Spotlight on Liv Marit Haakenstad, AG®, accredited in Norway

Liv Marit Haakenstad

Liv Marit Haakenstad, AG, is a freelance writer, researcher and lecturer who specializes in Norwegian genealogy research, transmigration and emigration.  With over 30 years’ experience, she offers international workshops and seminars, as well as specialty genealogy tours in Norway.  Haakenstad consults for several TV shows including Norway’s Anno and Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC and in Canada.  She has written nine books on Norwegian genealogy.

We asked Liv a few questions to get to know her better and here is what we learned:

 1. What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

There are no genealogists living in Norway who I know of that are accredited by The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, and just a few of those who are accredited have a Norwegian Genealogy specialty.  I have been doing genealogy research since 1978 and have published books about Norwegian Genealogy, so for me, this credential is a confirmation of the knowledge I already have.

2.  What are some challenging or unique aspects to researching in your area of accreditation?

There can be many challenges.  Norway had a state church until 2012, meaning the government of Norway had responsibility for the church.  Church records have been kept since 1623, but for most parishes from the 1730s.  Genealogy researchers want to go back further.  Norway has some earlier census records but they only contain information about men.  Another resource I use are court records but it isn’t always easy to find a person, especially when they have a common name, like Ola Hansen.  We have also lost many records in Norway due to fires and other damage so that makes it harder to do the research in certain areas.

3.  What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

I suggest that you have a good overview of sources, what periods of time are covered by the various sources and what information is available in the source.  You also need to know geography and local history, as well as national history, to follow the sources and know why each source would be valuable.

4.  What are some of your goals as a genealogist?

I have so many ideas to write several good books about Norwegian genealogy.

5.  What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?

Right now I am finishing my Master’s thesis in non-fiction writing.  I also have several research projects that I am working on for clients as well as three books I hope to finish very soon.

6.  Check out Marit’s website at

7.  When did you receive your accreditation?

May 16, 2019, just in time to celebrate our constitution day—Syttende Mai!

8.  Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?

I will be a RootsTech 2019 speaker in London where one of my program topics will be transmigration through Great Britain.  I also plan to become more involved as a speaker on the topics of Norwegian genealogy and emigration in the future.

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