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Staff

Carol Culbertson

Senior Researcher

Carol has a long history with Norwegian-American genealogy and NAGC. She has worked as a volunteer (1983-1991), as a staff member (1996), as Assistant Director (2001), and as Executive Director (2002 until her retirement in 2003). We are now fortunate that Carol has resumed her association here as both a volunteer and Senior Researcher.  She published a book about her husband’s Culbertson family in 2001; and, more recently, volunteered her time to collaborate with Jerry Paulson to revise and update A Research Guide for Norwegian Genealogy. In her free time, Carol conducts classes in genealogy at her local library; workshops for Sons of Norway Lodges and other groups; and enjoys assisting family & friends with their research projects.

Sigrid Kolstø Hansen

Translator/Library Service/Research Assistant

Sigrid was born and raised in Bergen, Norway, and Norwegian is her mother tongue. She has been a resident of Madison since 2000, when she moved from Norway to the United States. She earned her Master’s degree in public health from a University in Norway. At NAGC, Sigrid works on translation projects and also catalogues books in the Naeseth Library. She is planning to continue the Center’s efforts to make the library increasingly accessible to our members and customers. In addition to translation and library work, she is eager to learn the basics of genealogical research with the goal of assisting the senior researchers. Sigrid travels yearly back to her home country to be with friends and family. When back in Norway, Sigrid enjoys hiking in the mountains and swimming in the fjords of her beloved homeland.

Dana M. Kelly

Executive Director

Dana Kelly serves NAGC as the Executive Director. She oversees the daily operation of the center and is active in outreach activities and educational programming. An avid genealogist, her first experience with the center was as a member researching her family 20 years ago. Dana’s passion for family history led her to a Scandinavian Studies degree from UW-Madison where she learned to speak, read and write Norwegian. She has served on the board of directors for the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society since 2009 and is a member of several Norwegian cultural and genealogical organizations including Sons of Norway, Vesterheim, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, Dane County Area Genealogical Society, and International Society of Online Genetic Genealogists.

Michael Knudson

Senior Genealogical Researcher

Michael is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Scandinavian Studies–Philology. He has been studying Norwegian and all things Nordic for the last 10 years. After living in Norway for a few years, he returned to the United States to pursue Norwegian and Scandinavian studies further. He received his B.A. in European Studies from Brigham Young University and his M.Litt. in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian Studies from the University of Aberdeen (UK) before coming to Madison to pursue his Ph.D. where he also currently teaches Modern Icelandic. Michael has worked as a private language tutor and  freelance translator since 2011, having worked on a variety of materials including legal documents, family histories, and professional correspondence. Most recently, he has worked with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the translations of letters by John A. Widtsoe, a prominent Norwegian Immigrant from the late 19th/early 20th century. When not working, Michael enjoys being with his wife and children, road biking, learning languages, and diving into all things nerdy.

 

Diane Maurer

Member Services Coordinator

Diane works with our staff to coordinate research and translation requests, process membership renewals, and donations, ship orders from the EStore, and helps with special projects. With a history & German major from Luther College, Diane enjoys observing the staff’s search for family information and the “ah-ha” moment of discovering a long-lost branch of a family tree. In her free time, she volunteers at the Sons of Norway Mandt Lodge in Stoughton, her church and enjoys traveling with family and friends.

Jerry Paulson

Naeseth Chair for Genealogical Research and Publication

Jerry has been a part of the NAGC staff since he retired from his career with the University Hospitals in 2000. Doing genealogical research for over forty years, Jerry had an opportunity to work as a volunteer with Gerhard Naeseth in the early 1990’s, helping create one of the first computer databases for Norwegian-American genealogy. Among the many classes he has taught, Jerry offered genealogical instruction for over 25 years at Madison Area Technical College for adult continuing education. He now leads classes in Beginning Genealogy and Writing Your Family History at our Center, as well as a multitude of seminars for community groups, lag and stevne meetings, and museums associated with Norwegian-American heritage and culture. For nearly a decade, Jerry has been accompanying groups of researchers to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. To contact Jerry directly: gpaulson@nagcnl.org

Solveig Schavland Quinney

Translator and Library Services Specialist

Solveig is the first person to greet you when you visit the Naeseth Library, and the person who answers the phone when you call for information or an appointment. Born in Norway and still fluent in her mother tongue, Solveig is our translator of both Nynorsk and Bokmål. With over ten years of experience here, Solveig is an expert guide to the collection for both beginning and expert researchers. She can offer insight into methods of genealogical research, especially those important first steps. Her translation work often includes handwritten family letters, manuscripts, printed books, and documents (which are often in hard-to-decipher Gothic script). Solveig is our resident expert on the topographical maps that show farm names and act as excellent tools for anyone traveling to Norway and wanting to visit the area of their ancestors.

Jenna Schultz

Research Assistant

Jenna Schultz has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to teaching college courses, she has enjoyed being a part of the NAGC staff as a research assistant since 2009. She has contributed to several database projects, including Norwegians in the 1880 Census, Norwegian-American Birth Records, and the Civil War Wisconsin 15th Regiment. She is also a valued contributor to our free “How To” webinars on the NAGC website. In her free time, Jenna enjoys conducting research on her own family tree. She hopes to visit Norway someday and locate her ancestors’ farm in Buskerud.

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Testimonials

“Our Sons of Norway Lodge appreciates and supports your mission to provide genealogical research and information. We recognize the importance of this work to the Norwegian-American community as well as to Norwegians themselves. And you do it very, very well. I know from personal experience that your staff is amazing.”

- David (Iowa)

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