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Founder & Current Leadership

Gerhard NaesethProfessor GERHARD B. NAESETH

The core of the Genealogical Center research collection was assembled by Gerhard B. Naeseth (1913-1994), who was internationally renowned in the field of Norwegian and Norwegian-American genealogy and immigration.

A former University of Wisconsin professor, Naeseth served as associate director for the libraries of the University of Wisconsin from 1948-1978. During his tenure at the University of Wisconsin, he helped build one of the largest collections of Norwegian local & genealogical history in the United States.

Following his retirement, he administered the Genealogical Center, beginning in his home and later in the present quarters. In 1990, the genealogical research library was named in his honor. In 1993, he completed and published volume one of his massive research, “Norwegian Immigrants to the United States: A Biographical Guide, 1825-1850.”

In 2001, the Genealogical Center established the Gerhard B. Naeseth Chair for Genealogical Research and Publication as a tribute to his lifetime accomplishments in the field of Norwegian and Norwegian-American genealogy.

New Board Chairman Paul Larson (left) thanks former Board Chairman Lowell Olberg for his years of service to NAGC. December 2017

2018 NAGC Board of Directors

Back Row: Paul Larson, Chairman; Ken Larson, Secretary; Scott R. Johnson; C. Marvin Lang, Vice Chairman; Robert M. Fossum; David Johansen, Treasurer.  Front Row: Gary Smithback; Paul M. Berge; Ellen Smithback; John W. Thompson. (Absent from Group Photo: Anne V. Lindblom)

Board of Directors

Paul Larson
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Robert M. Fossum
Chetek, Wisconsin
C. Marvin Lang
Vice Chairman
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Scott R. Johnson
Madison, Wisconsin
David Johansen
Iowa City, Iowa
Anne V. Lindblom
Verona, Wisconsin
Ken Larson
Batavia, Illinois
Ellen Smithback
Stoughton, Wisconsin
Lowell Olberg
Chairman Emeritus
Wheaton, Illinois
Gary Smithback
Stoughton, Wisconsin
Paul M. Berge
Middleton, Wisconsin
John W. Thompson
Madison, Wisconsin

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

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“Dear Solveig, Thank you so much for the translation work you did for us on the Hermansen documents. Together, these translations shed new light on the departure of my great grandmother's family from their native Norway. One can only imagine the true grit and fortitude it took to cross the mighty Atlantic to open a new chapter in their lives here in America. There immigrants were truly made of the "right stuff" and I am proud to carry on that family heritage today. Again, thank you for your work and we look forward to visiting the Center in the near future.”

- Tom (Wisconsin)

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