Questions and answers relating to the Kingdom
'SWENDSON' IS NORWEGIAN
Swendson of Phoenix, Arizona told us :
my research into my Norwegian roots I have run into a lot of
people who think I'm Swedish!! I've found my name in Norwegian
phone books and similar spellings in Norwegian censuses. I'm
told that "svenn" means "journeyman." Would "svend", or "svent"
mean the same thing? People think I'm a Swede because my name
is spelled with "son" instead of "sen". Not that being a Swede
is a bad thing, but after forty years of being Norwegian-American,
well, it's a tough act to follow.
Cato Høyen Østerhaug of Hamar, Norway
Relax, Swendson is probably
Norwegian, since the Swedish name would most likely be Svensson.
"Son" instead of "sen" means only that the
name has kept its original form. "Son" is the older
Norwegian word for the English word "son." "Sen" is
the Danish-neo-Norwegian form. Svenn today refers to a state
of being educated....hence svennebrev = diploma of skills. Svenn,
Sven, Svein means traveller, one who goes to Viking, which is
almost any kind of travel.
DERIVATION OF A NAME
My question pertains to the last
name Nogleberg. It is my uncle's last name. His father left
Norway and settled in Seattle, Washington. It seems to be
an unusual name. How common is that surname in Norway and
does it have any specific significance?
Jon Peder Vestad of Volda, Norway
(a doctorate student/assistant professor at Volda College) responded:
The Norwegian Bureau of Statistics,
Statistisk sentralbyrå, has registered all names used in Norway.
The name Nogleberg is used of three or less, the same is the
case with Nokleberg and Nøgleberg. Most likely these names
then are not used at all. But - written as Nøkleberg, we find
59 persons having that family name. Then it can`t be said
to be common, but it`s widely known due to a well known pianist
called Einar Steen-Nøkleberg.
The meaning of the name is not clear to me, but 'berg' is
a small mountain or a hill. It is probably the name of a farm.
said in an e-mail:
I am an American citizen, newly
married to a Norwegian citizen...very happily...and I am now
trying to join my husband in Norway. I have spent HOURS on
the Internet doing a search for some site that can give me
the requirements for moving there legally.
Do you any of you know where I can
get this info? I have been unable even to get the URL addie
of the Norwegian embassy in San Francisco. Any info will be
absolutely appreciated. (I miss my husband!!)
One anonymous responder said: "If
you're married to him, they have to let you live there. They
shouldn't give you any problems if you have your marriage license
Links to websites with relevant information
was provided by Are-Morten Braaten of Oslo. Those links are,
however, no longer valid. In the meantime, the Norwegian Directorate
of Information has posted a pamphlet on Family
Reunification. It includes this information:
reunification is one of the most important reasons for immigration
to Norway today. A total of 6,773 persons were granted residence
permits on family reunification grounds. Family reunification
means that a family member abroad is reunited with one or more
family members already living in Norway. The aim of the provisions
on family reunification is to protect already established family
ties. Recently the provisions for family reunification have
been liberalised, which has made it easier for close family
members to be granted residence in Norway.
Primarily closest family members such as spouses, co-habitants
who have lived together for at least two years and children
under 18 years of age are granted a residence permit to be reunited
with their family.
Are-Morten Braaten suggested contacting
the Norwegian consulate in San Francisco, providing this contact
Royal Norwegian Consulate
20 California St., 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-4803
Tel: (415) 986-0766
Fax: (415) 986-3318
A person identifying himself only
as "Adam" wrote:
have been told that Norwegian citizens born aboard must live
in Norway for 5 years before the age of 22, and including
military service if male. Would you please confirm this information,
or correct if otherwise? Please do reply as soon as possible,
it is essential that I do know if a policy such as this exists.
Jan Erlend Braathen replied, from
To be a Norwegian citizen you don't
have to do any military service.
GENEALOGICAL LOOK-UP SERVICE
Sandquist of Tacoma, WA said:
I'm trying to find some places where I can look up information
on relatives that used to live in Norway. I have a great-great
grandfather named Ole Forde that came to America from Evangan,
Voss, Norway in 1858 with his parents. I'm trying to locate
some web sites that could help me in English. Any help would
be greatly appreciated.
advice to persons seeking such information is to visit the "look-ups"
page of the Norway
List website. It provides a list of persons who are kind
enough to offer to do "look-ups" in Norwegian genealogical
Cain and a person identified as Jinger
say they will do lookups pertaining to Voss.
This inquiry came from Donna Holseth:
I am trying to translate my great grandfather's obituary.
I have 2 Norwegian/English dictionaries and a couple of online
tools, but there is a phrase that although I can translate
most words, I am not sure of the correct translation or meaning.
It is about a medal he received from either his company or
Norway for what I don't know. Can you translate it? Here is
og er blitt hedret med Selskapet for Norges Vels medalje.
Can you tell what it was a medal for? I'd sure appreciate
any help you can give me.
From Oslo came
this answer by Are-Morten
Selskapet for Norges
Vel is a non-profit organization working for Norwegian local
communities. Their web-site, http://www.norgesvel.no,
unfortunately is completely in Norwegian. About the medal,
it says something like: "The medal for long and loyal service."
It is an honor to deserving workers
who have been with the same employer for at least 30 years.
It is the employer who applies for the medal, which is given
by the Organization for Norway's Welfare. If you need more
information you should try e-mailing: email@example.com.
WHERE TO WED IN NORWAY
told us: —
My boyfriend and I are discussing the possibility of a wedding
in Norway. We plan on visiting the country during the last
week in September and first part of October. Our plans are
to take a Norwegian Coastal voyage for the time we are there.
This will be a second marriage for the two of us, but we want
it to be special, as anyone would when getting married. Are
there places that you would recommend for a wedding in Norway?
Again, we will be taking a cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes
with stops along the way. Any suggestions or recommendations?
Sheila Askeland of Houston, Texas
met my husband in South Dakota while he was attending school.
His name is Svein Ove Askeland. He is from Bergen, Norway.
August 1, 1998, we wed in Voss, Norway. It was a fairy- tale
type wedding. We were surrounded by mountains and besides
a lake. The weather was perfect! Sun with some clouds and
about 70 degrees. We had a delicious salmon dinner, fresh
from the stream. I had even run into some sheep while in my
wedding dress and took pictures, those are my favorite! My
husband laughs because he is not even in them....
church we wed in is 700 years old. It was the only surviving
building from a bombing in WWII. Voss is loaded with history
and beauty! The priest name is Ivar Molde, he did our wedding
ceremony in English.
you would like to see the pictures,
they are on our homepage.
All of my husband's family reside in Bergen. If you would
like any more help planning your wedding, I would be more
than happy to answer your questions.
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
a laptop, or any other electrical appliance, you'll need an adapter.
A site providing tourist information at http://www.uib.no/guide/html/information.html
advises: "Electricity in Norway is 220 volts, 50 Hz.
Any adapter made for continental European wall sockets will also
work in Norway. Wall sockets in personal residences do not usually
have ground conductors and thus are not recessed. All hotels and
other public places have recessed sockets with ground conductors
and thus a special extender is needed on the adapter to reach
inside of this recess. This extender can usually be bought at
the same time the wall adapter is purchased."
plan a trip [to Norway] in July  and nowhere can we
find a disclosure on what we may find for facility to handle
a laptop in our travels that could manage our e-mail needs
back to the States. Can someone point us in the right direction
as there must be some webpage existing that can enlighten
Boone of Palm Harbor, Florida had this question:
I have just started to study the art of Rosemaling. Would you
have resources were I could find more information on Rosemaling?
Linda Novak responded:
I have a 1998 Collectors
calendar on Norway. On back is short biography on Karen Jenson,
who does rosemaling. Her address is box 6, Milan, Minnesota 56262....Good
The Norwegian government's site, ODIN,
has an article on folk
art. It includes this information on rosemaling:
term rosemaling refers to a style of decorative painting characterized
by vine foliage and flowers but also including live figure representations
and landscapes in religious and secular scenes. It was used
to decorate furnishings and equipment, drinking vessels and
eating utensils, and the interiors of houses and storehouses.
This colorful decorative painting flourished for a comparatively
short time in the country districts of Norway. Roughly speaking,
it lasted from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the
last half of the nineteenth, a factor it has in common with
European rosemaling in general. In certain parts of Central
Europe such as Bavaria and Switzerland, a similar style of decorative
painting penetrated the country districts about a hundred years
earlier. Geographical conditions there made an early diffusion
from urban to rural areas comparatively easy. The high point
in rosemaling in Europe was reached about 1800. At that point,
decorative painting activity declined or took other forms, such
as imitations of the grain of costly wood.
growth of rosemaling in Norway must be seen against a background
of economic and cultural conditions. Growth and prosperity in
both urban and rural society came as a result of improvements
in agriculture as well as expansion of trade and communications.
Farmers had more money in their pockets and this affluence,
especially among freehold farmers, led to greater possibilities
for the development of the arts an d crafts. Among other things,
this was expressed by improvements in farmhouses. By the eighteenth
century, most houses had a fireplace with flue and chimney instead
of the earlier open hearth in the center of the room with a
smoke vent in the ceiling. The smoke nuisance, previously very
great, was reduced considerably and walls and furniture were
now relatively free of soot. In many places, windows and wooden
floors appeared simultaneously with the fireplace as new elements
in rural building patterns. More and finer furniture was also
to be found, much of it painted and decorated.
inspiration for rosemaling in the countryside came from the
professional handicrafts in the towns. Into Renaissance and
baroque styles decorative painting was incorporated, with vine
foliage and flowers as important elements in style expression.
Urban artisans took rosemaling as well as wood carving to the
country churches. In the seventeenth century more and more country
churches were painted; on ceilings, walls, and furnishings vine
foliage and flowers now appeared in happy combination with religious
scenes deriving from European art. Gradually the more urbanized
upper classes and wealthy farmers acquired articles in the new
fashion for their homes.
took several generations, however, before rural craftsmen adopted
this urban style. It was well into the eighteenth century, when
urban painters were already turning to a Rococo manner, that
a few rural painters began to apply Renaissance and Baroque
motifs to domestic painting. A contributing factor in the slow
development of decorative painting may have been the absence
of such a tradition in country regions. It is not without significance
that, because the craft of painting was new, working methods
had to be learned, tools made, and unfamiliar materials obtained.
Then, too, urban painters regarded their rural counterparts
as competition, and offered resistance rather than encouragement.
LOCATING PEOPLE IN NORWAY
Is there a place on the web I can look up phone numbers and
addresses of people now living in Norway?
A similar inquiry came from Jens
Jensen, who wrote:
I'm sitting in Southern California trying to locate some lost
friends in the greater Oslo area. Can you lead me to the best
way of finding people over there?
Pages for Norway are on the web.
Cindy Etelman advised that tracking down people “is not hard
to do.” She says she uses “icq” which she explained
is a free instant messenger service, noting:
can sign up at icq.com. It
is similar to aol instant messenger, but with a world wide scope.
They have groups you can contact with all areas of interest.
You keep going in further using Norway as your key word and
you eventually come to a list of icq users both Norwegian and
otherwise that want to meet with other people interested in
Norway to chat. The interesting thing is that many of the people
have the town listed that they are from in Norway. It may help
you to go to those in that town. You would follow the directions
on how to meet them. You can search by name there too, so you
can try and look for a specific name and then contact them many
seem willing and friendly enough to help.
Since the Country has a
population of about the size of Brooklyn, (where many good Norwegian
Americans come from) it shouldn't be too hard.
See the Official
ICQ User List for Norway.
Hofseth also asked:
you tell me where Lofthus and Fetsund are?
is located near Oslo. Fetsund, by the way, is the birthplace of
U.S. football Hall-of-Famer Jan
respect to Lothus, A.K. Furuseth of Norway advised:
A small area in Oslo is called Lofthus.
Located north of the centre....Otherwise, there are several
places called Lofthus, which is a rather common family name.
Therefore, Lofthus is also the name of several farms all over
are two photos
of Lothus on a page dealing with the family name of Lothus. The
page notes: "The name 'Loftus' appears in street names and
there is even a village by that name located on the Hardangerfjord
WHERE'S THE LUTEFISK?
Flugum and Kurt Hjertaas complained:
Can you help us Sons of Norwegians find a lodge or at least
someplace where we can eat some nice warm lutefisk? We are
in the Chicago area. We found a mishmash "Scandinavian" lodge
in Arlington Heights who were having a "Dane" picnic that
day and they would not serve us any lutefisk, lefse or glug!
Can you imagine? The nerve. Uff da.
Sons of Norway lodges
nationwide (as well as in Norway) are listed on the organization's
website. Twelve are listed for Illinois. There's also a listing
for the Chicago
Metro Area and Southeast Wisconsin.
Warner of Tokyo said:
may not be using the correct method; but, I can't find the
info anywhere else. I recently tasted lefse and fell in love
with it. I wish to learn to make my own. I've tried to print
recipes from lefse pages. They are blocked. Also, I will need
a lefse pan. How and where can I get these things?
Tolo offered these comments:
I have made lefse both with my
mother, as a child, and on my own. I've never heard of a "lefse
pan!" For "baking" the rolled out lefse round, use an electric
pancake-type griddle or any flat heated surface.
"specialty" utensils for just about any purpose are
available. A Texas outfit sells lefse grills, made of textured
aluminum, for $69.95; orders can be placed over the Internet.
A Poulsbo, WA website has a photo of a lefse grill it sells.
We're not going to direct anyone to these sources, this being
a strictly non-commercial site. However, if Ms. Warner will
go to TERRY'S
LEFSE LINKS -- a site mentioned on our "Miscellaneous
Page" -- she'll find links to a number of commercial sites
she'll find of interest.
JOBS IN NORWAY
Bartini ( who says “the Norwegian is on my mom's side”)
am a second generation Norwegian who just graduated from college
with a finance degree. I am interested in finding employment in
Norway, but I have been unsuccessful thus far. Even the embassies
have no idea what I should do. If you have any tips or know of
any resources where I may look I would greatly appreciate.
Advice came from Nina Slupphaug
of Norway, who said:
think the best way for you to find a job in Norway is to either
make contact with firms in Norway, or use the Internet often.
If you go to: http://www.aftenposten.no.
I think you'll find the employment ads for firms in need of
workers. I hope this can help you.
Caveat: that site is in Norwegian.
Cato Høyen Østerhaug offered "additional
info on the job hunt." He pointed out this link, though noting
the site is in Norwegian:
can I find information about Vardo, Norway?
"Green Arctic" website has information on the County
in which Vardø is located. On a page of statistics, etc.
it lists Vardø
as among three cities in the county. Finnmark, the northernmost
county in Norway, is also the least populated. We know of no
website in English centering on Vardø; however,
click here for a photo
of the city.
The city, founded in
1789, has 3,200 inhabitants.
Canada came this inquiry by Glen Widing:
Kvien helps out again! He points out that the "Norway Roots"
site (listed on our Genealogy
Page) is based in Canada.
born in Canada by Norwegian parents and I grew up in Norway.
looking for a similar website for Norwegian/Canadians.
Do you by any
chance know if there is one (or more)?
was wondering if someone could translate this Norwegian table
prayer for me. Here it goes:
Jesu navn gar vi til bords Spice og drikke pa ditt ord Deg
Gud til ere oss til gavn Sa far vi mat I Jesu navn."
Ålesund, came this translation by Dag Petter Eide:
Jesus' name we sit by the table to eat and drink at your word.
By humbly honoring you God, we get food in Jesus' name.
correspondence came from Kristin Wenche Keith:
I am a proud Norwegian American. Most
of my family lives in Norway. I have been to Norway many times
and I am always improving my Norwegian. My question is do you
know of any scholarships for college of Norwegian-Americans?
If it's any help I am going into the foreign language field
and I am a straight A student and honor society member. I don't
expect you to know but considering this is a site for Norwegian-Americans
I thought perhaps you would know of somewhere that I could obtain
Soder in Savannah, GA responded:
sources, members preferred (2 yrs min. membership):
1) Sons of Norway; and
you may want to check out stateside St.Olaf;
and Pacific Lutheran colleges/universities
for cooperative studies programs.
here for a link to St. Olaf's College Norwegian
Anderson of Alaska wrote:
am looking for URL's to any pages with definitions of "uff
DA" I would like to add an URL to my e-mail signature box
by this query, the Norwegian American Homepage has added an Uff
Da page, with links to sites discussing "uff DA" Links include
one to an uff DA page maintained by a Japanese medical doctor
non-Norwegians who don't know "uff DA." Thank you
Bare sent this e-mail:
would like to know if there is any type of penpal organization
connecting Americans with Norwegians that are from the area
that their ancestors came from.
queried where her ancestors came from and she advised:
have three names with a vague idea of the type of place they
might be. The first is Flekkefjord which I have visited. The
others are Lavold and Lustre. As I understand it Lavold was
an area or a farm. Lustre may be a county I'm not sure.
response came from Anne-Berit Lavold:
I live in Sweden, but my family on my father's side comes from
Norway. My father is born in a little place just 20 kilometers
from Flekkefjord. His great great grandfather was born in an
even smaller place with the name Lavoll (they changed the name
to Lavold during the time of the Danish occupation — I
think). You are looking for your ancestors. When I saw that
you were looking for names like Flekkefjord and Lavold I just
had to answer. I myself have been searching into my family's
history, and I know that some of them moved to America.
forwarded Anne-Berit Lavold's e-mail address to Mary Bare. We
also contacted the Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad,
an organization comprised of "lags," each of which is devoted
to a particular area in Norway from which its members' ancestors
came. (See its website.)
Does that group have "pen pal" services?
M. Sylte of Palo Alto, CA responded:
lags are not really penpal organizations, but most of the people
involved regularly have contact with Norwegians from their areas
of origin. The
best suggestion I can recommend is to have this person get involved
with his/her genealogy and the lag(s) that are appropriate.
This will certainly lead to the kind of "penpal" this person
is a municipality in the County (Fylke) of Sogn og Fjordane.
is a farm in Luster. It's listed
among Farm Names in Luster, contained on the Fjordinfo site.
of that site is in Norwegian, but there is a discussion
in English, including tourist
is the westernmost municipality in the County of Vest-Agder
at the southern tip of Norway. For information on the relevant
lag, see the Bygdelagenes Fellesraad website.
Marty Sinick inquired:
u know a place called marienlyst stadium and if so where is
it located i. e. what city is it in? Hey thanks.
information we provided that "[t]he stadium is in Strømsgodset,"
Ingve Høyland wrote from Norway:
is the homeground of Strømsgodset IF, which is a soccer team
not a city. The stadium is located in Drammen near Oslo.
Benun of Hoboken, New Jersey wrote:
have a friend who'll be attending a wedding next month in
Norway. What kind of gift is appropriate to give?
Any special wedding customs we should know about?
M. Howell responded:
mother was married in Forde, Norway. A couple of things to
know...the ceremony lasts over several days (a traditional
ceremony) so be prepared for a lot of celebrating. The traditional
wedding possibly could include a parade too. Traditional gifts
(American type) will do fine — stay clear of anything
electric if you purchase in the US prior to travel —
different televisions, VCRs and electrical systems in Norway.
While you're there have a Pilsner for me. My grandfather immigrated
to the US from Norway. I last visited the country in 1986
to see brother and sisters in Naustdal, Forde, Oslo and Bergen.
Have a great time!
Norway came this advice from Arne Løken:
Pukallus Goombungee, Australia added:
are not any typical wedding gifts in Norway. You can give
them anything, but I`ll advise you to give them anything they
can use every day, or so." (Not something they hide away in
son married a Norwegian in Forde, Norway in 1994. They still
live in Forde.
We attended the wedding. We had a fantastic time. Silver tableware
and glass and chinaware for serving foods to the table are
a good wedding gift. Table linen would also make a good
POEM IN NORWEGIAN
of Los Angeles asked if someone could translate this hand-painted
inscription on a vintage wooden box:
kjisten af gode sager ER fuld
Og pigen sin ven ER trofast og huld
Der ER to ting som ER bedre end guld.
When the chest of good things is full
And the girl is faithful and loving to her friend
There are two things that are better than gold.
Many thanks to Egil Øyangen, as well as to Arne Løken
and to Cato of Los Angeles who also provided translations.
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