Kvitt Farm, Flam, Norway

Tracing our Family History: Norway Edition

Since I was young, I have always been interested in family history and where our family lived before settling in small town Minnesota. I remember asking my grandma and grandpa questions about this all the time and found it absolutely fascinating. Tracing my family roots and visiting the towns they once lived in (and possibly even still do), is a trek I have always wanted to make.

The Challenge:

Because both Micah and I have family roots that trace back to Norway, we decided that we had to do a little family history research before our visit. I knew part of my grandpa’s family came to America from Norway. Knowing my grandpa’s family had kept track of their ancestors through a detailed family history book, that’s where we decided to start our search. I found out that my great-great grandpa lived in a small town, Enebakk, about 20 km from Oslo; easy enough, I thought. We could make the trip there on our one day in Oslo.

Next, we called Micah’s grandpa to get some information about his family. Luckily for us, his great aunts were also there. Between the three of them, we happened to gain quite a bit of info. Micah’s grandpa wasn’t sure what the name of the town was–he said he thought it was at the bottom of a mountain, by the water in a valley…for some reason, I immediately started to get a little excited. Micah and I exchanged glances. Could it possibly be the town we were already planning on visiting?! No, I thought, there are tons of mountains and fjords in Norway, it could be anywhere. One of his great aunts chimed in and added, “I think it’s something like Flåm.” After hearing this, I was jumping out of my skin excited! What are the odds, right?! From another phone call, we learned the family farm was actually still around, so now we decided that we should try to find the exact farm they lived on. But, this was the hard part. I searched online everywhere I could think of, and constantly came up empty handed. Knowing that his family name was “Kvitt” in Norway and changed to “Kvidt” upon coming to America (apparently they thought this was an easier spelling, those jokesters), we tried researching with both spellings to no avail. It was when Micah posted a status on his Facebook page, that a very distant relative happened to state that she knew where the house was and even had a picture! Score! Now that we had our information and a picture, we were ready to go.

Kvitt Farm, Flam, Norway

The Verdict:

So what happened–were we able to actually make it to our families old stomping grounds? Yes and no.

I thought it would be easy to make it to see the church where my great great grandpa was born and married in, but the bus schedules to get there were difficult to find and car rentals were way too expensive for the day we needed to book one. As this was the last day of our trip, we were extremely exhausted from all the adventures in Iceland and long train travel the couple of days prior, so unfortunately we didn’t end up making it to Ennebak. I am a little disappointed, but decided we need to try again one day, as more of my family lived just over the border of Sweden not far from Ennebak, so it will all just have to be done on another trip.

As far as Micah’s family–we succeeded with flying colors! Because we knew approximately where the houses were from our picture and google maps, it was now just a matter of walking there. When we arrived at our hotel, the Heimly Pensjonat, Micah asked the receptionist if she knew the Kvidt family–she said no, she wasn’t from the area, but her man, Ragnar, might (they called each other their man and lady, I thought it was cute). She called him and informed us that he knew of the family and he could drive us to their place that evening if we wanted. We gratefully accepted and later that evening he drove us there for a look. According to Ragnar the Kvitts still lived on the same property, but unfortunately the man Ragnar knew was ill, so we weren’t able to say hi; however, we did walk around the area and snapped a few pictures. We also caught a panoramic view of the property the following day from our boat ride on the fjord. The next morning at breakfast Ragnar brought us a copy of our family’s record page that he found in his big history book. That’s hospitality at its finest!

Kvitt Farm, Flam, Norway

Kvitt Farm, Flam, Norway

Even though we didn’t get to visit every spot we wanted, it was still fascinating tracing our history and family’s footsteps. I am glad that we made some progress in our journey, and I hope to continue our research in the future!

 

Have you ever traced your family history?

 


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22 Comments
  • Angela
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:23h, 26 August Reply

    I know I am half Swedish and really want to visit some day. You inspired me to talk to my grandparents to get more information on where I am from. However, being from the US, I am learning that I am mixed with many nationalities on my mother’s side. I might just have to trace the Swedish side first, since it will be easiest!
    Angela recently posted…Are the Enchantments Worth the Hype?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:16h, 28 August Reply

      Yeah, taking it in chunks makes it seem way more manageable! And it helps to have people to ask too–that’s great you can talk to your grandparents! I have quite a few different roots too, but not as many as Micah! Mine would be a lot easier to track down than his, hoping to make some more progress sometime soon!

  • Swati Singh
    Posted at 03:03h, 27 August Reply

    Such a beautiful place to live by.
    Swati Singh recently posted…History behind the Karla CavesMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:17h, 28 August Reply

      It was a really pretty spot–I’d love to live there 🙂

  • elaine schoch
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:23h, 27 August Reply

    Sounds like a very cool journey. I haven’t done this myself – not yet – but my grandfather did a lot of it for us so we do have some good places to start. =)
    elaine schoch recently posted…Things to do in Denver: A day in Washington ParkMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:23h, 28 August Reply

      That’s great! Always nice to have the information ready to explore 🙂 I hope you get to check it out one day–we had a great time and hope to search for more again soon!

  • Mike
    Twitter:
    Posted at 03:33h, 30 August Reply

    Jenna, my mom (step-mom) did a genealogy chart for my family many years ago. It was fascinating! I really need to get a copy of that information from her so I have it. And this post of your’s was a great reminder! I think that is wonderful that you two went on this journey! How fun! Loved the pictures too 🙂
    Mike recently posted…My Blogging Journey Reminder, Don’t Stop Believin’My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:26h, 04 September Reply

      Thanks, Mike! Glad to hear of other people that are still keeping track as well! I love learning about history in general, and when it’s personal it’s even more interesting. Hope you find some good information. We had a great time on our journey and hope to continue doing more of it!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Exciting Adventures in the Tiny Town of Flåm, NorwayMy Profile

  • Anna
    Twitter:
    Posted at 11:51h, 30 August Reply

    My grandpa immigrated from Norway as well, my mom even went back and lived there on and off in her twenties. I would have loved to visit where he lives or see other distant relatives but Norway is just SO expensive! I couldn’t afford it!
    Anna recently posted…Ridiculously expensive? The Real Cost of Food in HawaiiMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:32h, 04 September Reply

      That’s awesome your mom went back and lived in Norway–it would be fun to do something like that! I can see where it was too expensive–we were only there a few days, but I think that was long enough in terms of our budget! Would be fun to go back and camp though. Hope you get to see where your relatives lived one day!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Exciting Adventures in the Tiny Town of Flåm, NorwayMy Profile

  • dr neeraj kumar
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:08h, 30 August Reply

    Breath taking view, Lucky to have been there.

  • Lew
    Twitter:
    Posted at 03:57h, 31 August Reply

    What a great story! So glad to hear you found the town. Good luck with the next visit!
    Lew recently posted…Celebrating Norway’s National Day, 17th MayMy Profile

  • Kimmy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:31h, 03 September Reply

    This is great! I love that you are both tracing your family steps. I hope to do this some day as well in the UK. I also hope you get back to Sweden some day to lean more about your family.
    Kimmy recently posted…Pride of Maui Sunset Dinner CruiseMy Profile

  • Jacqui
    Twitter:
    Posted at 09:17h, 10 September Reply

    I believe my some of my grandfather’s family are from Norway as well. We may be related! Goodluck with your further research 🙂
    Jacqui recently posted…What’s Cooking Brendan Van Son? Photography Workshop in Ireland, New Travel Writing Forum…Food?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 11:19h, 16 September Reply

      How crazy would that be?! I’ll be sure to let you know if I find a connection 🙂

  • Rob Kvidt
    Posted at 01:25h, 21 October Reply

    Aloha Jenna and Micah! I’m enjoying all of your Norway posts. We’re making the trip for our first time this coming May and June. I was wondering where the Kvidt (Kvitt) family was from and your post helped. We’re including Sweden and Finland too plus 11 days in Norway. Starting in Trondheim and renting a car to tour the fjords and then end in Oslo. I’m even more excited after seeing your pictures and reading about your personal experiences. Thank you!
    Rob Kvidt recently posted…New Nonstop Service From LA to the Big Island and KauaiMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:41h, 21 October Reply

      Thanks! Glad you are enjoying them. Hope you have a great time! We loved Norway–would have been fun to visit Sweden and Finland too. Renting a car will be nice, that way you can stop for the pretty views as much as you want! We were glad we found the Kvidt house–it was fun to see where the family came from. Would love to hear about your time there too–you will have to let us know if you find out anything else!

  • BakoymaTravels
    Twitter:
    Posted at 09:07h, 13 February Reply

    As a Norwegian, this is fantastic reading. Like I’ve said before, I’m really glad you enjoyed Norway. It’s a shame you didn’t get to Enebakk, but now at least you have a reason to come back 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these fabulous pictures and your story!
    BakoymaTravels recently posted…Just around the bend…My Profile

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