Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday's Tips: Norwegian Research Aids Coming to My Rescue

Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue
photo by Torvol at Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

As I continue knee-deep in the Norwegian Parish Registers, I've added two more "must haves" to my research toolbox.  Both have proved to be real lifesavers as I research my ancestors.

source: Family Tree Magazine

Because these parish records are written in Norwegian and in a variety of handwritings, the Germanic Alphabet Chart from Family Tree Magazine has proved so helpful in deciphering those written records.  The Fraktur style of writing is used in the printed column headings of a number of 19th century records while the old handwriting styles section of the chart helps in distinguishing between letters that strongly resemble each other.  I probably need to laminate my chart because it is already showing wear from being used so much.

Must have # two is a resource that stays open on my laptop whenever I am researching records from the Digital Archives of Norway.  This time Family Search has come to my rescue with its Calendar for Moveable Feast Days.  The Parish Registers are church documents, written by the minister or church clerk and frequently have a reference to a specific event of the liturgical year as the date for baptisms, marriages, or burials.  Before I stumbled upon this resources, I spent time googling to find the date for Trinity Sunday in 1803 then locating a calendar to determine the 7th Sunday past Trinity in that year.  Now I just select the year, ex. 1803, and scan down to find that the 7th Sunday past Trinity was 24 July 1803, easily read in English.  There are similar calendars available through the Family Search Wiki for other countries in addition to the calendar for Norway.

If you are researching records written in other languages, I hope that similar resources will help you, too.


  1. Thanks for these helpful tips Mary! I've been researching my Norwegian ancestors the last couple of days and was using the wonderful Digital Archives of Norway website yesterday.

    1. Glad that could help you Jana. Researching Norwegian records seems the appropriate thing to do with all the snow we're having in the south this year!

  2. Mary,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/02/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-february-27.html

    Have a great weekend!

  3. I appreciate your mention of my post. It came after I had a must unsuccessful research afternoon. Thanks, again.