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Kvam, Ingerid M. / The Skalet family : ancestors and descendants of Sever and Malla Skalet
(1996)

Ancestors of Dorothea (Malla) Marie Venden,   pp. 32-38 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 35

Jean Bower Amundsen lived in Norway 2 years, and while she was there her employer,
Oyvind Gulliksen, and her made a visit to the site of the Venden's husmann (tenant) farm in
Etnedal. She took a log of the trip and titled it "Retracing the Venden family's footsteps. I
will write portions of her journal.
I paid my second visit to Valdres, June 14th, as we'd planned to visit the site of Venden's
husmann's farm in Etnedal.
Guri Byfuglien, who is the granddaughter of Gunhild Venden, lives in Rogne-Oistre Slidre,
near Fagernes today. She is retired along with her husband Kolbjorn--they have a son and
daughter who I haven't met yet. (Jean told me on the phone these are the only Venden's from
Ole and Dordi's family left in Norway.) Byfuglien is also a family that has lived in the
Etnedal area for years. Guri and Kolbjorn and family lived on a small farm 17 years next to
the Venden's, high up above a larger farm. (below in the valley near the river) - and I
believe Guri grew up there also. They can remember old people from their childhood's who
actually knew Ole & Dordi Venden and family. Martin was known for his good carpentry
and it gives me a wonderful feeling to know that the whole family was well liked and known
for their kindness.
Oyvind had just been in Olso giving exams and I was packing my room up-but we took to
the road--about a 5 hour drive from Bo (This is the town my employer lived in)
It was beautiful weather, and we stopped in Fagernes to find a cottage to rent for the night
before we went to Guri's. Gun had been in the hospital some weeks during the winter and
was better, but still weak and shaky.--We tried to be as little fuss as possible.--We brought
chocolates for coffee and then took Kolbjorn with us to Etnedal. Guri wished she could be
with us to Venden and their old place, but didn't feel up to the climb.--We visited before and
afterwards at their home.
Kolbjorn Byfuglien was a fantastic guide! He had on only shorts, tennis shoes, and a dapper
cap for the hike. He told story after story about their lives on the place.-His Valdres dialect
was difficult for me to understand--and even for Oyvind! But, Oyvind took notes the whole
time and hopefully will be able to write them out someday. He's planning to write an
account of the Valdres Historical Society and the parts of our family that are in Norway.
We first stopped at the Northern Etnedal Church-where Gunhild Venden Fyke (not sure of
spelling) was buried.--her grave site cannot be found because, as Guri told us, she was
buried during the German Occupation (1940 or 41). She remembers that they couldn't reach
Bruflat church because the bridge over the Etne River had been bombed, so they brought
Gunhild here to N. Etnedal Church and buried her while planes were flying overhead.
Imagine!
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