Research Resources

The internet is rife with good but obscenely expensive, or free but low-quality history and genealogy search tools; sometimes you can get lucky with them, but here are the some hand-picked history and genealogy resources that deal specifically with the Norwegian Ridge area.

Online Tools


My ‘gold list’ of online databases and resources that I turn to first. The best of the best – no clutter like Cyndi’s List.


Cemetery Map of the Norwegian Ridge Area highlighting predominantly Norwegian Lutheran burial sites

Place Names

Find location and statistical information for over 1,300 places such as villages, schools, churches and natural features in the database of Norwegian Ridge place names, covering Houston, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. Informative description of Houston County place names are found in a special excerpt.

Plat Maps

Plat maps show ownership of parcels of land. Typically each township is shown on a separate map. I have collected a list of all known online plat maps for Houston, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties.

Interactive Maps

The 1874-5 Illustrated Atlas by A. T. Andreas show farm locations – but only for those “patrons” who paid for a listing when visited by a roving salesman prior to publication.
Allamakee County
Houston County
Winneshiek County

History Resources

Online Books

Not only can you learn some really interesting history, you can view or download these history eBooks for free!

Printed Books

I’ve selected some of the best books on the Norwegian Ridge area and some other research tools. You can buy most of these online.


The Minnesota Historical Society’s Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub has a free, searchable newspaper archive. Includes the Caledonia Argus.

Genealogy Resources

US Census Images has a full collection of scanned US Census images from 1790-1930. Completely free to view online and to download. No need to pay!

List of early settlers

Ole S. Johnson compiled an incredible book of biographies of early settlers to Spring Grove, Black Hammer and Wilmington. Here is a list of the early Spring Grove area settlers he identified.

Norwegian-American Genealogy Lookups

I have a pretty good library of printed books on Norwegian immigration, local history for Minnesota and Iowa, and biographies. I’ll be happy to do lookups if you’ll provide me a starting point.

Printed Books

I’ve selected some of the best books on genealogy and some other research tools. You can buy most of these online.

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