Instructions for searching NHDC's censuses of 1865, 1875 and 1900
These instructions explain how to search the censuses of the year 1865, 1875 and 1900. In addition there is an explanation of abbreviations found in the source.
The number of fields shown in this version is somewhat more limited than in the original,
because information regarding religious beliefs, sickness, citizenship, ethnicity and language
has been left out. However, all individuals are included. A complete census can be ordered
Articles about the Norwegian census records etc.
How to use the search engine
The search engine displays three or four different screens:
- The first screen is the main menu where search strings are entered.
- The second screen shows check boxes for municipalities where data are available. This screen will appear only if the the check box Limit your search criteria to one or more parishes is selected and the check box for county or area is selected.
- The third screen shows the results of the search in an alphabetic list of names.
- The fourth screen shows habitation and personal data for the people living with
the person above, cf. point 3.
The first screen:
In this example we have entered the search string sig in the first name box and
nil in the surname box.
- Search for the three letters above in the first name box will show all the instances
sig, like Signe, Sigrid,
Sigurd, Sigvard, etc.
- Searching for the three letters above in the last name box will show all the instances
nil, like Nilsdatter, Nilsen, Nilstun etc.
In the example above these two search criteria have been combined.
- There is no difference between capital and other letters in the search
- The program will not accept numerical values or symbols like -,
+, ?, *.
- One or more spaces between the first and middle name boxes will be accepted.
It is thereby possible to search for first names and middle names such as Sigrid Anna.
- You select one of the census year and initiated the search by pressing the button labeled Search
- The search criteria can be deleted by pressing the Reset-button. (See the segment of the screen above.)
- Click in one or more of the boxes if you want to search in specific areas or counties. (See the segment of the screen below.)
- If none of the check boxes are selected, the search will start for all municipalities in the entire database.
- If only the check boxes for counties are selected, the search will start for the specified counties.
If you for instance limit the search to only one area, Troms
county, the following list will turn up. This list gives you the possibility to specify one, or as many municipalities you prefere, if you click in the boxes.
The second screen:
The search results
The search result is shown in a list alphabetized by the individuals' last names. (See below).
The third screen:
The list of persons living at this domicile contains five pieces of key information from the censuses whisc are (see below):
- Municipality, Name, Occupation, Year of birth, Place of birth
If you click on in the list, a new list (see below) displays information about the domicile
and the individuals registered to that domicile. In this example we want information on the person called Sigfride Nilsdatter. Please note that the name of family comes first in the alphabetic list above.
The fourth screen:
The upper part of the screen contains information of domicile. Empty domicile-related fields will not be shown.
For rural censuses the list may contain the following domicile data:
- Census year, Municipality, Municipality number, Name of place of habitation, Secondary buildings
For urban censuses the list may contain the following domicile data:
- Census year, Municipality, Municipality number, Street name, City district, House owner, Number of flats
The example shown below is cut out from the census 1900 from the city of Ålesund.
The lower part of the screen contains the information of persons living at the domicile. The list contains the following data:
- Name, Family status, Marital status, Occupation, Birth year, Birth place
As shown above you can see that the mouse pointer is located at the person concerned. This is the final level in the seach program.
Information in the source
The machine-readable version of the census of 1900 is mainly registered using the
standard of registration HISTFORM. However, some of the censuses registered at
have been registered before this standard was established, and will therefore deviate somewhat
for the time being.
For more information: HISTFORM: Felles
registreringsinstrukser for folketellingene 1865-1910 (Common instructions for
registration of the censuses 1865-1910). These lay down the principles of registration saying
how the information is to be registered true to the source, that is, recorded sign by sign in data
fields corresponding to the columns of the source.
Abbreviations in the source
- The names of individuals in the census are registered true to the source, except names
are recorded in separate first name and surname fields.
- Abbreviated patronymics have been expanded with "-sen" or "-datter", for example
"Hansen" or "Hansdatter". Patronymics ending in "søn" or "zen" are
registered completely, like 'Olssøn' and 'Lauritzen'. The same goes for Swedish patronymics
like 'Haakansson' and 'Karlsdotter'.----->
- If an individual's last name is lacking in the source, and it is easy to determine
from surrounding entries what surname (patronymic or family name) should have been given,
this "implicit" last name is registered in the individual's field, marked with a star behind
it (*). This has not been implemented yet for our oldest editions.
- hf = Head of family
- hm = Housewife
- hp = (Him/herself) head of household
- hu = Wife
- s = Son
- d = Daughter
- tj = Servant
- fl = Lodger, belonging to the family
- el = Lone lodger
- b = Visitor
Year and date of birth:
- ug = unmarried
- g = married
- e = widow / widower
- s = separated
- f = divorced
Place of birth:
- Birth years in the 1900 census are given with four numbers, for example 1888
- For individuals under two years old, the whole date of birth may be registered. The date of birth is then given by the formula 'dd.mm.yyyy', for example 24.12.1898.
- If the day of birth is missing from a date, the day is given as '0' or '00', for example 00.12.1898.
- The place of birth usually gives the name of the municipality
where the individual was born. In the column for place of birth the following abbreviations for
the Norwegian provinces may have
Uncertain information in the source:
- Sm = Smaalenene
- Ak = Akershus
- Hed = Hedemarken
- Krs = Kristians
- Bu = Buskerud
- JL = Jarlsberg og Larvik
- Brb = Bratsberg
- Ned = Nedenes
- LM = Lister og Mandal
- Sta = Stavanger
- SB = Søndre Bergenhus
- NB = Nordre Bergenhus
- Rom = Romsdal
- ST = Søndre Trondhjem
- NT = Nordre Trondhjem
- Nor = Nordland
- Tr = Tromsø
- Fin = Finmarken
Contradictory or faulty information in the source:
- Sometimes a single piece of information in a column in the source can be hard
to interpret. This may be due to the source being damaged, that the ink has faded, that the
photocopy of the source is poor, or that the data entrist did not recognize the word written.
- Main rule: If you cannot interpret one or more letters (or a whole word) in the source,
this is indicated by two question marks ('??').
Information lacking in the source:
- Sometimes, different pieces of information in the source may be logically irreconcilable.
In other instances a piece of information may be erroneous.
- Main rule: When two or more pieces of information in the source are logically
the piece of information most probably wrong is indicated by two exclamation marks ('!!')
the questionable information. Probably erroneous information is indicated in the same way.
Pieces of information crossed out in the source:
Exceptions and examples
- Information in a column in the source may have been crossed out. Sometimes a new value
is put into the same column, at other times no new information has been added.
Ideally, the census-taker's own deletions and corrections in the source are to be entered,
while later corrections and deletions made by Statistics Norway, The National Archive or
eager genealogists e g defending the spelling of their family name, are to be ignored.
However, it may be hard to decide when and by whom deletions and corrections
were made. This is especially true concerning registration from microfilm or photocopies,
where the original's details in blue ink often is unclear. In these situations the registrar
has to use common sense.
- Main rule: Words and sentences crossed out in the original source are marked by
percentage-signs before and after. Any new (corrected) value is registered in front of the
crossed-out value in the same field.