Norwegian newspaper features FHSS family history intern Annie Smith


Family: Ola Aas, head of the Friends of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, intern Annie Smith, and managing director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, Terje M. Hasle Joranger, will have a spotlight on genealogy this summer. Photo: Jo E. Brenden
 

By Jo Espen Brenden

Published: 11. juni 2019, kl. 09:29

Translated by Sarah Reed

“You guys are lucky in Norway, which has good archives,” says Anne Smith. This summer, she will be working at the Emigrant Museum and helping visitors find their families.

The Norwegian Emigrant Museum has started an internship-partnership with Brigham Young University in Utah.

This summer, Annie Smith from Provo and fellow student Forrest Emmett, who will be coming later, will hold classes on family research several Saturdays in June and July. And they will give visitors who come to the museum concrete advice on how they can succeed in the search for their family history.

Want to find roots

In the United States, Smith takes concrete courses at the university on genealogy.

“Wanting to find our relatives and family history is particularly strong among us Americans. We are a nation where everyone, at one time or another, was an immigrant. Knowing who you belong to is finding out who you are. And Americans have a strong desire to seek out our roots and see how our ancestors lived,” Smith says.

She has become a genealogy expert:

“I have worked for four years with family research, and have seen a lot of Norwegian archives. I can read old handwriting, Old Norwegian, and even runes. And I have a good knowledge of American archives. So I can not only help Norwegians looking for fellow countrymen who emigrated, but I can also find relatives living in the United States today.”

What’s your tip on how to succeed in finding your family?

“It’s best to start with yourself and your immediate family. Talk to your closest relatives and see how far you can get just through good conversations. From there, you have to decide which part of your family tree that interests you most, which you can supplement with other resources,” says Smith.

“You Norwegians are lucky. You have good free archival material online, which you can search through.”

Just start

Managing Director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, Terje M. Hasle Joranger, is happy to have Annie on-site:

“The American students not only help us with day-to-day tasks, but they provide us with valuable expertise. They help create excitement about our museum, and can attract people to come here to visit our collections.”

Joranger says that the internship is just the start of an overseas collaboration:

“We want to actively connect the museum to institutions of higher learning in the United States. Such cooperation is mutually beneficial, not least in connection with the museum having a role as national coordinator for the 200-year anniversary of Norwegian emigration to the United States,” Smith says.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Friends of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum Association will have an evening membership meeting where Annie will talk about identity and genealogy. And the friendship association will make sure to put an extra spotlight on genealogy this summer:

“We will contribute by helping with the practicalities in addition to having some knowledge of the area,” says Ola Aas, head of Friends of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum.

“What is exciting, from our point of view, is that we’re now welcoming young people who come from the genealogy Mecca, who can see things in a completely different way than what we have done so far.”

To see the original article in Norwegian, follow this link https://www.hamar-dagblad.no/hamar/nyheter/amerikanske-annie-skal-hjelpe-folk-med-a-finne-slekten/s/5-80-60246

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