Saturday, July 7, 2007

The History of Hallingdal

I just returned from attending the Centennial celebration of the Hallinglag in America. A Lag is a society or organization of Norwegian descendants of Hallingdal, Norway. More will be posted on the celebration later; but first I want to share some of the history of Hallingdal that I learned for the first time, thanks to Edna Rude and the mayors from Norway.

Edna transcribed many documents and gathered them into a fine article, too lengthy to reprint in this blog. But, for those interested, please write to me and I will send you her address. And I will try to sum up Edna Rude’s history over the next few days:

Hallingdal first became a kingdom about 800 and its first king was named “Hadding.” He lived at Hoff in upper Al and his son succeeded him as king, living at Garnos in Nes. The name Haddingdal was used for a long period before it became “Hallingdal.” Hadding was the son of King Raum of Telemark, and a brother of King Ring of Ringerike. In 870, Hallingdal accepted Harald Fairhair as king, along with all of Norway.

So the history of our people begins with the civilization of a settled people, from about 800 to 1000 A.D. known as the Viking Age.

While the Vikings raped and pillaged Europe’s coasts, they also planted colonies. Nobody was safe from the Vikings. The name Vik means bay or inlet and the men who swarmed out of these bays in the far north included Danes and Swedes and they were since known as Vikings. A king in France invited a group of Vikings to settle on their shores in exchange for peace and a guarantee that the Vikings would protect France from other bands of Vikings. That area is called Normandy; and it has been said that Normandy is the only place in the world where French is spoken with a Norwegian accent.
But now we know that there was a settled civilization in Hallingdal by 800 A.D., the question remains: "Where did they come from?" (To be continued)


Marcy said...

My husband's lineage can be traced back to 1677 when Eilev Eilevsen Hallingdal was born in Hallingdal. He bought a farm in 1725 near Voss called Skiple and took the name Skiple. Now there is a farming area near Voss called Skiple. I am interested in learning more of the history of Hallingdal/Skiple/Voss and especially if you have any names of ppl who lived around 1677 and may have the name Hallingdal?

Pam said...

My maternal great, great, great grandfather, Elling Asleson Foss was from Hallingdal, Norway. He and his wife, Ragnild Kittelsdatter sailed to America in 1850 and first settled in Dane County, Wisconsin. Do any of these names sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rev, Forde,
I've contacted you before about our common lineage.
My wife and I are returning to Flå in June. Our interest is the Stavn and Rime Farms as these are the two names of our family before coming to America.
Do you know of any contacts in Flå that we could connect with for information on history or facts as Church records etc.
Other names in our family are: Aavistrud, Melebratten, Tollefsrud, Buøen, Gulsvik and Vold.
Whatever info you have to share, we'd be very thankful.
Jerry and Cindy (Rime) Bivens

Cliff Erickson said...

Hi Rev Forde
I have recently started to research my ancestors. Apparently, my great, great grandfather Erick N. Erickson was born in Hallingdal in 1863 and immigrated to Brooten, Minnesota about 1885. He married Ingeborg Trustteem in 1859. She was also born in Hallingdal on October 5, 1859. I am interested in following the lineage further and would appreciate any advice you would have as to how to proceed.

Jeff said...

Pastor Forde,

I am a Lutheran pastor in Orlando, Florida. I will be in Norway with my wife and children this summer and believe that our "Quammen" ancestors came to the Montevideo, Minnesota area from the Hallingdal area in Norway. Have you ever encountered any information on Quammens in your genealogical searchs? Please let me know if you have!

Jeff Linman

P.S. Are you related to Gerhard Forde?

don said...

I too am researching my ancestors and would enjoy hearing from anyone who's something of them. My great-great grandfather Ole Anderson was born in Hallingdall on May 28, 1855. He grew to manhood in Norway and came to the U.S. in 1881. He lived a year in Lansing, Ia and then moved to Bottineau, N.D. and later to Kalispell, MT.(where I was born)
That's about all I know about him. I have learned more about the ancestors of his future daughter-in-law) my grandmother who's ancestors came from Innfjorden and I have been able to see the family farm they left.
Thanks. Naomi Erickson Claridge

Cynthia said...

my email address is; I don't often see the comments on this page and regret not having answered you. Please email me if you have questions.

People used to ask Gerhard Forde if he was related to me. He found this very amusing. No. My former husband's family was no doubt related, but my roots are from Fla, Buskerud County, Norway.