Category Archives: Fladvad Family

Norway Treasure: Flatvad Family’s Sunndal Valley home for over 400 years

– Norway’s Sunndal Valley Flatvad Family Home for 400 years –

Norway Treasure:

Norway’s Flatvad family has called this ruggedly beautiful valley in Møre og Romsdal, home for over 400 years.

Is it:

  1. Husedalen
  2. Båttjønndalen
  3. Nærøydalen
  4. Sunndalen

Hint: the valley channels the River Driva from its headwaters in the Dovrefjell for over 90 miles (150 km) to its destination at Sunndalsøra.

The Sunndal Valley (left) and the ancestral home (gård) of the Flatvad Family.

(Left) The Sunndal looking south towards Sunndalsøra, the administrative center of Sunndal Municipality in Møre og Romsdal County.

Flavors of the Fjords is the most comprehensive history of any Norwegian-American family yet prepared, including its holiday recipes, travels, photographs, and correspondence.

You can add this uniquely informative and interesting, newly revised and updated, to your ePublication library today.

In five minutes you can have the following at your finger tips…

Why you should savor Flavors 2018 ePub Edition

“Flavors of the Fjords” is a combination of cookbook and family history assembled by the Fladvad and Bjørke family. The book may be the most detailed history of a Norwegian-American family yet published, and it serves as a model of what many Norwegian-American families could do to preserve knowledge of their past and the stories of their ancestors’ immigration.”
News of Norway, Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D. C.

  • Flavors of the Fjords is the largest, most comprehensive history of any Norwegian-American family yet prepared, including authentic, traditional holiday recipes, travels, photographs, and correspondence, over 400 pages (depending on browser used).
  • Explore and Celebrate Norway’s history, culture, and breathtaking beauty.
  • Follow the Fladvad and Bjørke family through over 400 years of illustrated history and documented survival. “…the most detailed history of a Norwegian-American family yet published…”
  • Family history is interwoven with fascinating images of Norwegian “must-see” locations such as Maihaugen, Slottet, Storting, Sunndal and social history, including explanations of Norwegian Holiday traditions and customs, many of them kept alive to this day by millions of Norwegian-American families.
  • Share and understand the Norwegian-American Experience from Norway-to-Newport–See the other side of Newport’s Gilded Age through the history and struggles of the Cottrell family.
  • Recreate the aromas of your Bestemor’s kitchen at Christmas, National Day, or other holidays, with over 100 authentic, traditional Norwegian cakes and cookies.  “History has never tasted so good!”
  • Recipes for over 100 holiday cookies, cakes and breads, toppings, and puddings.
  • Includes a 1,800-word Norwegian-English glossary, with useful terms for foods and cooking, but also family, kinship, home, and utensils. The Glossary is the first designed specifically to help readers wishing to translate their family Norwegian recipes.
  • Numerous links to authoritative external sites provide quick, convenient additional information for e-Publication readers.
  • Flavors includes rare letters and photographs from family members describing the trials of life in German-occupied Norway during World War II.
  • Recipes are really interesting and fun to read. The Authors have included copious notes on Norway, its people, and its cooking. In addition, many of the recipes pages include period photographs of family members who were connected with the recipe.


Ole’s deightrou for Marie

Ole Andreas Fladvad’s handmade deightrow for his sister Marie, in 1890 is now 125 years old. It is treasured by her granddaughter and holds tasty Christmas cookies and a souvenir from Tres Garten Yulehus.
A Norwegian Deightrou:  The Fladvad Family’s Dough Bowl

The deightrou, or dough bowl, is one of several Norwegian kitchen implements that my grandmother, Marie Theresa Fladvad, brought with her when she emigrated to the United States in the mid-1890s.

The deightrou was special to her: it had been hand-hewn from a log by her brother, Ole Andreas, as a special gift in honor of her departure from Norway about 1890.

While Ole Andreas made the carrying handles at each end and the inside of the deightrou quite smooth, the underside of the dough bowl was left quite rough and readily seen to be a former log. While a deightrou was used in Norwegian kitchens for kneading dough, my grandmother, Marie, used it for other purposes as well.

A second piece of primitive or rustic equipment accompanied the deightrou: a rounded steel chopper blade attached to a wooden handle. It may sometimes referred to as a scraper, however we called it a chopper. Grandmother, Marie, used the rounded chopper tool to chop up vegetables for the evening meal probably much more often than she used it to knead dough.

There are many old dough bowls to be seen on Etsy and eBay and some other sites. I have created a board on Pinterest and entitled it “Dough Bowls.”

Some of the dough bowls look similar to the one that accompanied Marie on her voyage from Norway to Newport. One description read: “Two-piece primitive wood trencher dough bowl with scraper utensil.”

What size is our deightrou? Deightrous were used for hundreds of years in European kitchens and were usually 30” to 35” long. Some larger dough bowls were as much as 45” long.

The Fladvad and Bjørke Families

 Oline Bjørke’s family was from Furnes, about six miles north of Hamar and about 30 miles south of Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympic games.
Oline Bjørke’s family was from Furnes, about six miles north of Hamar and about 30 miles south of Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympic games.

Marie Theresa Fladvad emigrated from Christiania (Oslo), Norway to the United States in 1895. She left behind in Oslo, her father Tron Fladvad and mother, Oline Bjørke Fladvad, plus several sisters and brothers. Settling in Newport, Rhode Island, she soon married and began a new life. The Fladvad and Bjørke families from which she came have been established in Norway since before written records were kept. This is their story.
To better understand and appreciate the history of these two old Norwegian families—the Fladvads and the Bjørkes—we will begin with a brief overview of the historical background and the circumstances in which they lived.

Tron’s family had lived on three neighboring farms in Western Norway near Sunndalsøra for several hundred years. Oline Bjørke’s family was from Furnes, about six miles north of Hamar and about 30 miles south of Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympic games.

In many important respects, these two families and the land which they farmed represented the majority of Norwegians who emigrated to the United States. By following their story in so far as possible, we get a much better understanding of these families and times in which they lived.

The following is a broad outline and summary of Norway’s history and events—including some interesting information explaining different systems of taxation, weights, and money.

Throughout these posts we will mention historical events ranging from military actions to changing customs, in Norway, Scandinavia, America, and elsewhere. We have added these to provide perspective and comparison between events at the farms and in Norway with trends, developments, and changes taking place around the world.

Fladvad Brunsvika estate in Kristiansund is sold after 153 years

Bjørn Fladvad
Bjørn Fladvad

Flavor’s author Bjørn Fladvad recently provided an important update to the ongoing story of the Fladvad family, one of Norway’s oldest families.

One branch in Nordmor has maintained its ancestral home and properties for over 400 years. Another branch, with deep roots in Kristiansund, has maintained its home at the estate Brunsvika for 153 years. Clearly, the Fladvad Family has deep roots with branches of the family tending to keep homes and property for long periods of time.

Bjørn provided the background to help readers put the Fladvad/Brunsvika estate into historical context.

“Trond Fladvad (1831) , father of Marie Fladvad Cottrell, had three brothers and three sisters,” Bjørn explained.

Endre took over the farm (in Sunndal, near Sunndalsøra).

Ivar was a goldsmith who immigrated to Østersund in Sweden and married Maria Johanna Bergmann, 20 years younger.  Ivar and Maria are the ancestors of a large family in Sweden.

Bjørn’s research included correspondence with other family members, including Lars Fladvad (Swedish), in 2004. Based on this information, we now have a better picture of Ivar Olsen Fladvad, nicknamed the “Gammelnorsken” (The Old Norwegian). There seems to be a connection between his nickname and the fact that age 35 he married a much younger girl, aged 20.

Ivar studied at Klebo school in 1854-55, learning to be a church singer. He also took a position as a teacher at Romfo elementary school. However, after four years he taught himself to be a goldsmith and watchmaker.

Family stories suggest that Ivar after an unhappy romance determined to leave Norway. Together with a friend he walked to Ragunda, Sweden in 1860, where they established a gold- and watch-shop.

After about five years he left the shop and from 1865 – 67 educated himself at an agricultural school. At age 35 he started dating Maria Berman. He was considered old by her family and soon acquired the nickname “Gammelnorsken.” Eventually they married in 1969. They would have nine children. Some of them died very young.

Ivar took a position as manager at a farm and had an annual income of 1000 riksdaler which was considered as high income.  Ivar was considered as a generous person.  In 1869 he gave two riksdaler to the warship Småland, and a poor grandmother got one riksdaler. He spent 6.25 riksdaler on Christmas gifts, and in January 1869, he spent 9 riksdaller for the wedding. His relatively high income also allowed him to buy things for himself and his household which were not obtainable for most people at that time.

In 1872 the family moved to Bodsjø where he took the posiition as forrest inspector with the company “Skønvik AB.” He worked for them for 32 years, until he retired in 1904.

Ole (b. 1827) was deeply religious and belonged to the religious movement “Haugianerne.”

Estate Brunsvika in Kristiansund.
Estate Brunsvika in Kristiansund.

There were many at that time who considered the Church of Norway to be too formal and lacking in what we might today consider evangelical spirit. As a result of the advocacy and lay preaching (forbidden at the time) of Hans Nielsen Hauge, a democratic folk movement was launched and more of the rural population became interested in politics. Understandably, tensions between the common folk and the more privileged classes rose. The movement was also recognized in Norwegian drama and music. A character in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (Solveig) is a member of a Haugean family. And, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson presented his heroin “Synnøve Solbakken” as a Haugean. The Haugean movement influenced Lutheranism in America, with several new synods being established.

“Ole Flatvad moved to Kristiansund in 1860, perhaps because he had met Marie Evensdatter Ødegaard, whom he married in October 1860.  Ole bought the estate Brunsviken in 1860 for 4000 kroner, and soon became a prominent member of the Haugianer-movement in Kristiansund. Sadly, Marie died soon after in 1864.”

The Germans occupied Brunsvika during WWII. Expecting an Allied invasion that never happened, they built this “pillbox” on the adjoining lot in Kristiansund.
The Germans occupied Brunsvika during WWII. Expecting an Allied invasion that never happened, they built this “pillbox” on the adjoining lot in Kristiansund.

“After losing his wife, Ole travelled throughout nearby districts districts bringing the religious message from Hans Nielsen Hauge to the people. Meanwhile, after his sister, Anne, had been widowed, she and her two children moved to Brunsvika and took over the household.”

“On one of his evangelical journeys Ole became ill. He spent some time on a farm where he was cared for by the daughter of the farms owner, Marit Olsdatter Resell. They were married in 1867 and had 9 children together.  The estate Brunsviken has remained in the family until now,” Bjørn explained.

One of Ole’s great granddaughters, Astrid Mollan of Kristiansund recently advised Bjørn that the estate Brunsviken which had been in that family for 153 years has been sold. Further, she is writing an article about Brunsvika and the Fladvad family that is planned for publication in the annual report of the Nordmøre Historielag (Historical Association of Northern Møre County).

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