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Midtlyng - Mitlyng Genealogy

The text below is clipped from the Norwegian site of genealogist and historian Johan Ingvald Borgos. It is kept here because I often find that transfer from Norwegian sites is slow or inoperable.

The 'Bygdebok'

Reading church registers where everything is written with unfamiliar letters in a foreign language can be a very difficult and time-consuming task. In many cases it's unnecessary to invest so much time and energy into such a job. Other people may already have done this work - and published the results in a book. In Norway we call it a 'bygdebok'. (In this context 'bygd' means 'parish').


A 'bygdebok' is a valuable source for every genealogist who tries to trace Norwegian ancestry. These books constitutes a very special breed of historical literature, but it is also a very heterogeneous collection. In the following I'll try to describe different types of 'bygdebøker' (as the Norwegian plural is).

Most 'bygdebøker' can be characterized by these four points:


The contents of a 'bygdebok' will consist of one or more of these three themes:

The general history is na in certain ways:

The other two themes - farm history ('gårdshistorie') and genealogy part ('slektshistorie')- are often found combined into 'farm & family history' ('gårds- og slektshistorie'). If the farm history is missing, the book may be called only 'family book' ('slektsbok'). Typical features for the 'farm & family' books are:

If you are a genealogist, then the 'farm & family' books will give you the best information. The Norwegian libraries have registers with every 'bygdebok' published. You can also buy these books with advice from the Norwegian site of genealogist and historian Johan Ingvald Borgos. Often it can be difficult to find out where these books are sold.

Most 'bygdebøker' have lots of pictures. If you hit the right book you may find photos of your relatives and the places where they lived. The text will be in Norwegian, of course, but some 'bygdebøker' have included an English summary and explanations of special Norwegian words



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