Visiting Hedmark Online

The Internet is such a wonderful tool, so I was thinking: Why not visit our ancestral places in Norway online? Today we go to Hedmark County – and the ancestral home of Elias Borresen in Loten and his wife Kari Eriksdatter in Tynset.

Hedmark is one of only two of Norway’s counties without coastline, Oppland being the other. I find it interesting that our ancestors come from these two and a third with limited coastline, Nord-Trondelag. A map will confirm that this southeastern county of Hedmark shares significant border with Sweden.

Hedmark county is a less urbanized area, half its inhabitants being rural and many residing in the rich agricultural district next to Norway’s largest lake, Lake Mjosa. Hedmark county also supplies much of Norway’s timber, a reason for its modern coat-of-arms (above) being three adzes to remove bark from trees. Well-known populated towns include Kongsvinger, Elverum, Tynset and Hamar, the last serving as the county’s administration.

Tynset is the municipality that was home to Kari, wife of Elias Borresen. (Today’s term municipality is an administrative term and includes rural area too.) Tynset is know as a vast forest and mountain area, great for walking and skiing, hunting and fishing. Sounds like Borreson country to me! Its modern coat-of-arms (below) reflects the aundance of moose in the area. Many of its mountain farms (seter) are still in use.

Tynset produces a traditional Norwegian form of transportation, the kicker sled called the “spark,” and features the world’s largest in its town square. Among its attractions are the Tynset and Tylldalen churches to which our family has ties. The Bjorgan rectory at Kvikne in Tynset is the birthplace of Bjornsterne Bjornson who wrote the lyrics to the Norwegian national anthem (Ja, vi elsker dette landet…). He won the 1903 Nobel Prize for Literature and is honored as one of Norway’s four great writers.

For the municipality of Loten where the Borreson name originates with Borre Andersen, I refer you to a couple recent posts, “Leaving Loten” and “Famous Norwegian from Loten.” You’ll find Loten’s coat-of-arms on the first of these.

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