Erik Elvejord, director of public relations for Holland America Line, currently is on Ryndam and went in search of some family history while in Norway.
A Day in Kristiansand: Wednesday, May 9th
With my conversational Norwegian, an old picture, a general idea of where to go and a few other details, I set out today to find my father’s mother’s birthplace and farm house, as well as the gravesites of my relatives. I planned on renting a car but that changed for the better when I spoke with a woman from the visitor’s bureau greeting cruise guests as they left the pier. She asked me what I was trying to do and when I explained I wanted to drive to Sogne to look for the Stausland gård (farm), she said, “I’m from Sogne and know the Stausland gård.”
The Stausland farm is a large, multi-plotted area so it’s not as simple as one farm. I knew it was gård number 18, plot 36. She provided me with the bus number to take and told me to tell the driver I wanted to get off at the old Sogne Church. Across the street she said was a school and they could probably help with the location of the farm. I looked around the graveyard at the church but didn’t find any names. Then, went to the school and asked one man if he knew how to locate the farm. He sent me to the teacher’s lounge and in five minutes they were looking up the number on a farm registry web site. It didn’t show so we looked at maps online and found the farm plot. He printed out a map for me of the page and I headed down the street.