When I initially thought about researching my Norwegian ancestors, in 1999, 'over the ocean', I froze. That is, my internal dialogue was "What in the world are you thinking? You can't read Norwegian and all of the records will be IN NORWEGIAN!" True enough.
But, over time and bit by bit I began to tackle this insurmountable challenge. It was all self-taught and took massive hours of patience, study and tenacity. I still have a long way to go, but I feel much more confident these days.
Today, however, it's a much easier journey. That is with the introduction of the internet and the fact that several Norwegian entities have worked hard to make materials more accessible to those of us 'overseas'. Many have even taken the extra step to publish materials in ENGLISH.
Last evening I came across a brochure that will be beneficial to anyone who wants to 'cross the ocean' virtually. The brochure was a collaboration between
the National Library of Norway
the National Archives of Norway, and
DIS-Norge, the largest genealogy association in Norway
A Handbook of Norwegian-American Ancestry
You may find it helpful to click on the link and download the PDF to your computer. It walks you through the vital records available in Norway, addresses the question of 'old Norwegian naming customs', and explains how bygdebøker can be useful in doing lineage research. It also clearly explains the three repositories that can be accessed (virtually) to find those gold nuggets of family history. It also provides links to these organizations, and in the case of DIS-Norway, talks about a particular database called Gravminner (the Norwegian name of the DIS Headstone database).
Final note. It's a journey, not a race. Enjoy the time you spend on researching your family history, but be sure to record and document where you gleaned your information.