Norwegian-American Immigration and Local History:
Handbooks, Guides, and Bibliography
Compiled by Lee V. Douglas, Reference Specialist
Research Guide No. 6
1. The Census records of Norway / the Genealogical Department of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. -- Rev. -- Salt Lake
City : The Department, 1976. -- 5 p. -- (Series D / the
Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints ; no. 12)
CS913.C46 1976 <LH&G>
Describes the value, availability, and peculiarities of
Norwegian censuses from 1644 on.
2. Haugen, Einar Ingvald, 1906-
The Norwegians in America : a students' guide to localized
history / [by] Einar Haugen. -- New York : Teachers College
Press, 1967. -- vi, 40 p. : map.
This beginner's guide includes extensive bibliographic coverage
of migration, daily life, churches, and cultural contributions.
The bibliography on local history and settlements covers
Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Texas, the Far
West, Alaska, Hawaii, the settlement of Oleana, and contributions
by Norwegian seamen and engineers.
3. Hill, Dennis Auburn, 1945-
Norwegian local history : a bibliography of material in the
collections of the Memorial Library, University of
Wisconsin-Madison / Dennis Auburn Hill. -- Jefferson, N.C. :
McFarland, c1989. -- xiii, 125 p.
Z2613.H54 1989 <LH&G>
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Lists more than 1300 citations for histories of urban and rural
areas of Norway. The works referred to are "bygdebøker" (singular
bygdebok) which chronicle the lives of the inhabitants of an
area, often with vital statistics essential to the genealogical
researcher. An equivalent for the United States would be a town
or county history that included all records in the local churches
and the county clerk's office--a rare kind of book for North
America, but happily common in Norway. Arrangement is by place
name with a personal name index.
4. Nelson, Olof Nickolaus, editor.
History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the
United States. 3d rev. ed. Minneapolis, Minn.: O.N. Nelson & Co., 1900.
2 v. in 1: plates, ports.
E184 .S18 N42
Essays that tell the story of Scandinavian Americans from the earliest
Norse voyages to the date of publication, although only Norwegians, Danes,
and Swedes are included. The social life, churches and synods, educational
institutions, and individual settlements are treated in considerable detail, with
many individuals' names mentioned.
Churches are particularly well represented, and their histories discussed in detail.
There is an index of biographies included in this book, an index of portrait
photographs, and a thirty-page annotated bibliography of Scandinavian historical
literature in America. The latter includes biographies, county histories, histories
of educational and other institutions, tours of Scandinavian settlements in America,
ethnic newspapers, and collections of advertisements for Scandinavian-American
5. Nordics in America: The Future of Their Past. Edited by Odd S. Lovoll.
Northfield, Minn.: Norwegian American Historical Association, 1993.
xii, 228 p.: ill.
E184.S18 N58 1993
Includes bibliographical references.
Papers by seventeen specialists on the Scandinavian experience in America,
viewing past events as they have shaped the present and will influence the future.
They include history of Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns in North American
education and art, reviews of published history of these groups, preservation of
ethnic identity, literary representations, immigrant letters from America, letters
sent from Denmark to immigrants in America, and formal efforts to preserve
the American-Scandinavian heritage. Each paper is followed by bibliographical notes.
6. Norman, Hans and Harald Runblom.
Transatlantic Connections: Nordic Migration to the New World After 1800.
Oslo: Norwegian University Press; Oxford: Distributed world-wide excluding
Scandinavia by Oxford University Press [1988?].
335 p.  p. of plates (1 fold.): ill. (some colored).
JV6704 .N67 1988
Includes bibliographical references.
An analysis of causes of migration within and from Iceland, Norway, Sweden,
Denmark, and Finland, including patters of movement and settlement in America.
These studies make clear the considerable differences in the migration movements
of the four Nordic nations, describing the phenomenon by country and by regions
within each country and describing the effects that settlement in new lands had
on each group.
"America" as used in this work comprises Canada, the United States, and Latin
America, and includes both urban and rural settlement. Aspects of immigrant life
studied are agriculture, commerce, religion, labor and trade unions, language
maintenance, and a unique chapter on immigrant authors and "literary careers on two
End material includes an eight-page overview of research on emigration from
Nordic countries, statistics on Nordic-born immigrants to Canada, the United States,
and Australia by province and state, a list of administrative areas in the four
Nordic countries illustrated by a fold-out map, and an eighteen-page bibliography.
7. Norwegian-American Historical Association.
Guide to manuscripts collections of the Norwegian-American
Historical Association / compiled and edited by Lloyd Hustvedt ;
collection groups processed and catalogued by Beulah Folkedahl
and Charlotte Jacobson. -- Northfield, Minn. : The Association,
1979. -- 158 p.
Z1361.N67 N67 1979 <LH&G>
Brief descriptions of 948 collections owned by the Association
and relevant to Norwegian migration and Norwegian-American
settlement. The guide is arranged by name of author, e.g.
"Wolden, P. P., Correspondence," or by name of place, with a
supplementary index of special collections of pamphlets,
photographs, and artifacts.
8. Smith, Frank, 1917-
Genealogical guidebook & atlas of Norway / Frank Smith, Finn
A.Thomsen. -- Logan, Utah : Everton Publishers, 1979 printing. --
1 atlas (v, 56 p.) : maps.
G2065.S6 1979 <LH&G>
Describes Norwegian church, probate, and census records as
sources of genealogical information. Other information presented
includes terms found in documents with their English equivalents,
Gothic handwriting for reading older records, a perpetual
calendar of feast days, and names of feast days with their
English equivalents. Also listed are parishes in each county and
the year in which the parish records began. Cross references of
special places, chapelries, parishes, and clerical districts
appear. Sectional maps of Norway are correlated to a twelve page
index of place names, allowing quick location of any named place
in the country.
9. Thomsen, Finn A.
Genealogical maps & guide to the Norwegian parish registers /
compiled by Finn A. Thomsen. -- Bountiful, Utah : Thomsen's
Genealogical Center, c1987. -- 64 p. : ill.
CS913.T54 1987 <LH&G>
A catalog of microfilmed parish registers available through the
Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Entries include
name of parish (sokn), name of clerical district (prestegjeld),
name of county (fydke), years for which film is available, and
alpha-numeric locators to find each place on the twenty-four
pages of county maps.
10. Wellauer, Maralyn A.
Tracing your Norwegian roots / by Maralyn A. Wellauer. --
Milwaukee : Wellauer, c1979. -- 70 p. : ill.
This basic manual on using Norwegian records tells what records
exist, what their Norwegian names are, where to find them, and
what information they provide. It also lists helpful
organizations in Norway and North America, regional archives,
further guides to research, and advice on hiring someone to do
research. Wellauer describes demographics and historical trends
as they are relevant to genealogical research.