Our Volunteers: A young genealogist’s Norwegian family history


Continuing our spotlight on volunteer translators, we introduce Torbjorn Wolden, a MyHeritage member from Norway, who has been helping to translate MyHeritage products into Norwegian for the five years.

A young genealogist, Torbjorn became interested in his family history in elementary school.

We did a project where we would make our own family tree (which I still have) and show it to the rest of the class. My grandparents also had a bygdebok (a local history book) for the parish, where all the farms and everyone who had lived there are listed, and I used to look at this and see how long my family had owned the farm and how long they had lived in the area.

Torbjorn has traced back his family history to the mid-1500s to the Trøndelag and Nordmøre regions in Norway. While most of his close family still lives in these regions, he has discovered distant relatives in Sweden; the US; Rotuma, Australia; Denmark and Switzerland.

A member since 2009, Torbjorn’s family tree is currently at 2508 individuals.

When my family tree had grown so big, I realized I would have to find an alternative to having a physical one in a notebook. I quickly found MyHeritage via a web search, and saw that it was the best option for me. The SmartMatches function and the ability to contact relatives/other users are an added bonus.

Torbjorn has been volunteering for the past five years. He hopes his contribution will help make genealogy more accessible to others who prefer researching in their native language.

I consider genealogy to be teamwork. The more people who get introduced to it, the better.

Through a SmartMatch, he uncovered the true story about an ancestor who Torbjorn thought had been lost at sea.

One of my ancestors, Peder Andersen, was lost at sea along with a woman from the neighboring farm on the 14 December 1870. The relative I was matched told me that Peder, Randi and Randi’s husband, John Olsen, had been on their way home by boat after making purchases for Christmas, when they were both murdered – drowned – by John, who later married Peder’s widow! John was said to have confessed to the double murder on his deathbed in 1908. He had most likely married the much older Randi (the year prior) for her money and the farm she owned, and managed to get into financial difficulties again, so he killed her and my ancestor, so he could marry his widow and get his hands on that farm as well.

MyHeritage has also helped Torbjorn stay connected and share old family photos with new-found relatives.

I’ve contacted relatives I haven’t spoken to in years. In some cases, I have found people via SmartMatches. It’s been a helpful experience to share information with relatives.

We thank Torbjorn for his assistance in making sure that Norwegian speakers get the most out of MyHeritage products.

Do you speak another language at the native level? Would you like to join our volunteer team? It’s a wonderful way to help families learn about their roots easily, with all information available in their native languages.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer like Torbjorn, email us at translations@myheritage.com.

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  • Ruby Harris

    July 28, 2015

    Awesome work Torbjørn, keep up the good work. I too am researching my Norske roots and have relatives all over the world.

  • Tony Pirard

    August 5, 2015


    Keep up the good work there. I too have a family tree but it goes back only to the mid 1700s.
    Best regards, Tony form Belgium