Visiting WOLD family places near Drammen

My Norwegian friends and relatives have been amazingly helpful and welcoming. Last night and tonight we stayed in the guest apartment of my 4th cousin (Wold side) Rønnaug and her husband Bjørn Erik in Svelvik. I can tell she is a relative not just because she has our family pointed canine teeth but also because she has such lovely flowers. I do so love purple petunias!

Ronnaug by her retirement home in Svelvik

Ronnaug by her retirement home in Svelvik

Our first night was the night they celebrate the longest day with wonderful bonfires. I finally met cousin Anders, the son of Rønnaug whose DNA test brought us together.


Rønnaug with sons Hans Christopher and Anders


Then today, accompanied by my 3rd cousin twice removed Torgeir (also met via DNA testing) and his lovely six-year-old daughter Anea, we went touring ancestral places.

Anea, Torgeir, Kitty in front of a mine entrance

Anea, Torgeir, Kitty in front of a mine entrance

Bjorn Erik took us to the former Konnerud mines which my 5th grandfather Christopher Rausch, an engineer from Germany, had helped to set up in the 1700s. He was Jorgen Wold’s great-grandfather. He married a local girl and never went back to Germany. See some mine history here:

View of Drammen from the Konnerud mine with Torgeir

View of Drammen from the Konnerud mine with Torgeir

Bjorn Erik’s father was the custodian for the land around the closed mine so he knew it well and had played there as a child.

Bjørn Erik and poisoned mine area

Bjørn Erik and poisoned mine area

Next we drove to Skogar where my online friend and curator from Martin (also my 10th cousin) had arranged for two gentlemen from the local history society to guide us. The plan was to drive 15 minutes then walk 20 minutes through the woods to the ruins of the house where my great-grandmother Maren Wold grew up with her eight siblings. This required a special permit to drive into the area as it is private land.

Hans, the local historian and our guide

Hans, the local hostorian and our guide

Fortunately I was wearing very good hiking sneakers to coddle my bad foot because it was a difficult 40 minute hike to get there on an overgrown path with mud and rocks that was very much uphill. Amazingly, with not the best shoes for this, my cousin Corinne made the ‘walk’ too. Naturally Anea had no problems at all and enjoyed herself greatly.

Anea enjoys our hike

Anea enjoys our hike

The house is long gone but you can still see the foundation, the cellar, the animal watering hole and a rock where my great-aunt Sofie Wold carved her name. There is a sign to mark the spot as well. Our guides gave us articles about Tørjevollen and copies of documents from Sofie which I will scan soon.

Tørjevollen sign by the ruins

Tørjevollen sIgn by the ruins

Coffee and cookies in the Tørjevollen ruins

Coffee and cookies in the Tørjevollen ruins

Before we left, it started to pour and we all got fairly wet on the walk back. However later that night at 10:30 p.m. there was a beautiful rainbow over the Drammenfjord outside our window. Yes it is still light here until almost midnight.



6 thoughts on “Visiting WOLD family places near Drammen

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  1. Hi Kitty and Corinne. Have been following you through your travels while we were on a Virginia history tour with 7 grandchildren. It looks like you are having so much fun. Thanks for keeping us informed with photos and comments.

    • Craig we are so glad you are enjoying this. We recommend this trip highly. What great relatives we have and it is so lovely here in the summer!

  2. Thank you for the fantastic words. We loved to have you here, and you are welcome back. Yesterday we fished cod from the sea, so you also would like to stay here or dinner today. I felt you were one of us.
    Hugs from
    Roennaug Louise

    • Dear cousin Roennaug, thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and great cooking! You are family. In a few more weeks I hope to have the rest of my photos organized online

  3. Hello kitty my name is christopher sprayberry my mothers maiden name was kathrine royan wold I am trying to find information on this side of my family I feel have a strong connection with the norse side of my family. I am trying to learn all I can

  4. Hi Christopher,
    WOLD is a fairly common surname in both Norwegian and German immigrants to America. I checked my extensive tree and she is not a known relative of mine.
    To learn more use your genealogy skills. Find her marriage certificate (will perhaps have parents names, and birth place) then her birth certificate.
    Go to a family history center near you – they are always very helpful and don’t try to convert you (mormons) –

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