How to...

Global query system for the national censuses in the Digital Archive

In this system the variables are separated into words. Thus, a person with the given name Hanne Marie will have her name separated into Hanne and Marie. This means that you will not be able to search on "Hanne Marie" as one term, but you will find this person if you search on either "Hanne" or "Marie". In the following you will learn more about the query system and how you obtain the best search results. For tip on the advanced searching go here.

The examples given here are from the 1865 census. The examples are marked by a blue border.

The query page

The query page allows you to start searching on persons immediately, or you can click on the link "Finn gardar" (find farms) to search on farm names instead. To learn how to search on farm names, go here. To learn how to search on persons, continue reading.

On the query page you select the variables from the drop-down menu. The variables are:
førenamn (given name)
etternavn (last name)
fødselsår (birth year)
fødestad (birth place (not in the 1801 census))
yrke (occupation)
gardsnavn (farm name).

You must then decide whether the variable should be equal (lik) or starting with (børjar på) the text you insert in the text box. To search on birth year, read this.

If you select given name equals "Marie", the system retrieves only those persons called Marie, either solely or in combination with other given names. If you select given name starting with "Marie" you will be presented a list of all the name combinations starting with Marie. You must then proceed by ticking off in the check box the names you want to use in your search.

The variable list

By using the "starting with"-condition you will be presented with a list of the potential variables, each of which has a check box in front. There will also be a number in front of the word which indicates how often the word appears in the census. You select the variables by ticking off in the check box with a click of the mouse. After you have made a selection, you proceed by clicking the "Hald fram"-button (Continue).

The result page

At this stage you will see the frequency of your variable divided into counties. The frequency number is a link and by clicking it you will get a list of the municipalities in the selected county with the number of appearances for your variable. This number is also a link, and clicking it will take you to the actual database and the specific hits. You can then continue searching in the database or return to the query page by clicking "Søkesida".

Narrowing the result

Very often it is necessary to narrow the result, and it is easily done with this system. The search boxes are still on top of the result page and if you continue to specify variables and conditions, the system will search only in the selection you have made.

After you have searched on Marie and are now looking at the result page, you will discover that there were many Marie in Norway. You can now search for given name equals "Hanne", and see that the number of hits are much lower. The result you have now are of persons called Hanne and Marie in some sort of combination, either Hanne Marie or Marie Hanne.

If you were not content with the result and want to return to the result list of only Marie, you use the link "Attende til førre utval" (Return to the previous selection). If you want to start searching all over again, click on "Ta bort utvalet ditt; søk i heile basen" (Clear all; search in the global database).

Searching on birth year

When you want to search on birth year it is wise to have made a selection first, on name, birth place, or similar, or you will get too many hits. The condition for birth year does not need to be changed from the default ("lik" (equals)) since you indicate in the line below the search boxes how accurate the search should be:
For fødselsår ta med: (For birth year, include:)
Lik valt år (the selected year)
+/-1 år (the previous and following year)
+/-2 år (the two previous and following years)
+/-5 år (the five previous and following years)
+/-10 år (the ten previous and following years)

In your selection of Marie you set the birth year to 1860 and tick off for the birth year to include the two previous and following years, you will see that the years you have selected ("fodeaar"= birth year) are 1858, 1859, 1860 and 1862.

Searching on farm names

There are two ways to search on farm names and they display an apparently different result, so you must find out for yourself which search form you want to use. If you search on farm names on the regular query page by selecting the varialbe from the drop-down menu, you are searching for the persons that lived at that farm. If you search on farm names by using the "Finn garder"-link, you are searching for the farms, and you will only see the persons living on the farm by following the links all the way in to the database. To return to the global search for persons, just click the link "Finn personar".

In the selection of Marie born between 1858 and 1862, you narrow the search down by selecting farm name equals "aase". If you follow one of the links, you will get to one of the databases and see the selection there. What you see now is person(s) called Marie, born between 1858-1862 and living at a farm called Aase. If you start a new search (click on the 1865-link on the dark blue ruler on top), and select "Finn garder" and write "aase" in the text box. You will get a frequency list of all the farms in Norway that were called Aase. Click on one of the frequency numbers and then on one of the municipalities. Now that you see the selection in one of the databases, you soon learn that the information you have here is regarding the farm and not the persons. To study the households on the farm, you need to click on the line number.

Advanced searching

The spelling in the census may vary quite radically, therefore it might be a good idea to open your search for variations. These are the ways to do so:

? Any letter, but only one. "?arl" will return Karl, Carl, Jarl, etc. Can be positioned anywhere.
* Any letters, no restriction in numbers of letters. "*arl" will return Karl, Carl, Jarl, but also Hjarl, Oscarl, Olemkarl, etc. Can be positioned anywhere.
[] Optional letter(s). "an[n][ea]" returns Anne, Anna, Ane, Ana, An, and Ann, while "an[nea]" returns Ane, Ana, Ann