Monday, December 16, 2013

I Found the Voss (Norway) Bygdebøker (Farm Book) Online!

After having such success in finding Voss, Norway church parish records online (see Finding Norwegian Church Parish Records in DigitalArkivet Website), I decided to see what other records might be available in digital format for Voss, Norway.

A Google search found the web site Voss Genealogical Resources (, which was already in English:

The "Digital Archives" listing comprises about 75% of the resources on this web page, and includes links to the parish registers, census records, and much more, plus links to Voss we sites and Norwegian genealogy web sites.

This page has links to many different sections at the top - I saw the link for "Bygdeker" (which is a book about Voss) and clicked on it:

In the "Print Resources" section of the website, the differenbygdebøk for Voss parish are listed.  The Vossaboki book has a link!  I clicked on it:

Oh wow!  There are four volumes in this bygdebøk, and then it gave me a link to an index for all of the farm names in alphabetical order:

I was interested in the Gjelle farm, so I scrolled down and clicked on the link for Gjelle (there are not individual pages for each farm):

Unfortunately, the digitized text on the screen above is not translated.  But I can copy the text.

I opened Google Translate and added the text to the left-hand window and Google Translate translated it in the right-hand window immediately:

Okay, now I want to save it.  At the bottom of the English side of the web page, there is an icon to "Select All" of the translated text.  I clicked on that, and did an Ctrl-C keystroke to put the text in my Windows clipboard.

After I opened my word processor, I did a Ctrl-V keystroke and pasted it into the word processor:

Now I can save it to my Norway/Voss/Bygdebok computer file folder and can read it at my leisure.

I noticed that many words were not translated, and names were not translated, but by reading it carefully I can get the gist of the text.  Now I have a page number for the different farm sections of this bygdebøk and can add information to my Notes for each family that resided on or owned the farm.

Digital technology is always ahead of the level that I think it is.  I had no idea that the Norway parish records, and at least some of the bygdebøkers, and other Norway resources were available online.  I had not really considered looking for these resources until I decided to obtain digital images of the parish register pages in order to attach them to persons and events in my family tree database.  My plan was to try to capture them from microfilm in February when I visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Of course, all of this genealogy fun working in Norway records really puts a damper on my Christmas shopping schedule!

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!

TotheFathers said...

Hello. I'm a Norwegian living in Norway. This link contains almost all the digitized farm books (Bygdebøker) in Norway:
NOTE: Some e-books are available only for Norwegian ip addresses. This is an agreement between the National Library and Kopinor. So I don't know which you could see and wiche you coudn't.
Good luck.

Martin said...

Bygdebøker can be a treasure trove for a genealogist. They are however, very varied in layout and content and thus confusing to people not familiar with these books. I have written an article about the Norwegian bygdebøker in my blog. You might want to have a look at it.