In recent months I have spent so much time on the Mellom and Fjeld branches of my tree that the Stigen and Renden branches have languished. I returned to my Stigen and Renden branches this weekend and found them lacking in vital information and, at first, assumed I had been unable to find any information or had found all the information humanly possible due to Bruflat parish records having been destroyed during World War II.
Then a little light bulb turned on in my head. Karoline Knudsdatter Renden (a.k.a. Caroline Amb) had been born in Bruflat, Sør Aurdal in 1864 and was - so far as I was aware - the firstborn child of Knud Knudsen Renden and Maria Olsdatter Laglund (a.k.a. Maria Olson or Maria Solibråten)... but what if I was wrong? Maria Olsdatter was born in Stange, Hedmark, Norway and it was still a mystery to me how she met Knud Knudsen Renden of Valdres. I had assumed that Maria Olsdatter moved with her family to Valdres before meeting Knud Knudsen. However, what if Knud Knudsen had moved to Stange and later returned to Valdres? It was certainly a possibility. If I was lucky, this was exactly what happened because the time period from the 1850's to 1866 would have been when this couple was married and these are precisely the Bruflat records that were destroyed during World War II.
Simply looking sometimes assists. I looked at the records for Stange from the 1850's and 1860's, reasoning that marriages often took place in the bride's parish and, guess what?
I got lucky.
I found the marriage of Knud Knudsen Renden and Maria Olsdatter in the Ottestad Church records, the same church in which Maria Olsdatter was baptized 30 years previous. The marriage occurred on 30 December 1862 in the Ottestad church in Stange, Hedmark, Norway. I came away with a bonus - the name of the bruk on which the bridegroom was born. Kulhuusbraaten, for those who are interested. The parish records of Sør Aurdal list only the main farm, Landsend, as his birthplace in the baptismal records. In addition, at the time of their marriage, the couple was living on the Hosmestad, or Hemstad, farm in Stange, Hemstad being the bride's mother's farm.
After this success, I thought there seemed to be a rather large time gap between the birth of my ancestress, Ragnhild Knudsdatter, and her brother, Knud Knudsen, so I endeavored to research the existing Bruflat records further and found a second brother, Ole Knudsen, born 4 April 1869 and died 2 February 1877 on the Renden farm.
Further research in the Stange parish records revealed no children born to Knud Knudsen and Maria Olsdatter from 30 December 1862 to 2 January 1864, when Karoline Knudsdatter was born. (Karoline's birthdate is known from her 16 June 1878 confirmation record.) Of course, this appears logical, as Maria Olsdatter would have to have become pregnant around the beginning of April 1863 to give birth in January of 1864. I found no other children born to Knud Knudsen and Maria Olsdatter between the birth of Karoline and the birth of Ragnhild in 1865; I also found no children born to this couple between the birth of Ragnhild and the birth of Ole and between the birth of Ole and the birth of Knud. Nor were there any births recorded from the time following Knud's birth to the family's immigration in March of 1882. They appeared to have left around the same time as my Fjelds - March of 1882. The immigration of the Rendens is listed on page 631 of the Sør Aurdal 1877-1885 Ministerialbok. The Fjelds are found on the same page of the same book.