Category Archives: Genealogy

Winona Newspaper Archive online

Winona State University has published an online archive of four Winona newspapers. This archive includes available issues of the Winona Argus, the Winona Daily Republican, the Winona Republican Herald and the Winona Daily News from 1855 to 1976 and is an excellent resource … Continue reading

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Essential reference: Nybyggerhistorie fra Spring Grove og Omegn (Settler History of Spring Grove and Region)

When his chores were done, farmer Ole S. Johnson, who lived just east of Spring Grove, traveled around the region in his horse and buggy and talked with those early settlers who were still around in the 1910s. Their generation … Continue reading

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Norwegian-language family relationship diagram

Universitetet i Bergen posted this really helpful family relationship chart showing almost all conceivable relations, including in-laws and half-siblings. There’s no translation provided, but the point of the chart is that you won’t need it.

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1940 census now indexed and searchable

A legion of FamilySearch.org volunteers have manually indexed the 1940 census line by line to come up with a searchable database of the census records. Though the entire country has not (as of today) been completely indexed, Minnesota and Iowa … Continue reading

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Visit your Norwegian ancestors’ farms without leaving home

Nothing can match the experience of traveling to Norway to visit the towns and farms where your ancestors were born and from where they emigrated, but you can now get a 360-degree drive-by view of many of those places through … Continue reading

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Hauge Lutheran Church: World War II Service Roll

This Memorial Day, NorwegianRidge.com will honor the WWII service members from Hauge Lutheran Church; fortunately, it seems that all came home from the war. The list below has been transcribed from a framed poster in the basement of the church. … Continue reading

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1940 census images released

The National Archives has released photographic images of all census forms collected in April 1940. Census records, by law, are released 72 years after collection, and the images are now available to download. FamilySearch.org has an indexing project that will … Continue reading

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Path to citizenship for the generation of immigrants

Information about naturalization, while not usually a treasure trove for a genealogist, can be helpful in confirming or discovering a few facts: the county where an ancestor lived (especially helpful during the years between censuses), their year of immigration, and … Continue reading

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Free genealogy lookups available

The Decorah Genealogy Association has an excellent library of local resources, but I also have a pretty good library of books on subjects related to Norwegian genealogy, such as Norwegian local histories (bygdeboks), printed collections of church records, and historical … Continue reading

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Historic Norwegian “Amtskart” Maps

Continuing my series on maps, here is a beautiful historic map that covers all of Norway and clearly shows farm locations. Provided by Statens Kartverk, this map is actually a searchable composite map created by stitching together  multiple historic “Amtskartene” … Continue reading

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Understanding Norwegian Naming Patterns

As you go back through the generations, you will see many different names used to describe the same family. There a few different forces of history influencing this phenomenon. Let’s clear it up a bit.

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How to Read an Ahnentafel Report

If you have been poking around your family history, you’ve probably encountered an ahnentafel (“on-en-toffle”) report. You recognize the names, but what’s with all those confusing numbers? It’s not as difficult as you think – there’s a very simple numbering … Continue reading

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Reading Old Norwegian Handwriting

When looking at old sources from Norway or even some from the US, reading the handwriting on official forms can be very difficult. There are several forms of script, as well as regional variations to make the job more confusing. … Continue reading

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