08 May 2008

Distad, Norway



This post will be of no interest to the general public; it's directed to family members who occasionally visit TYWKIWDBI.

The images above are screencaps from Google Maps to show Distad, Norway - from whence our grandmother Distad's family emigrated. When I did this search, I was surprised to see the name (under the green arrow) on the map, because there isn't really a town there - or at least there wasn't when I visited in the 1980s. It was just a collection of farmsteads on a dirt road leading up to where the huge Jostedalsbreen glacier comes down to the fjord at Fjaerland.

The Fjaerland Fjord is a scenic northern branch off of the Sognefjord. We drove to Balestrand and hopped a ferry to ride up to Fjaerland, where very distant relatives cordially met us. The fjord is beautiful in the summer, but I'm sure is a formidable environment in midwinter, and must have been a log power moreso in the nineteenth century when the Distads started on their adventure toward Minnesota.

Addendum:  An excellent topo map of this fjord is at this link (zoom in to see the Distad label).

12 comments:

  1. Back in 1976 I was a working guest on Hatlestad Farm in this neighborhood. The farm is owned by Haldor Eidsnes the oldest of 3 sons. He is 63 now but he turned 30 when I was working on the farm...I was 23. As I remember, there were 2 farmsteads intermingled with eash other Hatlestad and another one and further down the road was another farm out of site from Hatlestad.
    This was a wonderful and magical time for me. To be working in this wonderful landscape was magnificent. I am very lucky to have this memory.
    Dave Wilkinson

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  2. Dave - I believe the Hatlestads would be (very) distant relatives of my Distad ancestors (probably not surprising in such a small fjord).

    According to the records I was given by the Distads in Norway, Brita Ivarsdtr Distad married Tor Olson Hatlestad, giving birth to Ivar Torson Hatlestad Distad in 1746, and he was my great-great-great-great grandfather.

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    Replies
    1. I am also a Distad with my relatives coming from there. I am planning a trip to that area this summer and would be most pleased if you could share any contact information you might have.

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    2. Anon, I prefer to minimize the posting of private information online. But we can communicate off the blog. Just send me an email at the address listed in the "about me" section of the right sidebar. I have a 300-page Distad family history book that might have information of use to you.

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  3. Minnesotastan - I have married into a Distad family. It looks like their last name used to be Hatlestad and they changed it a generation before they went to America. I'm trying to figure out why they would have done that...any ideas? That book you have sounds awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Erin, if you see this note and would like to exchange information, just email me at retag4726(at)mypacks.net.

      btw - check this old post of mine -

      http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2008/09/trace-roots-of-your-family-name.html

      which shows "Distad" as being highly concentrated in west-central Norway (that would be around the Sognefjord).

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  4. Hi,

    I am an American Distad, descended of Minnesotan Norwegian stock also! My more recent ancestors came from Montana. I don't know my great-great-grandparents names off the top of my head, but I probably have them in my Grandma's old genealogy books. I would love to learn more about my family history!

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    Replies
    1. I had a book on Distad genealogy, but someone in the thread above borrowed it last year and hasn't returned it. I would suggest the place to start would be at one of the online genealogy sites like Ancestry.com or one of the many free ones. It's not hard to do - it just takes time. Also connect with your older relatives before they die.

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  5. Hello In my research my greatgrandmoms name come up as Distad Hilde Kittelsen Bie or Bi
    Can anyone tell me what this all means.. The records where from her trip to the USA Hoboken NJ was her destination to see an Uncle. Early 1900s Thank ou . we are trying to find the correct spelling to Kittelsen also. c4wags@aol.com is best

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    Replies
    1. AFAIK, Distad is only a last name, and Hilde is a reasonably common first name. The rest may have something to do with a spouse or traveling companion (?).

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  6. Oops, please dont publish all that info. Do contact me via email, tho.thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noted, and I didn't post your previous two comments. Can't contact you by email because you didn't provide your email. You can email me at the address in the right sidebar of the blog under "About me"

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