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Local History, Stories & Genealogy Resources

Local History & Stories

Church Memories: 1981
The script from a church program presented by the Ladies Aid members and their children.
Life on the Fraction: Melvin Torkelson
Written by the son of charter member, Ole Torkelson, this is a "true story of the early settlers on this triangle portion of land bordering the Chippewa Indian Reservation on the west, not part of Smiley Township, Pennington County, Minnesota."
Looking Back: Ellen (Johnson) Torkelson
As Ellen neared the end of her life, she felt a powerful urge to write down her memories so that her children and grandchildren would learn to remember - and do so on purpose.
Remember When?: 1995
A short article, this was reproduced from the centennial booklet.
Ringing the Christmas Bell
Church members restore an old tradition and ring the church bell each Christmas Eve.
Short History of St. Pauli: 1980
Marie (Peterson) Gustafson wrote and researched this history from the original parish records penned in Norwegian.

State & Local Genealogy Resources

Minnesota Historical Society: Family History
This section of MNHS contains the index of Minnesota Death Certificates as well as helpful information for family history research.
Pennington County GenWeb
Part of Minnesota's GenWeb Project, the site contains a number of useful links to local resources.
Pennington County Historical Society
Search their online database of documents, photographs, maps, cemetery records, obituaries, landowner records and city directories.

Genealogy Databases
Over 25 million names, photos maps, and family trees; paid subscribers receive access to census records, obituaries, ship registers, birth/death records and more
The Norwegian National Archives providing digitized parish registers, census records, emigration and ship records, books, and photographs.
Collected from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, registration is free and includes access to all records and an online newsletter.
Land Office Records
Search the land patents in the Bureau of Land Management's database for homesteading information
Norwegian Farm Names
Created by Oluf Rugh, the database contains searchable volumes 1 through 17
Allows the free searching of the database of names as well as the upload/download of GEDCOM files

National Genealogy Resources

Information about the Bygdebok and how to obtain a copy or request information
Cyndi's List for Norway
One of the most complete resource sites on the web, containing information on Norwegian language, archives, newspapers, publications, and a list of professional researchers and research services.
Dental and Medical Records
Information on requiring dental and medical records for deceased family members and a guide to family history privacy.
National Archives
Information for genealogists and family historians from the United States National Archives, including a link to obtain copies of records such as the full land entry files that include homestead applications, letters of reference, and often naturalization papers

Museums & Library Resources

Norwegian-American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library
Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the facilitity has a large collection and offers paid research assistance
The Migration Museum
Located in Ottestad, Norway, the museum includes permanent exhibitions, programs, an open-air museum, and a research center.
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
Located in Decorah, Iowa, the museum includes 16 historic buildings, thousands of artifacts, and offers a series of classes and travel programs.
Norwegian Heritage Center (Livsreise)
Located in Stoughton, Wisconsin, the "Life's Journey" includes interpretations of the journey from Norway, shares stories of individual immigrants, features changing exhibits, and includes a genealogical center.

Non-Fiction Books of Interest to Genealogists

  • Anderson, Rasmus B. The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 1821-1840: Its Causes and Results
    Blegen, Theodore Christian. Norwegian Migration to America, 1825-1860
  • Kinsella, Steven R. 900 Miles from Nowhere: Voices from the Homestead Frontier
  • Lovoll, Odd Sverre. Norwegians on the Prairie: Ethnicity and the Development of the Country Town
  • Lovoll, Odd Sverre. The Promise of America: A History of the Norwegian American People
  • Nelson, Marion. Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition
  • Qualey, Carlton C. Norwegians in Minnesota (The People of Minnesota)
  • Semmingsen, Ingrid. Norway to America: A History of the Migration
  • Stokker, Kathleen. Keeping Christmas: Yuletide Traditions in Norway and the New Land
  • Stokker, Kathleen. Remedies and Rituals: Folk Medicine in Norway and the New Land
  • Zempel, Solveig, editor.In Their Own Words: Letters from Norwegian Immigrants

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