Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finding Ancestors with DIS Gravminner -- A Grave Database

The DIS Gravminner Web site is an excellent database to use when searching for graves in Norway. The database was created to help genealogists find graves, deaths and burial dates of relatives.  They have also been collecting and uploading photographs of the churches and tombstones.  However, some patience is required as there are graveyards that have not been catalogued yet.  I have not been able to research people in Baerum, for example, but I have been able to find records of graves in Østfold.  I have even been able to find records for the graves that no longer exist.  One can find out where the relative was buried and as much information as is known about the grave.  I have to admit, though, that finding out a grave no longer exists is pretty disheartening; but it seems when a grave is old enough and the lease no longer paid, then the grave is removed.  At least I think this is how it works.  Here is an example of a record for the grave of my great-great grandmother Nikoline Andersdatter, married name Hansen.  The grave no longer exists, but I can still obtain this record, which tells me where she was buried and when the grave was removed.  In this case, they must not know what was written on the headstone as there are no birth and death dates listed. 

The site is pretty easy to use.  There is a button to view the site in English.  Click on "Finn Gravplass" or "Choose Cemetery."  You will have to put in the county of interest and then you may search by parish.  Finally, insert the name of the ancestor you are seeking.  Please keep in mind naming practices in Norway.  Also, many graves will use a married name for a female ancestor.  Here is a picture of what the database search page looks like.  As you can see, it is pretty intuitive.


  1. Astrid - thanks for stopping by my 'artsy' blog and leaving your kind comment. While none of my family is from Norway or Italy (as it shows in my genea-blog), I think it's wonderful that you share so much knowledge about tracing families in other countries and I'm looking forward to reading more! -cindy

  2. Astrid, I learned so much from your tutorials on Norwegian genealogy. Thanks.