Tag Archive | Bygdeboks

Following an X match in the Etne farm books


Having just received the Etne, Norway local history books (bygdebuker) for Christmas, I have spent countless hours looking at my ancestors in them. Naturally I have been trying to think of even more ways to use these books.

An idea that came to me was to look at my Dad’s one-to-many X matches at GEDmatch.com and see if I could find a match where I could follow the lines and connect them to Dad’s maternal grandad via those books


The largest X match he had with an unfamiliar name and email was to *k for 26.8 centimorgans (cMs) and it included a small autosomal match of 6.3 cMs. This seemed promising so I used the user lookup function on my GEDmatch home page and was delighted to see that she had uploaded a GEDCOM.


The GEDCOM number is clickable from the lookup result and it takes you to a page listing the individual. Of course what you really want is the pedigree to quickly scan for relatives in common and there is a button for that at the top of the page. Better is to use the compare 2 GEDCOMs feature from the home page to compare your match’s GEDCOM to your own. Works great if you both have deep trees but I had no luck with that for *k.

Next I clicked on the pedigree button at the top of her individual listing in the GEDCOM which took me to her pedigree page. Nothing jumped out at me and most of them were from Germany.

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Translating Farm Books Using a Norwegian OCR program

When I scan in documents I use a product called PaperPort for my Optical Character Reader (OCR – turns images of words into text that can be edited in a word processor) but it does not know about Norwegian characters.  So it has been a lot of work for me to clean up the result of a Norwegian scan in order to use Google Translate on it. Needless to say, I was delighted to read that there is an online OCR program for Norwegian!   Jim Bergquist, a fellow subscriber to the rootsweb Norway list, posted the step by step process to that group for translating farm book entries using this tool and he has given me permission to rephrase his method on this blog. Here it is:

  1. Crop the text part of your scanned image and save as a separate image file. Make sure to do a multi-column pages one column at a time.
  2. Go to http://www.i2ocr.com/free-online-norwegian-ocr . This is an online Optical Character Recognition tool. You don’t have to download or install any software.
  3. Instructions at the bottom tell you to:
    1. Click the “File” radio button. Press “Select Image”. Use the file box to navigater to where you put the image on your computer.
    2. Leave the language in Norwegian.
    3. Enter the two numbers or words separated by a space. These are used to prevent automated robots from using the site for hours.
    4. Press “Extract Text.”
  4. Three buttons will appear at the bottom of the screen and the extracted text will be in the left hand box (see example below).
    • Download, to put it on your own computer (a good choice).
    • Translate, I haven’t used – it may send it as-is to Google Translate. However, OCR usually requires some corrections to be made, so you should look at the result and correct it before trying to translate.
    • Edit in Google Docs, if you are familiar with working on documents in the cloud.
    • Of course you can just cut and paste the text in the left hand box over to your word processor instead of any of the above options, which is what I did.
  5. When you have corrected any OCR errors in the file, select the text and paste it into Google Translate.

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