Find Norwegian place namesIt can often be difficult to find the name of a particular place or farm when searching for ancestors in Norway. I want to draw your attention to two tools that has been invaluable in my genealogical work.
The first source I want to present is Oluf Rygh's "Norske Gaardnavne" - Norwegian Farmnames. This was originally published, printed in 17 volumes in the late 1800's. Today these books are digitized and made searchable on the internet. You can find it here.
The interface is fairly self-explanatory. I advice you to read the little introduction at the top of the page. The database is indexed according to the name of the counties (amt) as they were at the time the books were written. Also, be aware that the municipality-, and parishboundaries may have changed. Even if you don't know anything about these details you can still use this database with ease as you can go straight to the "Farm name" and type in what you are looking for.
If you type in the name slowly letter by letter, a drop-down menu appeare and show you how you are doing. This can be helpfull if you are not certain about the spelling of the name. If the drop-down menu disappeare before you are finished typing, the name is either misspelled or not included in this database. As the spelling of names has changed through time it can be smart to play a little with this drop-down meny as it can help you find names that are similar, and may turn out to be the one you are looking for.
The drop-down feature also works for the the other search fields in the form.
Hitting "Search" will bring up a list of the farm/farms with the name you typed. The list will show you the farmnumber (first column), parish (third column), municipality (fourth column) and finally the county/amt (fifth column). In the first column are boxes that you can check for the farm/farms you want to have a look at and hit "Show".
Searching for names like Berg, Haug and Li will give you a large number of hits, so you might want to print the entire list as reference as you are working to narrow your search.
Oluf Rygh's "Norske Gaardnavne" - Norwegian Farmnames is not complete so when I don't find what I am looking for there, I go to Se eiendom that is a online map showing all the properties in Norway with boundaries, farm- and subdivision numbers.
This map can be accessed here.
This mapservice is only provided in Norwegian. Again, the interface is fairly easy to use. You enter the name in the searchfield and hit "Søk" - Search. As in Oluf Rygh there is a drop-down meny to help you enter the name. Certain names will give you a large number of hits. Each hit is presented with three lines:
Here I searched for Berg which is a name that brings up a large number of hits. The screengrab below show only a few of the hits:
The last hit refer to a bridge (Bru) named Berg in the municipality of Kongsberg.
If you get only one hit for the name you are searching, the map will automatically zoom in on this spot. If you get multiple hits, the map will zoom in on the first hit. You can then scroll down through the hits and click on the one you want to check out. This will zoom the map in on this spot.
As you will se by visiting the website, the map has great clarity and detail. By clicking anywhere on the map a menu appeare:
This show the exact coordinates of the property. The address, the farm and subdivision number (here 3/10)and again, the municipality. You can move on from this menu under "Funksjoner" - Functions: "Marker eiendom" means "highlight property". This show you the extent of the property on the map. "Vis mer informasjon om eiendommen" brings you to another menu:
A A lot of the information in this menu is mainly technical details about the property. I have marked some entries that might be of interest for genealogists.