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En database med slekt, bilder, historier etc. med tilknytning til Hemne-distriktet

ERLING HELLANDSJØ: "FROM FRON TO HEMNE"

(His main article on GreatGrandma Ane Larsdtr. (Reistad)-Vike's family. Fosen Historielag, Årbok 1990 p 48-54)

This account is about the families of "Bakke-Træet"  and "Kongsli-Bakken" of Fron, Oppland, plus "Sætereie" and "Evensons" of  Elverum and Moelven, Hedemark. Famine  forced them to leave their native Gudbrandsdalen, moving north to Trøndelag and  the Møre coast. This is the story of their journey and later life and experiences, extraordinarily well and truthfully documented by Sverre Gjendem's cousin sea captain, presently retired, Elling Hellandsjø from Hemne, Kyrksæterøra, Sør-Trøndelag. You are also kindly requested to study  his relevant  article  in Y. 2000 edition of Fosen Historielag: "Yearbook of Fosen".

During Napoleonic War Years 1804-14 the crofters of  Gudbrandsalen supplied Norwegian troops in the border areas against Sweden. Failing crops 1812 and 1813 followed like a bad omen, even if statistics tell the population remained stable. However appr. 1820 a conciderable rise began in the local population, and a lot of new tenant farms  were cleared and cultivated  to adjust to increasing demands for food supplies. The economical recession resulted in emigration to America 1850, and simultaneously internal emigrationm for example from Fron to Romsdal and Trøndelag. Spoiled crops and misgrowth happened now and again. Spring chill was their worst fear. This was the situation 1834-1837, and the crofters were desperate. Worst off were the settlements of Øyer and Lesja, even if the picture was pretty much the same everywhere. Public funds and charity didn't help much.

The situation was similar  for the crofter family of "Bakke-Træet"  on the westbank of Lågen River, slightly north of Vålebru in Sør-Fron.  Tenants here were Christen Olson (40) first called Bakke Træet, later on Vaaghalsen, and his wife Marta Larsdtr. Sætereie (38) and their 6 minors. Christen Olson was born at the farm "Kongslibakken" in Nord-Fron. She  arrived from Ringsaker and used "Sætereie" as surname, entering the church cronicle of Ringsaker on 9 Apr 1821. Their children were: 1: Ingri b 1821, 2: Ingebår b 1823 (?), 3: Ole b 1826, 4: Mari b 1828, 5: Marta b 1829, 6: Lars b 1833. As newly-weds, shortly after having  their firstborn child ,  they still lived at the groom's home "Kongslia" in Nord-Fron. In the summer of 1834 inhabitants of Gudbrandsdalen left individually and in groups  This constant stream was heading in only one direction, ie to the north. The coastal area with fish and herring was Jerusalem of their heart. After thorough deliberation, Christen Olsen entered the vicar's office to proclaim emigration to "the Trøndelagske (area), otherwise indecisively whereto". The entry in Fron Kyrkjebok was protocolled on  Jun 14 1834. His heart was more filled with hope, than certainty, as we see. First this family walked up the broad Gudbrandsdalen to Dovre, then down the gulleys to Romsdal. They made a rest at farm Lower Reistad, Vågstranda, maybe for a couple of days. For some reason they left oldest daughter Ingeborg who was 11 years old. Was she ill? Or did she sign on as farmgirl? Nothing is written and kept about their journey, until Marta and 4 children appear at Holla in Hemne at full summer. They find lodgings with a kind couple, viz Marit and Ellev, who were immigrants from Rennebu. Marta's stay at Holla has been recorded by Ingeborg Sødahl (1853-1926), and her report has been entered by her son Henrik Sødal in the book "I gammeltida". Marta asked  permission to remain at Holla for a while, and her request was generously admitted. Christen was obviously searching on his own for a new home. His search led to Røstkvervet, 2 1/2 Norwegian miles from Holla. The road across Hemnskogen was then under constructon. In Oct 1834 this family from Sør-Fron is protocolled as immigrants to Hemne. Then living at croft "Vaagaunet", belonging to farm "Vaagan" at Røstkvervet. An impression is left of former lodgers in the household of Ole and Gjertrud Vaagaunet. Where there is kindheartedness, there is space and spare beds for strangers, as well. In addition to the grownups Ole and Gjertrud, 5 children aging from 11 to 24, found a home  in their tiny crofthouse. On the other hand the newcomers may have spent their first  winter at Vaagaunet. They rented the croft "Vaaghalsen" at farm nr. 45/1 "Vaagan". Jøstein Fredriksen Belsvik b 1801 had bought this farm 1827. We can only guess what it looked like at Vaaghalsen 1834-35. Of course there might have been buildings, as a family called "Vaaghals" had christianings at Hemne parish church twice. Their names were Ole Ingebrigtson and Mali Johannesdtr. who had a daughter Ingeborg b 1830 and Ane Dorthea b 1833. When they were emansipated 1845 and 1848 this family added "Rustli" as surname. (NB This could indicate that they were relatives from Barrusten, Kongsli at Fron!) It appears that Christen's family settled well in their new environment. But bliss and sorrow wander hand-in-hand. Their son Ole b 1826 died on Dec 2 1835 at Våghalsen. Then two girls were born at the croft. Olina , perhaps renamed after brother Ole, was born 1836, and Christina b 1838. Sadly both died when infectious disease stuck the settlement in Feb 1840. The Træet family consisted of 2 grownups and 3 daughters: Inger,. Mari, Marta plus the son Lars. They gradually reached maturity, and the girls left their home at Vaaghalsen. Inger b 1821 wed Ellev Olsen Østmark b 1815 at Rennebu. These two individuals settled as crofters at "Stølen" in Mistfjord. Mari b 1828 wed 1849 with Morten Andersøon  Veø  (or: Veøy) b 1823 at Vedøya island. This couple settled at Bjellvika, bred a large family and had plenty of descendants in Trøndelag. The youngest of the Vaaghalsen daugthers was Marta b 1830 in Sør-Fron. she became the wife of Henrik Hermundson Vitsø b 1828. On the last day of Year 1852 she gave birth to a daugher, who got the christianing name of Marta Helene. Only 9 days after the birth of this girlchild, the mother died on Jan 9 1853. Henrik remarried in spring 1858 with Kirsti Jonsdtr. Heim b 1831 in Meldal, Sør-Trøndelag. Whein their son Johan was born 1858, this family lived at Heimsvågen. In the year 1860 Henrik rented croft "Mælen" at Belsvika from earth then owned by the widow Augusta Strøm Belsvik b 1821 at Magerøya. Kristi and Henrik then lived as crofters and had a lot of children. Marta Helene then grew up here, accompanied by her dad, stepmother and half-siblings. She still loved her home her, until she emigrated to the USA as a grownup woman. She was probably the only one of this family from Gudrandsdalen, leaving for America. Her dad and stepmother lived at Belsvika until the turn of the century. In the public registration 1900 both Kirsti and Henrik were staying alive at Mælen. Crofter & tailor Henrik Hermandson Belsvik died her on aug 5 1902 at the age of 74. The youngest child alive of the Fron siblings was Lars b 1833. He married Ingeborg Olsdtr. Scheishaug b 18490 from Vinje (Trøndelag). Their children created the 2nd generation of settlers at Vaaghalsen. Their leasing contract says Lars Christensen & wife "at life". It is signed at "Waage, Jan 2 1863". Included in the deal was a summer dairy-cabin at Vaagsætra, Mistfjord.  At the farm Vaagan, to which the croft "Vaaghalsen" belonged 30 years before, great changes had happened. The farm was indeed split in halves, among locals called Perstauå (the old farm) and Sørstauå (dehanded farm). In nr. 1 Perstauå new residents now resided. Croft Vaaghalsen had belonged to both farms, thus Peder Jøsteinsen b 1837 signed for Sørstauå, whereas widow Magnhild Ingebrigtsdtr. Waage b 1816 at Sinnes  awcknowledged the deal for Sørstauå.

As you will remember, the olderst Træet-girl from Sør-Fron was called  Ingeborg b 1823. She stayed behind at Reistad, Vågstranda. What happened to her? After years of  longing and worry dad Christen went to Romsdal to bring her back to her family. But the girl had decided to stay, having fallen  in love with a fine young man Lars Davidson Reistad (26), the farmer's son. And they married at Vestnes parish church on a summer's day 1843. No doubt in a hurry, as she had already born a daughter Marta. More children soon arrived, and there was need for a home of their own. "Luck's Attempt" (Lykkens Prøve), belonging to the widow of Lt. Wisløff was available. When the young military gentleman passed away, his family went to Kristiania and the farm was thrown to an auction. And Lars Reistad's bid was accepted by the district recorder. However only a "ljorehouse" existed there, and he also rented "Åslebakken ". As a result he took the surname Vike. At "Åslebakken" as much as 12 children were born, 13 in all, their firstborn daughter from Ner-Reistad inclusively. A healthy family, as 12 children reached maturity. Their cabin was a crowded place. Therefore two children, Marta b 1841 and Kristen b 1849, renamed after their grandparents, were sent to Hemne. They went to school here, and spent their childhood and adolescence at Vaaghalsen. Marta was emansipated at Hemne parish church on May 17 1857, and her brother soon after. Marta returned to Romsdal in the beginning to th 1860's. She married 1875, and had 2 sons and 2 daughters. Becoming a widow, she emigrated with her sons Karl and Lars to the USA. Like the rest of her siblings she preferred the State of South Dakota. Dauthers Kristianna and Marta arrived later. Marta remarried in America and settled in Webster, S.D. At that time as much as 6 siblings had gathered there with their families. One of them, Lars b 1860, returned to port town Ålesund, Norway. (Thus one of Lars's daughters married Johan Ingebrigtsen Rødset in Fræna, in spite of of Mrs. Holen Helset knowing nothing about it!)

Kristen L. Vike, the other child from Vikebukt grew up at Vaaghalsen. He lost his life in a sailing accident at Mistfjorden  on Wednesday Oct 13 1875, when three youngsters lost their lives. They had completed a transport assignment with schoolchildren to embulatory school quarters at farm Stavnes. Seven years later a permanent school  was built at Svanem. His companions were Kristen's sister-child Anders Mortenson Bjeldvik (26) and Lars Larssen Vaagaunet (21) The family at Røstkvervet grew up at humble conditions, but only Marta Helene b 1852 emigrated to America. Her departure happened by chance. Her halfsister Guri (1863-1908) was offerd a free trip on the America steamer by the family Sponland who wanted to emigrate. However Guri had second thoughts, and Marta Helene accepted the offer. She became a farmer's wife in the State of Oregon on the westcoast. The 1/2 sister who stayed behind, became a farmwife at Hofset in Vinjefjord, Trøndelag. Lars Davidson and Ingeborg K. Vike built a home at "Lykkens Prøve" in the 1870's. This farm is beautifully situated at the mouth of Tresjord, south of Molde. Ingeborg K. Vike died 1888, and Lars in Aug 1905. Both of them are buried at Vestnes graveyard, and 5 children in America cost toombstones on their parents's grave. Sverre Gjendem had their inscription gold repainted 1975. Once Ingeborg brought her daughter Ane, Great- grandma of Per Gjendem,  from Molde to Hemne to meet her family members. This was the only time she paid a visit here, as old age was becoming a problem. Christon Olsen Træet-Vaaghalsen died on Apr 19 1869, but his wife stayed alive much longer. At the croft Vaaghalsen Lars and Ingeborg survived as best as they could, but there weren't any children to care for them. In a letter Lars writes a letter to his sister's son David L. Vike (called: Dave-Lars) at Vikebukt, telling that he still used the farm on his own.. In the southern slope of Vaaghalsen he grew fine apples, probably a luxury  habit from Gudbrandalen. After 1900 farming became more tiresome. As late as 1910 he wrote to Dave-Lars that he was keeping on as usual. All good things come to an end, and eventually they gave up and settled with relatives at Vinjeøra. The change didn't conform with expectations, and the kind woman Oline b 1851 at Tanna,  and husbond Elias at croft Almlia on the southern side of Misfjord, decided to have them in their household. Here Lars Christensen Vaaghalsen passed away on Oct 18 1919. Then Ingeborg crossed the fjord to his relatives at Småbukt where she stayed the rest of her days. According to tradition,  the Vaaghalsen family members were supposed to spend their retirement years  at "Pestaua", Vågan. But disease and a large family made that impossible. So Vaaghalsen, that they loved so much,  was deserted, as agreed on in the contract of 1863. Cowshed and dwellinghouse were dismantled and utilized as initially intended by fellow farmers of Hemne. In this was our touching emigration story from Sør-Fron to Hemne ends. Our healthy  family lives on here and abroad, even if this fine but  humble farm has become history. The Røstkvervet  home had a splendid  view towards the sailing-route to Trondheim and eastwards to Helland. Farming was resumed in th 1930's, but nobody lives here any longer. This Fron-family wasn't the only one settling in Hemne during the last century. In the census of 1865 32 "hemnværinger" were born in Gudbrandsdalen, 1/2 of them in Fron parish.

 Informants:

1: Sverre J.  Gjendem, b 1910, Molde, 2: Guri Valås, b 1915, Vinjeøra, 3: Lars Davidson Vike, b 1889, Vikebukt, 4: Olav Magne Vike, b 1901, Vikebukt, 5: Alfred M. Vaagan, b 1913 1891, 6: Johan J. Vaagan, b 1913, Hellandsjøen, 7: Marit O. Vaagan, b 1895, Hellandsjøen.

Sources:

1: Kolbjørn Aune: Hemneboka II, Orkanger 1969. 2: Einar Hovdhaugen, Jon Leirfall plus more: Radio programme on Nov 1 1989. 3: Ola Rolstad : Gardar og slekter i Fron. 4: Henrik Sødal: Gammeltida i Hemne, Oslo 1969. 5:  Folketelling for Hemne 1875 + 1900. 6:   Kyrkebøkene for Hemne, Fron og Ringsaker.