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
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
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
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
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.