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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.

 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


Board of Directors

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

Advisory Council

Kathleen Bergan Schmidt
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Gary T. Johnson
Evanston, Illinois
Michael J. Bovre
Madison, Wisconsin
Dianne Larson
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Audrey 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

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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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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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“You and your colleagues gave us breakthrough results in our search for Johanna’s parents and grandparents. You also helped build our understanding in a number of areas (Norwegian naming customs, language & history-as well as resources such as the Norwegian Digital Archives). All of this, thanks to you, has greatly increased our ability to work independently in further research on Billie’s Norwegian family tree.”

- Jim & Billie (Maryland)

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