Farms and private dwellings in Vik i Sogn

pictures of farms so far.

Click the farm names on the menu to the left or on the map icon in the upper right corner to navigate between the farms´ pages.

Some common Norwegian words in the narratives

bnr. (bruksnummer)
farm number
(the) single farm
private dwelling
(the) farm, group of farms
house, building
cotter´s farm
mot nord, sør, aust, vest
towards the north, south, east, west
(the) cluster of farm houses and outbuildings belonging to two or more farms
sett [...] frå
viewed [...] from
(the) cluster of houses and outbuildings, courtyard


In this section of I have gathered photographs of several farms in Vik. The aim is - besides the project itself - to try to show how the farms and agricultural landscape in Vik really look - perhaps especially dedicated to Norse-Americans with roots in Vik. I have used maps and overview pictures and partly 360º panorama pictures to show how the farms are located in the topography, and photographs from different angles to show how the houses and outbuildings are situated. Many of the pictures are shot with a powerful zoom-lens from a nearby mountain, which gives them an aerial-photo-like look. On the photos I have blurred houses that do not belong to the specified farm.

Farm vs. single farm
The term 'farm' may be confusing in this setting, in English as it is in Norwegian. In Norwegian gard can mean both a small group of farms bearing one name, like Hønsi, Hove and Orvedal and all the other farms on the menu to the left, or it can mean one single farm within such a group. The terms namnegard 'name farm' or matrikkelgard 'listed farm' is used exclusively for groups of farms bearing one name, while bruk exclusively means one single farm. The origin of this confusion is explained below.

Houses and house clusters
Today's overall picture with farms and private dwellings distributed evenly over the cultural landscape differs greatly from the situation 200-150 years ago. At that time the houses were much smaller and fewer, furthermore the houses and outbuildings of neighbouring farms were gathered in klyngjetun, house clusters. The background for this is that each 'name farm', like Hønsi, Hove, Orvedal etc. originally was one single farm. Over the generations, this farm was divided repeatedly between siblings, so that for example Hønsi, which was one farm in the 16th century, in the 19th century was divided into six single farms or bruk. When two siblings divided the farm between them, maybe one of them built a new house while they continued sharing the outbuildings. Over the years they built their own outbuildings by the other houses, and eventually the farms were totally separated. Another unfortunate situation that emerged during the centuries, was teigblanding, the mixing of small pieces of land belonging to different single farms. When a farm was divided, it would not be fair if one of the sons got a productive piece of land suitable for grain cultivating, while the other got a poor piece of land 500 m above sea level. Therefore, each piece of land was divided evenly. Eventually over the generations, the farmlands of Vik consisted of thousands of minute fields. The same situation is known today for example in the Andes. To break out of this ineffective system, the farmers of each 'name farm' organised jordskifte, shifting of land, during the late 19th century. Each single farm now got fewer and larger fields, and the farmers moved their houses out of the house clusters to settle on their own land.

The spelling of the farm names may differ somewhat from what is usual in surnames, especially in American surnames. The American surnames are generally based upon older danish orthography as danish was the official language in Norway at the time most people emigrated. However, on this website the official modern spelling is used, based upon the way the place names are traditionally pronounced in our Norwegian dialect.
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