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Norwegian Glossary

The following terms may be helpful when reading source records, Norse-language newspapers, Rolvaag Collection obituaries, or other Norse documents within the NAHA Archives.

Word Definition
amt name used before 1919 for the main political divisions of Norway
attest certificate
barn child/children
begravet buried
bestefar grandfather
bestemor grandmother
bror brother
bruker user/farmer
bygd community/area
bygdebøker local histories of particular areas of Norway
bygdelag an organization of people from a particular area of Norway
datter daughter
døde died
døpt baptized
dreng boy/hired man
ekte legitimate
ektemann husband
enke widow
enkemann widower
fadder witness at a baptism
far father
farfar paternal grandfather
farmor paternal grandmother
fattig poor
fetter male cousin
født born
gård or gard farm
gardmann farmer
gift married
gudfar godfather
gudmor godmother
herred or herad a Norwegian township
husmann cotter
kirke church
kirkebøker church registers containing birth, confirmation, marriage & death records
kommune a municipality in Norway
kone wife
konfirmert confirmed
kusine female cousin
mor mother
morfar maternal grandfather
mormor maternal grandmother
odel property held in an alodial system
odelsrett right to hold property
oldefar great grandfather
oldemor great grandmother
pike girl
prest clergyman, ministor, pastor
prestegjeld a church clerical district, usually containing more than one parish
skifte settle an estate
skjøte deed of conveyance
sogn or sokn a church parish
sogneprest or sokneprest parish pastor
sønn son
søskenbarn cousin (either gender)
søster sister
tippoldefar great great grandfather
tippoldemor great great grandmother
uekte illegitimate
vaccination certificate