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* Norwegian

Most Norwegian immigration to the United States occurred in the period between the Civil War and World War I. During this time, rapid population growth combined with extremely small amounts of farmable land forced large numbers of Norwegians to leave their country in search of better conditions. The majority of these Norwegians settled in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, where they established large farms. After 1890, however, more and more immigrants settled in cities, especially (for a time) Brooklyn.

Except for the period of the Second World War, Norwegian immigration during the rest of this century has been extremely limited, tapering off to only a few hundred annually during recent years.

Contacts and Sources

Norwegian-American Historical Association
Saint Olaf College
Rolvaag Memorial Library
1510 Saint Olaf Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057-1097
Telephone: (507) 646-3221

Norwegian Genealogical Group
1046 19th Avenue, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library
415 W. Main St.
Madison, WI 53703-3116
Open by appointment only.
Telephone: (608) 255-2224
Fax: (608) 255-6842
Publication: Norwegian Tracks

Web Sites

In Helpful Web Sites, you can find links to useful resources about Norway:


  • The Beginner's Guide to Norwegian Genealogical Research, by Finn A. Thomsen
  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • Norwegian Migration to America, by Christian Blegen
  • Tracing Your Norwegian Roots, by Marlyn A. Wellauer

For some tips on researching abroad, see the topic All about international resources.

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