Kong Sverre

Norwegian Immigrant Registry of Central Iowa

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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:

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Please E-Mail Mark Christian with your questions, comments, or suggestions.