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A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the Norwegian government and by ecclesiastical officials for population studies and taxation purposes. Census and census-like records are found from the 1500s-2000. After 1900, a national census was taken every 10 years until 2000. Access to national censuses is restricted by for a period of 100 years after the date of enumeration.
Many municipalities also created censuses of their residents. These are usually available at the city archives or the regional state archives. As a general rule these are only restricted for a period of 60 years.
Usually the term census is applied to three record types:
- Manntall - Usually lists of males only, sometimes recorded for purposes of enrollment in military service
- Skattemantall - Tax lists which may include only specific parts of the populace
- Folketellinger - Complete enumerations of the population
Census records may provide information about a person's:
- Family relationships
- Year of birth
- Physical health (deaf, dumb, mute, etc.)
Census records are especially valuable because they list a large portion of the population. They provide information when records (or portions of records) are missing. Generally, you will find more detailed family information in more recent censuses. The census records identify birthplaces beginning in 1865. Use the information with caution, however, since some information may be incorrect. Remember that the census records are secondary sources!
Folketelling/Censuses (Learn More)
Manntall/Male Censuses (Learn More)
Sjeleregister (Learn More)
Skattemanntall/Tax Counts (Learn More)