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Archiver > NORWAY > 1999-08 > 0935354804

From: Randy Seaver <>
Subject: Trip Report - Voss Research
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 13:46:44 -0700

Hi listers,

This is a summary of the progress I made on my wife's Voss ancestry while
in Norway, with a lot of help from my friends. First, a little background:

Linda's great-grandparents were Torger Sjurson (Liland) from Voss in
Hordaland and Anna Ellingsdatter (Natvig) from Sogndal in Sogn og Fjordane
(I know, there is no Natvig in's a big mystery why they used
Natvig in Wisconsin). They came as children with their parents, and
married in 1876 in Koshkonong church.

Linda's maiden name is Leland, and the info on the family came partially
from the Rene book on Voss emigrants to America, plus later family data. I
have pieced together more of the Voss ancestry, including the fact that the
ancestors never lived on Liland farm - one of the siblings married a girl
from Liland farm and the extended family apparently adopted the Leland name
in Wisconsin. In doing the research, I have used the 4 volume Vossaboki
bygdebok (on microfilm at the FHC) extensively, the Vossestrand Ættebok
(portions from other listers), and the Voss church records (on microfilm at
the FHC).

One of the major mysteries has been the paternal grandfather of Torger
Sjurson, who was named Torgier Olson (born ca 1753), married 1796 to Anna
Sjursdtr in Voss, and died in 1827 in Voss, aged 74. After months of
searching, I found a baptism record for a Torgier, son of Olv, in the Voss
church records, dated 19 June 1753. However, I could not read the
handwriting to get the father's farm name or the names of the witnesses and
their farms.

During our trip to Scandinavia (see my earlier note), I had arranged to
meet Oslo listers for dinner and sharing. I had a xerox copy of the church
record with the Torgier Olson baptism, and Elin, Odd and Ole tried to read
it. Ole noted that looking at the microfilm was often better than looking
at a xerox copy, and offered to go to the Oslo library the next day to read
the film. He did, and the next day he emailed me at my hotel with the


Dn 19 Jun: Døpt Ole Rørbakkens søn Torgeiir. Test: Arne (Clemetssøn?)
Rasdalen, Jacob Hiørnevigen, Johannes Magnesen Lie, Briite Berstad, Agnete
Andersd. Rasdalen."

I don't know how he did it, but Ole Kjolseth deciphered the "needle in the
haystack" for me. Thank you, Ole!!!

When we got to Voss, I went to the bookstore and looked for Rørbakken in
the Evanger bygdebok and found it easily. I then went to the library in
Voss, and within 20 minutes found all of the connecting families from the
Evanger book. I copied those pages and went back to the hotel real
ecstatic. I spent another 2 hours at the library on Monday and found two
more citations that our Torgier Olson was the son of Ole Torgierson
Rørbakken, so I feel quite confident that this is the right Torgier!

Rørbakken is high up the mountain in the Rasdalen valley south of Bolstad,
which is on the east end of the Bolstad fjord. There is no road to
Rørbakken shown on the map south of Rasdal. It must have been a long hike
up and down the valley to go to town and to church. I looked for the
valley on the train through Bolstad but did not see it clearly.

I found one other addition to the Voss ancestry while I was at the library.
The author of the Vossaboki was Lars Kindem, and he must have had a
tremendous database, all on paper no doubt (he worked in the 1920-1930 time
frame). He wrote several other small books of descendants from early Voss
residents. One of them concerned the Glimme farm, and I managed to find
two more generations in one of the incomplete lines from his books.
Unfortunately, he died before he could complete his series of books. These
books contain the same info as the Vossaboki, but are arranged in
descendants order and are much easier to use!

Now that I am home, I have already entered the Evanger book data into the
computer, and will start looking up the details in the Voss church records.

I am very grateful to Elin Galtung Lihaug for arranging the Oslo meeting,
to Elin, Odd Braathun and Ole Kjolseth for taking the time to meet with us
and to help solve my mystery, and to Ole for solving it and sending the
results so that I could use it in Voss. The people on this list have been
extremely helpful and patient with me - I have asked a lot of questions and
the answers have been great. I hope that I can give back some of my
information to other listers in the future.

I have one more note to send - a summary of our Liland farm contacts in

Thanks for listening -- Randy

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