Norwegian American Genealogical Center > Founder & Current Leadership

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.

 Front Row: Robert Anderson, Lowell Olberg, Paul Larson, David Johansen. Back Row: Jon Grinde, JoAnn Peterson Six, Ann Leon, John W. Thompson, Anne V. Lindblom, Paul Berge. Not Pictured: C. Marvin Lang, Ellen S. Aa. Vollebaek

Front Row: Robert Anderson, Lowell Olberg, Paul Larson, David Johansen.
Back Row: Jon Grinde, JoAnn Peterson Six, Ann Leon, John W. Thompson, Anne V. Lindblom, Paul Berge.
Not Pictured: C. Marvin Lang and Ellen S. Aa. Vollebaek


Board of Directors

Lowell Olberg
Wheaton, Illinois
C. Marvin Lang
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Paul Larson
Vice Chairman
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Ann Leon
Madison, Wisconsin
Robert Anderson
Verona, Wisconsin
Anne V. Lindblom
Verona, Wisconsin
David Johansen
Iowa City, Iowa
JoAnn Peterson Six
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paul M. Berge
Middleton, Wisconsin
John W. Thompson
Madison, Wisconsin
Jon Grinde
Madison, Wisconsin
Ellen S. Aa. Vollebæk
Oslo, Norway

Advisory Council

Kathleen Bergan Schmidt
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Gary T. Johnson
Evanston, Illinois
Michael J. Bovre
Madison, Wisconsin
Dianne Larson
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Audrey & Philip Dybdahl
Madison, Wisconsin
John & Marcy Lovick
Southlake, Texas
Ella Fossum
Racine, Wisconsin
David L. & Ann M. Nelson
Stoughton, Wisconsin
Robert Fossum
Chetek, Wisconsin
Martha Gesme Nielsen
Palatine, Illinois
Dean & Ann Urness Gesme
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Howard Rockstad
Thousand Oaks, California
Barbara Greenfeldt
Washington Island, Wisconsin
Lee Rokke
Apple Valley, Minnesota
David Hardy
Palatine, Illinois
Donald L. Ross
Madison, Wisconsin
Donald Hoganson
Wheaton, Illinois
John Skillrud
Middleton, Wisconsin

Honorary Advisory Council

Marian Aaker
Edina, Minnesota
Marilynn Amdal Madden
Decatur, Illinois
Owen D. & Naomi F. Bekkum
Madison, Wisconsin
Eugene J. Nordby
Madison, Wisconsin
Dorothy Leon
Madison, Wisconsin
A. Elizabeth Sande
Rochester, Minnesota

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.

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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.

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“Thank you very much for the photos! I, and the rest of the group, loved to be at the Naeseth Library. Wish we could have more time for searching in your archives. I returned to Norway in the afternoon yesterday. The rest of our trip was enjoyable too, and I think the moments I will remember forever is our visit to the Library, my meeting with Kelvin, the concert on the Capitol Square in Madison, Nordic Fest in Decorah and when we met Ph. D. Odd Lovoll at St. Olaf College in Northfield.  Thank you for a very interesting visit at Naeseth Library.”

- Oddny (Norway)

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