Ole Larson's Folks

Skurdal – It’s Complicated

6 SkurdalsThe Skurdal area (Skurdalsgrenda) is one of the largest and most varied in Sør-Fron parish. There are at least six farms whose names contain “Skurdal,” and more than ten others that are part of the “grenda.” Of primary interest to us is the southern portion of the area. In Anne Larsdatter’s birth record (1801), the farm name was given as simply “Schurdal.” This would include the entire area above, and more. Adding to the uncertainty, Anne’s residential surname is shown in other documents as “Skurdalshaugen.” Here the confusion begins.

Skurdalshaugen, number 6 on the above photo, has been an independent farm since at least 1723. But it is not the birthplace of Anne Larsdatter, and it is unlikely that she ever lived there. My fondest thanks to Pål Kjorstad for helping me sort this out. We will come back to this Skurdalshaugen later, in connection with another line of ancestors.

As it turns out, a certain resident of Skurdalshaugen named David Jonsen (David was a very unusual name at that time) occupied a plot some 1 km to the south, in the late 1700’s. This farm is now called Davidhaugen (after its original resident), but went by other names before it separated from its “parent” farm in 1905. This was not uncommon for tenant farms, which were not officially distinguished from their ownership. Here are two of my photos of Davidhaugen (#7 in the above map).

Davidhaugen 1Davidhaugen 2David Jonsen had a son named Lars Davidsen, who in turn had a daughter named Anne Larsdatter, our great-great-grandmother. Moreover, after Lars Poulsen married Anne (1820), I believe that they lived on this same plot of land to raise their large family. The documents I have found are inconclusive, but suggest it in subtle ways. Finally, I got a feeling here. Not an overwhelming, knock-you-down kind of epiphany, but a definite sense of connection with this place.

Next: Tretten – birthplace of Anne Samuelsdatter, future wife of Ole Larson, and my great-grandmother.

Sør-Fron, part 1
Tretten: Anne Samuelsdatter & Family