Category Archives: ICAPGen member spotlights

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.

Member Spotlight: Meet Kari Len Meyer, AG®

We would like to introduce you to Kari Len Meyer, AG, who earned her accreditation in U.S. Gulf South in March.  Kari Len’s website is Roots Hound.
Kari Len Meyer
We asked Kari Len a few questions about her accreditation process and area of accreditation, as well as goals she has for her research.  Here is what she shared with us:
  1. What motivated you to pursue accreditation? I have always loved genealogy and I felt that pursuing accreditation would help me achieve a higher level of excellence in this field. I also still have young children at home and liked the idea of being able to have a career that I enjoyed but I could still make the schedule work well with family life.  I felt that accreditation would help me to achieve this goal.
  2. What are some challenging or unique aspects to researching in your area of accreditation?  I specialize in Gulf South research. Often collections are not complete due to loss or destruction and other records are not always found where you might expect them to be.  Several states in the Gulf South were under the jurisdiction of other countries and other states during their history and it’s important to know where to look for records.
  3. What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?  Don’t get discouraged and work hard.  It’s important to know the history of the area you specialize in.  Often events that occurred have a direct impact on the records that are available.
  4. What are some of your goals as a genealogist?  I would love to be involved in teaching and training others to be excellent researchers.  I also enjoy writing and would like to continue to have some of my articles published in genealogical forums.  I have been published in the Arkansas Historical Society’s genealogical magazine in the past and received the first place award for “Best Written Article of 2017.”
  5. What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?  I am currently involved in a project tracing and tying together several of the mulungeon (mixed race) families that left Virginia and spread through Appalachia and the Gulf South.
  6. Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?  I have been involved in genealogical research for almost five years now.  In addition to my accreditation I have an Associate degree from BYU-Idaho in Family History research.  I am also the lineage research chairman for my local Colonial Dames chapter, Star of Destiny.  I love researching and learning new things and I am currently expanding my horizons and learning how to do French, German and Danish research as well.  I look forward to a lifetime of learning and researching and I am very excited to have received my accreditation.