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View Diary: Oslo, Norway: A Photo Diary (36 comments)

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  •  If you haven't already done so... (3+ / 0-)
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    OceanDiver, mikidee, RiveroftheWest

    ... Norwegian genealogy research can all be done from copies of original documents that go back to the late 1600s or early 1700s (depending on which prestegjeld and fylke your ancestors were from).  Their data is online for free, thanks to the taxpayers there, and of the three Scandinavian countries, Norway's Digitalarkivet (esp. on the older section) is the easiest one to navigate.  I do genealogy research in all three countries; I have documented ancestors from seven different countries, and three of them are the three Scandinavian countries.  Denmark's records are also online for free.  Sweden let corporations use the microfilm documents for a couple of their fee-based sites (one of which was sold to a year or two ago), and the newest of the fee-based Swedish sites is making colored digital photos of the records that are already on microfilm (sometimes unreadable).

    Naturally, one has to thoroughly grasp how the patronymic naming system works to make sense of genealogy documents in all three countries - Norway went to a permanent surname/family name system by law in 1923, and between 1900-1920 in records one has a combo of old naming practices and starting the new system - but there are people to help find records and translate Dano-Norsk into modern Norwegian and English.  [I'm one of the people on the Norway List, have been since before the documents were put online, and there was only transcribed records back then.  Email list, not message board.]  The search engines are in English if one clicks on the word English, etc., and because spelling varies widely and many letters are used interchangeably as well as abbreviations, in additional to regional dialects, the 'starts with' option on the search engine is the best feature.  Also, there are no substitutes for the three extra vowels in their search engines.  Because I do research in different countries, it was just easier for me to program the keyboard layouts in my computer and use the popup menu to then type in the extra vowels.  I never remembered the Ctrl/Alt+numbers combos.

    The secret to successful genealogy research over there is getting ALL the documents available in the US - birth, marriage, death, census, etc..., BEFORE jumping over the pond to their records.  Getting documents in the US is often expensive.  Do NOT get "certified copies" only since they are retyped original records and often contain mistakes or incomplete data.  Get a photocopy of the original document!  [That must be specified; some places now do cc's of photocopies of original documents.  If they do that, it's worth the cost.]

    Great photo!  :-)

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:27:02 PM PST

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    •  Thank you for this! Sounds accessible. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, mikidee, RiveroftheWest
      •  :-) Velbekomme! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee, RiveroftheWest, OceanDiver

        :-)  It IS accessible.

        I've been doing genealogy research for 50+ years (got interested in high school) off and on.  Since I got my first computer the fall of '01, I do research daily and/or weekly, including helping others find their ancestors.  I've had the great good fortune of even finding and acquiring copies of documents that authors of certain genealogies don't list!

        What a thrill...!  I've done that more than once in researching my colonial New England ancestors.  Serendipity has been a star player in some of my finds.  :-)  Then I found one reference to my Swedish grandfather's birth location on ONE document - his youngest daughter's birth certificate when I ordered ALL of the BCs for my parents AND their siblings - and within ten minutes and a response to my query to the Sweden List I had my answers.... and lots more ancestors to document!  That knocked down a 45-year-old brick wall.  More accurately, I floated over that bloody wall!  ;-)  Oh, and as a result of that, a second cousin in Sweden found me!  She was the granddaughter of my grandfather's youngest brother who died young from a stroke when his only daughter was four months old.

        You'd be amazed at the amount of historical details you run into while researching, and how events shaped the lives of one's own ancestors.  If you're a trivia geek, you'll love genealogy research.


        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 01:48:41 PM PST

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        •  My sister has done a lot of research of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          our family, which I have benefited from (most fascinating ancestress was Susannah Martin, hung by the neck until dead during the witch hunt in 1692 Massachusetts). But my husband knows very little of his family...grandparents on both sides immigrated here. I will check out your source. Thank you!

    •  Thank you so much! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, NonnyO

      My mother's family is half Swedish so all of the stuff you pointed me to is very helpful. I have a sister who is trying to put a lot of this together.

      We buried both of my folks in 2008 in a rural Norwegian cemetery in the middle of cornfields in southern Minnesota. No one had been buried there since 1938. We quite literally dug a hole and poured the ashes in. I spent every Memorial Day there when I was a kid helping the adults mow and place geraniums on the graves. Hans Henry and John came over when they were young boys in the early 1840s. They fought in the Indian Wars and then in the Civil War - Hans Henry lost his leg in the Battle of Nashville. My Dad's brother and his wife will be buried there, as will I.

      Norwegian Circle of Life and all that ....

      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

      by mikidee on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 04:12:25 PM PST

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      •  Vesterheim Museum... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee, RiveroftheWest

        ... in Decorah, Iowa has a database of Scandinavians (mostly or all Norwegians) who served in the Civil War.  I've used their info for a couple of side lineages I researched.

        Also, while the 1890 US census burned, the 1890 US Census Veteran's Schedules survived because they were stored separately, so a couple of the people I found in the Vesterheim database I also found in the 1890 Veteran's Schedules and one had an interesting side note that of the two brothers who enlisted, the father went and took the one son home because he was under-age.

        :-)  There are all kinds of things one finds while doing research.  A serious researcher must lose all prejudices..., and remember that without these ancestors one would not exist.  You'll "meet" midwives, farmers, sailors, carpenters, and soldiers from both sides of a conflict, plus a couple of criminals (one in a side lineage allegedly murdered someone, and the newspapers have essentially the same stories..., but the details don't fit and I think she murdered her hubby and her boyfriend took the wrap for it; he committed suicide in jail before there could be a trial).  There are Patriots who were in famous battles during the Rev. War and Loyalists who were proscribed and banished, and maybe a deserter.  There are legitimate births and illegitimate births, and not a few who got married just before or after the first or second child was born.  Then there are adulterers and/or bigamists (not frequent, but I have a set of gr-grandparents...).  Occasionally one can research ancestors who will literally make you say:

        My ancestors did WHAT?!?
        If you can't get rid of the skeletons in your closet, you'd best teach them to dance!
        George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Nobel Prize for Literature: 1925)
        At some point I'll finish putzing around with editing the draft versions of diaries for how and where to do research in the three Scandinavian countries and post them here on DK.  I have more to share than just comments.

        I have specialized areas of genealogy research and know how to successfully do original research..., but I will never consider myself an expert.  I "only" know how to do research in certain states in the US and in certain countries where my own ancestors lived, so I don't know it all....

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 04:54:25 AM PST

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