The Fristad Line: How Far Back?

Inevitably, the question is asked "How far back can you trace your family?" In the case of the Fristad line, the answer to that question is an easy one. The church in Norway kept detailed records of births, baptisms, christenings, marriages and emigration. Fortunately for genealogists, these records are amazingly complete. Why? Because wood burns...

The parish churches were the repository for parish records; most of the important events of the community happened at the church. Timber was a handy building material, thus churches were constructed of wood (the Urnes Stave Church is a classic example). But wood is flammable, so every time a church would burn down, records would be lost! To guard against this, a law was passed early in the 16th century that required parish churches to keep duplicate copies of registers in a separate location. Because of this backup system, a large number of parish records exist today.

The National Archives of Norway has been collecting this information and digitizing it, making it available via search engine on the internet. With an individual's name and their location, it is quite possible to trace family members back as far as records are kept!

Currently, the Fristad (male) line has been traced back as far as 1741, to Sogn og Fjordane, Førde Parish, on the Frøsland farm. Following is an overview of the Fristad line, beginning with Ole Olsen at the Frøsland farm, and ending at Johannes Olsen Fristad (my great-great-grandfather).

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  • Ole Olsen1
    Born in Frøsland, Førde, 1741
  • Anders Olsen1
    Born in Frøsland, Førde, 1780
    Parents: Ole Olsen and Ingeborg Heljesdtr
  • Johannes Andersen2
    Born in Haukedalen, Førde, 1810
    Parents: Anders Olsen Frøsland and Synnøve Lardsatter
  • Ole Johannesen3
    Born in Kjelstad, Gualar, Oct. 3. 1833
    Parents: Johannes Andersen and Gjertrud Sørensdr Kjelstad/Kjølstad
  • Johannes Olsen (Fristad)4
    Born in Fristad, Askvoll, April 2. 1859.
    Parents: Ole Johannesen and Pernille Berntsdr Fristad