Faberg Church

In Clara Borreson Cook’s Homestead, Biri is identified as the birthplace of Maria Thorsen (Mrs. Bertinus Estensen), as well as the parish in which she was baptized and confirmed (p. 14).  Her parents (p. 8) and siblings claim that parish as well.

Some time ago cousin Judy e-mailed us (or me, I forget) a photo of the Faberg Church which is, according to my understanding, the church for the Biri parish. I include it here, lovely in itself and evidence of Judy’s photo skills too.

Some of you may have been to this part of Norway so you know much more than I; if I am wrong, you must correct me! I admit to making some assumptions here, but I proceeded to do some online searching for Faberg Church information and here’s what I learned.

The Faberg Church is actually located between the villages of Faberg and Gausdal about five or so miles north or northwest of the Olympic city of Lillehammer. A church building has existed for hundreds of years on the site. Originally it was a “stave church” but this was demolished in the 18th century when the present red wooden building of cruciform shape was erected. Apparently the current church has some items from the original, including a bell which dates from the 12th century. Also to be found there is a gravestone from the 13th century and a stone with a runic inscription about a thousand years old. Doesn’t that sound like an interesting place to visit?

If that’s not enough to motivate us, the Faberg Culture Trail begins at Faberg Church. This trail is four kilometers and will lead the walker past Viking burial grounds, a river abounding in fish, and traditional farms. Fabulous views of the Olympic city of Lillehammer are also available on this walk – with signs in English along the way – plus picnic areas. Sign me up!

Another site indicates that many Biri records are available online: Biri parish records are available on microfilm for the time period 1730-1921. Biri clerical district consists of the parishes Biri and Snertingdal with Segård and Nykirke chaples.  Note: Church records for the years 1789-1814 and 1854-1877 were destroyed in a fire on 12 September l890. In Homestead, Clara confirms the missing records from 1791-1813.

The bottom line is: Faberg Church appears a good source for further searches, whether online or traveling.

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4 Responses to Faberg Church

  1. All – The Fäberg church was quite a distance from Biri – at least 10 miles – so going to church was a big deal. In the early 1900s another church was built at Vingrom between Biri and the Fäberg church. This is quite a bit closer. I visited that church and it was open. It reminded me of the upper church in Pigeon.

  2. Glenn Borreson says:

    Thanks for the added details, Judy, and the perspective on the distance 150 years or more ago. Ten miles then was the equivalent of many more to us today.

  3. Rolf Steinar Bergli says:

    I understand this can be confusing, but there has been a church in Biri parish – maybe as early as in the 1200s. The church of today in Biri was built in 1777.
    You can see it here (unfortunately norwegian text only):

  4. Glenn Borreson says:

    Thanks, Rolf, for this additional helpful information. To my cousins, I would add that Rolf (himself from Biri) has given me direct information connecting our family to this Biri church, and I hope to be able to include it in an upcoming post. I should note here, however, great-grandmother’s brother Torger Thorson married Regine Lovise Gryte who was born in Faberg July 9, 1938 (Homestead, 10). So the church on this post might be her family’s.

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