This page points to some good links to Norwegian and Nordic resources, but here's also information for everyone interested in genealogy.
Internet already has many useful resources for the genealogist, and we have scarcely seen the beginning. These resources can be divided into:
- sources than can be downloaded (complete files),
- sources that can be searched (searchable information),
- sources that can be asked (people who know)
- sources of the 'catalogue' type (lists telling about available information),
- in addition there are many tools for organizing the information (genealogy programs).
Among the downloadable sources two types could be very useful:
- 'primary sources' (transcriptions of church registers and censuses, to name the two most important),
- 'secondary souces' (genealogic writings based upon information from primary sources - for instance 'bygdebøker').
At the moment the demand for information seems to be far greater than the supply in both groups, and this situation will probably last - and get worse. Most of the primary sources have to be transcripted. This is a labourous task that takes time and costs money, and most people like to get paid for their efforts. So do the big archives, too.
The secondary sources - well, many enthusiasts have made their writings and findings available, and these files can be downloaded and used (but not sold!). But most of the secondary sources are books, which cost money to publish. So, who will put their sources - primary or secondary - on the Web if there's no money back to cover their expenses and pay for the work?
Don't dispair, many Norwegian genealogists made a lot of 'goodies' available at their sites. To find what you're seeking will be like hitting the famous needle in the haystack, only far more difficult: There are so many 'haystacks', and your 'needle' needn't be in any of them. But there is a place to start and a method to use. The Norwegian search engine Kvasir should be your starting point. Once you're there, look for the heading 'Samfunn og politikk'. Beneath it you'll find the link 'Slekt'. Click there, and a long list of links appear. Go hunting!
There are many searchable resources available on the Web. If you have some information to start with - a name, a place, a time - you may find what you're looking for by doing an on-line search in censuses or other registers.
On the other hand, if your starting knowledge is too meager or perhaps a little wrong, then you may never get hold of the information you seek, even though you're searching in the right files. These three sites cover very much of the searchable resources available right now in Norway:
The third and greatest resource field on the Net - and by a wide margin - is people. Sooner or later you'll find someone who can give you the right answer. There are two ways to find them or start searching for them:
- Using Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Kvasir – even Wikipedia,
- finding genealogical web-sites with a lot of links and using them, - using social networks (for instance Facebooks).
I mentioned a fourth resource above, sites with rich information about excisting sources. Here are some very useful sites:
- DIS Norge, which is an organisation for Norwegian genealogists (look for pages in English),
- Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, another such organisation (one English page),
- Norsk Slekt, a webzine with news and information about Norwegian genealogy (no English pages, as far as I can see),
- Slekt1 – for those who work with genealogy, a web-site with a lot of resouces and many links,
- The Norwegian Archive Net, the door to the big archives in Norway.
There are numerous genealogy pages out in the Web universe. Of course I could have made a list of all my favourites here, but my needs are not your needs, so I advice you to build your own list of favourites (and taking the job of updating the links!).
Genealogy programs? No, I'm not giving any advice in that field, except for this one: Try before you buy. (You've already got links that lead you to sites with demos of and information about such programs.)