Among my old possessions are many bibles. This one is printed in London in 1814. The local minister Cornelius Thomas Rønnau gave it to Eli Olsdatter Mellem.
Eli was an older sister to my 3 great-grandfather and she was born on the farm Mellem. She was born in 1785 and the daughter of Marit Hansdatter Nerhoel and Ole Eriksen Mellem. This bible is given to her on the 25th of October in 1822. I have not yet researched her thoroughly, but it is said that she had the right to live on her brother Hans Olsen Uv’s farm from a document called “kårbrev” from the 8th of June 1841. In the census of 1865 she lives on the brother’s farm called Uv and her occupation is given as a weaver. She is not mentioned in the farm book as having lived on the farm. Unknown why.
The minister Rønnau was a person with many interests. He wrote songs and books, was engaged in public education and sobriety and much more. In 1810 he started the first library in Oppdal: Opdals Bygdebibliothek. He gave the library the first 100 books. A generous gift in this age. And it might be in this spirit that he gave away bibles to his parishioners.
The text on the first pages of the bible is as follows:
Barn til kirkesognet Dåpen
farskabn Bringe en datter
Nytestament i Dag given
til Elen Ols dtr Nederhoel
For frelsen .. forbønn
uden -arnsomligelse til
gærning (gjerning?) og oppbyggelse.
C. Ts. Rønnau
A short translation is “This, New Testament, is given to the baptised, Elen Olsdatter Nederhoel in her christian education”.
It is interesting to note that the Bible was printed and bound in London, England in 1814. This was during the Napoleonic wars from 1800 til 1815. They started as a consequence of the French revolution of 1789 and onwards which led to the French constitution in 1791. In Norway we had our Constitution or Grunnloven in 1814, the same year as this bible was printed.