Who we are / What we do

WE ARE A "BYGDELAG" (organization which focuses on a specific area of Norway).

With members scattered across three countries, our only regularly scheduled meeting is our annual "stevne" in August of each year. We mainly connect through our web site, our newsletter, our annual meeting, and research requests to our Genealogist. Those with detailed interest might want to read about our history.


1. Aid in the preservation of Norwegian history, culture and heritage for coming generations by collecting and preparing historical information and data relative to immigration and settlement and to encourage research and writing of family, immigration and settlement histories.

2. Maintain communication and working relationships between the members of Trønderlag and other related organizations with Norwegian Heritage.
3. Develop and maintain a library of resources, such as bygdeboker (farm histories), Norwegian church and government records and other such genealogical information.
4.  Maintain and enhance fellowship among the descendants of people from the Trøndelag area of Norway and to maintain a bond between Trønders in North America and Norway.


Trøndelag is in the middle of Norway, dividing the wider, southern part of Norway from the long, narrow northern part. Trøndelag is divided into two fylker: Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag.
The capital of Trøndelag is Trondheim, Norway’s medieval capital, the country’s third largest city. The Gothic-style Nidaros Cathedral dominating its skyline has traditionally been the sight of the coronation of Norway’s kings, and most recently their family weddings.

  Trøndelag (without an R) is the name of a region of Norway. People from Trøndelag call themselves "Trønders". A lag is a club or organization. Trønderlag (with an R) is then the name of an organization of Trønders.

PUBLICATIONS: We publish our newsletter, "Trønderlag Nyheter Brev", 3-4 times each year as well as Årbøker (yearbooks) on a recurring basis. Årbøker include Trønderlag history and photos, emigration stories & letters, and often Trøndelag immigrant biographies.

ANNUAL MEETINGS ("stevne"): Your chance to connect with others who love this part of Norway. Take part in genealogy labs with research assistance using the our resources (books, films, maps, family histories). Stevnes also feature seminars on cultural and historical Norwegian-American topics, a traditional banquet and many other enjoyable activities!

GENEALOGY RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRIPS TO NORWAY: Contact our Genealogist for assistance. Travel with us when we go to Norway. Approximately every 5 years we coordinate a trip to Norway where members, complete research at the regional archives in Trondheim, meet friends and relatives, and tour the area learning more about Norwegian culture and history.

Membership is affordable

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    United States

    1 year $12

  • 2 years $22

  • 3 years $30

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    Canada and Norway 

    Canada Yearly membership $13 (U.S. funds).

    Norway Yearly membership $15 (U.S. funds)

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    Lifetime Memberships

      Lifetime memberships are $200 for all members.

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    All Memberships

    Dues include a spouse/partner at no additional charge, our newsletter, and research assistance. New members receive a welcome letter and all newsletters published so far that year. Members joining fairly late in a year are given the rest of the year free.

     Membership in Trønderlag of American is open to anyone with an interest in the history and culture of the Trøndelag region of Norway, especially descendants of Trønder emigrants. We currently have approx. 350 member families in 36 states plus Canada and Norway.

    Memberships (except life memberships) expire on December, 31 of each year.

    See the Membership Application form for more details. . .

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    We're Not the Only Ones

    Consider joining other bygdelags in addition to Trønderlag of America if your heritage spans more than one fylke. Bygdelagenes Fellesraad (the umbrella organization of all bygdelags) has contact information for all the lags.

Membership application brochure


*NEW / RENEWAL membership form

*Print a Trønderlag of America brochure (print double sided).

*Make a tax deductible donation to Trønderlag of America

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION / RENEWAL: To apply for membership or to renew your membership, please print a membership application form, complete it and mail it with a check for your dues to:

     Trønderlag Membership
     5420 Brookbank Road
     Downers Grove, IL  60515  USA

Questions?  Email our Treasurer at

: If you would like to pay your membership using a credit card, please follow the instructions on the membership form. Do not send us your credit card number. We will invoice you using Paypal.

Some people complete the form, scan an image and attach it to an e-mail requesting a Paypal invoice. That way we have all the information we need to  complete your membership record in our system.

We are still working on a way to make the Paypal application easier to do on line, but for now, please use the methods above.

BROCHURE:Our brochure also has membership application/renewal information.

DONATION: We have a separate donation form (see the green donate button), and many members make a donation at the time they join or renew their membership. Your donation helps us expand our research materials. Trønderlag of America, is a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Donations are tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

Genealogy Research


Trønderlag of America's collection of research materials, targeted at North and South Trøndelag, is believed to be the largest in the world (with the possible exception of the Family History Center in Salt Lake City or the Library of Congress), and is continually updated and expanded. If you are traveling to Trøndelag, please contact our Genealogist for a list of documents to buy and bring back. We will reimburse you for any document costs.


GENEALOGIST: Our Genealogist will assist you with your e-mail and phone requests. Like all of our board members, our Genealogist serves in a voluntary position and honors your requests on a time available basis.

TRØNDERLAG LIST: Others will help you!  Our members, and even fellow genealogists who are not members, share information on our Rootsweb mailing list doing research for you based on your posted requestst. Hundreds of individuals, including genealogists in Norway participate in this process.

As with the Tronderlag list, others will help you!  Stop in and visit our Facebook page.


We bring our entire library of research materials to the stevne, making them available in the genealogy lab where our Genealogist and volunteers provide research assistance.


We offer a "Trøndelag Heritage Tour" about every 5 years where we travel to Trondheim, complete research at the regional archives, tour Trøndelag and neighboring areas, visit friends and relatives, and usually wish we had more time.


During the winter, a research trip for "Tre Lag Stevne" cooperating lags is held in Salt Lake City. This is sponsored by the Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad (the umbrella organization of  the various lags). Attendees spend a week attending classes on Norwegian research and using all of the facilities of the LDS Genealogy Library. This is a yearly event, usually taking place in February. Recently the research trip has been combined with the annual RootsTech conference which is also held in Salt Lake city.

Trondheim is "home" to us

                  Photo -
Nidelven towards Nidaros.

Den gamle bybro - the old town bridge

Research at the archives - Trondheim

Marching on Syttende Mai in Trondheim

Photo - Public domain
Family History Library, Salt Lake city

We connect with members whose heritage comes from North and South Trønderlag, and often use Trondheim as "home base" for our visits and research trips

The capital of Trøndelag is Trondheim, Norway’s medieval capital, the country’s third largest city. The Gothic-style Nidaros Cathedral dominating its skyline has traditionally been the sight of the coronation of Norway’s kings, and most recently their family weddings.

Trondheim was founded in 997 by Olav Tryggvason whose tall statue overlooks the city. The Nid river (Nidelven) flows through the city into the Trondheim Fjord. Trøndelag presents a wide range of scenery — mountains, valleys, lowlands, forests, streams, waterfalls, lakes, farms, cities and fishing villages. The old and the new exist side by side in Trøndelag.

We sponsor recurring trips to Trondheim which includes research at the regional archives. For our 2014 trip, we sent research requests in advance and when we toured the archives, each person's research materials were waiting for them as we arrived.

Our 2014 trip was special: 2014 was the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian constitution. We gained approval and marched in the Syttende Mai parade. We were the third unit in the "citizen's Parade". The "Children's Parade" which proceeded us had 20,000 children marching! We had a private tour of Nidaros Cathedral and a private performance on the restored Steinmeyer Organ acknowledging our financial donation to aid in the restoration Another highlight was attending a special Ecumenical service at Nidaros attended by the King & Queen, the head of Parliament and other dignitaries. During our time in Trøndelag we were interviewed by Three different newspapers, primarily because of advanced knowledge about our contribution to Nidaros.

Pictures from the trip can be viewed HERE


2016 Stevne Tronderal of America Group Photo
Click/Tap for larger image


AUGUST 2-5, 2017
  La Crosse, Wisconsin

  A Joint Stevne of Trønderlag of America, Gudbrandsdal, and Nord Hedmark og Hedemarken Lags
Tour, Genealogy Research, Cultural Programs, Entertainment, Banquet, Lag Membership Meetings

Stevne  details and registration form will be in our June Nyheter Brev newsletter
2017 Stevne Hotel currently being negotiated

ITS CALLED THE "TRE LAG STEVNE" AS THREE LAGS (Trønderlag of America, Gudbrandsdal, and Nord Hedmark og

Hedemarken) JOIN TOGETHER TO HOLD THIS ANNUAL MEETING. Many years ago each lag (organization) held their own stevne before they discovered they could share in overall costs, invite a broader range of speakers, attract quality vendors, etc. Also because of their proximity many attendees have ancestors associated with more than one lag (sometimes all 3, OR MORE)!

Are you willing to volunteer some time and talent at the Stevne?
We can use some help with a variety of tasks at the Stevne: spend an hour or two assisting in the Hospitality Room, take photos of Stevne activities, work at the Trønderlag membership table and perhaps things we haven't thought of yet. Please contact Linda Schwartz, or vice president, Trudy DeKeuster, for more information about our needs.

2016 AGENDA: Want to know more about the 2016 stevne?.
You will get one in your registration package, but you can check it out now. Click/Tap on the image.

2016 REGISTRATION: Register for the stevne. Large numbers also go on the Wednesday tour so it pays to register early. Also register for the Friday Banquet. Click/Tap on the image for a registration form to print.

Our 2016 Advertising Poster
Click/Tap on the image for a poster to print

2017 Hotel Location being negotiated

Hospitality Room: We have hot coffee, Norwegian and other treats to enjoy on your breaks. We encourage you to bring desserts that can be eaten in individual pieces to contribute to the room. Also we always need volunteers to keep the serving area full of goodies, make coffee and help keep the room pleasant for all to enjoy.
The stevne starts Wednesday about noon and ends Saturday about noon and features a local history tour, a concert, 16-18 programs, lag annual business meetings, group lag photos, and a Friday night banquet.

Current Trønderlag Publications

ÅRBØKER: In 2005 Trønderlag of America re-established the tradition of publishing a Trønderlag Aarbok (a yearbook). This 2005 Aarbok was the first the lag had published in more than 20 years. The purpose of the yearbook is to help us maintain a history of Trønderlag and share that history with lag members and others. Our special focus was immigrant biographies and we were highly successful in having a large number submitted for the book. Some biographies included several generations of families. Many included photos. The Lag published another Aarbok in 2006, a Centennial book in 2008, and a third Aarbok in 2008/2009 and a fourth Aarbok in 2012. There are copies of all aarboks available from the lag at stevne or by mail.

These books make great gifts for relatives and friends in the U.S. and Norway!

TRØNDERLAG NYHETER BREV: A 12-16 page newsletter, "Trønderlag Nyheter Brev", is published three times a year. Members receive the newsletter as part of their membership dues. It contains information about the activities of the Trønderlag and its stevnes as well as genealogical and cultural articles.  There are interesting articles about its members in America and Norway and countless other topics relating to Trøndelag heritage.
Article contributions related to Trøndelag, your immigrant families, or other Trøndelag or Norway related topics are always welcome. Send them to the newsletter editor.  You can request a sample newsletter.

Årbøker (Yearbooks)

  • 2012: This new Aarbok includes history & photos from Stevne 2009, 2010, and 2011, membership lists from 1912 and 2010-2012, translations from the 1912 and 1930 yearbooks, along with detailed biographies of 21 Trønder immigrants and descendants. 208 pages. Fully indexed. Available at Stevne and by mail.    ISBN: 9780976891154

  • 2008-2009: This yearbook includes Trønderlag history, photos from Stevne 2006, 2007, 2008 and Centennial 2008, detailed biographies of all 120 Charter Members along with another 30 Trønder immigrants. 464 pages. Fully indexed. Available at Stevne and by mail. ISBN: 0976891123

  • 2006: This yearbook contains history of Trønderlag of America, immigrant letters, biographies of famous Tronders and their descendants, 79 other immigrant biographies. Fully indexed. 384 pages. Available at Stevne and by mail. ISBN: 0976891115
  • <See Table of Contents here>

Årbøker (Yearbooks)

  • 2005: Includes Lag history and photos, emigration stories and letters, and 125 Trøndelag immigrant biographies. Fully indexed. 424 pages. ISBN: 0976891107.
  • <See immigrant biography list here>

  • CENTENNIAL - 1908-2008: Written in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Trønderlag of America, this book includes the Centennial program, organization history, short biographies and pictures of the 120 Charter Members along with a list of "found" descendants of these Charter Members. 144 pages. ISBN: 0976891131.

  • 1910 Yearbook (Translated): This is a translated version of the very first Trønderlag aarbok. It includes a full membership list, reports from the stevne in Glenwood in 1909 and Grand Forks in 1910, the original Constitution and Bylaws. An Index has been added. 56 pages. Available at Stevne and by mail. ISBN: 097689114x.

Our Board

Board members are all volunteers and contribute their personal time to help fulfill Trønderlag of America's goals. Board members serve for 2 years.

Robert Fossum, President

Robert's 23andme DNA results indicate 99.9% northern European roots (mostly Scandinavian).  His grandparents were born in the Inderøy Commune, Soknedal, Sør-Trøndelag  and Sokndal, Rogaland. A Ph.D. in mathematics, he lived in Norway as a Fulbright scholar, and in Denmark for about 6 years. He speaks Norwegian with a Danish accent. Robert is a member of Sons of Norway, Nordmanns Forbundet, and Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab as well as serving on the Boards of Directors of multiple local organizations

Trudy Dekeuster, Vice President

Three of Trudy's grandparents were of Norwegian descent. Trudy attended her first Tre lag stevne in 2005 where she was impressed with the sheer amount of available information, seminars and helpful friendly people. Traveling to Oppland & Buskerud in 2002 and on our Trønderlag of America Heritage tours in 2010 and 2014, she represented us at our 2014 presentation of a donation to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

Nancy Hawkinson, Secretary

Half of Nancy's Norwegian ancestry comes from Stjørdal in Nord-Trøndelag, her great grandfather's family emigrating to Minnesota in the 1880s

Jon Satrum, Treasurer/Membership

An amateur genealogist since 2001, 100 % of Jon's Norwegian heritage is from Nord Trøndelag (Skatval & Hegra). He has traveled to Norway multiple times and visited the locations of each farm associated with his family. He created our 2014 Trønderlag of America Heritage Tour and maintains our web site.

Linda Schwartz, Past President

Linda's Norwegian ancestry was concentrated  in Sør-Trøndelag (from Horg to Støren / Singsaas to Budal and Soknedal). Her great-grandparents emigrated in 1880 and 1883 and came from Skaarvold and Rognes farms.

Barry Dahl, Genealogist

Barry joined Tronderlag in 1991, serving as Assistant Genealogist from 1994-1997 taking over as our lag Genealogist from James Pedersen  in 1997. 3/4ths Tronder, with roots in Leksvik, Selbu and Stod in the Steinkjer area he lives in Rochester, MN, and maintains the Tronderlag Library  at his home.

Our History

From "Trønderlaget of America 1908-1984" . .
In March of 1904 a group of Tronders got together to plan a Trønderlaget stevne, but abandoned the idea because of bickering over what territory in Norway they should include. They were afraid they would cut a poor figure in comparison with the Valders group. A Trønderlag was hastily created in June of 1907 but received little support and failed.

The Trønderlaget of America was finally organized on September 17, 1908 at Fergus Falls, MN. Before the organization, there had been much writing and correspondence in the Norwegian papers, "Scandinavian" and "Decorah Posten". They had a difficult time finding someone to take the leadership. Faculty members of Tronder background at Park Region College in Fergus Falls, headed by the president Rev. D.G. Ristad, were among the promoters. Prof. Thomas Wollan and Prof. I. Darrum on their own called an organizational meeting.  All Tronders from the eight fylkes were to be included. Later there were 15 more stevnes organized. Prof. Wollan, a banker and businessman from Glenwood, was the first president. Other officers included D.G.Ristad, John Wist, Thomas Warloe, O.C. Hauan, A.C. Floen and Lars Hayseth. There were 120 charter members but before the next stevne, more than 400 joined. In 1925 the membership had grown to 2,556 to become one of the largest stevnes.

The Tronderlaget early published yearbooks and were early members of Nordmans-Forbundet. They also helped organize Bygdelagens Fellesraad. Money to help build a Kors Altar (choir altar) was donated to Trondheims Domkirke and they also presented an expensive model of Nidaros Kirke to the Norwegian-American Museum at Decorah, Iowa.

In 1926 the Tronderlaget in Duluth was unkindly characterized as an "old folks coffee party," because it did not attract the younger generations of Tronders.

A magazine called the "Trønder American" was published from 1935-39. In 1936 a gathering of all the separate stevnes was held at Madison, MN with a good attendance. During World War II, no Tronderlaget stevnes were held.  When the Tronderlaget met in 1966, it was decided that because of the discouraging low attendance at the stevne, it had served its purpose and thus was disbanded. Henry Nycklemoe of Fergus Falls was president at that time.

The lag was brought back to life in 1982 in Dawson, Minnesota. The group responsible for that stevne included Agnes Boraas, Floyd and Selma Boraas, Irvin and Anna Kleven, Lowell and Bernice Oellien, Rudy and Bernice Prestholdt, Bervin and Arlene Skjei, Mildred Skurdahl, Ellsworth and Sylvia Smogard, Orvin and Josephine Larson, Selma Torstenson and Berdeen and Mable Vaala. They raised money by selling bumper stickers, pins, and other items and holding a raffle. They only charged $1.50 for a membership "so that no true-blooded Tronder would feel they couldn't afford to belong."  At the business meeting, the following were elected to the Executive Board: Co-chairmen Bernice Oellien and Mable Vaala; Secretary Orvin Larson, Treasurer Ellsworth Smogard, Historian Meredith Ulstad; Directors Curtis Olson, Esther Opien and Ilene Chapman.

In 1999 the lag was renamed "Trønderlag of America" and a new set of by-laws were ratified by members at the business meeting.

Below is a list of the 15 local lags that were organized at one time in addition to the National Trønderlaget:

Chicago Tronderlag; organized in Chicago in 1924
Chippewa Valley Tronderlag; organized at Eau Claire, Wis in 1920
Duluth Tronderlag; organized in Duluth in 1920
Tronderlaget in Everett, WA; organized in Everett in 1955
Grand Forks Tronderlag; organized in Grand Forks, ND in 1917
Brulle Tronderlag; organized at Emmett, SD in 1936
Lake Hendricks Tronderlag; organized at Lake Hendricks in 1930
Minneapolis Tronderlag; organized at Minneapolis in 1913
Tronderlaget Nidaros; organized at Tacoma, WA in 1927
The Northwest Tronderlag; organized at Minot, ND in 1929
Park Region Tronderlag; organized at Ashby, MN in 1926
Pope County Tronderlag; organized at Starbuck, MN in 1921
Sioux Valley Tronderlag; organized at Baltic, SD in 1922
Thief River Falls Tronderlag; organized at Thief River Falls in 1926
Tronderlaget Tordenskjold; organized in Seattle, WA before 1925.

News & Events

8-11 February

(2017) Roots Tech - Salt Lake City, Utah

RootsTech, the largest family history event in the world, is the perfect place to discover, preserve, and share your family stories and connections across generations. With a line-up of world-class speakers, thrilling entertainment, over 200 engaging classes, and a huge expo hall, there’s something for everyone, no matter the age or skill level. <Learn More>


(2017) Norwegian Lag Week - Salt Lake City, Utah

Put the dates on your calendar and join us for our 12th annual trip to the Family History Center where people interested in Norwegian genealogy meet together in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library to research and learn together. <Learn More>


(2016) Long Time member, Aileen Torrence has died

Aileen Torrence born Feb 7, 1927 in Mpls, died May 10, 2016. She was preceded in death by Norwegian immigrant parents, Olav and Sara Gardner, beloved husband Joseph Torrence and sister, Ardis Gardner. Aileen was survived by cherished daughter, Shirley (Russell); and 4 grandchildren, Sarah, Karin (Lewis), Ben (Brandy) and Jacob (Annika); and great-grandchildren, Rebecca and Violet and cousins. Her funeral service was held Thursday, May 19 at Mindekirken Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis. The family requested memorials to Lutheran World Relief-Mission Quilts. 

Membership Contact

Tronderlag Membership

5420 Brookbank Road

Downers Grove, Il 60515

General Contact

Tronderlag President
630 28th St.
Chetek, Wisconsin 54728

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This website was created: 01 Nov 2002  / Updated: 09.05.2016 8:39 AM