2000 Oppdalinger emigrated to the US and Canada

Norway is one of the countries with highest emigration to North America, from 1825 and 100 years onward, in relation to the populations size. More than 800.000 people emigrated and it is believed that the number of people with Norwegian heritage in the US is as large as the present Norwegian population of 5.4 million. Two thousand left Oppdal and went to the US or Canada.  

Detlistuen was built in Oppdal in 1817 at the Detli farm. It was moved to the open air museum Sverresborg in Trondheim in 1925. A copy is built at Disney World in Florida and shown in the film Frozen as a Royal summer house.

The reasons for the emigration was the same as for all Norwegians. The population increased sharply and there was not enough land for all. Norway was most of all an agrarian country. The pull factor was that one could gain cheap land in the US. Other reasons was more freedom and possibilities that was not found at home.

Oppdal was a also a “bygd” or society where most people farmed the land. But a family would often have a few other means of income, shoemaking, handicraft, hunting and fishing, and starting before 1900, tourism. Today tourism is an important way of life.

How can you learn more about your ancestry in Norway? First of all, if you live outside of Norway, you have to research your family there, so that you have sufficient information to find siblings and parents of your emigrated person in Norway. Do not take this task lightly, in the long run it will save you time and effort.

FamilySearch has an excellent wiki, there you will find everything you need to start your genealogy research. You will find it here. The pages for Oppdal, specifically, is here. Cindy’s List with her 336 links about Norway are here.

The main site for research in Norway is the Digitale Archive. It is free and in both Norwegian and English. Censuses can in addition be found at the Norwegian Historical Data Centre (Registrerings-sentralen for historiske data). A searchable map of Norway is here in an English version. More links will be added.

A series of nine books are written about all the farms and houses in Oppdal. Here all its known inhabitants are listed with parents names, dates of birth and death, marriage dates and the farms or houses they belonged to. This project is a collaboration between Oppdal Historielag (Oppdal historical society) and the municipality. The historian Lars Gisnås has written six books about WW2, they are mentioned here.

Oppdal historielag has also publishe other books and has an annual publication: Bøgda vår. I have written more about it here. On this page is the content of all its publications from more than 40 years. Perhaps you will find something about your ancestor? Photos from Oppdal can be found on these given sites. Three books with photos are described here.

If you wish to join a heritage society in the US, there are at least two in relation to this area: Opdalslaget and Trønderlag of America.

Oppdal is a municipality where people are proud of their heritage. So there are an enormous amount of books and other material. Here is a list of books, it is being improved and expanded on all the time.

You can read about being a tourist in Oppdal here. In winter, one can enjoy one of Norway’s largest downhill networks and in summer it is many possiblities for hiking in its large mountainous area. Visit the site, because there are many more possibilities.

There is an open air museum in Oppdal with more than 30 historical buildings. There are main houses; Skjørstadstuggu, Hoksengstuggu and Dørresstuggu. And barns, saunas, food storage, a smithy, mill houses, pasture and more. There are of course many artifacts. You can read more here. http://www.oppdalsmuseet.no/oppleve/bygdemuseet/

The Detlistuen is found at Sverresborg in Trondheim another open air museum with houses from all parts of Trøndelag. The site is also in English but with less information than the Norwegian version, see here. And of course there is a copy at Disneyworld, in the film Frozen it is called the Summer palace.

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