View Full Version : Seeking information on the Rokstad surname in Norway

Karen Douglas
12-11-11, 13:50
Hi Everyone,

I received a call late yesterday afternoon from a gentleman who is looking for information on his ancestors in Rokstad, Smöla, Norway.

His grandfather - Peter (Peder) Rokstad - was born there.

Unfortunately, he does not have a birth date for his grandfather, but I would guess that he was born around the turn of the century, 1890-1910. I hope to uncover and confirm this information when the appropriate offices are open here in the U.S. on Monday.

But, I have two questions to ask of Forum members at this time: 1) Does anyone have a connection to the Island of Smöla in Norway? And, 2) Can anyone tell me if there is a Lutheran Church on the Island where some of the Rokstad genealogy information may be available?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Karen Douglas

Karen Douglas
16-11-11, 21:09
Hi Everyone,

Since posting the above, which was given to me by a family member, I have uncovered some information that calls for some corrections.

Th correct spelling of the name of the man's grandfather is Peder Raakstad. Peder and his wife, Bridt, were charter members of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing, Michigan. The following is the information that they provided to the Swedish pastor (Rev. August P. Säter) at the time they joined the church, which was Nov. 25, 1917.

Peder was born December 24, 1890 at Edö Prest Gäld, Norway. I did not find any mention of Smöla, Norway. Mr. Raakstad arrived in America from Edö Norway in 1909.

Mr. Raakstad changed his name at some point in time to: Peter J. Rockstad.

Peder married Bridt Aasbo on October 18, 1913. She was born in Stangvik, Normor amt. County, Norway, on March 23. 1892. Bridt changed her name to: Bertha Ösbo Rockstad. She died at the age of 78 in 1970 in Lansing. Peter died at age 69 in 1960 in Lansing.

As mentioned above, Peder's grandson is seeking genealogical information on his ancestors in Norway. I would sincerely appreciate any suggestions on where I might find these records in Norway.


Karen Douglas

June Pelo
17-11-11, 01:15

Last year someone sent this to me:

Norway has placed emigrant registers, and some census records, on the internet at [English is available]


This one is a number of years old.. a volunteer for Norway research:


Karen Douglas
17-11-11, 22:41
Hi June,

Thank you so much for sharing these websites with me! I checked out a couple of census records, but no luck yet. I will continue to pursue. Hope I can find a website with an email address where I might write for information. And, hope that I find an English-speaking source at the other end! I use to know a lot of Norwegians, but their children, like me, never became fluent in the language of our parents. Again, many thanks, June.


Karen Douglas
23-11-11, 21:12
Dear Friends,

Mission accomplished – at least the first phase!

With the help of this Forum, June Pelo, and specifically, Anders Kvernberg, the Reference Librarian at the National Library of Norway, I was able to deliver a partial list of Peder Raakstad’s ancestors, siblings and descendents to his grandson yesterday. I still find it difficult to believe how everything came together so quickly!

On Nov. 12th, I posted my first query. June responded - not only to this site, but to my personal email address, as well, with 15 other websites for me to try. The website for the National Library of Norway was sent to her by a friend in Sweden, she said. On Monday afternoon, Nov. 21, I emailed a simple query to the National Library of Norway. The following morning, at 5:28 a.m. to be exact, I had a long email from Anders Kvernberg. The reason I has not found Mr. Raakstad's parish on the map, he said, was due to a name change in 1960.

In his email, Mr. Kvernberg shared some historical information about the Rokstad farm and the people who lived there, including birth and death dates and occupations. He also sent a Googlel Earth map of the farm, and provided websites for the National Archives and Norway’s largest genealogical organization. Through these, it may be possible to find other living descendants of this family, he said.

Tomorrow – Thursday – we will celebrate Thanksgiving here in America. Included in my prayers of thanks this year will be Anders Kvernberg, June Pelo and the Finlander Forum. Each day, Forum members reach out to each other to help bring our ancestral family together. And, that friendship, indeed, is something to be thankful for…

Karen Douglas

June Pelo
23-11-11, 22:44

I'm happy that you received such a thorough reply to your query from Mr. Kvernberg. He and the National Library of Norway are to be commended.

Happy Thanksgiving!