I’m Diana Crisman Smith, and I love genealogy. I started researching my family when I was just 11 years old—I won’t say exactly when that was, but I’ll just say I’m now retired from my last “real job” as a software consultant, so I can spend all my time writing, speaking, teaching and researching family history for myself and others.
My paternal grandmother was born in Denmark, so I have long been interested in her background. We took a family trip to Scandinavia, and I learned so much! I’ve traced my Danish ancestors well back into the 1700s. The more I learn, the more I want to search.
In my role as a lay librarian at the local FamilySearch Center (aka Family History Center or FHC), my colleagues have been directing patrons with Scandinavian research to me for more than 20 years. As a result, I’ve learned much about Swedish and Norwegian data and techniques in addition to the Danish in my own tree.
Despite its challenges, researching in the Scandinavian countries need not be as difficult as some think. It is, however, very different from the familiar records and techniques most of us have used for US and other European research. There are strange-sounding names (such as Lars Hansen, Ole Thorvaldson and Peder Svenson) created under the patronymic system, unfamiliar record types (military levying rolls, clerical visitation registers) and—of course—new languages to tackle.
My Scandinavian Genealogy 101 course at FTU is designed to get you off to a solid start in researching ancestors from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We’ll look at these topics as they relate to each country, plus provide tips, tricks and resources to help you. The course is set up so you can work at your own pace within your four-week session, with exercises and a quiz for each lesson to help gauge your progress. I’m only a message away to provide guidance if you get stuck.
I’m really excited about this opportunity to assist you in tracing your Scandinavian roots! I hope you’ll join me for our first session, starting Monday, August 6. Tuition is just $79.99 if you use coupon code FTU0812 when registering—that’s $20 off the regular rate.
See you in class,