The purpose of this registry is to help researchers locate Norwegians who lived in Central Iowa. Where possible this includes enough information to locate their Norwegian roots. This is meant to be a research aid and is not intended to provide complete information on each person. For example, place of birth is not included. Nor is any attempt made to document descendents or those of non-Norwegian roots. Sources are included to facilitate verification and futher research.
American surnames for Norwegian immigrants can be a challenge because a person may have gone by more than one surname in America before the family settled on what to use. Within a family individuals sometimes adopted different surnames. The American surnames were sometimes based on the patronymic of a family head, or based on the area or farm the family was known by in Norway, or the Norwegian surname if there was one , or even just adopted from thin air. Often the given name was also Americanized. Thus we find Tjerand becoming Charles or Jorna becoming Julia.
Names in Norway were primarily the given name and the patronymic (based on the given name of the father). People were usually further indentified by where they lived. But as they changed locations that place qualification changed, therefore it wasn't really a surname. Family surnames were not common in nineteenth century Norway, especially in rural areas. In this database any Norwegian Surnames are either the last location in Norway for that person, or the name as documented as in the source references.
Spellings of Norwegian names are rather arbitrary. The same individual's name may have been spelled many ways during their lifetime depending on who was doing the spelling. Here the spelling is usually that of the local dialect as seen in some of the farm books. Thus, spellings like "Andersson" rather than "Anderson" or "Andersen." So the spelling you are accustomed to may be different here and needs to be taken into consideration when searching for a person.
The special Norwegian characters have been retained in the Norwegian names. These are primarily: æ, Æ, ø, Ø, å, Å. However, a mechanism is included which allows you to enter substitute letters for these characters when performing a search. Another good way to search is on the Soundex Code which will ignore the special characters (except for the first letter) when searching.
The following information is provided:
Photo. When available, a photo of the individual can be displayed.
Registry Number. The number uniquely indentifies each person in the registry. It is essentually the order in which that person was added to the registry.
Surname. This is the primary surname the person is used in America. Other American surnames may be indicated under comments. Searches will look for this surname. For a woman married in Norway usually the married surname is given here. For a woman married in America, the maiden name is given here.
Given Name. This is the most commonly-known given name used in America. Other American given names may be indicated under comments.
Norwegian Given Name. This is the given name the person was known by in Norway.
Norwegian Patronymimc. This is the patronymic as used in Norway. Searches will look for this patronymic.
Subfarm Name. This is a simplified term to mean a place located within a farm (which see). It could be a "bruk" which means it is a part of the farm with its own ownership. It could be a "husmans" place which was a not separately owned but whose occupants usually paid rent by performing a certain amount of work for the owner. (The husman's place could be passed down to children of the husman.) Sometimes Norwegian immigrants adopted the name of the subfarm as their American surname.
Farm Name. While we usually call this a farm in English, it is quite different from American farms. The Norwegian "gard" or "gård" may have in the past been owned by one person but over time its ownership may have become divided into subfarms or even towns. However the original boundaries usually still exist and the original area still goes by the same farm, or gard, name. When the Norwegian location was a name that couldn't be categorized into farm/parish etc., the name has been placed in the farm field.
Subparish. Many of the Norwegian parishs were divided into subparishes which usually had its own church. In rural districts there may have been one pastor for the parish who officiated at each subparish church.
Fylke. Often translated to "county" this is a governmental geographic subdivision of Norway somewhat more analagous to the American state. The modern Fylke names are used here. At the time our ancesters lived in Norway the names were different.
Date of Birth.
Date of Death.
Death Residence. Residence at time of death.
Date of Immigration.
Initial Place. Where the person intially settled after immigration. For example, many early immigrants settled in Illinois before coming to Central Iowa.
Date to Central Iowa. This is when the person came to Centrol Iowa, which may or not have been the same as the immigration date.
Central Iowa Location. This is usually where the person first settled in Central Iowa. The person might have lived in several Central Iowa locations so this is only a lead.
Spouse Surname. This is usually the American surname. Searches will look for this name.
Spouse Given Name. This is usually the American given name.
Date of Marriage.
Place of Marriage.
Spouse 2 Surname. The second spouse if there was one. Searches will look for this name.
Spouse 2 Given Name. This is usually the American given name.
Spouse 3 Surname. The third spouse if there was one. Any subsequent spouses will be shown in the comment field. Searches will look for this name.
Spouse 3 Given Name. This is usually the American given name.
Date of Marriage 2.
Date of Marriage 3.
Place of Marriage 2.
Place of Marriage 3.
Father's Surname. Searches will look for this name.
Father's Given Name.
Father's Patronymic. Searches will look for this name.
Mother's Surname. Searches will look for this name.
Mother's Given Name.
Mother's Patronymic. Searches will look for this name.
Source (1 to 5). Up to five sources given for the information contained about the person.
Comments. Comments are added when clarification of some of the information is needed. Also, any marriages beyond two are recorded here.
Submitter. The person who first contributed information about the individual for the registry is recorded as the Orginal Submitter. Any who offered additional information are recorded as Subsequent Submitters. If the submitter has made an E-Mail address available, clicking on the submitter's name creates a new message for that person.