Jan 31, 2004

Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 20:43:44 EST

My name is Dorothy Arline Rood Jones ( January 9, 1924, Valley City, ND), the
daughter of Amos Eloid Rood son of Edwin Tronrud Rood.

When I typed in the name "Tronrud" on the Internet search it eventually
brought me to your site with the information about your trip and a photo of Aslak Tronrud and Linda Davidson.

I met Aslak Tronrud and Linda Davidson in June of 2003 at my cousin Olive
Rood Olstad south of Valley City, North Dakota at Olives farm. When I saw your
photo of Askak and Linda I knew for certain it was the same family.

I cannot remember how we are related through the Liffengrins, but I believe
one of Grandpa Roods sisters married a Liffengrin. I remember they used to
visit from Brookings, SD. Grandpa Rood had brothers living in Minneapolis,
Minnesota and the only name I can recall is Ole. I believe there were two other

I do have a tree of Grandpa Rood's dating back to 1600, however, it is in
storage with my things in Detroit Lakes, MN. I sold my home last summer and kept some things which I put into storage until I make a decision about my future.
At the present time I am with my only child, James Eloid Jones, in Portland,
OR. I work as his assistant in his office. He seems to think Mother will
keep going like the little pink rabbit. It does keep me active and I do enjoy
working with computers.

I believe Aslak Tronrud has a complete Family Tree for the Tronruds.

Nice to find another relative.

Dorothy A. Jones
PO Box 219281
Portland, OR 97225-9281

Jan 19, 2004

Excerpted from "Next Year Country" By Louise Liffengren Hullinger

My old aunt lives by the creek
all by herself (She's 86.)
In an old log cabin with well-worn chairs,
And rickety steps that lead upstairs,
to a secret nook,
Where I always hid to read my book.

There's a round carved table in the center of the room
Plants hang in her windows, and violets bloom.
When you go to her house she always serves cake
On an old family heirloom, A gold leaf plate.

You can't go to her house without eating!

There's an old stone sharp'ner, which I used to ride,
And plenty of places, to run and hide.
And an ice house dug into the hill,
And a garden plot which she likes to till.

She seeds and weeds, on bended knees.
With gnarled hands she picks fresh peas,
Serves corn on the cob, or dandelion greens
On a hand made mat, with woven scenes.

You can't go to her house without eating!

Still milks the cow, and aims a stream
into Cat's mouth. And then churns cream.
Still spreads fresh butter with a silver knife
On crusty bread, which she kneads at night.

When you go to her house she makes you wait
While she serves bread and butter on a gilt-edged plate.

You can't go to her house without feasting!
NEXT YEAR COUNTRY is a book by Louise Liffengren Hullinger set in South Dakota in the 1930's. Prairie Fires, Grasshoppers, Hailstorms, and drought are frequent, giving the name "Next Year Country" to the Dakota Prairies- next year things had to be better.

Order your copy from Louise at clifhull@gmail.com. For relatives , 2 for the price of 1!!! $12.95 includes tax and postage.

This is I, Louise.! What am I doing lately?
Just to get a Christmas letter out tookall the energy I had this year. What will 2004 bring?

Jan 18, 2004

Liffengren / Anderson / Kaasa Family sites in Norway

Liffengren / Anderson Family sites in Norway

Craig Harlan Hullinger

June 7-12, 2003

Beth and I visited the principle ancestral communities of the Liffengren / Anderson family of Murdo South Dakota during June 2003. All of our main ancestral sites are attractive rural towns, on rivers, lakes, or fjords, adjacent to mountains covered with pine trees and meadows. The towns of Vik Sogn, Leikanger, Seljord Telemarken, and Bagn are small, well maintained, and proud of their Stave churches that date back to the 1100's.

VIK I SOGN, NORWAY (Our ancestors from this area include Anderson, Berdahl, Hove, Reutz, Espeseth, Tistel)

Vik is a lovely town, a small tourist destination, located about ½ way inland on the longest Fjord in Norway on the west coast of Norway northeast of Bergan. The only way to drive to the town is via Highway 13, over a high and desolate road that is closed in the winter. There was still a great deal of snow on the mountains in June. Ferry boats also provide good service back to Bergan and smaller towns north of the Fjord. The ferry boat from Bergan takes about 5 hours. Note the similarity of the town name Vik to Vikings.

The view from high above Vik is awesome, with views across to snow covered mountains, the Fjord, the town, and a major waterfall called "Lady". In the town of Vik two small rivers roar through town. The Sogn Fjord is the longest in Norway, and the glacier across the Fjord from Vik is the largest in Europe. The small harbor contains a few pleasure boats. Most of the fishing boats are gone. We saw porpoises swimming 50 feet off the Vik Shoreline. While we were in Vik we saw a large French cruise ship stay overnight anchored off the town.

The Town of Vik has about 1,400 people. The entire County has about 3,100 people. The town only had about 400 people in 1900. An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 people from Vik Sogn immigrated to America in the 1800's. In 1999 Vik conducted a jubilee in honor of the migration, which began in 1839.

The first person we met at the outskirts of Vik directed us to the Espeseth farm high above the town of Vik on Route 13. I got the directions wrong, and went to the Tistel farm next door. The Tistels are also ancestors of ours. They run a small dairy farm, and maintain our ancestral homes to the right as a small private museum.  They also run a small campground with cabins where you can stay while you visit.

We are descended from the Tistels as follows:

Roland Guttorman Tistel 1778 Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather to Craig

Kari Rolandsdatter Tistel 1804

Gjertrud Munth Reutz 1827

Eli Berdahl 1854

Peter Anderson 1877

Edna Sophia Anderson 1901

Louise Liffengren Hullinger (I won' tell)

Beth and I met with Kari Marie and Eirik Tistel, 6893 Vik i Sogn, telephone 47 57 6 9 54 79, who operate a dairy farm and tourist cabin operation on Highway 13 about 4 miles south and 1,000 feet above Vik. They were extremely nice, and took us through their private museum that they operate in four old buildings that were part of the Tistel farm. Most of the items were from the Tistels, and some no doubt were owned and handled by our ancestors. The buildings all include sod roofs. The oldest building is from about 1700. The Tistels own a number of books from the family dating back to 1603 and 1647. Most of them are religious books. His museum included numerous interesting items, including a Hardingfele violin from 1780 to 1790 with three strings below four strings. He also had a wooden press to make spoons from cow and goat horns, and a large number of farm and household items.

Most of the Tistels who lived in Sogn immigrated to America. The Tistel's who stayed on the farm eventually died out, and Eirik Tistel assumed the name when he bought the farm (a common practice in Norway, also what our great grandfather Liffengren did). Eirik also noted that the Espeseth farm was adjacent, and the Reutz farm was across the creek. The Espeseth's had also assumed the name when they purchased the Espeseth farm. Our ancestors intermarried among these three nearby families of Tistel, Espeseths, and Reutz. The Tistels (Tisdals) in the US have an association, directed by Bob & Shari Nelson in Baxter, MN at email 2928nels@brainerd.net

Eirik and Kara owned several books that present the history of the area. There were several references to and photographs of the historic Tistel farm.

Bygdabok for VIK SOGN I and II , ISBN 82-90576-11-0 with pictures of the farm and a description of the farm and ownership.

Ein Stad Skal Ein Vera 1989 Sogn on Fjord

Eirik and Kari drove Beth and I around the area, and showed us the farms of our numerous ancestors. The Asterisk indicates that we saw the farm:


Kari Rolandsdatter Tistel 1804 *

Sigrid Undi Espeseth 1842 *

Andres Bendicson Undi Espeseth 1813 *

Gjertrud Munth Reutz 1827 in Feios *

Adam Munthe Reutz 1799 *

Keri Hopperstad *

Mons Adersson Helland

Anna Hagen 1815 *

Eli Berdahl 1854

Ingebrikt Berdahl 1816 in Feios

Breta Ingebriktsdatter Berdal

Ole Hohannson Hagen 1765 *

Agatha Ingebritson Hove 1828

Keri Hopperstad *

Anders Per Limmesand Grov 1799

Bendix Stursen Undi 1799

Anders Alvson Nummedal 1697 *

Anna Botolvsdt Skjorvo 1827 *

Morton Edvardson 1732

Per Anderson 1824

We did not see an Anderson farm. It could be in the back country where we did not find it. The Anderson family seems to have moved among several communities, so their roots are not so deep in Vik. Our genealogy shows Per Anderson born in 1824 in Sogn, which is a large county, not in Vik, which is the largest town in Sogn. He died in Ridgeway, Iowa 1966. We did see some Anderson gravestones in Vik.

The Berdahl farm is shown on a map of Feios, near Vik, as indicated in our genealogy. A large tourist map on the Café / Tourist stop / bus stop map in Vik near the Fjord shows many of our ancestral farms by name on a map.

I looked up the names of our ancestors that came from the Vik area. The Sogn Phonebook covers a very large area, and shows where people live who share our forbears names.

Total names in the Phone book for the region who share our ancestral names include:

Berdahl (Berdal) 10

Reutz 0

Tistel 16

Helland 11

Espeseth 0

Hagen 3

Hopperstad 17

Undi 4

Hove 44

Saebo 0

Grov 5

Limmesand 0

There are also 8 Berdal's in Luster, a large rural area north of Vik on the other side of the Fjord. There are 21 Espeseth's in Flora, north of Vik towards the coast. There are 4 Espeseths and 24 Hagens in Forde, northwest of Vik.

There are three churches in Vik. The Stave Church is very lovely, and was built around 1150. The Hopperstads own the land on which the Stave Church is located, and are the only people who are allowed to be buried on the church grounds. This is likely where our Hopperstad ancestor is buried. The Stave Church in Morehead, Minnesota is a copy of this church.

There is also a large stone church that dates back to medieval times. The modern church looks like a large frame South Dakota Church.

BAGN, AURDAL (families Liffengren, Tronrud)

Bagn is a sweet town about 110 miles north of Oslo on the east side of the country. It is the home of most of the Liffengren / Tronrud ancestors. It is located on Highway 13, which takes you across the country to the towns of Vik Sogn, where many of the Anderson ancestors are located. The road trip between Vik and Bagn is beautiful, following fjords, mountains, and waterfalls. There are several Stave churches en route, and two ferry boat rides are required to make the one day trip.

While in Bagn we visited the Liffengren Farm and the Tronrud Farm. Cousin Aslak Tronrud gave me directions to Cousin Tor & Kari Tronrud farm. The Tronrud farm is in the high pasture area where livestock was taken to graze in the summer. It is now an area of cabins and cottages, and the pine trees are taking over.

Mrs. Tronrud directed me to the low main Tronrud farm near Bagn. I took pictures of the farm where our great grandmother grew up. The two story white home is perched on a ledge, overlooking a picturesque valley.

The Liffengren farm is in the south end of town, but it took me a little time to find it. Everyone knew where it was, but I had a tough time following the directions. A taxi cab came along, and he gave me directions, which still confused me. So I jumped in the cab, and gave him his shortest ever fare, about 200 feet.

The cab driver took me to a home that he said all the drivers knew as the Liffengren farm. This was confirmed by the sign on the mail box structure that said Liffengren. I talked to the current owner, who graciously showed me a 1904 portrait of the Liffengren family in front of the house. The house itself is a nice two story house, painted red, and it appears that the farm used to go down to the river. Route 13 is a two lane road that appears to split the farm from the River. If you are looking for the farm, locate the red church across the river in the south end of Bang. The home is directly across the river from the church.

The church is very attractive, with a graveyard around the church. There are names of families connected with our family, but in Norway, as in much of Europe, graves are recycled after a number of years, say 20 to 40 years. So there are no graves from our ancestors unless someone paid to keep the grave site over the years, or if there was no need for additional burials.

I also visited the Stave church above Bagn, in Reingly. This is the church that the Tronruds attended.

Beth and I went to dinner with cousin Aslak Tronrud and his fiancee Linda Davidson friend in Oslo. Oslo is a beautiful city on the fjord, with numerous boats coming in and out the harbor overlooked by great restaurants. We had a great time.

SELJORD NORWAY (Ancestors Kassa, Venaas)

Went to Seljord, Norway, in Telemarken in the mountains. Telemarken is the "authentic mountain area" of Norway, where the Norwegian traditions are stronger. The town is a beautiful little community, nestled in the mountains over a river and lake. There are a number of old Norwegian homes, but a lot of new construction also. We stayed in a charming old wooden hotel, with a large balcony overlooking the town and mountains. I am writing this from the balcony, with the air beautifully fresh. A very large birch tree is in front of me, with the mountains rising about 1,000 feet above me.. Lots of flowers. The charm was lessened, however, by the large party next door that went on to about 3:30 in the morning. There is a large Icelandic Horse Show in Town, and it appears that some of them are highly motivated party animals. And of course you can hear anything through the wooden walls.

Food was excellent, and we will be dieting for months to atone for our sins.

The old church was built in 1150. I went to the morning service. I also looked through the graveyard. There were two recent Kassa graves. In much of Europe old grave sites are recycled within about twenty years, so any older graves would have disappeared.

Our Ancestors name from Seljord include:

Jemns Kjetilson Venaas 1742-1831

Guro Steinerdatter 1754

Ole Jenssen Vennas 1787-1854

Margit Thorsdatter Kassa 1789-1854

Jorgen Kassa 1833-1898

We called Olaf Kassa who is the Public Works Director of the County at 35 05 01 97 in Seljord, and by all accounts a friendly and knowledgeable individual, but were not able to locate him. Will try later.


If any relative is interested in making this trip, I would suggest flying into Oslo, renting a car, and driving the loop to Bang, Vik, and Seljord. It is a one day drive between each one of the communities. You could easily do this trip in one week, or take two or three weeks if you want to do a lot more research and make more contacts.
The purpose of this Blog is to provide a simple way for Liffengren's to communicate and tell about family heritage. All relatives are welcome to provide stories and pictures. Send me an email and I will post it, or I can set you to post directly.

Send emails to:

"Louise Hullinger" louisehullinger@gmail.com,

"Clif Hullinger" clifhul@gmail.com,

"Craig Hullinger" <craighullinger@gmail.com>,

More info at