Home › Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a member?

It’s as easy as going to the MEMBER page on our website, where you can pay on-line or you can print out a membership application and mail it to us with your check. If you live in the area, visit us and you can join while at the Center.

What benefits are there to becoming a member?

In addition to supporting our goal of collecting, preserving and sharing Norwegian-American heritage and family history, members will enjoy: the use of genealogical resources for those visiting NAGC & NL; reduced rates on research, staff assistance, and translation services; a subscription to Norwegian Tracks newsletter; discounts on selected eStore items; discounts on NAGC seminars; a copy of the annual report; and access (at Supporter level only) to our online proprietary databases.

How can I renew my membership, if I don’t want to subscribe to the database?

You can join at the Associate or Philanthropic Level.

Can I renew my membership at a different level?

Absolutely. You can do that on the MEMBER page of our website. Just select the level you wish to renew your membership at.

If I am not a member, what must I do to subscribe to the online database?

You must be a member of NAGC & NL to use our online proprietary database. It is included in the price of Supporter level membership.

How can I display NAGC’s “Wish List” for monetary support?

Visit the DONATE page on our website. You’ll be able to select from the list of projects that need financial support and make your donation on line.

How do I get started with documenting my genealogy?

There are plenty of helpful tips on the RESEARCH page of our website in the “How we can help you” section. Classes are taught in Madison for “Beginning Norwegian Genealogy” each summer or you visit the Naeseth Library where our research staff can assist you with your search for family information (NAGC members enjoy free use of the Naeseth Library resources and reduced rates for research fees).

I have many old documents handwritten in Norwegian. How can I get them translated?

Translation services (in both Bokmål and Nynorsk) for handwritten letters, legal documents, manuscripts, and printed articles are available. Depending on legibility of the original document, translation of Gothic script is also available. We recommend you contact us to make arrangements to send copies of what you want translated, and we can give you an estimate of what the translation will cost.

I have a family history dating back to 1200 A.D. Would NAGC & NL like a copy of it?

We welcome family histories that can be added to our collection. The history must be submitted in printed form.

I have some old Bibles, church hymnals and/or books (in Norwegian and English) that belonged to my family. May I donate them to NAGC & NL?

We can only accept donations that have genealogical information that will assist others with their research. If there is no genealogical information, we suggest you offer them to other members of your family, who may want them for sentimental reasons.

I am from out-of-state and would like to visit the Naeseth Library. Are there hotels nearby that you would recommend?

There are hotels within walking distance of our Center, as well as hotels in the Madison area. Click here for a PDF of suggested hotels, as well as a map of downtown Madison.

I plan to work on my family history by visiting the Naeseth Library. I may need some help from the research staff. Should I make an appointment?

Because of the number of visitors we have that need assistance, we highly recommend that you make an appointment. We want to make sure that you are able to find the materials you need to conduct your family research.

Become a Member

By becoming a member, you not only gain benefits for your family history research, you also support a worthy cause.

Your annual membership helps you, your family, and a wide community discover their roots and preserve a treasured heritage.

Learn More ›

Support NAGC & NL

NAGC & NL relies upon donations of all types from its members and friends throughout the world.

All gifts, whether large or small, are essential to the work of the Center, an important non-profit organization of international scope that is dedicated to preserving Norwegian-American history and heritage.

Make A Donation ›


“After receiving the information from your organization about finding my husband's family farm on Sjernaroy, we rerouted our whole trip to go there. The map from Solveig was crucial. We ran into a tour at the church where records showed John's grandfather was baptised- those records were from your genealogists. The tour guide told us his wife was related to the Norheims and pointed out the direction of the farms. We followed a sign that said NORHEIM -> and it led us to the cluster of farms owned by Norheims. At the first farm, the wife told us they weren't related and sent us on to the next farm.  At the next farm, the farmer and his son went into get the grandfather, who came out with the Sjernaroy family history book. He said he wasn't related but showed us the page his family was on and told us to go to the next farm. Our wonderful driver was fearless about talking to anyone- good thing too because many of the people didn't speak English. At the third farm was an 80 something year old man sitting on his porch listening to the radio in his slippers. Our driver showed him the baptismal record and he said, "that is my uncle." He told us about his father and he took us inside to show us photos. He also pointed out the house where John's grandfather was born. This was all because of your hard work. Both John and I want to thank you for giving us this gift.”

- Wendy & John (California)

Read More Testimonials ›