MyHeritage Adds 6.8 Million Records with the New Norwegian Census Collections

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

6.8 million new records from nationwide censuses conducted in Norway more than a century ago provide a treasure trove of information for anyone with Norwegian heritage

Tel Aviv, Israel & Lehi, Utah — MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today the publication of three census collections from Norway, from 1891, 1900, and 1910. MyHeritage has worked on digitizing these collections in partnership with the National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket).

The collections provide robust coverage for Norway’s entire population during a span of two decades and include valuable family history information. While some former Norway censuses were conducted only in select trading centers, these records are more comprehensive. The 6.8 million new records document names, households, dates of birth, marital status, relationships, and residential conditions, making them vital for anyone wishing to explore their Norwegian origins. Their publication marks the first time that Norwegian record collections of such high quality and granularity are available online.

The 1891 and 1900 collections include digital images of the original census documents, while the 1910 collection is an index consisting of transcribed records provided by the National Archives of Norway. The 1900 census was conducted by means that were, at the time, innovative: punch cards, which were then sorted and counted using electric tabulating machines. Of the 2.3 million records in the 1900 collection, 1.9 million records now have digital images of the original documents associated with the census index. Images of the remaining records will likewise be connected to the index in the near future.

Norwegian privacy laws restrict public access to census data for 100 years. Consequently, the 1910 census is the most recent one available to the public. This collection stands out as the first census conducted following the dissolution of Norway’s union with Sweden in 1905. It is also the first Norway census to record full birth dates, rather than only birth years.

Users with family trees on MyHeritage will benefit from Record Matching technology that automatically reveals new information about their ancestors who appear in these records.

With the release of these new collections, MyHeritage now offers approximately 34 million historical records from Norway, including census, baptism, marriage, and burial records. As the Scandinavian market leader for family history research and DNA testing, MyHeritage also offers 136 million records from neighboring Sweden and 105 million records from Denmark. MyHeritage is the only major genealogy company to provide its services and full customer support in all three Scandinavian languages, as well as in Finnish, and offers the greatest potential for new family history discoveries for anyone with Scandinavian origins. It also has the largest user base in Scandinavia and the largest collection of Scandinavian family trees.

“The addition of these censuses from Norway is a testament to MyHeritage’s commitment to digitize and index historical records from all over the world and to make them easily accessible,” said Russ Wilding, Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage. “These records offer a bounty of new information, and they reflect important historical events that made a tremendous impact on life in Norway during these years. They are significant for anyone researching their Norwegian heritage.”

The three new collections are now available on SuperSearch™, MyHeritage’s search engine for its 9.6 billion historical records. Searching the Norway census collections is free. A subscription is required to view the full records and to access Record Matches.

Search the new census collections:

About MyHeritage

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thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is accessible
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technologically advanced, affordable DNA test that reveals ethnic origins and previously
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generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

One Comment

The Norwegian census images are available at Digitalarkivet (for free). That includes the very earliest census data for local parishes and the like going back some 3-400 years (depending on which locations took local censuses). Check the indices and locations to see how far back one can go for one’s own family records, then see if that can be cross-referenced with the church records (birth/baptism, confirmation, marriage, death/burial, utflytting/inflytting), as well as local militia records. Many (probably most) records are transcribed, some are not, but one can scroll through the images. If one searches in their transcribed databases, there is no substitute for the three extra vowels: Ø ø, Æ æ, Å å. Several letters of the alphabet are used interchangeably: I/J/Y, W/V, K/Q, T/D are probably the most common. Records kept before a standardized dictionary was made were in Dano-Norsk (this relates to historical events with the Black Plague going back to 1349), so there are also phonetic spellings and local dialect spellings in the records, as well as spellings that reflect the educational background of the writer; Latinized or Germanic spellings are found where the writer was educated elsewhere or taught by a person who had studied abroad or in a seminary.
One must have a thorough grasp of how the patronymic naming system works or none of it will make any sense with the patronymic name usually changing every generation (ditto for records in Sweden and Denmark – people in Iceland and the Faroe Islands still use the patronymic naming system). Although some people started using surnames early (particularly in coastal cities, only occasionally in rural communities), they didn’t have a permanent inherited surname until a 1923 law mandated it. Otherwise women were recorded with their own patronymic names their entire lives, birth through death. The sen or datter suffixes following the father’s first name are frequently abbreviated in records to s and d/dr/dtr.
More than Sweden or Denmark, Norway followed the naming conventions for their children rather strictly. It seems even the exceptions had rules.
I got lucky. The location where most of my Norwegian ancestors came from had multiple kinds of transcribed databases even before images went online in the first version of the Digitalarkivet database (the version online now is the third one and it’s not as easy to use as the first one). My earliest recorded Norwegian ancestors go back to ca 1620.
I know MyHeritage is a sponsor of Dick’s newsletter so he has to be more reticent about certain things while publishing their announcements, but there are other more easily accessible ways to find Norwegian records in Norwegian databases, and always for free. Ditto Danish records for free. Sweden has a government-sponsored web site for free census data, and a fee-based web site (with a Java-based system for viewing images which I dislike), but at least the Swedes digitized or re-photographed what used to only be available in the old, very nearly unreadable, microfilm images, and they have added many more digitized colored images for other records they’ve added to their database, so paying their fees isn’t quite as painful knowing I’ll get a nice colored document in return.
Now…, if only the US would do the same with all our old records…. I have the standard dirty old microfilm images for a Revolutionary War ancestor who served for six years plus several months, plus his pension application and file, and I’d love to see all those pages in full color…, not to mention the colonial New England records for others.


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