My ‘gold list’ of most valued research sources

Here it is; I’m giving away all my secrets! Well, just the obvious ones. Importantly, all are completely FREE. I do not recommend any resources that require payment. Know of any others? Please leave a comment below!

United States – Minnesota, Iowa

Find A Grave

Census – FamilySearch (mostly searchable), HeritageQuest (searchable, try to log in thru your local library), Images (download full sets)

Martin Ulvestad’s Nordmændene i Amerika (Norwegians in America, in Norsk but extremely valuable)

Digitalarkivet – United States Census 1860

Historic Map Works – Plat maps, farm directories

Online books – My own favorites


Minnesota Historical SocietyBirth Index, Death Index, State Census

Minnesota Official Marriage System

Digitalarkivet – Minnesota, United States Census 1880

FamilySearch – Minnesota State Census

Winona Newspaper Archive – Search or browse Winona papers from 1855-1976; covers Spring Grove and Wilmington (great for obituaries)

Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub – Includes the Caledonia Argus

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center – Cemetery indexes, misc. local resources


Winneshiek GenWeb – Cemetery indexmarriage index, misc. local resources

Allamakee GenWeb (a.k.a. Sharyl’s Cabin)Marriage index, misc. local resources

Iowa Gravestone Photo Project

Digitalarkivet – Iowa, United States Census 1880

FamilySearch – Iowa State Census


Digitalarkivet – Norwegian censuses, emigration records, some indexed church records, miscellaneous other indexed collections. (See this helpful English guide to Digitalarkivet.) Also hosts non-indexed images of Norwegian:

Parish Registers
Probate Records
Real Estate Records
Court Records

Norwegian Historical Data Centre – Alternative census search, parish registers

Norway-Heritage – Passenger lists and emigrant ship schedules

Oluf Rygh’s Norwegian Farm Names – Find the derivation of surnames, locations of farms

Avfotograferte slektshistoriske kilder – Images of local tax, military, legal & census records

Norgeskart – Very detailed map; also contains historical farm maps

Dano-Norwegian to English Dictionary – Dano-Norwegian was the official church language

Cemeteries in Norway – Index of graveyards, some with photos

FamilySearch batch number lookup – Browse or search records indexed in the same batch at Clears away some clutter when searching common names

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