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Norwegian Info
Posted by: Felix Unger Date: July 06, 2000 at 18:09:12
In Reply to: Re: Mortenson/Mortensen.Norway - Us. <1900 by Kim of 128


Norway has some "tricks" about naming people.
Also, OSLO was known as CHRISTIANIA in much of the 1800's and up until the late 1920's.

Try some of the following for Norwegian info:


The Norwegian community Aardal (Årdal) has at least two “bygdeboker” (community family history books), one by Jon Laberg, and one by the community itself, both titled Årdal. The name Årdal would mean the ancestor gave the community name for his family name at the time of immigration.

The “bygdeboker” give fairly detailed info on the people who lived on these farms. If you could put together the first name and father's name, with info on the date and place of emigration, and spouse, etc. you might then be able to locate the farm and family connections.


Gustav Knutsen Tufthaugen

Gustav - his first name
Knutsen - means "son of Knut".
Tufthaugen - the name of the farm he lived on

This means: There were almost no family names in Norway (only among rich people). And this means: To find the father of Gustav Knutsen Tufthaugen, you have to look for "Knut-son-of-someone-else", at the farm Tufthaugen. Gustav's children would then have the surnames GustavSEN, if it's a boy, and GustavsDATTER if it's a girl.

NOTE: This system of giving names slowly changed after 1860, until it became the same as in North America by 1900.

- - Historisk Institutt, Bergen (contact: Jan Oldervoll @ E-Mail - -

“Sons of Norway” web page - - gives access to many Norway genealogy web sites. The best one is the 1801 census for all of Norway, and on that page you have access to the 1865, 1875, and 1900 census for all or most of Norway. The records in Norway are overseen by the History Department at the University of Bergen.

The Census of Norway from the year 1801, presented by The Department of History, University of Bergen. They say:

We have a digital letter-by-letter copy of the original census, organized by parish. On every person there are 14 variables. The parishes (approx. 300) have been grouped by counties (17). For every parish you will find information on every person living there on February 1, 1801. You can search all 14 variables. Some of you may prefer to have the text of the census automatically translated into English. You may even search nationwide, on farm, first name or surname. Some of you may want to read about Norwegian naming practices.

The census has been coded as well. The wealth of information of the original census has been reduced to a few categories such as farmer, cottager, married, unmarried. This version is well suited for statistical analysis. This coded version has been translated into English. From the coded version a household database has been generated. In this base we have approx. 100 variables on every household in 1801.

Emigration list for Bergen Harbour 1874-1924

Bergen was the second largest emigration harbour of Norway, after Christiania (Oslo). All emigrants were entered by the police into a record. Only records from 1874 and onward have survived. We have digitalized the records before 1924. You may search them year by year or by the municipality the emigrant was born or lived in. You may also search all the material by given name or surname.

Genealogical Links - Click to see a list of genealogical links.

The Norwegian Embassy or Consulate can supply you with a very good free booklet which includes the subject of naming practices. The Consulate in New York City has good information. It is a booklet on Genealogy in Norway. Contact them through the Norwegian Information Service, 825 Third Ave, NY, NY 10022.

A good site that describes Norwegian naming practices:
- - is under - -

John Borgos' home page at:
- - is full of good info for the “uninitiated” doing research on Norwegian ancestors !

“Ancestors from Norway” - -
from here, go also to “Norway-L” mail list Be warned -- it's a very popular (read “busy”) list, prepare for lots of mail !

Another site that might be of some assistance:
- -

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