Norwegian American Genealogical Center > Founder & Current Leadership

Founder & Current Leadership

Gerhard 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.

Board of Directors

Dan Huebner
Chairman Emeritus
Decorah, Iowa
C. Marvin Lang
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Lowell Olberg
Wheaton, Illinois
Ann Leon
Madison, Wisconsin
Paul Larson
Vice Chairman
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Anne V. Lindblom
Verona, Wisconsin
Robert Anderson
Verona, Wisconsin
JoAnn Peterson Six
Madison, Wisconsin
David Johansen
Iowa City, Iowa
Ellen S. Aa. Vollebæk
Oslo, Norway
Jon Grinde
Madison, Wisconsin

Advisory Council

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

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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“Dear Jerry, My visit with you in June was a rewarding experience. Your instruction on how to use the online Digital Archives of Norway has been extremely useful in my family research. Upon my return home, I immediately went online and put to use the methods that you taught me at the Library-and I'm now managing to locate a great deal of information on the Digital Archives on my own. I have also found A Research Guide for Norwegian Genealogy to be a great resource.  Please also extend my thanks to Solveig, who was able to translate for me some family information that I brought along on my visit.  I hope to return to the Library again in the near future for additional assistance in tracking down family records. I will also be periodically checking the website events calendar, as I would like to attend your next Beginning Genealogy Class.”

- Ron (Minnesota)

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