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Revision as of 17:28, 23 May 2020

Norway Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Norway Background
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The FamilySearch moderator for Norway is SteuartRC

A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the Norwegian government and by ecclesiastical officials for population studies and taxation purposes. Census and census-like records are found from the 1500s-2000. After 1900, a national census was taken every 10 years until 2000. Access to national censuses is restricted by for a period of 100 years after the date of enumeration.

Many municipalities also created censuses of their residents. These are usually available at the city archives or the regional state archives. As a general rule these are only restricted for a period of 60 years.

Usually the term census is applied to three record types:

  • Manntall - Usually lists of males only, sometimes recorded for purposes of enrollment in military service
  • Skattemantall - Tax lists which may include only specific parts of the populace
  • Folketellinger - Complete enumerations of the population

Census records may provide information about a person's:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Family relationships
  • Year of birth
  • Birthplace
  • Physical health (deaf, dumb, mute, etc.)

Census records are especially valuable because they list a large portion of the population. They provide information when records (or portions of records) are missing. Generally, you will find more detailed family information in more recent censuses. The census records identify birthplaces beginning in 1865. Use the information with caution, however, since some information may be incorrect. Remember that the census records are secondary sources!

Records Prior to 1600[edit | edit source]

Aslak Bolts jordebok (learn more) is the first census-like registration in Norway. It was made about 1430 by Aslak Bolt (1377-1450), Archbishop of Nidaros. As the registration only applied to the archdiocese of Nidaros it only included properties in Møre og Romsdal, Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag, and Nordland counties.

1600s[edit | edit source]

Manntall 1663-1666 (Male Census)[edit | edit source]

Two censuses were taken, Sokneprestenes manntall 1663-1666 (learn more) and Fogdenes manntall 1663-1666 (learn more). The former was done by the local priest, and the latter by the local bailiff under the order of Titus Bülche, a Danish official with responsibilities over church affairs. Only males over age 12 were included at first, in 1666 some younger boys may have been included.