Norwegian ministers started the registration of births/christenings, engagements/marriages and deaths/burials in the 17th century.
The oldest parish register, or kirkebok (church record), that is kept, is from Andebu dated 1623. From around 1720 parish registers became more frequent and detailed in more and more parishes.
In 1812 the first set registers were made, and the ministers got a norm to follow when filling in the information. These registers were improved in 1820 and 1877.
Registers about newborns include for example:
There was one section each for boys and girls.
Records about married couples include for example:
Wedding information is commonly found in the parish registers from the home parish of the bride.
Burial records include for example:
Sometimes special notes are made about certain events, accidents etc. The parish clerk normally kept a separate register with similar information and where parish registers have been lost, information can be found in his klokkerbok.
Parish registers also have sections for:
The original parish registers are usually kept with the local church until 80 years after the last entry, until they are deposited with the regional state archives. All Norwegian parish registers up to around 1930 that are deposi-ted with the regional state archives, are scanned and available on the Digital Archives. Many public libraries also have copies of parish registers available on microfilm or -fiche.
The information in parish registers is restric-ted for use until it is 60 years old, in some cases 80 or 100 years old.
Information can vary from parish to parish and over time. Unfortunally much informa-tion is often missing. Please note that the old parish registers are written in gothic style handwriting and that the ministers’ handwriting often can be very difficult to decipher.