Useful Genealogy Resources

NAHA Archival Material

The NAHA Archives can be a rich resource of information for family historians and genealogists. Although the focus of NAHA is the Norwegians after they arrived in America, and is historical in nature rather than strictly genealogical, you may find its resources helpful in your research.

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library, 415 West Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, maintains a library devoted to Norwegian American genealogical research.

Genealogical Materials in the NAHA Archives

  • Rowberg File
    200,000+ clippings of biographical articles on Norwegian Americans from Norwegian-American newspapers, English-language country weeklies, church and lodge magazines, obituaries, Golden Anniversary celebrations, etc. Mounted on 3x5" cards filed alphabetically. Women are usually listed under husbands or male relatives. Reference cards to longer articles are mounted in over 120 binders. Coverage: Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and where there were pockets of Norwegian settlements. The main time period covered is 1914-1980's.
  • Rowberg Supplement
    50,000+ recent obituaries, mainly from North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota. Women are usually listed under their own names. A few older obituaries are also included.
  • Carl G. O. Hansen File
    Clipping collection (1900-1950) of the Minneapolis Norwegian-language newspaper. Index is in the last 13 drawers of the Rowberg File, giving number of envelope in the collection of 136 boxes.
  • Family History Collection
    Formerly known as collection P0539. These have been group under the collection Family Histories and Genealogies.
  • Congregational Publications
    Printed and typescript histories, constitutions, programs, yearbooks, and records of some 400 Norwegian-American churches, filed alphabetically by state and city (or county).
  • Manuscript Collection
    Searchable online with Omeka or at NAHA office with inventory and index cards. 
  • Biographical Directories
    Pastors, teachers, etc. Directory of congregations.
  • Emigration lists 
    The National Archives of Norwegian Digital Archives:  digitalarkivet.no/en  

Reference Works

The following genealogical and reference materials are located in the Reference Room of the Rølvaag Library.

  • Norwegian encyclopedia (AE43.A75) 12 volumes. Useful for place names and histories of communities. This encyclopedia is also available online
  • General genealogical guides: CS (e.g., Scandinavian Genealogical Research Manual).
  • Norwegian biographical encyclopedia (CT1293.N6) 10 volumes. This encyclopedia is also available online
  • Norske gardsbruk (DL418.N85) Farm directory, southern counties, 1950-1970s.
  • Bibliographies of local history (DL448.F94).
  • Rygh's Norske gaardnavne (PD2695.R9). 20 volumes. Lists all main farms (and some subdivisions) by community (herred or kommune) and parish (sokn, sogn). Index for each fylke, general index for set. Also available online here
  • Norge: land og folk, geografisk leksikon atlas-register (DL419.N7), 4 volumes.

Genealogical and Historical Collection of the Rølvaag Library

  • Bygdebøker - bygdebooks: local histories of Norwegian communities (DL576.A-Z; DL596.A-Z). Located in the St. Olaf Rølvaag Memorial Library Reference Room.
  • Books on Norwegian-American history: Includes publications of the bygdelags (E184.S26). Lovoll's A Folk Epic (E184.S24 L66) has bibliography. [Some lag publications with periodicals or in Special Collections Vault collection.]
  • American local history (county histories, Norwegians in states or counties, etc.): F536-Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota.
  • Norwegian-language newspapers on microfilm: Bikuben, Budstikken, Decorah Posten, Emigranten, Emigranten og Fædrelandet, Fædrelandet, Norden, Nordisk Folkeblad, Skandinaven. Some on paper in Special Collections. Church magazines (before 1960).