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Families from Hardanger, help with more information?

Replies: 10

Re: Families from Hardanger, help with more information?

Posted: 1360537903000
Classification: Query
Traditional Norwegian naming patterns are different than German and probably much similar to patronymic Danish names.
In large Norwegian cities, ports that did a great deal of business with non-Scandinavian countries, and/or cities strongly influenced by the Hanseatic League you will find variants on the traditional rural naming patterns. But you and I are dealing with a very rural area -- Hardanger region -- specifically Odda, Ullensvang and Kinsarvik (OUK is my own acronym for the area) so we make ourselves familiar with the traditional patterns.
Søndre Bergenhuus is an older name for Hordaland. Hardanger is an ancient traditional region but not an administrative division of the government or church.

(Aside -- I checked my own family tree files briefly. My 3rd great-grandfather was born on another Odda farm in 1804. If YOUR farmily was walking to church in Odda from Seljestad or Bru they could have waved at him as they walked by since his farm of birth was directly in between those locations... but my family didn't live there for too many more years, they were poor non-owner tenant farmers and moved to another location before he was 10 or 12. I just found that an amusing mental image.)

I wrote a general "help get you started" file some time back that I'll include here and save myself much time this evening. I know a great deal about the specific 'OUK' area so I will probably not be able to resist adding more as I think of it. You are of course welcome to ask me specific questions too. (I'm in the US - a descendant of Norway born emigrants who settled in Iowa; no Germans, no Danes, no Swedes -- but I'm now researching Swedes for my spouse anyway -- darn.)

The real joy of this hobby is being able to do it yourself. You can! There are a number of excellent materials available online for your study and the number of Norwegian resources available online for research increases almost daily. Study, practice, enjoy!

Ancestors From Norway articles (
Portal to Norway research guidance of LDS Family History Library (
Tips on Using Digitalarkivet (
Norwegian census abbreviations (
Norwegian censuses on NHDC website, instructions included (
FamilySearch has a large number of Norwegian births and marriages indexed (

Help for translating many of your finds (
Making the Norwegian alphabet characters (

Online study material to learn about Norwegian naming practices and patterns.

Norwegian censuses of 1910, 1900,1875 (only partially online), 1865 and 1801 are online as searchable databases. Two websites with different search functions and strengths can be used.

The detail available in the extensive parish church records is a marvelous gift from Norway. The Digitalarkivet web site has been adding scanned images of the original Norwegian parish church records for anyone with Internet access since November 2005. To be able to use the parish records you must first know WHERE in Norway you want to search for this documentation.

The Digitalarkivet web site - (
An English option is available by clicking on that word from either the left hand column or the blue link bar along the bottom of the homepage.
The scanned images are available from the homepage link "Skanna kyrkjebøker" [Norwegian version]/"Digitised parish records" [English version] which is listed along the left hand column and from the blue banner of links along the top section of the homepage.
When you click on that link another page will present a short list of choices - choose "Read the digitized parish registers"[English version]/"Lesa skanna kykrebøker" [Norwegian version].
After you've clicked on that link and a new main page has presented on the screen be sure and read the instructions that are available from the Digitalarkivet for navigating the scanned records. The instructions are available in Bokmål (official Norwegian), Nyorsk (Norwegian), Davvisámegiella (Saami), and English.
Recommended basic reading are the "Startsiden" [Norwegian version]/"Main page" [English version], "Brukerveiledning" [Norwegian version]/"User's guide" [English version] and "Om tjenesten" [Norwegian version]/"About this service" [English version].

Good information about translating the formats of Norwegian parish church records during various time periods, many of the basic terms used and understanding how to use the information should be studied at this web site -

For the protection of privacy, there are limits for how recent records can be:

- Birth and baptism records up to and including 1929
- Confirmation records up to and including 1934
- Marriage and banns records - no limits
- Civil marriage up to and including 1950
- Death, burial and stillbirth records up to and including 1930
- Migration records - no limits
- Joins and leavings of the State Church up to and including 1950
- Records about dissenters up to and including 1950

If you cross these limits while browsing a register or a list, you will not see the digitised image, but a message informing you that the image cannot be displayed.

Norway has a tradition of publishing history and genealogy books for many rural districts of the country called 'bygdebøker'. You might be lucky enough to have had ancestors from one of the areas which has one or more good 'bygdebøker' published about it.
Learn about 'bygdebøker' (
Bygdebøker and Ættarbøker can be helpful but are definitely secondary sources of information -- any research done in them should be verified in the primary sources such as the parish church records.

Your family on Seljestad farm in 1801 - last family listed. They are also just tenants as my family was not far away. (Just add these spelling variations to your collection and keep good notes.)
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
NJSande 1360479584000 
peder27 1360497671000 
peder27 1360499342000 
thoraway 1360501015000 
NJSande 1360520257000 
thoraway 1360523198000 
NJSande 1360525520000 
thoraway 1360528707000 
thoraway 1360537903000 
NJSande 1360545834000 
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