Discover your Ancestry

Live, Love, Learn, & Leave a legacy!

National ancestry finding service, small-town friendliness, and dedication to helping empower families to share their stories. 

We help our members build their family stories through traditional and genetic genealogy, oral histories, and photo preservation. We believe an empowering heritage narrative is everyone’s birthright. We hope you will let us assist you in this adventure of discovery!

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center’s ancestry and heritage programs bring young and old together in many fun ways. Learning about ancestry and heritage empowers individuals, families, and communities with a sense of meaning.

There are many different ways to get started on your family’s narrative, including DNA ancestry testing. Creating family trees and recording family stories are ways to build multigenerational bonds and understanding. It can help to be part of a nonprofit organization where you can learn from the experiences of other members and access expert staff. Our genetic ancestry members’ results can remain anonymous or private. However, many members share their ethnic ancestry experience so that others can compare their results and decide what tests and analytical tools are best for them.

Discover. Preserve. Share. Interpret

Discover Your Story

Preserve Your Story

  • Historical Media Preservation
  • Videotaping of Family Stories
  • Book a session at our Recording Studio

Share Your Story

  • Create Family Trees and Family History Books
  • Create Family Oral History.

Interpret Your Story

  • Book our beautiful Immigrant Hall for your next family reunion or Lag Convention. 

Lag or Bygdelags are groups comprised of descendants of persons who emigrated from specific regions in Norway to North America. 


Build your family stories through traditional and genetic genealogy

Ancestry DNA results are a great starting point for more family history research, and can also be a way to dive deeper into the research you’ve already done. Get started today! Read more about our Genetic Ancestry Group or Join at our Genetic Ancestry level ($175) or higher and get a complimentary DNA-based genetic ancestry test kit. Fill in what you know about your family tree, and begin your genetic genealogy adventure. Genetic ancestry will help jump-start your family tree and will help fill in the blanks on an existing family tree. 

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center's Ancestry Team Leave a Legacy

Spring Grove Family Tree

We have the FAMILY TREE of SPRING GROVE at GIANTS OF THE EARTH! If you have a connection to Spring Grove or one of your family does, please come join our family tree!


Giants of the Earth Heritage Center has many ways that you can join us in preserving and honoring the stories of those that first settled this area called Norwegian Ridge. One way is to give a one-time gift of $2500 and add the name of an ancestor who immigrated to the US to our “honored immigrant wall.” You can choose anyone who settled in this area, and if needed, we will help you research your family and record the story of the person you choose. Their name will be hand-painted in gold below a mural closest to the area of Spring Grove they first settled in. In addition to writing their name on the wall, we will publish the submitted story in our Spring Grove Bygdebøk. In addition, we will help produce a complimentary audio or video recording of you and any relatives you choose to join you, telling the story of your ancestor’s life in Spring Grove.

Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern. It was initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now benefits from 21st-century digital technologies. Oral history is a method of gathering, preserving, and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past and present events.

Plans for the Heritage Center include a video monitor that will allow guests to choose stories of the names written and quickly hear the edited tale of that person’s life.

Record Your Oral History—Book our recording Studio

Book Recording Studio

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center oral history production team has a brand new audio/video recording studio accessible by elevator. Get started—record your legacy. 


Share Your Photos & Photo Preservation

Currently, we use Facebook Albums for individuals who are interested in sharing their photos. Check links to our different Facebook photo-sharing pages.

We also have a google submission form for photo sharing. 

Genetic Ancestry Experiences From Different Companies

Interpret Your Story

Promoting multigenerational stewardship locally and internationally through:

1. Helping you honor the “giants” in your family and community whose life work helped or will help subsequent generations to receive a true heritage: health, good will, self-control, and understanding.

2. Empowering you to reconnect with long-lost cousins, even those across the oceans, using the latest genetic ancestry testing and social computer technology.

3. Bringing young and old together with fun intergenerational activities that build multigenerational bonds.

4. Helping members critically analyze what skills and lifestyles have empowered real people like themselves in past generations.

5. Providing a forum for members to deconstruct their personal heritage narrative and rebuild it in a way that treasures the uniqueness of the patchwork quilt they are.


Join Our Genetic Ancestry Group

Genetic Ancestry Group Membership

Genetic Ancestry Group Membership-Genealogy DNA

  • Complimentary AncestryDNA Test Kit
  • 10% off items in our gift shop
  • Free admission to the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center
  • Discounts on special events and educational opportunities
  • Discounts on genealogy research
  • Online access to additional oral video histories and other historical videos
  • Preference in recording of oral histories for their families

Genetic Ancestry Group Membership 

Genealogy GR: $175/year (You will work with Georgia Rosendahl, our resident historian who is a traditional genealogy researcher—you will not receive the DNA Test Kit.)

Genealogy DNA: $175/year (You will receive a complimentary Ancestry DNA test Kit and work with our genetic research team.)g

Choose a Genetic Ancestry Group Membership Subscription

The Spring Grove Bygdebøk

You may have heard Giants talk about the Spring Grove Bygdebøk—but what is it? Bygdebøk is the Norwegian word for a local history book, usually separated into parishes or very local communities. A Bygdebøk covers every family who lived in a community during a certain period; they are narrated chronologically and descriptively; and the books are written for the local population as the target market. Further, the contents of a Bygdebøk often consist of:
a) a broad general history,
b) a farm history, and
c) a genealogy part.
Giants intends to include everyone currently living in the Spring Grove area and everyone who ever lived in the Spring Grove area, in their local history. We live in a digital age that gives us vast resources in terms of ‘space’ and an easily accessible filing mechanism to build an online Spring Grove family tree. Giants already has an online collaborative tree that records approximately 38,000 Spring Grove residents and ancestors and traces their ancestry back using private and public records to the cities and farms of their countries of origin. The number of people in our family tree has reached a critical mass necessary to move on boldly to the next stage. We are now ready to fill our online tree with digitized pictures, journals, and oral histories—that will magically transfigure dates and names into a tree of life where each person can proudly find a welcome place. Giants has seen great interest from those who want to learn more about their family history but need guidance on using the latest technology. We now need to access those members of our community who are new to family research. The time to do this is now before more history is lost. In our busy 21st century lives, people are looking for easy ways to do important things. We are giving the residents of Spring Grove a way to pass their heritage—their legacy—on to their children and grandchildren, both as a community and as individuals. Reach out to our genealogists, Georgia Rosendahl and Dr. John Storlie. They can help you get started on your family tree today!

Ola and Per homecoming comic strip panel

Common Spring Grove Family Names

Ellingson (Snickerpladsen)

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