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Genealogy - my quest for relatives

I have recently started digging into the mess that is my family :) It is not an easy task, as any genealogist can tell you, and being a beginner at it doesn't really help much. But with some helpfull relatives, and the invaluable resources available on the web, I have been able to piece together some of it.

The technical stuff

Finding a good software package to keep track of the family tree as it grows, is really a necessity. After trying a few different solutions, I went for GeneWeb, a web based genealogy program. It can be used locally or via internet. My reasons for chosing GeneWeb are:
  • It runs on Linux (and a number of other platforms)
  • It can be used as a collaborative tool via Internet
  • Changes are instantly published on the web
  • It supports GedCom import and export
  • It supports arbitrarily large databases
  • Easy, painless install - lots of customization options
  • It's absolutely free (no catch, whatsoever)
Once a package was chosen, it was time to get some stuff into it.

The web as an information resource

By far the most useful tool I've come across, are the various web resources available. At least here in Norway, things like censuses, birth/marriage/death records, immigration records etc. etc. are readily available and searchable on the web. Much of the work consists mainly of gathering, cross-checking and cross-referencing data from these sources. Some of the more useful resources I've come across, are:
  • Slektshistoriske kilder 1500-1900 (enormous catalog of available norwegian records)
  • Ancestors from Norway (lots of immigration resources)
  • Norway Genealogy (links, searchable databases)
  • Ancestry.com (tracking those immigrants can be a pain :)
  • Cyndi's List of genealogy sites on the internet
  • Digitalarkivet (norwegian censuses, birth/death/marriage records etc)

My family

Tracking down my family is not all that easy. It's rather widely scattered, not that many of them actually keep in touch, and very few seem to have accurate records of anything. Luckily, I've had great help from my mother in tracking down her side of the family; a few names and dates really help when you need a place to start off. From there, most of it (at least back to the early 1800s) can be found in Riksarkivet.

I know a few of my relatives immigrated to USA during the early 1900s (late 1800s), and I have actually traced one of them back to Clay county, Minnesota. Now, from there I'll have to get some "analogue" material, as censuses and such from minnesota after 1880 are not available online.

Much of the information I have gathered so far is scattered over my desk at the moment, those that I have managed to get a certain ammount of information on, I have put into my family tree in GeneWeb.

My family tree can be found here, be advised that it is far from complete. I am working very hard to fill it out :)

Comments? Suggestions? Tips? Please contact me! See the Whoami section for more information on contacting me. I am always eager to meet other genealogists, and should you discover that we are somehow related, I would be more than thrilled to compare notes with you.

last modified: 13.04.2001 [4008 bytes]