Ancestors from Norway - Aust-Agder genealogy resources
   Index   |   Norwegian genealogy resources   |    Aust-Agder




    Aust-Agder fylke (county) is one of  Norway's smallest counties, with a population of only 102,933 in 2002 and an area of only 3,610 square miles (9,350 square kilometers).
     Nestled between Telemark fylke and Vest-Agder fylke, Aust-Agder stretches from the Skagerak sea in the south up through the Setesdal valley to the mountain regions in central Norway. 
     Aust-Agder is usually divided into three regions:  the coastal-areas, the forest areas, and the Setesdalen valley.  The coastal areas have a mild climate and are a popular summer vacation target, with small farms and the beach-towns of Risør, Grimstad, and Arendal - the Venice of Norway.  (Arendal is the capital of Aust-Agder).
     The forest areas lie between the coastal towns and the Setesdal Valley, and forestry is a major industry in Aust-Agder.  The Otra river (150 miles/241 km long) flows down the Setesdal valley through the entire length of the county until it reaches the Skagerak sea which separates Norway and Denmark. 
    In the northern part of the county, sheep farming is a major source of income, with large pasture areas that lie at an altitude above the tree line.  For the county as a whole, the major industries are forestry, shipping, agriculture, tourism, and mining (nickel and iron). 
     Prior to 1 January 1919 Aust-Agder was called Nedenes Amt. 


1. Genealogy organizations

DIS-Aust-Agder is a local chapter of DIS-Norge, a Norwegian genealogy organization. (In Norwegian only)

Gjerstad historielag - this local history organization was established in 1941, and has been responsible for bringing out the 8 volume bygdebook for Gjerstad.   Unfortunately, the web site is in Norwegian, but you can contact the organization by clicking on "Kontakt", and using the form to enter your comments ("Skriv inn kommentarene dine i feltet nedenfor"), and then leave your name, address, e-mail, etc. Click on the button that says "Send kommentarer" to send your message.  To reset the form and start again use the button that says "Tøm skjema".

Eide Sognelag was founded in 1930 and had from the beginning as its main objective to maintain correspondence between those who had emigrated from Eide and their home parish.  In addition, the organization wanted to support and initiate the work of writing the history of the parish. Their web site is available in English, with photographs, a guestbook, and more!

Historielaget for Dypvåg, Holt og Tvedestrand - the local historical association for Dypvåg, Holt and Tvedestrand (In Norwegian only)

The Aust-Agder Bygdelag - is an organization for Norwegian-Americans whose ancestors came from Aust-Agder.

Aust-Agder Arkivet is the county archive for Aust-Agder fylke, but unfortunately their web site is only available in Norwegian :-(

2. Aust-Agder resources


3. Aust-Agder kommuner (municipalities)

There are 15 kommuner (municipalities) in Aust-Agder, of which three are cities: Arendal, Grimstad, and Risør.  The remaining 12 kommuner (municipalities) are: Birkenes, Bygland, Bykle, Evje og Hornnes, Froland, Gjerstad, Iveland, Lillesand, Tvedestrand, Valle, Vegårshei, and Åmli.

4. Aust-Agder maps

Small interactive map of Norway - shows where Aust-Agder is located. Click on Aust-Agder and you can see a small map of Aust-Agder showing the kommune (municipalities) of this 'fylke'.

Large map of Aust-Agder from the NORWAY LIST Web Site. Kommune names are underlined.

5. Aust-Agder genealogy query pages

Aust-Agder queries from's "Norway Message Board"

Slektsforskerbasen from DIS-Norge - a list of more than 5,000 genealogists who are researching their Norwegian ancestors. Sorted by kommune (municipality). (In Norwegian with some English). mailing list archives is another often overlooked resource. You can search the archive to find out if others are researching the same families or places in Norway, and then contact them.

6. Aust-Agder museums

Aust-Agder-Museet Arendal has a web site, but unfortunately it is only in Norwegian :-(

Risør Museum, on the other hand, has figured out that some of their visitors might not speak Norwegian!  So they have an English version of their web site to attract more visitors :-)

The Næs Iron Works Museum in Tvedestrand is a unique old iron works.  It is almost completely preserved, and consists of buildings, machinery and equipment which date back to the 17th, 18th and the 19th centuries. It is one of the important technical and cultural heritage sites of Norway.

The Niels Henrik Abel Centre for Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Niels Henrik Abel (1802 - 1829) is regarded as one the major mathematicians in the history of mathematics.  Although he died from tuberculosis only 26 ½ years old, his advanced mathematical ideas had impressed the scientific community around the world, and many of these ideas are still used in today's research and modern technology. His work was so revolutionary that one scholar stated: "He has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years".   Born in 1802 at the island of Finnøy in Rogaland county, his family moved to Gjerstad in Aust-Agder when he was about 2 years old. (His father became vicar in Gjerstad in 1804).

7. Miscellaneous Aust-Agder web sites

Jan Arild Stiansen lives on the Norwegian Riviera: Sørlandet, more specificly between Risør and Tvedestrand. His web site includes a database of his ancestors.

Rune Landsverk lives in Froland, a neighboring municipality of Arendal.  He has placed his Aneliste (anentafel) on the web, along with several web pages with the names of the farms in several communities in Aust-Agder. (In Norwegian).

Vegårshei in English is a web page with photographs and information about Vegårshei.

Willy's Genealogy Site has information about his ancestors from Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder, Rogaland and Hordaland.

W. D. Bjorndahl lives in Canada, but his ancestor Nils Kitelsson Borteli Bjørndal lived on the Bjørndal farm in Hornnes, Aust-Agder before moving to North Dakota in 1882.

Bob Risholm's ancestors lived in Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder, especially the communities close to Grimstad and Kristiansand. - Southern Norway has some information about Aust-Agder on this page of their web site, but I do not know anything about the services they offer - good or bad - nor do I know anything about the company.  The Southern Norway page of their web site does, however, provide some information about Aust-Agder.  The same can be said for's web page on Aust-Agder. I do not know anything about the services they offer - good or bad - nor do I know anything about the company.  However, the link is to a page that provides some information about Aust-Agder.  Neither of these companies have paid me anything to provide a link to their web sites, and the only reason that I have provided these links is that I have not been able to find a non-commercial web site in English with information about Aust-Agder.

Please notify me of any links that are not working
properly as well as any suggestions for additional links.

Unfortunately my schedule does not permit me to answer
individual requests for assistance with genealogy research

John Follesdal
Copyright 1996 - 2003
This page was created 12 December 1996
Last updated on 16 August 2003