Genealogy will be easier in Norway from 2020

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The year 2020 contains great news for you as a genealogist

The National Archives is constantly working to simplify access to the family history sources and the information they contain. There are especially two changes that will make your work about finding your ancestors far easier from 2020.

Through a cooperation between Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch, all church registries from the period 1815 to the 20th century will be searchable in the National Digital Archives. This cooperation that was entered into between the National Archives and the three large family enterprises contributes by far to an easier retrieval of relatives.

Read also: The Norwegian National Archives in collaboration with MyHeritage

The years from 1801 to 1865 are considered by many to be a very demanding period to find relatives. There are longer gaps in the national censuses than usual. The writing in the church books are often in Gothic.

79.2% of all Norwegian genealogists, who answered in a survey done by Slekt1 in the autumn of 2018, said that their mastering of gothics were medium or poor. Our guess is that this would be even more difficult if your first language isn’t Norwegian! This may indicate that there are many genealogists who can now get help to find previously unknown relatives from the period 1801-1865.

Content made searchable

The information that is now essentially made searchable are the notes from the church records about the baptisms for the period 1815-1929. Information about the ones who were married in the period 1815-1960 and the dead and buried from 1815-1927 will also be available.

The National Archives also considers the possibility of including information about the dead and buried right up to 1950. This can be made possible via the death lists on Statistics Norway. If this is being done, however, the cause of death will be censored.

Must relate to Norwegian law

As thanks for their work, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch will be allowed to publish the Norwegian scanned and transcribed church records on their own pages. However, they are committed to respect the Norwegian law.

In contrast to the scanned church records, the transcribed and searchable church records are considered only as secondary sources.

Poor handwriting and poor quality of the church records have in some cases resulted in a varying quality of the transcript. However, the National Archives can report that the quality of most of the transcriptions are good.

Access to the searchable church records will come on the Digital Archives in the first half of 2020.

The census of 1920 searchable in December 2020

You can start searching in the census from 1920 around the end of 2020. At that time the deadline of 100 years has expired and the volunteers should be finished with the transcription.

None of the previous national censuses in Norway have been as extensive as this one. Although the 1890 census also focused on the living conditions, housing statistics were collected far more extensively in this 1920 census.