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    Really Senior Member jon_norstog's Avatar
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    Bjørneskytter's rifle? Coulod easily be

    Our family came from the high country of Telemark between Oslo and Bergen and for a while in the last half of the 19th century had a concession to operate a stage stop at Haukeliseter on what was then the only road between the two cities. We didn't have surnames at that time ... it was later when the family kind of broke up, some moved to Edlund and became Edlunds, some went down to Haukeli and became Haukelider, our branch moved to Norstog and became Norstogs.

    When I was a kid the old folks in North Dakota would talk about the old days. I remember one of the stories was about a man they called Bjørneskytter - the bear shooter - who was paid by the government to kill problem bears. Uncle Olaf had a picture of him in a family group - he was holding a long-barreled rolling block rifle. Surprised me to see, because I had the impression that he was active a couple hundred years earlier.

    Anyway, last year I stopped at Haukeliseter and camped there a few days. It was cheap camping and they gave you access to the sauna, the canoes, showers and all the coffee you could drink. In the dining area there were some old guns up on the wall, including a long-barreled rolling block, looked like a "sporterized" version of an infantry rifle. I asked the desk if anyone knew the story about it. "It's been here as long as anyone can remember" was the reply. I'm thinking this was Bjørneskytter's rifle.





    jn

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Extraordinary, I had no idea that surnames came that late to any part of Europe.

    Interesting old military pistol/carbine too, though I can be bothered to look up what it is!
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    When the population density is very low there aren't many people and thus no need for last names. You will be known by your parents and grandparents, which are good enough to identify you.

    This was well know in South Africa about 50 years ago still, when you could identify a person by questioning about his parents and grandparents and where they were farming.

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    Great story on rifle and names , thanks for sharing . Did you tell them the story about the rifle ? Portland area ? Stay safe .

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    Really Senior Member jon_norstog's Avatar
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    Perhaps I will tell them if Americans are ever allowed back into Norwayicon. The sky is yellow, strong winds from the east, 10% humidity and I can smell juniper smoke from the other side of the Cascades. There's some tall native grass in my back yard I think I'll scythe down after breakfast.

    jn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon_norstog View Post
    Perhaps I will tell them if Americans are ever allowed back into Norwayicon. The sky is yellow, strong winds from the east, 10% humidity and I can smell juniper smoke from the other side of the Cascades. There's some tall native grass in my back yard I think I'll scythe down after breakfast.

    jn
    So what was done with legal documents where there were no surnames? Or were documents unnecessary also?!
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Really Senior Member jon_norstog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    So what was done with legal documents where there were no surnames? Or were documents unnecessary also?!
    Birth, death and marriage records were at the church for the Christians and oral tradition with the Saami. Property was recorded by walls, landmarks and fencelines and was communally recognized; if you farmed moved onto a place a lot of time that became your name. Saami didn't really own "property" AKA real estate. They had customary use that was recognized by other Saami groups and to some degree by the dominant society.



    Our family was living on the frontier and mixed it up pretty good, both Norwegianicon and Saami. There was plenty of space and resources for everyone.

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