Norway Deeds

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Creation of the Mortgage Records (Pantebok)[edit | edit source]

Usually the sorenskriver wrote the document into either the court records or the Extra Rett Protocol until 1845. Following the law of May 28, 1845 about dividing and tax valuation records, we normally do not find these records in the court records or the Extra Rett Protocol. They were found in the Land records instead. Pantebøker deal with real property, in comparison to skifteprotokoller, that deal with real and personal property after an individual’s death. Any transaction, outside of a probate, involving land was to be recorded in the pantebok by the sorenskriver.

The bailiff was notified when a tax division had taken place. He registered it into the matrikkel books for use in collecting the correct tax for each property. The documents before about 1880 are written in the Gothic Script. Since they contain information which is often applicable today, the state archives would copy such documents. Information about boundaries and property rights are also found in other record series.

Deeds gave proof of lawful acquisition and rights[edit | edit source]

A deed is a document which either gives property rights to real estate from one owner to another, or which verifies that the transfer of property already follows a contract of purchase or a deed of exchange. With the sale of real estate it happened that the parties involved wrote a purchase contract, but it was seldom that that contract was taken through the court. These documents were written into land records back to the 1600’s. Even in that time period there were decisions made in the courts about deeds. It was not just purchase contracts to real estate which were recorded. It was not unusual, for example, to have auction deeds to property when someone died, or on property from an executor’s sale which was sold at auction. The new owner received a deed from the estate or from the auction. The heirs could also obtain a transfer of property through the court where a record of this transaction would be found.

Contents of the deeds are usually as follows:[edit | edit source]

Description of the property, seller’s name, buyer’s name, price, eventual rights and encumbrances. Usually the deed is written or signed by the one who conveyed the property. Sometimes the purchaser also signed. Once in a while there were witnesses who signed to confirm the seller’s signature. A witness had to be either a lawyer, an official of the court, or two independent witnesses who were not closely related to either the seller or the buyer. Once in a while boundary descriptions are found in deeds. Deeds from the 1700 – 1800’s often contain references to previous deeds, and also, when the seller had inherited the property in his lifetime.

As a rule, we find all deeds in the land records (pantebøkene). Occasionally there can be a deed of conveyance which was not registered in court such as a purchase contract. These are found in private archives, but normally not in the official archives at the State Archives. It also happened that a deed of conveyance took place within the family and no document was written.

Deeds of conveyance documents are also found for the time before court and deed books were used. Both farm archives from 1500 and 1600’s and diploma collections from the middle ages can contain deeds.

Other Land Transactions Included in Pantebøker[edit | edit source]

Pantebøker contain many different types of land transactions, including:

  • Deeds (Skjøter)
  • Mortgages (Pantebrever)
  • Deeds of gift (Gavebrever)
  • Deeds of exchange (Makeskifter)
  • Bonds (Obligationer)
  • Leases (Bygselsbrev, bygselseddelser)
  • Pensions (Føderåd-, vilkårsbrever)
  • Cotters notes (Husmannsedler)

The earliest recorded transactions concerning real property are found in the court records (tingbøker). By the late 1600s, land transactions began to be recorded separately from the court records. The earliest pantebøker begin in 1670, and are from the Trondheim byfogderi and Ryfylke og Karmsund sorenskriveri. The latest collection in the Family History Library is from Ålesund byfogderi and begins in 1849.

Panteregister - The Index[edit | edit source]

The earliest indexes are found in back of each pantebok volume. Most of these indexes are alphabetical by the given name of the principal, usually the individual making the transaction. Some indexes by farm begin in the early 1700s, but alphabetical personal name indexes persist into 1800s.

The indexes by farm are generally arranged in order of the property’s tax registration number. One farm can have several sub-farms, containing many crofts, so a thorough search of the panteregister is essential.

The entry in the panteregister will extract information in pantebok. The complete document will always give more information than the index. For example, the extract may read “Jon Arnesen to Arne Siversen and wife,” while the pantebok record will give the wife’s name as well as any siblings or their spouses that may be part of the transaction.

Mortgage Books [Pantebøker][edit | edit source]

Research use: Contain useful lineage linking information, can be used to establish relationships. In many cases the mortgage books can be used as a substitute index to the probate records. The information from the mortgage records can extend pedigree lines as much as three generations. Most are not indexed.

Record type: Records of land mortgages.

Time period: 1700 to present.

Contents: Information regarding real estate conveyances, mortgages and other encumbrances on property, agreements, contracts, and so forth which sometimes include genealogical information.

Location: Regional archives [Statsarkiv].

Percentage in Family History Library: Only 60% of the mortgage records have been acquired.

Population coverage: 20%.

Reliability: Excellent.[1]

Land Records [Fast Eiendomsprotokoller][edit | edit source]

Research use: Contain useful lineage linking information, can be used to establish relationships. Most are not indexed.

Record type: Records of land ownership and land taxation. These include revenue district accounts [Fogedregnskaber], rural district accounts [Lensregnkaper], urban district accounts [Byregnskaper], land books [Jordebøker], and land commissions [Landkommisjoner].

Time period: 1600 to present.

Contents: Land books: Land rentals and records containing names, dates, land quantities, and so forth. Records of property taxation: Tax lists and real estate registers of owners and cultivators of farms; some list primarily quantities of land and monetary amounts, others list heads of taxed households; sometimes entire families are listed.

Location: Regional archives [Statsarkiv] and the National Archives of Norway [Riksarkivet].

Percentage in Family History Library: 99%.

Population coverage: 10 to 25%.

Reliability: Good.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Norway,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1997-1998.

1. Tronstad, Roger, ”Skylddelinger of Skjøter”. Arkivmagasintet 1/08; (A publication of Arkivverket).