Ole Larson's Folks

Gudbrandsdalen with dandelions www.visitnorway.com

Here are some photos of the ancestral region of Ole Larson’s parents.


Gudbrandsdalen housing www.visitnorway.com

Farm with mountains famsteen.com

Farm with mountains famsteen.com

Bunader (festival costumes) are distinctive in each of Norway’s regions. The ones below are from Gudbrandsdalen.


Bunader www.lailas.net

The next photo is from the website of the Skurdal family of North Dakota. It is definitely Gudbrandsdalen, but is not the Sore Uppigard Skurdal (“South Upper Skurdal”) farm, where the family’s matriarch, Anna Skurdal, was born in 1890.  The Skurdal farm, South Skurdal in particular, was the home of the Lars Poulsen family. I have tried unsuccessfully to contact the ND Skurdal’s. But now, I have visited the area for myself, and posted several photo essays. For more complete information on Skurdal, visit this post. For the complete tour, use the category “Ancestral Sites in Norway.”


Gudbrandsdalen, www.skurdal.org/

Below is a photo cousin Clarice took of Skurdal in 1991.

Skurdal farm 1991

Skurdal farm 1991

Thanks to Clarice’s daughter Betty Ann  for sending me this one. There are six Skurdal or Skordal farms in S. Fron parish, less than a mile apart, according to current Gule Sider maps and satellite photos. The land rolls of 1904 list them, roughly translated as Upper, Lower, North, South, and Middle Skordal, plus Skordalshaugen. Anne Larsdatter was born at Davidhaugen, also part of the Skurdal complex; she and Lars Poulsen raised their family on South Skordal. “Haugen” means “hill’ or “pasture.” Names of tenant farms are not recorded in land transactions or tax rolls. In the churchbooks, they are, but the names seem to be quite fluid. Quite possibly the family was raised on the same plot where Anne was born,  listed under two names in various documents.

All this beautiful scenery, coupled with Ole’s story, reminds me of a saying I’ve heard describing some remote Indian villages in Alaska: “poverty with a view.”

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