Norway Societies

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There are several societies and organizations in Norway that may have information of value to your genealogical research. Most local communities in Norway have a genealogical and historical society of some type. Many of these groups publish books and periodicals. For more information, see the "Genealogy" and "Periodicals" sections.

Bygdelag[edit | edit source]

There may also be some societies in the country your ancestor immigrated to, especially in the United States. You may find it helpful to join one of these societies and support their efforts. The bygdelags (community societies) in the United States are made up of descendants of people who emigrated to North America from Norway. Presently there are 30 affiliated lag (societies). Every lag seeks to preserve and strengthen bonds with its home district or community of origin in Norway. You may find it helpful to join and support one of these societies. For information about these bygdelags go to:


Genealogical Societies[edit | edit source]

The major Genealogical society in the United States that emphasizes Norwegian research is:

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center (NAGC) (see below) can help you find out if there is a society for the area your ancestors came from.

Formerly known as: Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library (VGC/NL)
415 West Main Street
Madison, WI 53703 -3116
Telephone: 608-255-2224
Fax: 608-255-6842
Obtain membership from:
Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library (NAGC & NL)
415 W. Main St.
Madison, WI 53703-3116
Telephone: (608) 255-2224
Fax: (608) 255-6842

The Center is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, and on Wednesday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.  Please telephone ahead if you want a researcher to work with you.

Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library (NAGC & NL) is now publishing Norwegian Tracks,an informative genealogy newsletter printed 3 times per year, detailing information about new NAGC & NL acquisitions and other items of help to genealogists.  This publication is sent to members only.

The change from Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library (NAGC & NL) to Norwegian American Genealogical Center (NAGC/NL) took place 1 January 2007. Prior to this date Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library was part of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
523 W. Water St.
Decorah, Iowa 52101
Telephone: (563) 382-9681

For more information, see the "Periodicals" section.

Many societies have collections that could provide information on Norwegian ancestors.  For example, The Norwegian-American Association ([1]) in Northfield, Minnesota, has a file known as the "Rowberg" file. Andrew A. Rowberg started this file in 1914, using articles about Norwegian Americans from Norwegian American newspapers. The articles included obituaries; wedding and birth announcements, and information about weddings, anniversaries, promotions, honors, Norway visits, and other events. Short articles are mounted on cards, and longer articles are mounted in scrapbooks. Reference cards indicate volumes and page numbers to these scrapbooks. Each article gives the newspaper's name and date of issue. This file also refers to biographical information in a number of Norwegian-American periodicals.
This information is available on microfiche in the Author/Title search of the FamilySearch Catalog under "Rowberg, Andrew A.". It is listed in the Subject search under:
It is also listed in the Place search under:

Societies in Norway[edit | edit source]

The Norwegian Genealogical Society publishes the periodical Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift (Norwegian Family History Periodical). It is Norway's oldest national association for genealogists. It was founded in 1926 and has now approximately 1800 members in both Norway and abroad. Its emphasis has been on middle and upper class families. However, recently they have also shown interest in common people, especially farmers. For more information, see the "Periodical" and "Genealogy" sections.

Contact by email:
Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening

Visit their Library:

Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening
Industriveien 6
1473 Lørenskog
Telephone: 47 77 06 77
The Library is closed holidays, during summer vacation, and the week of Christmas and Easter.  If arrangement is being made ahead of time they will at times be open upon request.
Here you may make use of the association's large collections of genealogy books (Bygdebøker) or farm books.
The main purpose of the society is - and has always been - to publish articles and other literature with the goal to increase the knowledge of family history and genealogy in Norway.

The members of the society will each year receive two issues of Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift, as well as two issues of the members magazine Genealogen. In addition to this they regularly publish new and revised edition of Hvem forsker hva i norsk genealogi (Who researches what in Norwegian genealogy) a publication that contributes to establish contact between genealogists all over the country and abroad.
For issues of Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift (Norwegian Family History Periodical) available in the Family History Library see the Periodical and Genealogy sections.

Genealogy Society of Norway - DIS-NORGE
DIS-Norway is the country's largest association for genealogists, with nearly 9000 members. DIS-Norway was founded on January 12, 1990. The association's mission is to create a nationwide forum for family and personal history in which data processing and the Internet are used as aid. It's mission includes spreading knowledge about this effort and encouraging genealogical research in Norway.
We have 19 sections which cover all the country's counties. All members are affiliated with a section. Members in these sections coordinate the local activity of the association. They organize meetings, evening workshops, and courses. Those activities that take place in each section are announced on the home page for the individual section. Most sections have begun with listing of grave sites and parish registration. This is a huge volunteer activity that is done so that we all are able to obtain easier access to the sources.
Much of our activity is based on the Internet and electronic mail (e-mail). Genealogy Forum and DISchat are services that allow contact between the members and where answers to questions about computing and genealogy can be obtained.
Our membership magazine, Slekt og Data (Genealogy and Data), is a magazine with a variety of content that will be of interest to all genealogy and local history enthusiasts. The magazine is published four times a year. Members can read all past issues on our website. Besides the activity on the local level the Society has a board that is elected at biennial congress. The association office is located in Oslo where it shares office space with the Norwegian Genealogical Society. This office locale is called Slektforskernes Hus (Genealogists House) and is staffed by an office manager and two part-time employees.
DIS-Norway has two subject areas, one for the internet and one for related genealogy study activities. In addition, major projects are established as needed. Current projects are "Gravminner i Norge" (Grave Stone in Norway), DIStreff (DIS meeting), Parish Register, and "Create Genealaogy Books". Often working groups are established for more limited initiatives.
Currently, a group is working on establishing ethical guidelines for the association and for related research activities while another group is working on recommendations to genealogists for bequeathing research materials.
We are affiliated with two of Norway's cultural heritage associations, Norges Kulturvernforbund and Folkekulturforbundet (FOLK). We have good cooperation with the National Archival Services of Norway (Riksarkivet). We work together with other Scandinavian genealogy associations through Nordic Genetic Research Resource Center (NORDGEN).

Ovre Slottsgate 2 b (4. etg.)
Oslo 0157
Telephone: 47-22-33-30-30
Open: Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Historical Societies in Norway and United States
[edit | edit source]

Norwegian historical societies can be valuable sources of information. Similar societies exist in countries where Norwegian emigrants settled. These societies often collect information about Norwegian immigrants. Some may have information about specific Norwegian individuals. Many societies have special books and manuscript collections for Norway that may be difficult to find in libraries and archives. (See the reference to bygdelags above) Other historical societies that may be of interest include:

Sons of Norway, International Headquarters
1455 West lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Telephone: 612-827-3611

Norway Office:
(Sons of Norway)
Bernt Balchen Lodge 8-003
President: Jostein Handegard
Havreveien 57A
4635 Kristiansand
Phone: 47-38-04-43-59

Landslaget for Lokalhistorie since 1922 (countrywide organization for local history since 1922). This organization publishes the periodical Heimen (the Home), as well as Lokalhistorisk Magasin since 1990.
Landslaget for Lokalhistorie
Historisk Institutt
7491 Trondheim
Phone: 47-73-59-63-95
Fax: 47-73-59-64-41

Norsk Lokalhistorisk Institutt NLI (Norwegian Local History Institute)
Norsk Lokalhistorisk Institutt
Observatoriegata 1b
0254 Oslo

Contact by mail:
Norsk Lokalhistorisk Institutt
Postboks 8045
Dep., 0031 Oslo
Phone: 47-22-92-51-30
Fax: 47-22-92-51-31

Their library is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or you may make an appointment. Please telephone at 47-22-92-51-35.

Norsk Lokalhistorisk Institutt coordinates the work of most of the local historical societies in Norway. It can give information and addresses for most local history societies in Norway.

Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

Norway Historical Society
471 Main St. Norway
ME 04268
Telephone: (207) 743-7377

Norwegian Historical Association
Den norske historiske forening (HIFO)
Universitetet i Agder
Institutt for religion, filosofi og historie
Postboks 422
4604 Kristiansand
Telephone: 401 64 360

Norwegian - American Historical Association
1510 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN
55057-1097 USA
Telephone: (507) 786-3221