Norway Vital Records

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Norway Genweb Project Through this web site you will find links to Norwegian bygdeboker, census, emigration, farm and parish listings, history, lookup volunteers, and research guidance in finding vital records in Norway.

Digitalarkivet Online Web Site[edit | edit source]

Finding your way around the Digital Archives  (Digitalarkivet)
Most of the materials in the Digital Archives (DA) are based on original sources (protocols and documents) in the National and Regional State Archives of Norway. In addition you will also find some source material from local and regional government as well as some from private and foreign archives. The common factor with all this information in the DA is that, in most cases, it is based on original archival materials.

Most searches can be performed from the main page Digital Archives (Digitalarkivet)

You may search all the sources (for individuals, or for properties) as well as an advanced search.  This will include all sources.  Then you may search by "select source" (from the very top of the main page), which will then give you many options.

On the left bar under "Find Sources" you will find  Most-recent-100, where you will find the most recent sources added to thei site.

Not all the information texts have been fully translated into English yet but these will follow soon.

Church Registers[edit | edit source]

Church Registers (scanned) younger than 60 years are generally not available for the general public. However lists of baptisms from 1930 and later must be controlled for information about adoptions before they can be handed out to the public. Information about most adoptions younger than 100 years is not generally available. The Digital Archives cannot show searchable information about living people and have therefore even stricter limits. At present information about baptisms up to 1910 can be made available, confirmations up to 1925 and marriages up to 1930. Lists over deceased can be shown right up to the present day, but sensitive information ( health, religion, economy, adoption etc.) is removed. These limits apply only to the databases in the Digital Archives. Digital images of the church registers have different limits. Birth and baptism records are closed for the public from 1930, confirmation records from 1935, marriage and banns records from 2005, death, burial and stillbirth records from 1926, death and burial records without cause of death from 2005, migration records from 2005, joins and leavings of the State Church from 1945 and records about dissenters from 1945.

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration refers to vital records made by the government. No civil registration occurred in Norway until 1876. Beginning that year a law required that all birth, death, and marriage information be sent to the Central Bureau of Statistics [Statistisk Sentralbyrå]. This information is used for statistical purposes only and is generally not available to the public

In 1915 the Registers of Vital Statistics [Folkeregistre] were started on a community level. They were based on information submitted by the parish offices and include information about all persons in a community and the dates in which they moved into or out of the area. They also contain information regarding taxes, voter registration, and other official business.

Register information is generally not available to the public, but occasionally specific inquiries may be answered. The Folkeregistre (People's Registrar) in the local community should be contacted first. If the information you need cannot be obtained there, you may contact the archive that houses the information for the community for help.

For many years the Registers of Vital Statistics were funded by the district government, and the information was submitted voluntarily. However, since 1946 registration has been mandatory in all districts.

Clerical Archives[edit | edit source]

The category Clerical archives include all types of source materials penned by clerics with the exception of church registers which are listed in their own category. (Includes some marriage records) 

Censuses[edit | edit source]

A censusis a list of all the inhabitants in a council area or parish at a given time. Thus only those who were present in the house or on the farm at that point of time were to be recorded.

There are two types of census; the nominative counts which gives us detailed information, and the numerical counts which only give us the number of residents arranged by district, age, occupation or other categories. The first nation-wide nominative census was in 1801. Later nominative counts were carried out in 1865, 1875, 1891 and 1900. After 1900 there has been a census every 10 years until 2000.

In addition to these there have been some nominative censuses in certain parishes at other times. There have, for example, been several counts during the 1780’s in parts of eastern Norway . For the period 1815-1855 a total of 198 lists of names, of varying quality, have been recorded. An overview of this census material can be found in Anna Tranberg: Folk og Fant, Norsk lokalhistorisk institutt 1986.

The Law of Statistics from 1907 restricts all access to state censuses for 100 years whereas the local council census has limited access for 60 years. The Digital Archives follow the 100 year rule for all the census materials, state and local council.

Male census[edit | edit source]

As opposed to a full census, the male census contains only information about the male section of the population. A male census was often related to a military purpose, often recording all able bodied men who would be available in case of war.

Tax rolls, listing all those liable to tax, both male and female, were occasionally reckoned to be among the male census. If we accept the term “male census” this would seem to be a contradiction. The tax rolls, e.g. the 2 mark tax from 1519, the Poll tax from 1645 and the Extra tax for the period 1762-1772, are therefore placed under tax-lists.

Skifte (Probate Registers)[edit | edit source]

Dei gamle norske lovane hadde i arvebolkane grundige føresegner om korleis arv skulle skiftast, men sjølve arveskiftet var ei privatsak, og vedkom ikkje nokon offentleg instans. Offentleg arveskifte (ofte berre kalla skifte) vart innført i Noreg kring midten av 1600-talet, og ved reskript av 31. mai 1690 vart det endeleg slått fast at arveskiftet på landet skulle styrast av Sorenskrivaren. I byane høyrde skifteforvaltninga under byfogden og magistraten, medan byskrivaren førte protokollen og skreiv breva. 

Christian Vs lov slo fast at offentleg skifte ikkje skulle vera påbode ved alle dødsfall. Berre når den avdøde hadde umyndige, fråverande eller utanlandske arvingar, eller dersom det ikkje var arvingar etter avdøde i det heile tatt, måtte det haldast offentleg skifte. Gjenlevande ektefelle fekk ofte løyve til å sitta i uskifta bu, og skifte vart dermed utsatt til denne skulle gifta seg på ny eller døydde. Ut på 1700-talet kom det lovføresegner som gjorde at også dei fattigaste i samfunnet slapp offentleg skifte.

Geistlege og militære hadde eigne skiftejurisdiksjonar. Dette priviligiet forsvann for dei geistlege i 1809 og for dei militære i 1824.

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