Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfialu
Greenland National Museum & Archives

Family History Research

Explore the history of your family. Family history is your own personal history of Greenland. The collections of the National Archives contain a wealth of fascinating stories just waiting to be told.

You can read more about what family history research is and how you can begin your own research here.


What is Family History Research?

Family history research is usually aimed at finding out as much as possible about your ancestors. Your ancestors are your grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc. But family history research can also be used to find information on living relatives.

Here our records and documents are a good place to start. None of the records have all the information, so you cannot simply look for a name and get an overview of all the documents relevant to that person’s life. This is because people are often registered in different records by different authorities. Family history research therefore often takes place in stages.



Stages of Family History Research

It is often best for new family history researchers to start with the most basic information about people in their family. First of all it is important to contact the oldest members of your family to get as much information as possible about your ancestors. Basic information might be found in church ledgers and censuses. Information like:


Date and place of birth and geographical area

Date and place of death


When you have gathered as much information as you can, you can turn to the archives. Researching the records and documents we have can tell you more about your family.


If you are interested in your ancestors you can contact the National Archives. The archive does not conduct family history research for people, but if you need help or advice you can always ask for an archivist to come to the reading room from Monday to Friday between 10.00 and 15.00. You can read more about using church ledgers in the reading room under Advice on Family History Research. Here you can find some tips we recommend you read before you begin researching your family history. You can also get advice on how to read difficult handwriting. Check out our advice on different church ledgers under ‘Which Church Ledger?’


Our church ledgers are probably the most important source for family history research. These are available both physically and digitally. You can find digitised church ledgers here. Physical copies of church ledgers can be used in the reading room of Ilimmarfik’s library.


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