Friday, February 4, 2011

Genealogists: Have You Tried the Digitalarkivet?

Exciting news for genealogy researchers—I received an e-mail the other day from a colleague about the Norway’s National Archives. Apparently the NNA has created a free, online, searchable archive of census information dating back to 1910!

Admittedly I’m no genealogist, but after spending a little time playing around with the archive interface, I can see how it would be super-helpful to anyone researching family history in Norway. The website allows you to search by inputting as much or as little info as you have. Some of the standard search fields include name, gender, marital status, occupation, DOB and DOD. But, if you have more information, there are other fields you can add to the search, like assumed residence, habitual residence, ethnicity, language and year of emigration. Even cooler than that is that the search doesn’t stop when your ancestor left Norway—the digital archive also allows you to search by last known residence in America and occupation in America.

Also, the searchable archive allows you to narrow your search by geographic region or fylke. This would probably be helpful for people doing geological research who are unsure about the specific city or farm where their ancestors came from.

I know there's already lots of great tools our there for conducting genealogical research, but from what I hear there’s always room for more.  This reminds me, I’ll have to make sure this site gets added to the Genealogy Cultural Skills unit. If you aren’t familiar with it, its one of the many Cultural Skills units that Sons of Norway offers to members. Other units include rosemaling, hardanger embroidery, Norwegian language and folk dancing. If you’ve never taken the time to check them out, I highly recommend it!

Ok, that’s all for today, now go try out the digital archives and let me know if its helped you make any breakthroughs in your familial search!

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