before the parish registers were kept.
Information about a person’s name, birth place, address, and farm name if connected to a farm is given. His particular job is also listed. Used with other genealogical records it can be very helpful to researchers, adding information not usually found in church records.

Research use: Tradesmen are often hard to find, trace and identify. These records are very helpful to locate these persons. Pre-1750 records would be of value in cases where other records are not available.

Record type: Records of the granting of local citizenship and citizens rights. Local citizenship was necessary to conduct business in most cities.

Time period: Mid-1400s to present; most exist from the time of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s.

Contents: Name of applicant for citizenship, occupations, age, place of birth, name of sponsor.

Location: Regional archives [Statsarkiv].

Percentage in Family History Library: It is estimated that about 50% of the pre-1800 have been acquired. Many of the later rolls have also been acquired.

Population coverage: 10%.

Reliability: Good.[1]

Norway Occupations

Norwegian occupations: '

A[edit | edit source]

A/S Abb. for aksjeselskap or share company
Aar year
Adel nobility
Adelsmann nobleman
Adjunct secondary school teacher
Advokat lawyer, solicitor
Agent representative, commercial agent
Agronom graduate of an agricultural college
Aksjonær shareholder
Almisse charity or alms
Almisselem charity recipient, poor person
Almueskolen public school
Amanuens assistant
Amme nurse
Amt administrative district / county
Amtmann county governor, county administrator
Apotek pharmacy
Apoteker pharmacist
Abr abb. for “arbeider” or laborer
Arbeidskarl laborer
Artillerist soldier
Assessor assistant judge

B[edit | edit source]

Br. Abb. for “bruker” or farmer
B.F. abb. for “barnefader” or the child’s father
Baadsmand boats man
Bager baker
Bager dreng baker apprentice
Bager/baker mester master baker
Bagwe/baker svend baker journeyman
Bager/baker baker
Bager/baker lærling baker assistant
Baneformann foreman at the railroad
Banevokter length man
Bankbogholder bank accountant
Bergarbeider mine worker
Bergverksarbeider mine worker
Bestyrer manager
Besøkende visitor
Betjent assistant, servant
Betler beggar
Bibliotekar librarian
Biskop bishop
Blikkenslager tinsmith
Bog/bok trykker book printer
Bog/bok binder book binder
Bokhandler book seller
Bokholder bookkeeper
Bonde farmer
Borgerkrig soldat soldier in the civil war
Borgemester mayor
Brannmann fireman
Brennevinsbrenner distiller of spirits
Brendevins handler liquor dealer
Bruger/bruker farmer/ user of a farm
Brygge arbeider dock worker
Brygger brewer
Bryggeri arbeider brewery worker
Budeie milkmaid
Bundtmager/maker furrier
Bureiser settler
Butikk dame sales woman in a store
Butikk sjef store manager
Bygde folk country people, villagers
Byggmester master builder, contractor
Bygnings arbeider construction worker
Bygsel mann leaseholder
Bødkemester master cooper, barrel maker
Bøksel mand lease holder
Bønder farmers
Børsemager/maker gunsmith
Båd/båtbygger ship builder

C[edit | edit source]

Cammerrrad chamber councilor
Cancelliraad same as above
Cand. Juris Bachelor of Laws
Cautionister witnesses, sponsors
Contorist secretary, office worker
Copist transcriber

D[edit | edit source]

Dagsarbeider day laborer
Danne kvinde gentlewoman
Dannemann gentleman
Degn pariah clerk
Diakon deacon, male nurse
Dosent associate professor
Dommer judge
Domprost cathedral dean
Dragon light cavalryman
Dreng boy, farm hand
Dug/duk mager/maker sail maker
Dyrlege veterinarian

E[edit | edit source]

Enroullert enrolled
Eier owner
Ekspeditør shopkeeper
Elektriker electrician
Embedsmand civil servant
Emigrant emigrant
Emissær travelling lay preacher

F[edit | edit source]

Faarehyrde shepherd
Fabrikk arbeider factory worker
Farger dyer
Fattig folk poor folk
Fattiglem pauper
Fehandler person in the cattle business
Felemaker fiddle maker
Felespiller fiddle player
Fell maker rug maker
Fenrik ensign, second lieutenant
Fergemann ferryman
Fisker fisherman
Fiskehandler fish merchant
Fjøsstell dairy management
Flaademand log driver
Flaadmand ferry man
Flødnings arbeider log floating worker
Fmd. “føderaadsmand” or pensioner
Fogd bailiff, sheriff
Forbryter criminal
Forettningsmand businessman
Forfatter writer, author
Forhen. previous
Forhenværende previous
Forlover best man, sponsor
Forlovede fiancé
Forløftningsmænd guarantors
Forman foreman, supervisor
Formynder guardian
Forpakter leaseholder
Forvalter manager
Fotograf photographer
Fraktmand cargo handler, transporter
Frisør dame hairdresser
Fullmektig head clerk, agent
Fylkesmand county governor
Fylkesrådmand county commissioner
Fyrbøter stoker, lighthouse keeper
Fyrmester lighthouse boss
Færdesmand traveler
Føderaad pensioner
Føderaadsmand, føderaadskone owned the farm before adult children take over
Førnemde the former, previously mentioned
Fører pilot, guide, operator
Fårehyrde shepherd

G[edit | edit source]

Grdbr., selveier farmer, owner
Gaar i dagleie working as a daylaborer
Gaar paa skole in school
Gaardbruger/bruker farmer
Gaard far head of household
Gardsfolk farmers
Gartner gardener
Garver tanner
Garver svend tanner apprentice
General løyntnant lieutenant general
Gevorben enlisted
Gjestgiver innkeeper
Gjeter shepherd
Gjetergutt shepherd boy
Gjørtler brazier, brass smith
Godseier estate owner
Guldsmed Goldsmith
Graver sexton, grave digger
Grenader grenadier, infantryman
Grenselos border pilot
Grossist wholesaler
Grovsmed blacksmith
Grube arbeider miner
Grunnlegger founder
Gråsten arbeider stonecutter
Gårdsarbeider farmer, field hand
Gårdsbestyrer farm manager
Gårdsfolk farm people, owners or tenants
Gårds gutt farm boy
Gårdsbruker farmer
Gårdmann farm owner

H[edit | edit source]

Haandværker tradesman
Hammersmed hammer smith
Handelsbestyrer shop manager
Handelsbetjent salesman, shop assistant
Handelsfuldmægtig business agent
Handelsmand merchant, trader
Hanskemaker glove maker
Hattemaker hat maker
Heradsskriver district taxation registrar
Hjelpepleier enrolled nurse
Hjulmaker wheelwright
Husbestyrinde housekeeper
Huseier homeowner
Hushjelp housemaid
Husholderske housekeeper
Husmand cottager, tenant farmer, crofter
Husmand med jord cottager who rented a small plot of land
Husfader head of household
Husmoder house wife
Hustru wife
Høker small grocer/ shopkeeper, huckster
Høvedsmand fishing boat master, shack master
Håndlanger assistant, hodman
Håndverker tradesman
Håndsverksvend journeyman

I[edit | edit source]

Inderst renter, lodger on a farm
Indehaver owner
Indsitter renter, lodger
Ingeniør engineer
Innvandrer immigrant
Isskjauer dockhand
Isskjærer ice cutter

J[edit | edit source]

Jaegere elite troops of the army
Jeger hunter, trapper
Jeger light infantry soldier
Jernbane arbeider railroad worker
Jernbane fuldmektig managing clerk at the railroad
Jernverks arbeider mine worker
Jord arbeider farm worker, field worker
Jordbruker farmer
Jordbruksarbeider farm hand, farm worker
Jordeier landowner, landed proprietor
Jordløs husmand cottager without land
Jordmor midwife
Jordrotten landowner
Journalist journalist
Jungmand ordinary seaman
Jurist lawyer
Justis justice, administration of justice
Jæger hunter
Jætergut shepherd boy
Jøkel glacier

K[edit | edit source]

retired man living on his own farm with accommodations and support
Kadet cadet (army)
Kapelan curate, cleric who assists the priest, deacon
Kaptein captain
Karetmaker coach builder
Kasserer treasurer
Kaveringsmand best man
Kemner town treasurer
Kgl. Fuldmægtig royal attorney
Kongelig fuldmægtig royal attorney
Kirkesanger church singer
Kirkeverge church warden
Kirurg surgeon
Kjelearbeider boiler worker
Kjæreste lover, sweetheart, friend
Kjøpmand merchant
Kjørekarl driver of a horse
Klokker bell ringer, parish clerk, sexton
Kommune arbeider local government worker
Konditor confectioner
Konduktør railway conductor
Kone wife
Konsulent consultant
Kontor betjent office clerk
Kontorfuldmægtig head clerk
Kontormand office clerk
Kontrollør inspector, supervisor
Kranfører crane operator
Kreaturstel cattle herder
Krigsfange prisoner of war
Krigsminister minister of war
Kræmmer shopkeeper
Krøpling cripple
Kuldbrenner charcoal burner
Kuldhugger coal miner
Kuldhandler coal dealer
Kurvmaker basket maker
Kusk coachman, teamster
Kvartermester chief petty officer
Kystvakt coastguard
Kæmner town treasurer
Kårfolk retired, elderly couple living on their farm and receiving support

L[edit | edit source]

Lagerarbeider warehouse laborer
Lagrettsmand court member
Landhandler rural store owner
Landsfogd county police commissioner
Lasaron tramp, bum
Laugverge widow’s guardian
Legdekjerring woman on welfare
Legdekall man on welfare
Legdslem welfare recipient
Leieboer tenant
Leilending leaseholder, tenant farmer
Lekmand lay preacher
Lensmand sheriff
Likrøver grave robber
Livsarving heir, issue
Livsfange life prisoner
Logerende lodger
Losoldermand pilot master (ship)
Lutbrukar using a part of a farm
Læregutt apprentice
Lærer teacher
Lærerinde female teacher
Lærling apprentice, assistant
Løitnant lieutenant
Løsarbeider day laborer
Løskarl free hand, takes any job that comes along
Låsesmed locksmith

M[edit | edit source]

Magistrate town administrator, magistrate
Major major, squadron leader
Maler painter
Malersvend painter apprentice
Malmlaster ore loader
Mandskap crew
Marine navy
Maskinist engineer
Masovn arbeider blast furnace worker
Matros sailor
Medeier part owner
Medhjelper assistant, helper
Megler mediator, negotiator
Mekaniker mechanic
Menig soldier with rank of private
Messing smed brazier, brass smith
Mester master of a trade
Mestermand executioner
Militær military
Mine arbeider mine worker
Minister priest
Misjonær missionary
Montør fitter
Murarbeider brick layer
Murer brick layer
Musiker musician
Mægler mediator, negotiator
Møbel snekker furniture maker/carpenter
Møller miller
Møllearbeider worker at a mill

N[edit | edit source]

Nabo neighbor
Nyder almisse receives charity
Nyder vildkaar person receiving pension paid by new owner of the farm

O[edit | edit source]

Oberst colonel
Odelsberettiget freehold right
Odelsbonde freeholder, allodialist
Odelsgutt oldest son with right to inherit the farm
Odelsjente oldest daughter with inheritance right
Ombudsmand trade-union representative
Omflakkende handelsmand traveling salesman
Omgangs skolelærer circuit teacher
Omreisende handelskarl traveling salesman
Omvandrende persons moving from place to place
Oppsitter leaseholder, tenant farmer, occupant
Oppsynsmand supervisor, inspector, warden
Optiker optician
Ordfører mayor

P[edit | edit source]

Pakkhus arbeider ware house worker
Parykk maker wig maker
Pastor vicar, minister
Pensjonær boarder
Pensionist retired person
Permitert be on leave
Pige/Pike girl, maid, unmarried female
Plate arbeider sheet metal worker
Pleieassistant nursing assistant
Politiker politician
Postbud postman, mail carrier
Pottemaker potter
Praest priest
Preses president, chairman
Privat lærer private teacher
Prost/provst senior rector, dean
Pølsemaker sausage maker

Q[edit | edit source]

Quinde female person
Quindemenneske female person

R[edit | edit source]

Radiorelegrafist radio operator
Redactør chief editor
Rector head teacher
Reparatør repairman, mender
Representant representative
Repslager ropemaker
Revisor auditor
Ridder knight
Ritmester cavalry captain
Roarskarl oarsman
Rydningsmand pioneer, original clearer of land
Rytter cavalryman
Rørlegger plummer
Rådmand councilman

S[edit | edit source]

Sadelmagerlærling saddle maker’s apprentice
Sagarbeider miller
Sagbruksarbeider sawmills worker
Sagmester master saw miller
Sakfører attorney
Salmaker saddle maker
Seildukmaker canvas maker
Seilmaker sail maker
Sekretær secretary
Selveier owner, freeholder
Sersjant sergeant
Sildearbeider herring processing
Sjauer dockhand, long shore man
Sjef chief, manager
Sjøfarende seafaring, sailor
Sjøfolk seaman
Sjøkadett naval cadet
Sjøkaptein captain on a vessel
Sjåfør chauffer, driver
Skarpretter hangman, executioner
Skarpskytter sharpshooter
Skattefut tax collector
Skipsfører ship’s captain
Skieløber skier, infantry soldier on skies
Skifterettsdommer probate judge
Skipper skipper
Skipsbygger shipbuilder
Skipstømmermand carpenter onboard a ship, carpenter building ship
Skoemager shoemaker
Skogsarbeider lumberjack, logger, forest worker
Skogfut forest bailiff
Skogridder forest manager
Skogvokter forester
Skoleholder schoolmaster, teacher
Skolemester schoolmaster
Skomager shoemaker
Skomagerdreng shoemaker apprentice
Skomagersvend shoemaker journeyman
Skrabhandler scrap dealer
Skraeder tailor
Skreppekar peddler
Skriver writer, scribe
Skrædder tailor
Skræddermester master tailor
Skurekone cleaning lady
Slagter butcher
Slakter butcher
Smedlærling blacksmith apprentice
Smedmester master blacksmith
Småbruker a farmer of a small farm
Snedker carpenter
Sogneprest parish priest
Soldat soldier, usually an infantryman
Sorenskriver magistrate, probate judge
Spillemand fiddler, musician
Spinderi arbeider spinning mill worker
Spinderske female spinner
Staldkarl stall groom
Stamfar progenitor
Stasjonsmester station master at the railroad
Statsminister prime minister
Stattholder governor, vice regent
Sten arbeider stone worker
Stenhugger stone cutter
Straffange prisoner
Strandsitjar person renting a cottage near or at the coastline
Strandsitter person renting a cottage near or at the coastline
Strikkerske knitter
Strygerske ironer, laundry maid
Stubbebryter stump puller
Student student
Stuepige chambermaid
Stuert steward
Styrer ruler, director
Styrmand ships mate
Støber/støper foundry worker
Svend/svenn journeyman
Svensk Swedish
Sygepleierske nurse
Sykepleier nurse
Sypige/sypike seamstress
Søfarende sailor
Sølvverksarbeider silver smelter worker
Sømand seaman

T[edit | edit source]

Tambur drummer (soldier)
Tannlege dentist
Tegelbrænder brick/tile burner
Tekstil arbeider textile worker
Telegrafist telegraph operator
Tiener servant
Tieneste dreng servant boy, farm hand
Tieneste pige servant girl
Tigger beggar
Tilsynsmand supervisor
Timmermand lumberman
Tjener servant, farm hand
Tjeneste dreng servant boy, farm hand
Tjeneste folk servants, domestic or hired hands
Tjeneste gutt servant boy, farm hand
Tjeneste karl male employee
Tjeneste kone female servant
Tjeneste jente servant girl
Tjeneste pige servant girl
Tjeneste quinde female servant
Tollbetjent costums officer
Tomte arbeider working at a building site
Trædreier wood turner
Træsliper worker at a pulp mill
Tuskhandel barter
Tvangsfange prisoner at hard labor
Typograf typographer
Tyskertøs German tart
Tyv thief
Tømmer arbeider lumber jack, lumber man
Tømmerflaader log driver (down the river)
Tømmerfløter log driver (down the river)
Tømmerhugger logger
Tømmerfut saw mill owner

U[edit | edit source]

Ufør crippled
Uhrmager/urmaker watchmaker
Underskrevne the undersigned
Ungkarl bachelor
Utkommandert called, mobilized
Utvandrer emigrant
Utyske monster

V[edit | edit source]

Vaegter public watcher
Vanfør crippled, disabled
Vanskapt deformed, handicapped
Vaskekone cleaning woman
Vegarbeider road worker
Veiarbeider road worker
Vejarbeider road worker
Vekter public watchman
Verge guardian
Verksarbeider factory worker
Verkseier factory owner
Veterinær veterinarian
Vever weaver
Veveriarbeider worker in a weaving factory
Vesjemaker weave spool maker
Vikar substitute
Visegutt errand boy
Vitne witness
Vognmaker wagon maker

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Norway,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1997-1998.