Ancestors from Norway
   Index    |     Some Norwegian-American web sites


Some Norwegian-American web sites


There are many wonderful web pages that you can visit to learn more about the history of Norwegian immigrants in the US. My selection does not include every single web page that mentions Norwegian-Americans, but hopefully you will find that this selection will give you a few hours of surfing pleasure :-)

The Promise of America is a new multimedia website which features a variety of Norwegian-American materials. The web site is the result of teamwork between the following: Oslo College- Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information Sciences; National Library of Norway, Oslo Division, National Library of Norway, Rana Division; The Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Hamar, and the Norwegian Directorate for Public and School Libraries.

The Norwegian Emigration - 175 years is an online exhibition made by the Digital Archives at the University of Bergen in Norway to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Norwegian emigration to America.

The Norwegian American Foundation - the mission of this foundation is to further cooperation among all Norwegian American organizations and to strengthen the ties between Norway and people throughout North America, who through ancestry and interest have a special relationship with Norway.

Norwegian Immigrants is from the Spartacus Internet Encyclopedia's section on European immigration to the USA, 1840 - 1960

Norwegian Americans - is a collection of articles from the Library of Congress.

The Norwegian- American collection at the Norwegian National Library is a very large collection of printed documents on emigration from Norway to the USA and Canada. The collection includes the Thor M. Andersen bibliography (TMA) - an online database with references to more than 50,000 documents, periodical and newspaper articles by or about Norwegian-Americans, together with biographical information on the authors.

The Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library was established in 1974 by professor Gerhard Naeseth, and is by far the most outstanding Norwegian - American genealogical research center in the U.S. It has extensive facilities for genealogical research, including a fantastic collection of microfilms, Norwegian 'bygdebøker', genealogical databases, passenger lists, censuses, etc. Anyone searching for ancestors from Norway or descendants in the U.S.A. can ask the Center for help. There is a small fee for these services.

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, features objects from life in old Norway to the Atlantic crossing to life in pioneer America.

Little Norway - Nestled in a beautiful valley twenty miles west of Madison, Wisconsin, hidden in the foothills of Blue Mounds, is a charming and unique outdoor museum known as Little Norway.

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington, was founded in 1980 to honor the legacy of immigrants from the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) collects and preserves the stories and records of Norwegian immigrants who settled in the U.S. Several volumes of their Norwegian-American studies are available on this web site.

The Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad is made up of several "Bygdelag" - organizations of emigrant descendants from various parts of Norway. NABF is a great resource for Norwegian - American genealogy research.

The Sami Siida of North America contains information about Sámi culture and the emigration of Sámi people to the United States. The web site also includes information about genealogy. See also the Baiki: the North American Sami Journal which promotes an awareness of indigenous Saami culture through education, communication, research, and the arts.

Sons of Norway has a "stabbur" on the web -- a storehouse of information about all things Norwegian!

Nordmanns - Forbundet was started by the Norwegian statesman, poet and writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1907. The association now has a worldwide membership of more than 10,000 spread over five continents. I would highly recommend a membership in this organization! The association publishes a magazine, The Norseman, which covers Norwegian culture and history, as well as current events of interest to those of Norwegian heritage..

The Minnesota Genealogical Society organized in 1969, is a non-profit, educational organization whose purpose is to foster and increase interest in genealogy by providing an association for those interested in family, state, and local history. While it is not strictly speaking a "Norwegian - American" organization, it does sponsor the Norwegian - American Genealogy Association.

Immigration History Research Center - IHRC at the University of Minnesota was founded in 1965. Like the Minnesota Genealogical Society, it is not strictly speaking a "Norwegian - American" organization. It is, however, an international resource on American immigration and ethnic history. The Center maintains archival and library collections, sponsors academic and public programs, and publishes bibliographic and scholarly works.

Scanfest Nordic Heritage Festival is held each fall in New Jersey.

Nordic Fest is an annual event held in Decorah, Iowa.

The Norway Day Festival in San Francisco is an annual festival held at the Fort Mason Center.

Websteader: Pioneer sod houses is a web page about the American pioneer sod house. Many Norwegian immigrants lived in such houses during their first years in the US. For more on this topic, see Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920 from the Library of Congress.

"Little Norway" Poulsbo, in Puget Sound, was settled in the 1880's by Norwegian immigrants, and Norwegian was the predominant language in Poulsbu until after World War 1.

Earl Warren was born in Los Angeles, California in 1891. His father was a Norwegian immigrant who worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, before being laid off. You can read about other famous Norwegians on Metropolitan News Company's Great Norwegian's homepage.

Bella Gunnes: Black Widow of the Heartland. Born as Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset in 1859 in Trondheim, Norway, she would become notorious as a serial killer. Even though the exact number of victims was never identified, it is believed to have numbered anywhere between sixteen and twenty-eight ..... To this day we do not know whether Gunnes died in the fire at her farm or whether she had managed to commit the perfect crime and elude apprehension.

Life on the Fraction is a collection of stories about Norwegian immigrants who settled in Minnesota.

A Norwegian postage stamp commemorating the sesquicentennial of Norwegian emigration to America was based on a photograph of John Bakken's sod house in Milton, North Dakota. The same picture was used on the Homestead Act commemorative stamp released at Beatrice, Nebraska on May 20, 1962.

Welcome to the melted pot is Bernie Shellum's web page about his ancestors and growing up in Brown County, Minnesota.

The Norse Migration: Norwegian Labor in Hawaii is a very interesting article on Norwegian emigration to Hawaii in the 1880's. It was published by the Hawaiian Historical Society in 1962, but unfortunately, it is not available on the web. The link is to the Hawaiian Historical Society where you can order it for US$ 10.00. (Look under 71st Annual Report, 1962). If you are interested in researching Norwegian emigration to Hawaii you should also stop by Hawaii State GenWeb Project and the Honolulu County Genealogical Society .

Not all Norwegians settled in the mid-west: by 1900, Norwegians had settled in 139 Texas counties! If you are interested in researching this further, you should stop by Gus Stangeland's as well as the Texas Genweb Page. You should also visit the Norwegian Society of Texas web site. In addition, Håkon Jensen in Norway has a very nice web page on some of his ancestors who emigrated to Texas. Last, but not least, is the most important resource for those who are researching Norwegian immigrants who settled n Texas: the book "Norge i Texas" published in Norway (in Norwegian) in 1982 by Stange Historielag, ISBN 82-7104-097-9. This book was co-authored by Odd Magnar Syversen of Loten, Norway, and the Honorable Judge Derwood Johnson in Waco, Texas. In a recent e-mail message to me, Judge Derwood Johnson wrote:

You may send an e-mail to the Hon. Judge Derwood Johnson at [email protected]. Please keep in mind that this is an incredibly generous offer from a judge who, like all judges, has an extremely busy schedule! When you contact Judge Johnson, please provide sufficient information so that he will not have to spend time sending you e-mails requesting additional information to look up the material you need.

Norwegians in Winona. On July 18, 1854, several Norwegian families, among them Mr. & Mrs. Nels Sebo, Mr. & Mrs. Halvor Myhre and three other families settled near Winona, Minnesota, in what is now called Cedar Valley. This is a very nice web page to visit and learn about early Norwegian settlements in Minnesota.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has its roots among Scandinavian immigrants. Its publishing house, Augsburg Fortress also has its roots among Scandinavian immigrants.

There are several colleges in the United States that have strong ties to Norway. These include: St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, which has a Norwegian Studies department; Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, which has a Scandinavian studies department; and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, which not only offers Norwegian language courses, but also has a Norwegian language summer camp for kids! On the west coast, in Tacoma, Washington, the Pacific Lutheran University has a great Scandinavian Studies Center with several links worth exploring.

Hendricks, Minnesota, Rural Pioneer Heritage is a nice web page about the early settlers of this town, most of whom were from Trondheim.

My Ancestors by Bernard Anderson, was written in 1933, and helps us gain insight into the sacrifices and hardships that the Norwegian immigrants endured, both during their journey to America as well as during their pioneer days in the midwest.

Tracing Mormon Pioneers has some very interesting information about Mormons from Europe (including Scandinavia) who emigrated to the USA.

The 15th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment fought bravely in the U.S. Civil War. This regiment was composed almost entirely of Norwegian immigrants -- 118 of the men were named Ole!

Snowshoe Thompson (originally named Jon Torsteinson Rue) emigrated from Telemark with his family when he was 10 years old. As an adult he became a legend in California by delivering mail...... across the Sierra Nevada mountains ....... in the winter......... on skis!

Knut Rockne learned to play football with his immigrant neighbors in Chicago. He grew up to become the country's most respected, innovative and successful college football coach of all time.

The Half-Norwegian (on the Mother's Side) American Bar Association meets annually on Norwegian Independence Day (May 17th) at The Biltmore in Los Angeles.

Osmund Osmundsen (1885-1961), Panama Canal Engineer Osmund Osmundsen emigrated from Stavanger, Norway, to New York City around 1900, and later became a "Rigger" on the Panama Canal. His grandson, Art Osmund Anderson, who lives in Maryland, created this beautiful web page dedicated to his grandfather.

Wisconsin Pioneer Experience includes information about Norwegian immigrants who settled in Wisconsin.

Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA) helps to preserve and promote the art of the Hardanger fiddle, Norwegian folk dance, and other Norwegian instrumental and vocal music in North America.


To top of page

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 - 2005
This page was created December 12, 1996
Last updated on 07 November 2005