Monday, July 25, 2022

Expand Your Norway Genealogy

Our Norwegian Ancestors -
5 Resources & Tips 

1.   Map It Out!
It is impossible to understand the origin of Norwegian ancestors without visualizing the geography and the map of counties, municipalities, and parishes.  For example, the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland is divided into eight deaneries. These deaneries are subdivided into municipalities. And, municipalities are further divided into parishes. Will talk about the farms later, but what about the defunct villages of our ancestors.  

For this research project we covered the Salten Prosti and the Bodø Domprosti deaneries! We ran into the same issues as we scoured  the municpalities: Dissolved Villages.  In looking for Nordal Lakså because client wanted to visit, (their ancestors being from Skjerstad), we quickly learned that in 1905 Skjerstad was divided with Fauske and by 2005 Skjerstad was dissolved or shall I say "melded" into Bodø municiaplity. Nordal Lakså is defunct. Sometimes, though we just want to walk the land of our ancestors.

2.  Confusion of Family names - Not always patronymic

Figure 2 See full article on

      Years ago we traced a Helen Fauske of Minnesota by way of Norway, so we thought it amusing that now we were researching in the town of Fauske. (Two different clients, no relation). Although it was amusing, it by no means is unusual. 

1900 Norway Census
Dad, Mom and Son with 3 distinct surnames

Family names did not really exist in Norway until the 1900s. The traditional Norwegian naming practice is to use patronyms. In the 1801 and 1865 censuses people were noted by 1) their Christian name followed by 2) the patronymic and 3) the farm name. When a surname law was enacted in 1923 demanding all persons in a (core) family should have the same family name s the father/husband  (head of household) in the family, the surname issue became a genealogists nightmare. Between abt. 1890 -1920 people gradually adopted family names. Some families took a patronymic name from their own patronymic name or that of their father or that of their husband. Others used the farm name. Well at least you would know their origin from the farm name. But all of this most often resulted in adult siblings having different surnames (some from the farm, some from their patronymic name).

       Just know that surnames can be unexpected and not traditional.  
      3.   Farm Names 

The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, 18 Sep 1938, Page 4,
Read Full Article

Tip:  We use the dokumentasjons-prosjektet website to fish through the plethora of spellings of farm names, and for comprehensive lists. Not to be confused with Os village in Bodø , but did you know there was so many variations for Os Farm in Fauske?  Os. Oos, Ous,  Aas, Ooss  

      4.  Step Away from Ancestry
When it come to Norway research, we peruse, we embrace, and we soak up and ferret the Norwegian online archives and scans. Take a look at the three comparisons below: 1) ancestry 2) myheritage 3) UiT Norges arktiske universitet Names and birthyear; no details

Used link above with subscription

      MyHeritage: The same as  However, myheritage does have a larger Norwegian collection of scanned documents. .

Used link above with subscription

UiT Norges arktiske universitet, The Norwegian Historical Data Centre from the Arctic University of Norway, has a transcribed searchable census. It includes more information and provides more hints that helps manipulate the church records.  Norway has specified numbers for municipalities and farms. (Think US Enumeration District numbering system). So much more can be accomplished with this small hints. Here we also see that the 1900 census does not just note the municipality, but the farm of residence, and profession of our ancestors. With such common names, we want as much unique information as we can gather. A small, but ultimately a large clue for researching Norway records, is the municipality number. 

Often we get abbreviations on occupation rendering a translation engine useless.  Should this happen go to the FamilySearch website for Norway Occupations to decipher the abbreviations.   

5.  Parish Registry
Arkivverket Digitalarkivet The National Archives of Norway Digital Archives has a scanned archives of Paris registry and Census records. With google translate, a list of genealogical Norwegian words and the "English" button on the website, all researchers can wade through the Parish Records and scripted cursive.  

Here we uncovered the 1887 marriage of our subject; Ole Kristensen, and his death records.  However, there is an 80 year rule that prohibited us from retrieving the death record for his wife. 

1887 Death Record 

This family was traced back to early 1700’s.  What fun!  For each generation we 1) mapped and learned the geography 2) followed the family trail of names 3) became familiar with the farms and parishes 4) scoured the Norwegian online scanned archives for occupations/family names 5) used digital archives for church records… Write up and repeat for next generation!

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Tracing College & Professional Athletes

The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington
                    24 Jan 1941, Pg. 22

Resources to Uncover the Noted Athlete
Recently the a3Genealogy Research Team was charged to recreate an ancestor’s lost athletic scrapbook.  Here are some of the few tips uncovered.

Do you have an ancestor who was an athlete? You may know about your relative’s prowess from family lore or may have discovered their talent in the course of your research. The key to successfully ferret information on a competitive athlete lies in their athletic level: amateur, professional, or Olympic level.  The researcher must also understand local, regional, state, and league rankings of the specific sport being researched.

It is helpful to know how competitions are organized. For example, what leagues or clubs are there locally in the region? Most understand collegiate sport school divisions, or what was called the interscholastic competitions, but if not, here is a good review of the workings of NCAA founded in 1906. Know that most sports have their own national organization, as well as local groups. Often the accounts of your athletic ancestors' accomplishments may be located in under used university archives and records centers. 

Most competitive professional athletes began in high school or competed at the college level. competitions. A great place to start is with high school or college yearbooks. Ancestry has a digitized collection of high school and college yearbooks. Recently when researching a competitive skier, I was able to follow his success through the University of Washington yearbooks. The yearbook collection spans from 1900 to 1994 are at University of Washington Libraries Digital Collection.

Art Strom was both a football player in the fall, and a skier in the winter. His university yearbook blurb, 1942, also provided the high school he attended.

Researchers may also uncover ancestors who attended defunct universities through yearbooks. Harold Strader, a multi-sports athlete at the College of Emporia was found in the 1954 annals of this now defunct private Presbyterian college in Emporia, Kansas. 

Harold Strader ran on the winning track team for The Fighting Presbies. 

As with any research on a defunct institution, the family historian will want to identify the successor. Looking for the papers, and yearbooks of the Fighting Presbies that closed their door in 1974, researchers would need to contact the successor, the University of Emporia, in Emporia Kansas.

If your ancestor made it to the professional level of their sport, you can expand your research. For example, baseball has a website that lists of over 22,700 major league players and information on minor league affiliates. Like all sports, baseball has tiered affiliates: AAA, AA, Adv A A Rookie; and don’t forget the Foreign Rooke. Visit

Most sports have an associated museum or hall of fame. The International Swimming Hall of Fame, which also has a museum, is at We were able to search by athlete and year.

For other Olympic games, researchers may find participants, medal winners, and more on this comprehensive (cited) U. S. at the Olympics Wikipedia page: For Track and Field we were also able to obtain the Alphabetical Index of All Olympic Trial Competitors. 

Other Resources

  • Sports Museums. Some states have their own  Sports Museums. You can find information about the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at, for example.
  • Local Libraries. Many local libraries are the collectors of regional yearbooks, local libraries, obituaries, etc.
  • State Historical Societies. A State Historical Society may be the repository of ephemera, such as programs or posters. This is a great place to check for magazines or newspapers dedicated to the sport.
  • Newspaper Research. For your Olympic ancestors know that newspaper articles reporting the results of tryouts and events were reported from the beginning of the 1896 modern Olympics. Know that the Olympic games were cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944 but, that leaves many potential years in which your ancestor might have competed.

Lead Writer: 
Julie Crain Miguel, Walnut Hill Genealogy
a3Genealogy Freelance Researcher

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Friday, July 1, 2022

3 Tips to Researching Early Netherland Born Settlers

                                                     Marriage Banns: VandeWater to Meersman

Tracing from New World 1850 to Netherlands 1620
Did your ancestors come from the Netherlands before arriving in the New World, Plymouth, in 1620's? Where should you start? Of course you might begin your research by tracing Pilgrim migratory paths. It has been confirmed that the Pilgrims had a 12 year stop-over in the Netherlands. But, does this explain why you cannot find your New Netherland ancestors overseas? Maybe they weren't "Pilgrims" at all. 

Let's look at the early Americas Van Waters of Albany, NY and Canada.  How did the a3Genealogy Research Team trace this family from the 1850's to 1600's?  Here are 3 major hints that led us to finding the early family bible (1700's) and the Y-DNA connections. What might you find if you broaden your search?  

 1. Study the Surname
to determine the family origin. 

First, it must be noted that the surnames of van, van de(n), van der, etc are from south Holland[i] which supports the Van Waters being from the Rotterdam / Amsterdam region located in South Holland. This area borders North Holland.

2. Evolution of Names. 

Jakobus van de Water, Engeltje Jeuriaens, 1684, Flatbush, King County, NY

As with American names that may evolve from John being a Jack, this practice was also seen in Dutch names. For example, the name Jeuriaen throughout the Dutch American community evolved from Jeuriaen to many variations, i.e. Jeurian to Uriah.  Other versions of Jeuriaen may be Yurrie, Yerry, Jerry; and, even Jeremiah.

3. Common practiced naming convention. A common naming practiced was used amongst the early Dutch. Following this common Dutch naming practice, researchers may be able to trace their 1800 ancestors back to the 1650's.  This confirmed that Uriah, in this family, was original Jeuriaen [sp].

·       The first name of the eldest two sons named after their grandfathers; The second name was that of the father[ii]

·        First-born son is named after paternal grandfather

·        First-born daughter is named after maternal grandmother

·        Second son is named after maternal grandfather

·        Second daughter is named after paternal grandmother

·        Subsequent children were often named after uncles and aunts  

Kathleen Brandt

Be Historically Correct
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[i] Dutch Surname suffixes:
[ii] Surname Suffix “ ens”  is most common in North Brabant.