Tveit Cousins in Norway

Background

When Janice Wilson and her son Monte visited Norway in 1988, they attempted to locate their Tveit relatives. Bea Tveit (Nielsen) recalled that her grandfather Lars Tveit had corresponded with someone in Norway, but that was many, many years before and the contact had been lost.

Using the Tveit family information they brought as a starting point, Janice and Monte visited the Bergan State Archives. The family had split in Lars’s generation when he left for America, so it was necessary to start there and try to trace the Norway branch of the Tveits down to a living person. Unfortunately, that proved rather difficult. They did, however, get the address of the Tveit farm.

The next step then was to rent a car and drive out to the Hardanger Fjord, which had been mentioned by Bea Tveit as having been the area Lars came from. Once there they visited a pastor, the old Tveit farm, and a Tveit Family Reunion. The general idea was to let as many people as possible find out about the strange Americans who were looking for their relatives!

Alas, no relations were found. A few people named Tveit were located, but it was not possible to connect them with Lars’s family.  So, Janice and Monte went home with plenty of Tveit archive data, but no contacts. However, they did leave their U.S. address in case anyone wanted to get in touch. This proved to be the best thing they could have done.

Within the next 18 months, Janice received two letters from people in Norway who thought they might be related to Lars Tveit. They are described below.

Hjordis Sharning  Runarveien 2D, 3200 Haukerod, Sandefjord, Norway

This woman wrote in November of 1988. She had an uncle named Lars Tveit who emigrated to America. Unfortunately, the brothers and sisters mentioned for this Lars did not match, and the dates were one generation later (1870s instead of 1850s). However, according to a letter from an Arne Urheim in 1989 (see below), Hjordis actually is related, just further back in the family tree than she thought. Her great-grandmother, Marita, was an older sister to Lars Tveit’s father Arne. The line goes like this:  Marita > Brita > Marita > Hjordis. This makes Hjordis a third cousin to the generation of Bea Nielsen, Mildred Campbell and Leslie Tveit (children of Arne and Anna Tveit).

Arne Urheim  5774 Lofthus, Norway

In his four page letter written in November of 1989, Mr. Urheim recalled his father talking about an “Uncle Lars” who went to the U.S. The date of birth and wife’s name (Martha Busteheim) of this uncle matched Janice’s information exactly, proving that Arne Urheim was a relative. Arne was also kind enough to show how Hjordis Sharing (above) is related.

Arne’s paternal grandfather was Arne Tveit, Lars Tveit’s older brother by three years. Mr. Urheim is therefore a second cousin to Bea, Mildred and Leslie Tveit. A picture he sent shows a pleasant man in his early seventies with a prominent nose.

Arne Urheim was born in 1920. He’s the youngest, and only son, of three children. His father was Jakob Arneson Urheim who worked in Madison, Wisconsin from 1904 – 1909. Jakob returned to Norway to take over the farm when his father Arne Tveit (Lars Tveit’s older brother) passed away.

Mr. Urheim’s wife died in 1988. He has one daughter, Audhild, who at the time of writing was married and living in Bergan with two young children, Veronica (b. 1984) and Andreas (b. 1985).

Regrettably, neither Monte or Janice replied to Mr. Urheim’s letter until 1997. Having visited Norway with no plans to return, perhaps the excitement of hunting for relatives had worn off. However, almost a decade later, a three year correspondence was begun, and all of the letters from him (1997, 1999, 2000) have been kept.

Arne Urheim’s branch of the Tveit family tree is listed below, starting with the oldest generation. His direct ancestors are highlighted.

Click to access tveit-cousins-in-norway-pdf-2.pdf

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