Furuseth Farm
 

HISTORY OF THE FURUSETH FARM


Christine Dahl came from the farm called Furuseth located in Romedal, Hedmark, Norway. Her ancestors came to Furuseth in the late 1600s, and the farm has remained in the same family to the present time, passing in most instances from father to son. The following history of Furuseth is from Romedalboka, Garder og Slekter, Bind II, by Bjarne Morthoff, published in Norway in 1970.
The farm name, Furuseth, is derived from "furu," meaning pine, which has been the predominant type of wood on the place.
The farm is first named in the tax rolls of 1612, and Oluf Furuseth is listed as the tenant farmer. From 1616 to 1625 Anders Bjornstad is listed as owner, but Oluf is the renter. In 1637 the pastor, Christen Stephensen Bang, became owner of Furuseth. In the tax rolls of 1668, Arnt Torstensen of Christiania, is listed as owner, and the farm had one renter, namely Oluf Furuseth. In the settlement after Arnt Torstensen's death, Furuseth was given over to his son, Jørgen Arntsen.
By the year 1690 a Finn family came to Furuseth -- two brothers, Ole and Peder Eskildsen (Eriksen). They came from Hoggåsen, and by the time they moved to Furuseth, their father, Eskild Hoggåsen, a Finn, was dead, and their mother Lisbet Mattisdatter had remarried.
By deed dated 12 Jan 1709, Jørgen Arntsen, who lived in Christiania, sold the north half of his farm Furuseth in Vallset, with lease and manorial right to the honorable and highly regarded man, Peder Eriksen, who was living on the farm, and he and his heirs should enjoy and use the property to all eternity.
The other half of the farm, South Furuseth, was sold to Erik Olsen, who was living on that part of the farm. We might have expected to find Peder's brother, Ole Eskildsen (Eriksen) on this farm, but he had either left or had died by this time.
In reality, the farm for many years was undivided, although there were two owners. The two farmers used both houses and farmland together.
Peder Eriksen was a capable and reliable man, and with the years he became an affluent man and loaned money out for interest. He also lived peaceably with all men; however, there was recorded a conflict with a neighbor and the neighbor's wife over some cows. The neighbor's wife had attacked the Furuseth cows and had used improper words about the Furuseth men. After going to court, the matter was settled peaceably, and the neighbor's wife apologized.
Peder Eriksen died in the spring of 1737. His widow, Mette Engebretsdatter, and three children, Erik Pedersen, of legal age, Lars Pedersen, 23 years, and Siri Pedersdatter, 20 years, inherited the estate, which amounted to 301 riksdallers. Mette received 150 rd, each son 60 rd, and the daughter 30 rd.
Widow Mette Engebretsdatter retained the farm. Apparently she thought that the oldest son, Erik Pedersen, was too young for this responsibility. However, after only five years she died.
The year of her death, 1742, is one of the darkest in the country's history. People were in the middle of perhaps the country's worst famine, and the mortality rate was alarming. On Furuseth, it was not just one who died. The young daughter, Siri Pedersdatter, who a couple of years before had married sexton Nils Larsen Gantzer, died in the same epidemic as her mother, and left a 3/4 year old son.
By the settlement after Mette's death, the farm was found in its best value, namely 240 rd., and then the share of the inheritance for each brother was 96 rd, and for Siri's son, 48 rd.
The oldest son, Erik Pedersen, now took the farm for the stipulated price 240 rd. Erik Pedersen was, as far as we can discern, sickly, and already in 1760 he sold North Furuseth to his son-in-law, Gulbrand Olsen. Erik must have died immediately after the sale. It was of course the oldest son, Peder Eriksen, who was considered the rightful freeholder, and it had been assumed that he should have the farm when he grew up. By deed dated 22 March 1768, Gulbrand Olsen sold North Furuseth to his brother-in-law, Peder Eriksen for 240 rd. Gulbrand Olsen, nevertheless continued to live on Furuseth until his death in 1783.
There had always been prosperity on Furuseth, and Peder Eriksen was not inferior to his ancestors. He was also a peaceable man and had order in his affairs. He was often a juror.
By deed dated 30 March 1799 Peder Eriksen sold North Furuseth, with lease and manorial right to his oldest son Erik Pedersen for 500 rd. Peder Eriksen and wife had only 2 children who grew up, and neither of them was married when Erik took over the farm, but the sister Marthe kept house for her brother until 1805 when he married Kari Halvorsdatter Tingstad. Marthe married in 1810.
Erik Pedersen and Kari Halvorsdatter's time on Furuseth was on of the most difficult periods Norway had gone through. It was a time of trouble with blockade and war, which led to starvation, sickness and death. When the country finally had peace, the finances were so destroyed that they had to get a new coin -- the spesidaler. Many lost their farms in this time, but it looked almost like this difficult state of affairs had no effect over North Furuseth and the family there.
Erik Pedersen sold North Furuseth by deed dated 19 December 1839 to his son Peder Eriksen for 200 spd. The place Stueløkka was included in the transaction. Erik had then owned the farm for 40 years. On the same date Peder drew up a pension contract to his parents valued at 80 spd annually.
Peder Eriksen's youngest sister Anna, who was married to Johan Olsen Brunstad, was the first from Romedal who emigrated to America. (Accompanying the Brunstads was Peder's oldest daughter, Christine, who married Hendrik Dahl after coming to Texas). As time went on others followed, including three more of Peder Eriksen's daughters.
After having owned the farm for 38 years, Peder Eriksen sold North Furuseth to his son Erik Pedersen for 4400 kroner. Stueløkka and Domstad pasture were included in the transaction, which they signed 23 April 1877. Just 10-12 days after the transaction was concluded Peder Eriksen died. The widow, who lived many years after her husband, was of course guaranteed a pension.
Erik Pedersen's three oldest children died a short time after birth, but Erik later had three daughters who grew up, and it was the oldest of these, Sina, who in time came to take over North Furuseth together with her husband, Rudolf Jølstad. From 1961 their son Per Jølstad has been owner of the farm.
The farm has 90 decare (1 decare = about 1/4 acre) cultivated land, 500 decare forest and 100 decare pasture.

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