Family Hobby

Genealogy- which methods are best?


Genealogy- which methods are best? Is it a data program, or pen and paper with access to a digital archive? I have tried them both and have made my conclusion. Genealogy is a time consuming hobby which make me forget time and space. My experience when it come to data programmes is My heritage, where names firmly pop up and make it so easy to collect information.

My great-great grandmother Lotte Myhre 1882-1945

Genealogy in Norway

For many years ago I sign up for DIS-Norge, The Genealogy Society of Norway. This is the largest association for genealogists in Norway. The most famous database is Gravminner. This is the Norwegian name of the DIS Headstone database, which is one of the tools I have used the most. This is a free tool which DIS-Norge provides for their members, and others who are looking for their ancestors.

I have used The National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket) especially the Digital Archives ( Here you can access censuses, parish records, emigrant lists, real estate registers, probate records, tax list and more.

The National Library of Norway has preserved copies of everything published in Norway, which have given me a lot of help. The library has preserved books, newspapers, magazines, photographs, phone books and even train schedules and election files. The web adress is They recommend to send them an email at before visiting the library.

I have had a lot of help of the nationwide censuses held on regular basis. That mean that 1801, 1865, 1875, 1900 and 1910 are available online along with lists of males back to 1664. The web adress is

Parish registers have been a valuable contribution to my reasearch and is very interesting reading. The priests started to keep records of baptism, marriages and funerals in the beginning of the mid-1600. Most of the registers can be found at

“Village books” have been of invaluable sources for my genealogy projects. You get a good insight in how your ancestors lived.

The digitized genealogy research

Whether you want to search your ancestors “by hand”, or set up a digital programme you need a name. age, place and occupation. I have for may years been written my lineage chart by hand, but a couple of years ago I decided to give My heritage a try. You sign up and get a frontpage at the web site. You can write messages to other people through My heritage, and in some cases that is a nice feature. My heritage is not free and you got to pay a annual amount. Genealogy with a digitized method is really fast.

My heritage is very easy, and you don´t have to be an data expert to use it, and you can easiliy add names and other information.

The disadvantage with My heritage

As you work, you soon will discover other people searching for the same ancestors as you. The problem with My heritage is all the names popping up constantly, and you get suggestions from other people’s lineage chart. Then you have to decide to add the suggested names into your chart or dismiss them, even if you got the names in your chart or not. There are step mothers, step sons, sisters to an aunt or somebody´s uncle, four-,five and sixth cousins and so on and the question is; do I need all the information?

To be honest, I didn´t like these pop-up suggestions. I wanted to do my own research. My lineage chart became to big, because certain names actually doubled. In the end I was so confused. I could not remember who has been added to my chart or not, and it became so difficult to know whether I was really related to all of these people or not. The clues are in the documentation which you don´t have any access to at My heritage.

One lady wrote to me on my “My heritage” frontpage and asked why I dismissed her lineage chart, because they were correct. She seemed really furious about it…… On the other hand I may have misunderstood the purpose, but for me it was just disturbing.

My heritage promotes their DNA tests. But is that really necessary when I through my research find exactly where my ancestors lived?

Which methods are best?

I decided to change method and go back to pen and paper, which gives me better control and a better chance to remember the names. The digital archive in Norway has all the documentation I need and given me the access to the parish registers, censuses and the Headstone database.

I am so old now that my grandmothers and grandfathers have pasted away a long time ago, so I can´t use them as a source. Even they tried to tell us about their childhood in Lofoten or stories about their grandparents.

So I have now invested in “Village books” and genealogy books for my own children. So genealogy- which methods are the best? Pen, paper and the Digital archives.


Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather


I crossed the Vestfjord yesterday in an unnatural weather. It was so hot in Bodo, so I was really looking forward to cool myself off in the fjord.

The harbour in Bodo

I expected a cold crossing as usual.The crossing took three hours, but the temperature did not drop much even in the middle of the fjord. The doors to the deck was open the entire trip, and I was sweating.

A hot day in Bodo, Norway

I love warm weather but the humidity is the enemy.

The harbour in Bodo from the ferry’s window

You can expect summer temperatures in the autumn, but 27°C is very rare.

In the southern part of Norway, they got stormy weather with thunder and lightning. People are delayed to the airport in Oslo, because of floods. In the south west of Norway roads are closed because of soil avalanches. The weather is in a way turned upside down and that is frightening me. The north should be south and vice versa, and that is the way it used to be.

People trying to cool off at sea

In the harbour of Bodo, there were a lot of small boats at sea trying to cool off maybe, and no or little wind for the sailboats.

No wind for the sailboat

 The Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather

In the fjord there was more wind, and the waves became larger and swelling. It was a south west wind, still warm, sunny but still no rain. That is unsual and unnatural. You could sit on deck and not freeze. As the waves became larger, people went inside to lay down. The heavy ocean washed the headlands right outside Bodo. I did not like that, because normally the sea would become rougher when we were getting closer to Vaeroey. So I prepared for the worst.

Soon ashore

Luckily and surprisingly I was wrong. One hour before we should dock, I looked through the window. I saw that the wind direction had changed from south west to north. Lofoten was lying in a thin layer of fog, and the sea had calmed down.

What was this? I should be glad. But I got suddenly this feeling that something is wrong with the clima.

Lofoten in a thin layer of fog

The colors at the sky were beautiful, and it was getting dark.

Tourists fishing right outside Vaeroey.
Beautiful colors are the scenery, when another ferry is leaving the island.

Ashore there was 19°C. It is at least 5°C more than normal temperature. Even the wind had a warm touch against the skin. That’s why I would say the Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather felt a bit spooky.

I have realized that the global warming is closing in and we need to take actions.




When your children leave home


I’m in grief. The day has come and my oldest of my two children, Alex is leaving home for university approx 550 km from home. I must say I got mixed emotions.

The Arctic university of Tromsø

Preparation for my children leaving home

I have over the years been collecting table- and cookingwares and bed linen for my sons emigrant day. I have been well prepared, cause Alex has shared his future education plans.So that he his leaving home came not like a bomb. As a parent I am supporting him. But still I am mourning.

I guess this feelings are universial and natural. It is just something we have to go through. Some may say: «Well, that’s life». We all know that, but to come to an acceptance you have to grieve. That’s something I learnt in my psycology lessons once.

When I was leaving home

Personally I left home for highschool when I was 16. My son i I had to rent a room and be very careful with the money. It was actually a tough experience. In the 80’s there was no programs in highschool where the aim was, to take care of young students who had moved away from home. I recall many drop outs. Maybe a social program could have prevented that? I was always broke and lived on sausages, ketschup and spaghetti. That was not much of a diet.

How I envied the students who could still live home with their parents.They got everything. I sat in my 10 m2 rented room and counted every penny…..

I travelled home every weekends. The travel was «an american route» as we used to call it. It was several hours in the Vestfjord in all kind of weather. Always seasick and beaten. I write about The Vestfjord in

Good luck my dear

I described my feelings as very mixed. I am actually also lucky and excited on behalf of my son. Alex is back in school. He don’t have to pass a fjord, and the university got social student programs. There are many friends in the university, so there is no need to feel completely alone, as I did. A healthy, kind, independent and determine young has now left the base. So I just have to say to myself. That Alex will be fine. It will make him good to leave home…….


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