In 2019, my wife and I are planning to realize a long-held dream – to visit Norway, one of my ancestral homelands.

The entire trip will span about three weeks, beginning with a week touring Britain with another couple who are good friends.  The rest of the time will be on our own and focused on Norway.  First we will be taking the 7-day Nordic Legends cruise out of Amsterdam in late May that tours three fjords along the western coast: Hardangerfjord, Sognefjord, and Romsdalsfjord.  This will be on Holland America’s newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam.

Then comes the serious stuff.  The last week will be spent roaming around Norway doing genealogical research and visiting distant cousins.  I have two ancestral locations in Norway because my two Norwegian great grandparents came from different parts of the country.  Both immigrated at a young age and met and married in America.  In Montevideo, Minnesota, to be precise.  Here they are:

Bernt Olsen Bonn c. 1880

Bertha Aaberge Bonn c. 1885


Bernt Olsen Bonn (1856-1937) emigrated from Eidsvoll Municipality in Akershus County.  He grew up on a farm somewhere near the current village of Bøn, which explains his last name.  Bøn is about 40 miles north of Oslo in the eastern part of the country.  Bertha Petersdatter Aaberge (1865-1936) was from the Åbyrge farm on the ridge above Sogndal, Norway.  That’s in Sogn og Fjordane County in the western part of the country.

Amazingly, our family has maintained contact with Norwegian cousins on Bertha’s side for 135 years!  My Mom and her siblings traveled to Norway in 2000 and visited with many of them.  We hope to do the same.

Our ancestry on Bertha’s side – the Åbyrge line – is very well known and I probably won’t need to do too much research in Sogndal Municipality.  The other side – our Bonn/Bøn line – is much less known, so the more serious research effort will be in Eidsvoll Municipality.

We haven’t figured out yet how we are going to get around Norway, but we may just rent a car and drive ourselves.  We plan to visit Oslo, of course, and may have an opportunity to go to far northern Norway to visit a cousin who lives above the Arctic Circle.

I’ll have much to report during and after the trip!