Turid Hanssen


     Born in Spangereid, Norway, a village on Norway’s southernmost point, a commercial and military junction between the Scandinavian countries since the end of the last ice age. It was also a crossing point for Vikings going harrying in England, France and elsewhere in Europe, since they did not want to lose ships passing Point Lindesnes , a ship graveyard due to violent seas and weather mixed with treacherous rocks.

      Spent early childhood playing in the graveyard next door and on ancient grave mounds, thus came to “know” intimately the people who once inhabited the land and now the graves.

      Maternal grandparents were both teachers, so Turid got a very early education in the country and the Family’s history, sitting in the classroom of a direct descendant of the ancient Kings.

      Educated in Norway, but came to the United States after joining the Church as a twenty-year-old and serving a full-time mission. Dreamt of becoming a teacher, but “Mormon” teachers are not very palatable to the Church of Norway pastors heading the Education Committees that hire teachers. She landed in California with BYU as goal. The teacher training in the U.S. was delayed by marriage and family life, but re-kindled when child #4 was born. 30 years of teaching Preparation for Parenthood classes followed. When Child #6 was 18 months old, Turid went back to college and earned B.A.’s in Spanish and Liberal Arts, qualifying as a bi-lingual, multi-cultural instructor K-12. After teaching a few years in California, Turid “emigrated” to Oregon, never having attended BYU, but falling in love with the state that to her most resembles Spangereid.

      Family history remains a passion, and Turid was called as a Family History Consultant with a specialty in Scandinavian research both while living in California and now in Oregon. She detests the interpretive errors made by Ancestry.com’s digitizers and wish they would have consulted MAPS.

Scandinavian Research using Digital Archives,
ArkivDigital Swedish Records introduced
(intermediate, advanced)

View, Print Syllabus

  • Scandinavian countries, languages, history
  • Records available, hard copies and online:
    • Church
    • Census
    • Court
    • Military
    • Merchant marine
    • Village histories
    • Published family histories
    • Cemeteries
  • Clues to follow:
    • Place names
    • Farm names
    • Given names and Patronymics
  • Challenges:
    • Scripts , Gothic and modern
    • Women not listed in church records
    • Records are not in English: I don’t understand a THING!
Practice online reading and interpreting records
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