Genealogy is the study of one's family heritage. According to Webster's Dictionary, the definition of genealogy is "a recorded history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor or ancestors." The recording of family lineage requires an accumulation of family tales, stories, facts, interviews, and research which is then recorded for future generations to see.
To join Daughters of Norway, you need to state how you are related to a Scandinavian and which relative was the first coming to the United States from a particular Scandinavian country. Again, tracing your genealogy is helpful for this task.
Most genealogy sites, suggest you start by recording all the facts you know. Begin with yourself. Where, when and how were you officially named at birth? Then add these facts for your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and spouse (if any). Keep adding to the facts you collect. If possible, add additional information such as where and when people lived in places, what they did, special achievements, military service, etc.
Once this is done, start interviewing as many of your living relatives as possible to add additional facts to your growing list. There are many online sources offering a convenient way to find, capture and record this information. They also offer the ability to keep track of your sources as there may be conflicting reports (what people remember and what is later recorded varies quite a bit).
Then, start tracing your family history backward in time. If your ancestors came to the United States recently, you may know the name of the ship, plane, train, or just the date and entry point into the United States. From that point, you can begin your search to the past. For those whose relatives have been in the United States prior to the 1930 census, looking at past census reports can help you narrow things down somewhat. There are many sites in the U.S. where you can obtain records. Some are listed below. Some individual states do have records you can obtain online without payment by doing a simple internet search.
Genealogy in Scandinavia has been going on for generations and is important. They have kept good records over time and preserved them in books, parish records, national records, and additional sources. In the United States, many people of Nordic descent have good records they have either kept or where you can extract information from the numerous available online, local and national sites.