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Archiver > NORWAY > 1999-08 > 0935465224


From: Randy Seaver <>
Subject: Trip Report - Liland (Voss) farm visit
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 20:27:04 -0700


Hi listers,

Please see my previous two notes about our trip to Scandinavia and my Voss
research. This note concerns our visit to the Liland farm and interaction
with Liland people.

First, a little background. Linda's maiden name is Leland, and her brother
Paul collected family papers and did some research in 1980. Some of the
family info was from the Rene book on Voss Emigrants to America, which
indicated that Sjur Torgerson Liland brought his family to Wisconsin in
1855 and took the name Leland (presumably from Liland farm). He was called
"of Mølster" and was born on Gjelle farm, both near Voss.

In 1980, Paul went to Norway on a tour and stopped in Voss for one day. He
stayed at the Park Liland Hotel in central Voss (now the Park Vossevangen
Hotel). He knew the Liland farm was nearby, and asked at the hotel
reception how to get there. As luck would have it, Bjorg Liland was
manager at the time of the Park Liland Hotel, and he was quickly introduced
to her. She got on the phone and arranged a 40 person get-together at the
Liland farm with Paul. He was introduced to the family matriarch and was
treated like royalty. The Liland Hotel was right next door to the farm, at
the west end of the lake. Bjorg had married into the Liland family who
owned the Liland farm and hotel, and had run the Liland Hotel for a period
of time.

Fast forward to 1999. Linda asked me to research her ancestry, and I
started digging into the Norway families. We decided to visit Scandinavia
on our vacation, and really wanted to visit the ancestral farms in Voss.
As I got involved in the research, I started using the Norway mailing list,
found Svein Ulvund's Voss webpage, and made contact with Jeri (Leland)
Walker from Oregon. Jeri had been to Voss in 1998 and had met with Bjorg
Liland also, and urged me to call Bjorg when we were in Voss.

When we got to Voss on 13 August, I called Bjorg Liland. She had her son
visiting, and asked me to call her back later. When I did, she offered to
drive us around the Vangs Vatnet (lake) and out to the Liland farm on
Saturday. We stopped at the Gjelle farm on the south side of the lake with
the "postcard" view of Voss. Gjelle happens to be one of the ancestral
farms, and can be seen from the north side of the lake since it is fairly
high on the hillside and has a distinctive yellow farm house. We drove
slowly along the lake and passed through a number of other ancestral farms
like Glimme, Midtun and Eimstad.

We got to Liland farm at the west end of the lake. Bjorg had arranged a
meeting with Inge Liland (age 90, who had the Voss bygdebok, and sharp as a
tack!) and her daughter Guri Liland. Bjorg is a 4th cousin-in-law of
Guri's. We did not go to the working farm, since the workers were away,
but went to the new house next to the working farm - it was a beautiful
home! We had a very pleasant visit with them including a lunch.

I got out the Voss ancestry list and Inge looked carefully through the
Liland section of the bygdebok. She could not find a direct tie to the
ancestry list, which was not surprising. I offered my conclusion that Ivar
Torgerson (brother of Sjur Torgerson) married Kari Larsdatter of Liland
farm, and that the extended family adopted the Leland name in america. She
seemed to accept that, and noted that there were always farm workers who
were not part of the family. My guess is that she probably thought that we
were not "real" Leland's, but she was too polite to say it. I elicited
some genealogy information from her about the Liland family history after
the bygdebok entries to try to understand the line better. When Inge read
further in the ancestry list, she got excited when she saw mention of some
of the other farms and we concluded that Linda was probably a distant
cousin to Inge and the Liland farm people after all. We took some pictures
with the "cousins" and thanked them for their hospitality.

Then we stopped next door to what used to be the Liland Hotel, and talked
to Alf Ringheim, Bjorg's former brother-in-law. The hotel is now an
apartment building, filled to the brim with Kosovo refugee families. He
showed us around the public parts of the hotel and his own apartment. Alf
is the one who had the genealogy chart that Jeri Walker obtained a copy of
last year, with ancestry back to Roman times.

Bjorg then took us to the Mølstertunet Museum which is composed of 15
buildings from the 19th century. Mølster is another of the ancestral farms
where Sjur Torgerson lived at the time he married in 1850. A docent
explained each room of the main farm house, the clothing, the food, the
working farm. There was also a museum with farm artifacts and cultural
history of the Voss area. Fascinating stuff!

After all of that, we took Bjorg out to dinner that night at the Park
Hotel. She invited us over to her apartment the next night for dessert.
What a beautiful, spirited and knowledgable woman. We parted with hugs and
kisses, and promises to send her pictures of our time together.

Our visit to Voss could not have been more perfect. I thank Jeri Walker
for encouraging me to contact Bjorg.

Thanks for listening -- Randy

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