– so if you, like Richard Ayoade, Sophie Dahl, and the British Royal Family, have Norwegian relatives: Here are some tips to how you can find them!
Norwegian emigration in a nutshell
In the 1500s and 1600s, the timber trade with the Netherlands lead a second wave of Norwegian emigrants. And in the 19h century, over 800 000 Norwegians – meaning almost 25% of the population at the time - emigrated to the USA. With the exception of Ireland, no other country sent a larger percentage of its people to the US than Norway.
Are you a Viking?
But as all genealogists know, when tracing back relatives as far back as to the Vikings, we are more or less all related. And documents and sources back then were sketchy at the best. Luckily, the Norwegian archive methods have improved since then.
Discover your Norwegian relatives
This again means that if you are of Norwegian descent, and you know the name of your ancestors, you are very likely to be able to find clues – and maybe even be able to connect to an existing family tree – on MyHeritage. If you haven’t tried it already - Go to www.myheritage.com to register.
Enter the code AncestryHour to claim your discount. But be quick! The offer is only valid until the end of October!
Church records and census data
As early Norwegian law made membership in the Lutheran State Church mandatory, these records cover close to 100% of the population, and are hence invaluable when searching for Norwegian relatives.
Some parish registers date from the 1600s, but most begin after 1700. – and as Kirkebøker were updated regularly, it is often easier to trace movements in these compared to census data. Just make sure you search in the correct parish – they might have merged or changed name over time!
National Censuses were conducted in Norway in 1769, 1801, and every tenth year from 1815 up to and including 1875. From 1890 (1891) a population census has been taken every tenth year. From a genealogical point of view, the best census is from 1801, because it lists the individual's name, age, occupation, and family status.
Where to find Norwegian records online
But please note that the work is currently ongoing, and that not all records are complete or indexed yet. So it you don’t find a hit in the links below immediately, don’t despair!
Good Luck! Or as we say in Norway: Lykke til!
- and don't forget to claim your discount! Enter the code AncestryHour to receive a 30% discounts on all MyHeritage products!
This blog post is written by Trine Knudsen Dabbadie, who is an advisor for MyHeritage in Norway.