31 Aug 2016

Finding Norwegian Ancestors in Eiker

Finding Norwegian ancestors in Eiker, Buskerud, was the other half of my summer adventure. (The first half of my ancestral trip was to Ringebu, Norway.) My paternal great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Jens Nielsen, was baptized on 20 Jul 1690, at the Haug Kirke (above) in Eiker. So many of my father’s father’s father’s ancestors (and more to find) were baptized, married, or buried from this imposing church.

When I married, I kept my maiden name of Loe. It’s not very old, but it’s unusual. Just three letters that most people in the United States try to make into four, or five, or six. When I’ve tried surname DNA matches, I find people from England named Low or Lowe who emigrated from England to the Carolinas in colonial times.

So I’m a Loe from Loesmoen, the name of the farm where my great-grandfather, Hans Christensen Loe, was born in almost exactly one hundred years before me (and my cousin Wanda) in 1854. The […]

30 Jul 2016

Finding Norwegian Ancestors in Ringebu

This is the Ringebu Stavkirke in Oppland, Norway, where my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Synnøve Eriksdatter Lunde, was buried on 9 May 1733. At least 48 76 of my ancestors (and more to find) were baptized, married, or buried from this church.

I know this, because I went there a few weeks ago, fulfilling a dream of mine for ancestry travel. I didn’t expect to come home with 21 new generations –stretching back to 1220 and about the time the Ringebu church was finished – but thanks to the generosity of a local genealogist and other residents, that’s exactly what has happened.
The Ringebu Church
One of 29 surviving stave churches in Norway, the Ringebu example was built early in the 13th century. The stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building style, once common in northwestern Europe. The name comes from the posts (stafr in Old Norse; stav in modern Norwegian) used in the timber framing. The 12th […]

13 Mar 2016

Recreational Vikings

Recreational Vikings reclaiming their heritage is today’s feature.
If you are a Viking descendant like me, then journalist Andrew Higgins’ article – “Norway Again Embraces the Vikings, Minus the Violence” –  a great read on how Norway is reclaiming its Viking heritage. In his article, Higgins looks at culture and history and how it can be reclaimed after it has been misappropriated, in this case by the Nazis and heavy-metal bands.
Scandinavia’s first government-funded training course on how to live like a Viking has been established.

“Jeppe Nordmann Garly has for years been a “recreational Viking,” a keen member of a fringe fraternity of would-be Norse warriors who dress up in 10th-century clothing, attend weekend craft fairs and trade tips over the Internet on where to pick up an authentic helmet or sword. “I am a very peaceful man. I have never plundered anything,” said Mr. Garly, a “36-year-old Dane whose modest stature, jocular […]

26 May 2012

Finding Hans Loe

Finding Hans Loe, my Norwegian great-grandfather, is very satisfying, especially in light of my floundering beginning efforts and not knowing enough about Norwegian records.

Is there anything more satisfying that figuring out primary source records in another language? I don’t think so! And Norway may be the exception to the rule that it’s easier to do overseas research in SLC than it is in the country in question.

Some time ago, I wrote of my attempts at Norwegian genealogical research to find the birth and baptism of Hans Christensen Loe in 1854. This included a fruitless visit to the Family History Library.

I was getting nowhere fast, until I discovered the National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket). They also have a Digitalarkivet containing scanned census and parish registers. This vast digital set of primary sources is free to everyone. I also found a tutorial that helps you navigate the records. Marvelous!

I’d done some reading about Norwegian naming conventions and patronymics, but then I found […]