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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

Rules for inheritance of land

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

My 2nd great grandfather, Ole Tormodsen Hodne (1829-1899), is said to have owned a large amount of land near Stavanger (in Hundvåg, Buøy and Engøy).  I believe that by law, this land would have passed down through his sons.  Unfortunately, I descend from Ole through his 4th daughter, Thea Bertine  :(.  Still, I thought it would be interesting to see how this land ownership might have passed down, if it is at all possible.  

 

His oldest son, Klaus Olsen Hodne (1856-1827), had only one child (a daughter) as far as I know.  Klaus had a younger brother, Georg Martin Olsen Hodne, who emigrated to the U.S. before 1900.  And there was one other male, Ole's son from his second marriage, Olav Trygve Paludan Olsen Hodne (f. 1875).  

 

I was wondering if someone could explain how the laws worked for inheritance of land during this time period.

Endret av Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

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Geir Thorud

I will give it a try. The law is probably about the "Odel"-right (more precisely "Odel and Åsetesrett") which has been practiced in Norway for at least 1000 years, maybe longer. This right, or similar law, is or have been practiced in a few European countries, but the law is currently much more "powerful" and important in Norway than any other country (the principle is even part of our constitution).

 

In short, the law gives the eldest son (or today also doughter) the right to take over the farm, and he/she is entitled to a rebate on the market price (maybe 20 % rebate). 

 

But there are many "ifs" and the law has changed over time. For example the farm has to have a minimum "production capacity" which often translates to the size of land where crops/forest can be grown, excluding very small farms. The farm must have been owned by the family (ancestors) for a certain period of time (currently 20 years). If the eldest son does not excercise his right within a certain time, younger brothers or eventually sisters would take over the right. From some time in the 1960s, sons and doughters are treated equally. If no person who's parents or grandparents has owned the fram, is interested in it and is willing to pay "the prize", it may be sold to others. 

 

In my opinion, a consequence of the law is that the ownership of farm/forest land is spread on many persons, resulting in relatively small farms and few big landowners.

Endret av Geir Thorud

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Kristian Hunskaar (Arkivverket)

My 2nd great grandfather, Ole Tormodsen Hodne (1829-1899), is said to have owned a large amount of land near Stavanger (in Hundvåg, Buøy and Engøy).  I believe that by law, this land would have passed down through his sons.  Unfortunately, I descend from Ole through his 4th daughter, Thea Bertine  :(.  Still, I thought it would be interesting to see how this land ownership might have passed down, if it is at all possible.  

 

His oldest son, Klaus Olsen Hodne (1856-1827), had only one child (a daughter) as far as I know.  Klaus had a younger brother, Georg Martin Olsen Hodne, who emigrated to the U.S. before 1900.  And there was one other male, Ole's son from his second marriage, Olav Trygve Paludan Olsen Hodne (f. 1875).  

 

I was wondering if someone could explain how the laws worked for inheritance of land during this time period.

 

As far as I know, the law at this time didn't say anything about how land as such should be inherited. When a person died, all his belongings, land included, would be split equally between the children (if one child was already dead, his/her part would be split equally between his/her children).

 

Let's say that Ole Hodne had eight children (as in the 1865 census) and that he left land worth 40000 kroner and 40000 kroner in money, i.e. a total of 80000 kroner. Then each child would inherit 10000 kroner. This could be arranged in different ways. Each child could inherit 1/8 of the land (5000 kroner) and 1/8 of the money (5000 kroner), four of the children could each inherit 1/4 of the land (10000 kroner) and each of the other four children 1/4 of the money (10000 kroner), or ...

 

Often, it would be arranged that one of the children bought the land, thus replacing the land by money. Let's say that one of the children paid 40000 kroner to get hold of the land. Now there would be 80000 kroner in money to split between the children, i.e. each would still inherit 10000 kroner.

 

Ole Hodne may have sold his land before he died, and then this would not be a question of inheritance at all.

 

Geir Thorud discusses "odel" and "åsete", which was (and still is) regulated by law. Ole Hodne's oldest son would have the best "odel" to the land. In the case that Ole Hodne sold his land to a younger son or a daughter before he died, or in the case that the children initially decided that a younger son or a daughter should buy the land and add money to the inheritance, the oldest son could claim the land by "odel".

To find out have this was actually arranged when Ole Hodne died, you will have to identify the land by "gårdsnummer" and "bruksnummer" and look it up in the mortgage registers.

 

In the 1865 census, Ole Hodne is said to own a house and the land at which the house was situated. This is probably not the large amount of land that you are referring to.

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Kristian Hunskaar (Arkivverket)

In the 1865 census, Ole Hodne is said to own a house and the land at which the house was situated. This is probably not the large amount of land that you are referring to.

 

In 1875, the census shows that Ole Hodne has moved to Bispeladegaard. The mortgage register shows that he bought this land in 1872. Unfortunately, it seems that Ole Hodne's land was transferred from Hetland to Stavanger, which means we have to search in a mortgage register for Stavanger to find out more.

 

The mortgage protocol shows that this was a rather small piece of land. Ole Hodne paid 1000 speciedaler, which equals 4000 kroner.

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

I believe Ole had 17 children, 7 with Maren Margrethe Gregoriusdtr (my 2nd g-grandmother) and 10 with his 2nd wife, Thine Gundersdtr Våland.  At the time of his death, 15 children were living. So, even if he did have a large amount of land, it was probably divided into many small pieces. 

 

Neither my husband or I can remember where we heard that Ole owned all of this land. Unfortunately, our computer crashed last year and we lost all of our old emails, which probably held the answer to this question!

 

Kristian, you may be right that he sold the land before he died.  In my records, I show that all the children born between 1861-1874 were born at Engøen.  But after that, his residence (in the birth records) is shown as Bispeladegård, which is the birthplace of his second wife.  At the time of his death, he was living with his daughter, Olava Maria, at Tananger (u. Meling) in Sola.  If he was a wealthy land owner, why would he be living with his daughter?

 

I fear this will remain a mystery.  But I am grateful to you, Kristian & Geir, for your help.

Endret av Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

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Kristian Hunskaar (Arkivverket)

So, even if he did have a large amount of land, it was probably divided into many small pieces.

 

No, it's unlikely that land was divided into several small pieces. The heirs could own it together for a while.

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Kristian Hunskaar (Arkivverket)

The death protocol states that there was nothing to inherit ("Intet at skifte") when Ole Hodne died.

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

When a person died, all his belongings, land included, would be split equally between the children (if one child was already dead, his/her part would be split equally between his/her children).

 

Sorry, I got confused!  This is why I thought the land could have been divided into to many small parcels.

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

The death protocol states that there was nothing to inherit ("Intet at skifte") when Ole Hodne died.

 

Kristian!  You posted this part when I was responding to your other post.  I see the register.  Can you tell me how to interpret what I am looking at?  I see the words "Intet at skifte" on the right.  I think the two lines above those words connect to #6 Agnes Andreasdtr Haga.  How do you know that the "Intet at skifte" relates to Ole?

 

I don't see his widow mentioned.  She was still living then.  Isn't that unusual?

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

I believe I have solved the mystery. Ole, his second wife and several of their children emigrated to the US in 1893.  I believe he intended to live there permanently.  But it seems that he returned to Norway sometime around 1899, probably to visit his daughter at Tananger, and died there.  This would also explain why he had no possessions to pass down.  He probably sold everything before he emigrated.

 

Thanks again for all your help!

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Kristian Hunskaar (Arkivverket)

Kristian!  You posted this part when I was responding to your other post.  I see the register.  Can you tell me how to interpret what I am looking at?  I see the words "Intet at skifte" on the right.  I think the two lines above those words connect to #6 Agnes Andreasdtr Haga.  How do you know that the "Intet at skifte" relates to Ole?

 

I don't see his widow mentioned.  She was still living then.  Isn't that unusual?

 

 

I believe I have solved the mystery. Ole, his second wife and several of their children emigrated to the US in 1893.  I believe he intended to live there permanently.  But it seems that he returned to Norway sometime around 1899, probably to visit his daughter at Tananger, and died there.  This would also explain why he had no possessions to pass down.  He probably sold everything before he emigrated.

 

Thanks again for all your help!

 

It's a little tricky to sort out what text in the right column that corresponds with each name in the left column. But "Faderen Andreas Johnsen Haga" and "Moderen Guri Thoresdatter" necessarily correspond with no. 6 "Barnet Agnes Andreasdatter Haga"; the child Agnes is dead and her father and her mother are her heirs.

 

Thus "Intet til skifte" corresponds with no. 7 "Notefisker Ole Hodne Tananger". I suppose that his widow and heirs are not mentioned, just because there was nothing to inherit.

 

Yes, he may of course have passed on all his possessions while still alive. The 1865 census and the 1875 census don't picture him as owning a large amount of land, though, so it's hard to confirm him as owning a large amount of land, based on the information we've found so far.

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Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

I agree, Kristian.  If he did own more land, he clearly didn't live on it.  But I am more inclined to think this was just a family story.  If only I could remember where I read about it.

 

Again, I appreciate your kind assistance.  :)


Kristian, I just thought of one more question.  Is there an index for that death protocol?  There may be others I would like to look up.

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