Parish registers

Contain information on birth/baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death/burial for each inhabitant. In some cases also individual movements in/out of the parish. The parish registers where kept in chronological fashion, as the events occurred. Information on a single individual can be found in different sections of the register, or in several registers. Klokkerboken, registers upheld by the sacristans, were kept for certain periods. They were duplicates of the parish registers. If the parish register is missing, you may search there. Most parishes have registers dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

All Norwegian parish registers up to around 1930 are scanned and available at the Digital Archives.

Census Returns

Offer a picture of the conditions at certain moments in time. The entire population is listed by name, age, civil status, profession, and other data. Family members are grouped together, with information on the familial ties between them. Parish registers and census returns can be used for mutual verification. In the Digital Archives, you will find the entire returns for the 1801, 1865, 1900 and 1910 censuses as well as partial information from other 19th century censuses.

Probate registers

The estates of many deceased individuals were publicly administered. Inheritance rights and familial ties were established and entered into the Probate register. Both the closest of kin and far-removed relatives may be listed. This source may go further back than census returns and parish registers. The probate registers are now scanned and made available in the Digital Archives.

Other Sources 

The archives also include records such as tax rolls, real estate books, mortgage registers, minutes of court proceedings, fire assessment protocols, military rolls, and seaman's rolls. They all provide information on our ancestors' life and times.

Records of emigrants from 1867-1930 kept at the police headquarters in the major coastal towns are also useful sources when tracing Norwegians who emigrated abroad.

Off-Limits Material

Many recent sources are off-limits due to privacy rights. As a genealogist, you do not have right of access to these sources, not even if you are related to the person in question. Parish registers and probate registers are off-limits for at least 60 years after their date of issue. Census returns from 1910 and onwards are also blocked from access. If you wish to establish a family tree reaching into our times, you may use verbal information from surviving relatives.