Ask for genealogical help and be rewarded

There are forums, mailing lists, and facebook groups for almost any group with shared ancestry and the people who populate them can be amazingly helpful. So here is how I solved a mystery with assistance from various Norwegian helpers.

I have recently been working on the ancestors of my g-grandfather H. H. Lee (originally Hans or Halvor Skjold) from Etne, Hordaland, Norway since I have so many new relatives from his families found with DNA testing. When last in Salt Lake City, I photographed numerous pages of farm entries from the Etnesogas at the family history library and took several of his lines much further back. See the chart below (from wikitree) for those annoying blank spots I wanted to fill in.

I found the ancestors of Ingeborg Haktorsdtr, one blank spot below, in the Holmedal books. But my 3rd great grandfather Øystein Gabrielsen Bjørgjo evaded me. He appeared as if by magic on the Bjørgjo farm with no clue as to his origins. I tried the online Norwegian archives with no success, perhaps because they are a bit difficult for us English speakers. So I decided to ask for help.

Wikitree tree for H H Lee

My great-grandfather’s pedigree at Wikitree

I posted this request in the Norwegian genealogy group on facebook.

Looking for my ggg-grandfather’s birth record and parents, this is what I have from the Etnesoga (Etne Hordaland farm books), any suggestions?
Øystein Gabrielsson Bjørgjo 1752 – 1852
Etnesoga III p 416 Bjørgjo no. 7 married four times, does not indicate where he was born
(see attached photo of this entry)
and included a link to the 1801 census and some of the Norwegian text from the older Etnesoga book about Bjørgjo.

Much to my surprise I had a wonderfully useful response within 2 hours from Harald, a helper in Norway:

His parents married 1748 in Kvinnherad:…/pv00000000734819
Østen Gabrielsen (25) living on Øvre Sandvig, Kvinnherad, in a 1777 census:…/63/pc00000000166719
1st marriage 1786, Østen Gabrielsen, Fedt:…/pv00000001665013
2nd marriage 1790:…/pv00000000017859
3rd marriage 1793:…/pv00000001665393
4th marriage 1796:…/pv00000000017961
Naming a daugther Lisbeth (like her grandmother) in 1804:…/pd00000005575825

So now I know where to look for more about him and his ancestors, next trip I will pour through the Kvinnherad book. But then I thought perhaps I could ask one of the many volunteers who do lookups in their copies of these farm books. So I went to and found the person who does the Kvinnherad lookups and sent her the above information. Her response was:

I have looked on Sandvik øvre gnr. 111 (pp. 517-523) using the criteria you listed and I cannot find his name or even part of his name. Unfortunately the book is not indexed.  There are gaps in the information, i.e. one farm jumped from 1701 to 1819 without any intervening information.  I also looked at Sandvik Nedre and there was nothing. When I looked at the websites you listed, it indicated he was on farm 2, but the information for Bnr. 2 does not begin until 1780.

Not good news, but farm books have been known to miss a child so next I tried the Rootsweb Norway mailing list next. The first response I got from Jorstein was

no Øystein under Sandvik or Fet farms.
Gabriel Øysteinsson with wife Lisbet Larsdatter are listed under Fet farm. 7
children are listed but no Øystein. Their first child are Lars, born 1749.
Are you sure this Gabriel and Lisbet are the parents for my Øystein?

but then this gold mine, also from Jorstein

I was lucky and found Gabriel Østensen’s probate record. He moved from
Kvinnherad to the farm Lande in Skånevik. This record is from 1782 and as
you can see the son nr. 2 is Østen.

In Kvinnherad book 3 under Fet the family is listed this way:
6. Gabriel Øysteinsson Sæberg, 1717-, g. 1748 m
Lisbet Larsdotter Josnes, 1722-, var frå 1750 bygselmann på det bruket som
Johannes Olsson hadde bygsla.
Dei hadde sju barn:
Lars, 1749-1825, d. i Våge, Maddel, 1751-, Lisbet, 1755-, Brita, 1758-,
Gabriel, 1759-, Torbjørn, 1761-, Knut, 1763-.

I could not find Gabriel under farm Sæberg in this book, but I found Lisbet
under Josnes. Her parents was Lars Knutsson (1694-1754) and Lisbet
Torbjørnsdtr. (1696-1765).

Kildeinformasjon: Hordaland fylke, Sunnhordland sorenskriveri,
Skifteprotokoll Aa 9a , 1780-1783, oppb: Statsarkivet i Bergen.

Merknader: Fol. 1-324.

Permanent sidelenke:

Permanent bildelenke:

Josnes farm KvinnheradMystery solved and plenty for me to look at in the Kvinnherad book on my next trip! When I added these folk to, I discovered the ancestors of Gabriel listed there, from farm Gjuvsland. I look forward to confirming that data.

Thank you Harald, Margaret, and Jostein. Again I am impressed by the willingness of my fellow genealogists to help and their abilities to read that old script.


2 thoughts on “Ask for genealogical help and be rewarded

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  1. Kitty, you are amazing! I love how you sleuth so well in a subject that is so interesting and important to so many of us! Thanks or letting us ride on your coattails!

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