The University of Bergen has made the 1865 Norwegian
census available on the Internet at the following url: www.hist.uib.no/arkivverket/1865/
Most of the work that went into preparing this database was done at Teleslekt
and at the Registreringssentral for historiske data (RHD) at the
University of Tromsø. At the present time this database is
not complete: cities are not included, and several kommuner (rural
municipalities) have not yet been entered. (Most of the kommuner
for which the records have not yet been processed are located in eastern
Norway). The University of Bergen estimates that the registration
process will be completed by the end of 1999.
In order to use this database you will beed to know the fylke (county) and the kommune (rural municipality) that your ancestor lived in in 1865. On the home page of the database you will see a frameset, and in the left frameset you can click on the fylke that you are interested in researching. If we click on Sogn og Fjordane, for example, we see a list of each kommune in this fylke. In front of each kommune is a number. This refers to the official number of the kommune. (Each kommune in Norway has been assigned an official number).
Let's scroll down the page and click on "1443 Eid" where my paternal ancestors came from. This brings us to the search interface for the database. Unfortunately it is in Norwegian:
Here is what it says:
Digitalarkivet: 1865-telling for 1443 Eid
The Digital Archive: the 1865 census for Eid, kommune number 1443
Button to go to the "Home page" of the 1865 census, i.e., back to the opening page (frameset)
Help button. Unfortunately it brings you to a help page in Norwegian :-(
Sidan 23.1.1998 er det blitt henta ut XXXXXXXXXX sider, av dei XXXX
Since January 23, 1998 visitors have made XXXXXXXXXX searches in this database, and of these XXXX searches were made today
Alle har nytte av å lesa det som gøymer seg bak HJELP-knappen
og å lesa NYTT.
Everyone can benefit from clicking on the Help button and also to read the latest news. (This, of course, assumes that you can read Norwegian).
This button is for statistical analysis. You can ignore it.
This button means "Next". It is used to scroll forward when your search brings up more than one page of results.
Post 1-10 av 2918 totalt i databasen
Search results 1 through 10 of a total of 2918 in the database that fits the search criteria for Eid kommune. Note: When you click on a kommune, the database will automatically display the first 10 search results for that kommune, starting with farm number 1.
Select search criteria. Here you can choose to search on one of the following terms:
|Marknad (sogn)||Remarks relating to subparish|
|Gardsnavn||Name of farm|
|Matrikkel||Real estate record number|
|Merknad (gard)||Remarks about farm|
|Etternavn||Surname (Patronymic name)|
|Familiestatus||Person's status (husband, wife, etc.)|
|Fødested||Place of birth|
|Merknad, Person||Remarks regarding the person|
|Blandkorn||Mixture of grains (usually oats and barley)|
|Merknad, jordbruk||Remarks relating to agriculture|
The 1865 census included information about the harvest in 1865 and the livestock at each farm. The database allows a researcher to sort the farms by the number of horses, the size of the harvest, etc. We will use it for genealogy purposes, but when we find our ancestors it is always important to note the size of the harvest and the number of farm animals since this information gives us an idea of how they lived.
Let's do a search for the farm name Føllesdal. In the Vel Felt (Select field) we select Gardsnavn, and in the Leit ettar (Search for) field we type in Føllesdal. (You can copy and paste the unique Norwegian letters you need from the text on the search page). Then we click on the Hent Postane (Search) button.
The search brings up two matches, since there were two bruk at the Føllesdal farm in 1865. We can then click on the hyperlink (the underlined number) to see the 1865 census record for each bruk. When we do this we find my great great great grandparents, Daniel Olsen and Johanne Knudsdatter, and their two children (their three other children died prior to 1865):
Many years later, when he was an old man, Daniel had his photograph taken :-) The search results tells us that he was a "Gaardbruger og Selveier", i.e., a farmer who owned his own farm. He was 59 years old, and the database tells us that he owned 1 horse, 9 cows, 23 sheep, 1 pig, etc. (The above gif does not show the entire search screen). If you take a look at my article "How to use a Norwegian bygdebok in your genealogy research" you will see that I use Daniel Olsen and his family to explain how to use a bygdebok.
A few of the Norwegian words you need to know in order
to use the 1865 census are translated above. You can find more in
dictionary . This dictionary is not a full dictionary, and I
would recommend that you purchase Einar Haugen's "Norwegian-English Dictionary".
You can order this book either through your local bookstore or through
from Norway bookstore (operated in association with Amazon.com).
This page was created on August 29, 1998
Revised September 29, 1998 (to add gif images)