Norway Churches: Emil’s Family

In 1836 Borre Anderson married Maria Andersdatter in the Loten parish of Hedmark, Norway. All six of their children, including Emil’s father Elias, were baptized in that same parish. Here’s an exterior view of “Loten kirke” from the norskekirkebygg site that’s valuable for searching out churches (in Norwegian).

The Loten church’s beginnings go back more than 800 years. The original part of this structure, as I understand it, is stone, built in as the eastern half of the nave and the choir. There is speculation that an earlier church stood in nearly the same place.  One of the church’s three bells goes back to the Middle Ages, another to 1599. In the 1800s, the church building was doubled in size to meet the population increase.  The windows date from 1873, four years after Elias and his new bride Kari left for America.

Emil’s materal grandparents, Erik Eriksen Hogstad and Sigri Johnsdatter, were married at Tylldal in Tynset in 1830. Seven years later, Emil’s mother Kari was baptized in Tynset (same church, I think).

The church shown here is the sixth Tylldalen church, the first one dating back to the 1100s. Tydall was the main church in the area at the time of the Reformation. This building was constructed in 1733-1734 and orginally seated 300. Fifty years later this was too small and changes were made. Originally the exterior was tarred, then painted brown, and finally the white in the photo. In the 1880s changes in piety led to many furnishings being “thrown out,” but at the 200th anniversary (1933), many old items were relocated and restored to use, including the pulpit and baptismal font. The font is likely the one in which our ancestors were baptized.

In 1868 (very likely) Elias Borresen and Kari Eriksdatter found their way to Elverum where they were married October 20.

This is the church with the parish register recording their marriage. Elverum is a log cruciform church dating to 1737 and seating 700. The altarpiece features Christ on the cross, but the baptismal font is unique: a male figure carrying a bowl on his head, a style apparently not unusual in the 1700s. A church website with more information indicates that a complete church restoration is in order but is too costly due to structural weakness in 1800s work. If this kirkenorge site works, you should be able to view many interior and exterior photos, including one of the unique font.

Elverum was the brief place of refuge for the king during World War II when the Nazis invaded Norway. I smile to think he probably worshiped in this same building our ancestors were married in about 75 years earlier.

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