How do you trace your ancestors

The following information from the National Library of Norway, the National Archives of Norway and Slekt og Data, the largest genealogy association in Norway, will walk you through the available resources and how to get the most out of them.

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Online resources Many Norwegian sources relevant to family history research can be found online. Using our reading rooms You are welcome to visit one of our reading rooms to carry out archival research. Public censuses The censuses are lists of all inhabitants in Norway at a certain point in time. They provide information such as who was living at a given farm at that point, their position within the family, their age, profession, and marital status.

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How can we trace our ancestors? What was the Human Genome Project? How do genes affect your health? What causes genetic conditions?

Discover your ancestors - Genes Reunited

Why do scientists study genes? What is genetic engineering?


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  • Scientists can use patterns of DNA variation in modern populations to trace the movement of our ancestors around the world. In many parts of the world, people still live in the same area as the ancestors who first went there.

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    But modern populations are mixing more and more, so there is a race against time to collect DNA samples before this evidence is lost. History or her-story?

    DNA studies reveal that throughout history, women have moved around far more than men. This is probably because they moved to their husbands' villages when they married.


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    • Scientists can work out the movements of our female ancestors by looking at stretches of our mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on only by our mothers. Similarly, they can work out the movements of our male ancestors by looking at Y-chromosome DNA, which is passed from fathers to sons.

      Trace your family story with a family tree—we make it easy.

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      Trace Your Ancestors

      Polynesian surprises? Enlarge Marilyn Corey is Hawaiian. Want to be decoded? Enlarge A giant electronic database of genetic information on every citizen in Iceland is being created.

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