The database of gravestone inscriptions

The gravestone register is a unique tool to help you find relatives buried during the last century, a period where privacy legislation in Norway restricts access to censuses and parish records.

Foto: Mali Maeder/Pexels

The database of gravestone inscriptions can help you find the following information:

  • The gravestone of your deceased family members
  • The dates of their births and deaths
  • An overview of persons buried in a particular cemetery
  • Photos of gravestones and memorials

A unique tool

The gravestone register is a unique tool to help you find relatives buried during the last century, a period where privacy legislation in Norway restricts access to censuses and parish records. The database includes over 3,2 million indexed gravestones and over 2,5 million photos.

How complete is this database?

The whole task of registering gravestones is performed by volunteers. The database is incomplete but is continually being supplemented. If you can’t find the deceased person you are searching for, it may be because the cemetery where the gravestone lies has not yet been registered, because the person was buried after the cemetery was registered or the headstone was removed (plots in Norwegian cemeteries may be reused after a period of 20 years).

We are always grateful for new volunteers to index and photograph gravestones. Contact your local branch of the Genealogy Society of Norway who will help you to get started.

The aim of the gravestone registration project

Gravestone inscriptions are an important part of our cultural heritage. The aim of the project is to record the information on all the headstones in Norwegian cemeteries and photograph them, in order to record, publish and preserve this historical information.

One can learn a lot about cultural heritage in Norway by browsing through a cemetery. Inscriptions on memorials can tell us about people’s occupations and old crafts. The tombstones and their decorations may indicate a family’s social status, and the change in style throughout the centuries. Recording gravestone inscriptions ensures that important sources of information about individuals are preserved for posterity.

Digitizing gravestone inscriptions in Norwegian cemeteries may be done in the following ways:       

  1. Photographing and registering the information directly from the tombstones, and recording it digitally.
  2. Digitizing information in handwritten or printed cemetery records, by agreement with church wardens and cemetery authorities.
  3. The receipt and processing of digital cemetery records, by agreement with church wardens and cemetery authorities.

Search the database:


  1. Am I permitted to copy photographs and use them elsewhere?

The person who takes the photograph owns the copyright. You are permitted to make copies for your own personal use without applying to the copyright owners. But publishing these photographs in any manner (including via Internet) requires written consent, unless the copyright owners have stated otherwise. NB. We do not have an agreement with each of our contributors allowing the use of their photos without their permission.

  1. The use of photos on this site 

  1. Why can’t I find the person for whom I’m searching?

There are several possible reasons:

  • The cemetery where that person is buried may not yet have been registered.
  • The person may have been buried after the registration of the cemetery was completed.
  • The gravestone may have been removed before the cemetery was registered. (In Norway, the lease of a plot in a cemetery has to be renewed after a period of 20 years, or the gravestone may be removed and the plot reused.)
  1. How do I go about contacting the cemetery authorities?

Our database is independent of church authorities. If you would like to contact the church warden (who is responsible for local cemeteries) in a particular parish, you may find contact information on the website of the Church of Norway: Enter the name of the parish in the search field.

  1. Are there maps of the cemeteries?

We have started collecting cemetery maps. Only a few have been published on our website, but the number growing. We now have a page for each cemetery where you can find both maps, pictures of the cemetery and some information. 

  1. Is anyone registering or taking pictures in a specific cemetery?

You can find out by clicking on the relevant county, town and cemetery. “Under registrering” means that the work is in progress.

  1. Can I start taking pictures in a cemetery?

You should first contact the local gravestone project coordinator, in order to avoid duplication.

  1. Are contributions to the database paid?

The society’s gravestone project depends entirely on voluntary contributions and no one receives remuneration for their efforts.

  1. How can I contribute?

We need photographers for several cemeteries, and you may contact your local gravestone project coordinators and let them know where you are able to work.

  1. What do I do if I find errors or have additional information?

There is a button for corrections on the right-hand side of each person’s entry. Only corrections for that person may be added there. If the information is relevant for several persons, you’ll have to click on each one and re-enter the information.

  1. What type of additional information do you require?

Title/occupation; complete Christian names, surname and maiden name if applicable; dates of birth, death and burial; place of birth, residence and place of death.

  1. What does this mean: Gravminne mangler (the plot has no gravestone)?

This means that at the time of registration, there was no gravestone on the plot. This may be due to a number of causes: the lease for the plot may have expired; the tombstone may have been removed for renovation or to have new data engraved on it. It may also mean that the grave is recorded as being available for reuse. We have opted to not use the word “eradicated” but that “the plot has no gravestone”.

  1. How do I go about adding more persons to a gravesite which has already been registered?

If a particular headstone was omitted when the registration took place, this should be reported to us. Send us the details of the person, the cemetery and include a photo if possible.

If the person was buried after registration took place, this grave and other recent additions will be included when the whole cemetery is updated.

  1. How often is the database updated?

The database is updated as a continues process. Our aim is to perform a main update for each cemetery once a year. But our first priority is to complete the cemeteries which haven’t been registered yet.


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