Wednesday, December 11, 2013

First Look at MyHeritage Scandinavian Matches

MyHeritage announced today that they had added 90 million names from Scandinavia, include birth, baptism, marriage, death and census records - see their blog post at  Here is the graphic that accompanies the announcement:

Since my wife has Norwegian ancestry, I tried to find some of her ancestors in the Norway collections:

Here is the Advanced Search box on MyHeritage, and I have filled in the name of Elling Eriksen who married Ann in about 1845 in Sogndal, Norway.

I requested the exact name, and a marriage year of 1845 plus/minus 5 years in the search fields, plus the place name of Sogndal.

The results page shows 12 matches:

The first one on the list is the most likely one, since the spouse's name is Anne Ellingsdtr.  I clicked on the name and saw the match summary:

Elling Eriksen married Anne Ellingsdtr on 19 November 1845 in Sogndal, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.  The record provides the father's name of the Elling Eriksen as Erik Hansen, and the father's name of Anne Elligsdtr as Elling Olsen.  This record was indexed from GSU (now FHL) microfilm 126541.  The database accessed was the "Norway Marriages, 1660-1926," which is one of the FamilySearch record collections.

If you recall, MyHeritage made an agreement with FamilySearch, announced on 15 October 2013 (see blog post here) that they would add billions of records to the MyHeritage database collection from FamilySearch.

These Scandinavian records are, apparently, part of the agreement with FamilySearch.  The birth, baptism, marriage and death records for Norway appear to be from the International Genealogical index effort, and are also available on FamilySearch under Norway record collections for Births and Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths and Burials.

Researchers should understand that these records are not complete - they do not provide ALL of the births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials.  They only provide millions of records extracted by LDS members over decades that were added to the IGI decades ago, and then put in FamilySearch collections in the past three years.  There are many more millions of these types of vital records in parish register books (in the local churches, the national archives of the different countries, or on FHL or archive microfilm).

For instance, there are 1,915,705 records in the "Norway Marriages, 1660-1926" collection on FamilySearch.  The short description for this collection says:

"  Index to selected Norway marriages. Only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later."

The presence of these Scandinavian records on MyHeritage will help researchers find records of some of their ancestral family members, especially through the "Record Match" feature on MyHeritage.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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