I would like to thank my cousin Gølin Andersen Skarre, who in 1977 translated the text of the history from Norwegian.


Matr.:1886 Sunndal court farm no. 18
Debt:16471 bucket, 2 pence
Matr.:1838 6 daler, 2 schilling
Matr.:188610,79 mark

Hjelle is south of Driva, right above Gravem - 30 km in straight-line southeast of Sunndalsøra. Located in Romsdal-county, Sundal-parish, Romfoe-subparish. The name of the farm was previously written: Heelle (1520), Jelle (1550), Hielde (1590), Jelle (1667), Giellen (1723), Jellen (1801). The name appears from the Old Norwegian Hjallr, which means a flat ledge in a valley.


The farm is first mentioned ca 1520. In the middle age this farm belonged to the so-called Blasiu's prebende, a clerical institution consisting of some landed property, which after the Reformation was ascribed to the priest of Vår Frue church in Trondheim. He was, according his job, the farms tenant, until it by deed of conveyance from 9 August 1854 of the Norwegian government, was sold to present tenant for 1,000 speciedaler + annual land rent of 4 ¼ barrels of barley. Besides the Hov church owned from the middle ages, ½ bucket debt to the farm. The land rent was cancelled in 1912. Whether the debt is been redeemed or in case when, is not known.

Hjelle was until 1692 divided into 2 holdings,-one bigger holding acting as a "complete farm", and one smaller holding acting as only "a half farm". The complete holding only had a debt of 1 bucket, while the half holding only had 2 pence. In 1692 the holdings were made one, and so it remained until 1854 when the farm again was divided into several holdings, in two just as big halves.

However, these two parts were again made into one farm in 1869, and later on they had a common tenant. From the complete holding 2-3 smaller lots were separated in 1865, 1869 and 1940. One of these is by the way a field up in the mountains. Besides it separated and sold "Hjelle-Driva", the part of Driva, which is considered to belong to the farm Hjelle.

Farming: Matr. 1723 says about Hjelle: - mediocre soil - uncertain crop in bad years, - a rather heavy drove, - an "old fashioned cheese farm ca ½ mile from the farm, - wood for the fire.

Matr. 1667 count on an annual drove of about 34 barrels oat. Matr. 1723 sets the drove to 32 ½ barrels mixed grain. The preserved statements from the 1660 and the beginning of 1700 implies the following droves in annual averages.

In 1789 the farmer stated that he in recent years could have obtained a drove of ca 60 barrels oat and barley. If this was approximately right, the drove must have improved a lot during the 1700's. But these statement from the time before 1789 are as often far too high from neighboring reasons. The seed is stated in 7 to 17 barrels mixed grain. According to census in 19th century it shall have been sowed:

From the cottages:

The cattle is in the official counting stated to be:

From the cottages:

In probate court at Hjelle in 1715 is the present cattle stated to be: 2 horses, 11 cows, 6 lambs, 7 calves, 10 sheep, 7 goats and 3 pigs. In 1723 it is stated to be totally annual 28 loads of fodder. Even after catastrophe in 1789 there was suggested that 60 loads could be reached. In 1860 the farm shall have had ca 70-80 loads hay from haystack and besides have collected ca 30 stacks foliage in the woods, all per year. These straggling and incomplete statements tell what importance the hayfields had to the farmers previously.

In the 1800's the farm had 3 places:

  1. Hjellestetten (Oppistu) ca. 1823-1890.
  2. Hjellrøen ca. 1854-1903.
  3. Klavoren ca. 1850-1880.
The cottager on the last mentioned place was considered without land.

Quern (Hand turned grain mill) on Hjelle is not known before late in the 1700's. For the time after 1700, see under Hjellmo.

Natural catastrophes etc.
According to tradition, as Ingebrigt Løken mentions Hjelle was dejected by a lavine about 1500. Also Driva has brought damages upon Hjelle. In 1684 it was proved that the farm had been reduced, partly because of deluge, partly because of lavine. Therefore a proposition was made to the government about a reduce indebt of 1 pence and 5 ½ bucket. This was approved but seemed to have been practiced in a way that the reduction only took place in the so-called tenant-tax, which was one of the highest taxes of the farm. The well-known deluge of 1789 made serious damages on Hjelle. During the following trail, the court found that half of the farm fields had disappeared, partly and completely damaged, covered with big rocks, sand and roots. A proposition was made to reduce the debt with 1 bucket, that is to say ca. 45, 5% with inclusion of the aforementioned reduction in the tenant-tax. The government approved instead tax freedom in 7 years, for the debt, which the court had proposed to be cancelled forever. Further reductions in the debt are not known.

Separation of the farm in recent time.
After Hjelle, for 160 years, had acted as one farm, the farm was separated in 1854, - holding # 1 and # 2. Each got a debt of 3 daler 1 schilling. In 1869 these two holdings were again made to one. Since 1865 is the following holdings separated:

Holding # 3: Endreslettet, debt 2 shilling or 0,13 mark (placed up in the mountain right above Børstølen). Separated holding # 2 9/6-1865. Sold by a deed of conveyance of 21/10-1865 to the later tenant at Gravem holding # 3, Lars Gunnarsen, for 30-spesi daler.

Holding # 4: Hjellrønningen, debt 0, 96 mark. Separated holding # 2 2/10-1869. Sold to Even Jonsen Gjørarønningen.

Holding # 5: Hjelle-Driva, debt 0, 42 mark. Separated 18/6-1918 from holding # 1 with 0,23 mark, from holding # 2 with 0, 15 mark and from holding # 4 with 0, 04 mark. By deed of conveyance of 22/2-1918 sold to solicitor Gunnar Gundersen for 3.100 Nkr - with liability to, when Aura- construction is built to supply Hjelle holdings # 1, 2 and 4 with electricity

Holding # 6: Liatun, debt 0, 35 mark. Separated holding # 1 ca. 1940. See under holding # 1 and 2 (farmer Hågen Gunnarsen).

Changes: Memorial changes were made 13 April 1855 between holdings # 1 and 2. Between holdings # 2 and # 4 memorial change was made 23 June 1886. 19 July 1912 change was made for fields at Hjelle.


In 1520 a Østen was at Hjelle. He paid at this time 1 mark in tax. As mentioned before mostly 2 farmers resided at Hjelle in the 1700's. One of them had a so-called complete holding, the other a half farm. Complete was holding of highest tax-group, half-holding from the middle class.


The Complete Holding
Debt 1647: 1 bucket

1608-1619: Erik, 1619-1662: Lars, 1662-1692: Arnt Larsen Erik (until 1619) died ca. 1616, left wife. Lars (1662) was born ca.1585. Arnt Larsen (1662-92) was the son of poor farmer.

The Half Holding
Debt 1647: 2 pence

1607-1630: Anders, 1630-1662: Ole, 1662-1692: Endre Olsen Anders (until 1630) not further known. Ole (1630-62) was born ca. 1585 Endre Olsen (1662-92) was born ca. 1630, son of above-mentioned farmer. In addition to these farmers, a farmer from lowest class: Nils is also mentioned in the records 1610-11.

HJELLE The Whole Farm
Debt 1647: 1 bucket 2 pence
Matr. 1838: 6 daler 2 shilling
Matr. 1886 10, 79 mark

1692-1700: Arnt Larsen1737-1773: Ole Toresen I
1701-1718: Ivar Toresen 1773-1807: Tore Olsen I
1718-1737: Ole Andersen 1807-1854:Ole Toresen II

Arnt Larsen (1692-1700). He is same person who was resident at complete holding 1662-1692. Most of the time he was only resident at a part of Hjelle. He took over complete holding in his last years. Ivar Toresen (1701-18) was obviously son of farmer Tore Ivarsen, Gjøra holding # 2, and born ca. 1663. His wife was named Randi Arntsdaughter, born ca. 1670. It is believable that she was the daughter of last farmer Arnt Larsen, and that Ivar was Arnt's son-in-law.

  1. Ingrid, b. ca. 1701.
  2. Tore, b. ca. 1703 became farmer at Gravem holding # 2.
  3. Elen, b. ca. 1705.
  4. Arnt, b. ca. 1714, became farmer at Gravem holding # 7.
Ivar Toresen died 1715. The estate's brutto (gross) was 98 daler, netto hardly (just) 40 daler.

Compensation came up for the houses:
Of the living house and the new house: 1 daler
Reparation of steel:3 daler
Reparation of storehouse:3 daler
totally7 daler

Ole Anderson (1718-37) was born ca. 1684, son of farmer Anders Toresen, Øvre Nisja. Ole was probably married to the widow of Ivar Toresen: Randi Arntsdaughter.

  1. Ildri was married to her father's successor on the farm.
  2. Marit, died ca. 1752, was engaged to Arnfinn Eriksen Musgjerd.
Ole Andersen shot in 1733 a grown up bear. He sold the skin the same year in Trondheim to King Kristian VI. Ole left in 1737 the farm to his son-in-law. In 1759 Ole died, and wife Randi in 1766.

Ole Toresen I (1737-73). He was born ca. 1704, son of farmer Tore Hågensen Bjørnhjell. Ole was married to the daughter: Ildri of the last mentioned farmer.

  1. Ole, b. ca. 1739 probably-died young.
  2. Tore, b. ca.1741, was his father's successor at Hjelle.
  3. Randi, b. ca. 1744, became cottagerwife at Råen under Nedre Nisja, later farmerwife at Birkestøl in Hov.
  4. Gunnar, b. ca. 1749, died as single in 1786.
  5. Dordi, b. ca. 1749, was dead before 1786.
  6. Margnhild, b. ca. 1755, was in 1801 living as single at Hjelle.
  7. Anders, b. ca. 1758, was married to a widow at Hol and died there in 1823.
Ole Toresen died in the summer of 1779. It is not known in what year his wife died.

Tore Olsen I (1773-1807), son of last mentioned farmer. He was in 1773 engaged to Ingeborg Andersdaughter, b. 1752, and daughter of Anders Eversen, Snøva holding # 2.

  1. Ildri, b. 1774, died 1842. (Not married).
  2. Sigrid, b. 1778, died 1779.
  3. Sigrid, b. 1779, became cottagerwife at Furu (under holding # 12).
  4. Ole, b. 1781, became his father's successor.
  5. Eli, b. 1784.
  6. Anders, b. 1786, became a cottager at Bruøyen under Jenstad.
  7. Dordi, b. 1788, became farmerwife at Gravem holding # 12-13.
  8. Gunnar, b. 1790, became cottager under Gravem.
  9. Randi, b. 1792.
In 1807 Tore resigned from the farm and his son Ole took over. Tore's wife died in 1815. Tore died in March 1830, ca. 90 years old.

Ole Toresen II (1807-54), son of last mentioned tenant. Ole was married in 1804 to Eli Gunnarsdaughter, b. 1783, and daughter of farmer Gunnar Hansen Øvre Nisja.

  1. Gjertrud, b. 1804, became cottagerwife at Lilleottem.
  2. Ingeborg, b. 1807, died 1808.
  3. Tore, b. 1808, became this father's successor at Hjelle.
  4. Gunnar, b. 1810, became cottager under Hjelle.
  5. Marit, b. 1815, died as single at Hjelle.
  6. Ole, b. 1818, became a cottager at Hjellstetten.
  7. Olaug, b. 1820, became farmerwife at Gravem holding # 12-13.
Ole Toresen II died in the summer of 1853 and his wife Eli in 1877. The son Tore had acted as the real farmer the last years Ole was alive.

Then comes the separation of the farm in 1854.

Hjelle holding # 1
Debt: 3 daler 1 shilling

1854-1862: Tore Olsen II1862-1869 Ole Toresen III

Tore Olsen II (1854-62), son of above mentioned Ole Toresen II. Already in 1833 was Tore married to Eli Larsdaughter, b. 1812, the daughter of farmer Lars Larsen II, Gjøra holding # 2

  1. Ingrid, b. 1833, died same year.
  2. Ole, b. 1836, became his father's successor at the holding.
  3. Eli, b. 1839, was in 1875 single dayworker at the Lønset.
  4. Ingrid, b. 1842, moved ca. 1877 as single to Tingvoll.
  5. Lars, b. 1845, died as single at Furu in 1915.
  6. Marit, b.1848.
  7. Gjertrud, b. 1852, emigrated 1869.
  8. Dordi, b. 1855, died 1860.
By a deed of conveyance 9 August 1854 Tore bought the whole farm of the Norwegian Government for 1,000 spesi daler + annual landrent to the preast (priest) of Sunndal and with the reservation of the church of Hov debt of 1 bucket.
In the summer of 1862, Tore sold his half farm to his son Ole for 550-spesi daler. Tore died in 1874 and his wife Eli in 1876.
Ole Toresen III (1862-69), son of last mentioned tenant. This Ole shall have been usually big. He was single. In 1869 he sold his part of the farm (with teacher Ole Soleim as mediator) for 1400 spesi daler to Gunnar Hågensen Nisja and immigrated to America.

Hjelle holding # 2
Debt 3 daler 1 skilling

Farmer: 1854-1869: Einar Andersen

Einar Andersen was born in 1817, son of farmer Anders Einarsen, Tøfte holding # 2. In 1849 married Anne Ivarsdaughter, born 1827, daughter of farmer Ivar Nilsen, Utistu Åker.

  1. Lisbet born in 1847 dead same year.
  2. Nils born in 1849 emigrated 1869.
  3. Olaug born in 1851 moved 1876 to Oppdal.
  4. Anne born in 1860
The wife Anne Ivarsdaughter died 1860 in childbirth.

In summer 1861 Einar Andersen married Kari Fredrik's daughter Tande b. 1828, at Sunndalsøra.

  1. Ingrid born in 1861 moved to Oppdal
  2. Fredrik born in 1864 moved to Oppdal
By deed of conveyance of 2 October 1869 Einar Anderson sold his holding at Hjelle to the new farmer at holding # 1 for 1425 spesi daler. A couple of smaller lots, which previously belonged to his holding, Hjelle holding # 3 and holding # 4, had he transferred to other previously.

Einar Andersen moved ca. 1870 to Oppdal.

Hjelle holding # 1 and # 2


1969-1893: Gunnar Hågensen, 1893 -1939: Hågen Gunnarsen, 1939-? : Lars Gunnarsen Forseth

Gunnar Hågensen, (1869-93) was born in 1821, son of cottager Hågen Ivarsen Hjellen under Øvre Nisja. In 1856 married Randi Paulsdaughter, born 1826, daughter of farmer Paul Larsen Svisdal. About this Gunnar Hågensen, see further under the farm Løken in Hov parish. Gunnar got on the same day (2. Oct. 1869) a deed of conveyance both on holding # 1 and # 2 for 2825 spesi daler. But 4 months earlier he had sold one lot from Løken to the English noble Lady Barbara Arbuhnott for 2970 spesi daler. He had probably gotten this money in cash. In the summer of 1983 the wife Randi died. By a deed of conveyance on 3. August 1893 Gunnar sold his farm to his son Hågen foe 2700NKr. Gunnar died in February 1903.

Hågen Gunnarsen (1893-1939) was b. 1865, son of last mentioned tenant. In June 1903 married Anne Ørgersdaughter b. 1869, daughter of Ørger Sivertsen Bugge at Nesset. They had no children.

Later on Hågen rented the farm to Lars Simonsen. He was born in 1891, son of painter Simon Larsen Gjøra. In 1921 married Karla Johannesdaughter Bugge born 1897 in Eresfjord (Nesset), daughter of Johannes Pedersen Bugge.

  1. Magda, born in 1921
In the spring of 1918 Lars died. The widow Karla did not manage the farm. She resigned and got the holding Liatun (Hjelle holding # 6) as a gift from the owner.

In 1939 the farm got a new owner.
Lars Gunnarsen Forseth (1939-??) He was born in 1916, son of farmer Gunnar Ingebrigtsen Forseth, Svisdal holding # 1. In 1938 Lars married Olga Larsdaughter, born 1912, daughter of farmer Lars Trondsen, Gravem holding # 1.

  1. Gunrun Ingjerd, born in 1938 at Svisdal.
  2. Halldis Åse, born in 1940 at Hjelle.

Hjelle holding # 3
Separated holding #2 of 9 June-1865
Debt: 0,13 mark

An uninhabited field up in the mountains, towards the former holding Børstølen under Øvre Nisja.
Endreslettet has its name after a man named Endre, who had used it. In recent time it belonged to Hjelle. Until in 1865, Einar Anderson on holding # 2 sold it to Lars Gunnarsen of Gravem holding # 3 for 30 spesi daler. Lars died in 1896. Endreslettet was on 25. Jan. 1897 transferred to Lars daughter Marit.

Hjelle holding # 4
Separated holding # 2 of 2 Oct.-1869
Debt 0,96 mark

The summer of 1866 a change concerning this lot took place. Einar Anderson sold this lot for 300-spesi daler. A deed of conveyance was issued in 1870.
Users: 1869-1898 Ever Jonsen married to Brit Andersdaughter. Even in 1875 there was no cattle at Hjellrønningen. The seed that year was ¾ barrels of barley, and ¼ barrel of potatoes. In the spring of 1893 Even gave his holding over to his son Jon for 400NKr. Even died in 1908 from cancer. His wife Brit died in February 1919.
Jon Evensen was born in 1867, son of last mentioned farmer. In 1896 married Marit Olsdaughter born 1862 1t Tingvoll.

  1. Anne born in 1897
  2. Brit born in 1901.
  3. Guro born in 1902
Marit died in the summer of 1922.

Cottagers, etc.
We only know about cottagers at Hjelle in the 19th century.


Here was Ole Taraldsen cottager without land. He was b: 1777. In 1800 married Randi Knutsdaughter b: 1771. About 1814 Randi died and in 1816 Ole married Olaug Gunnarsdaughter b: 1795, daughter of farmer Gunnar Hansen Øvre Nisja.

  1. Karl, b: 1815.
  2. Anders, b: 1818, was for a time resident of Grødal and immigrated about 1865 with wife and son to Hitra.
  3. Hans, and
  4. Karl, (twins) b: 1823. Karl became cottagerwife at Gjøranesset.
  5. Ole, b: 1826, died the same year.
  6. Gjertrud, b. 1830, became cottagerwife at Saghaugen (Sagstuen) under Gjøra.
  7. Helga, and
  8. Rennei, (twins) b: 1835. Helga died the same year.
It seems that Ole was already a resident at Hjelle in 1815. In 1816 he was at Hjellmo. As a cottager under Hjelle he is the first time mentioned in 1823. Ole died in the summer of 1852. We do not know more about his wife.

Next cottager was Ole Olsen (my great great grandfather) b: March 15, 1818, son of farmer Ole Toresen II, Hjelle. Was married in 1852 to Gjøa Larsdaughter b: 1826, daughter of later cottager Lars Halvorsen Musgjerd.

  1. Ole, b: 1848, became a cottager at Vinjevollhjell.
  2. Anders, b. 1852, moved to Sortland.
  3. Lars, b: June 6, 1856, he immigrated to America in 1882 (temporally left wife and one child).
  4. Gunnar, b: 1860, he became a teacher at Dovre.
  5. Ole (my great grandfather) b: June 18, 1864, he immigrated to America in 1885.
  6. Endre b: June 4, 1868, he immigrated to America in 1893.
Ole Olsen was later on a cottager without land. The cattle in 1860 and 1870 were 1 cow and 6-7 sheep, and the seed was ½ and ¾ -barrel barley and 1 and 1 ½ barrels potatoes.
Ole died in 1885. His wife got help from one of the sons (Endre?) to keep the place, probably until the end of 80. After that the place was deposited. But the widow kept living there until she died in the spring of 1901


Here lived cottager Gunnar Olsen, a brother of cottager Ole Olsen at Hjellstetten. Gunnar was born in 1810, son of farmer Ole Toresen II, Hjelle. In 1852 married Gjertrud Semingsdaughter, born 1821, daughter of farmer Seming Ottarsen II, Grensen.

  1. Seming born in 1852 became a tailor.
  2. Marit born in 1855 died the same year.
  3. Endre born in 1856
  4. Marit born in 1860.
  5. Marit born in 1863.
  6. Eli born in 1865 he moved in 1887 to Oppdal to marry.
  7. Tore born in 1869.
Hjelløren cattle and seed were:
  • 1865:2 cows,5 sheep,3/4 barrel mixed grain,1/2 barrel potatoes
  • 1875:1 cow,1 calf,4 sheep,1/2 barrel barley,1 barrel potatoes

Gunnar Olsen died in the spring of 1882. His son Seming took over the management for his mother. She died in November 1899. There is a possibility that he lived at Hjelløren 1 or 2 more years after the death of his mother. Then the land was deposited. In 1904 Seming bought some land at Bjørbekk


Here lived Ole Eriksen Kveberg. He was born about 1816 in Tynset. He came around 1850 from Meldal to Sunndal searching for work at the chromium mines that at that time existed in Grøvudalen. In 1845 married Dordi Andersdaughter, born 1826 in Surnadal.

  1. Karen born in 1847.
  2. Anders born in 1850. Moved in 1875 to Søgne.
  3. Endre born in 1860. Was in 1890 a single shoemaker at Svisdal.
  4. Marit born in 1861
  5. Anders born in 1864. Became a tailor and lived at Myren in Grøvudal, where he died in 1901
This family lived a wandering life from 1850 to 1860. In 1850 at Morken, 1852 at Svisdal, 1854 at Bruøyen, 1857 at Anfinnstuen, and from 1860 resident at Hjelle where they lived at Klavoren. Here they had 1 cow. In 1865 they also planted potatoes, in 1875 nothing. The man was considered as a cottager without land. In younger days Ole Kveberg worked as a railroad worker, miner, etc. Later he is mentioned as a tailor. He died at Tæfte in 1881, and his wife died in March 1913 at Gjøramoen.

Note: Meanings

  1. Matr.: Abbreviation of matrikkel: meaning land register or real estate tax.
  2. ca.: approximate
  3. Daler: Old currency
  4. Single: not married
  5. Nkr: Krone
  6. Krone (NKr): = ¼ spesi daler = 88.496 skilling = 100 øre = 1/8 mark (2000 rate of exchange 1 NKr = $8..8577
  7. Lavine: surname
  8. Øre = 1/100 of a krone
  9. Spann = bucket, pail, milk pail
  10. 1 spann = 3 øre