What is a Lag?
The Gudbrandsdal Lag is an organization of emigrant descendants from the Gudbrandsdal Valley in Norway and those interested in its history and culture. The Gudbrandsdal Lag was formed 12 September 1909 to maintain their ties to the homeland and provide a place for those emigrants to assemble.
A lag or bygdelag is an organization that concentrates on a specific community or area in Norway. Members of the Gudbrandsdalslaget have ancestors who were born in Gudbrandsdal. Members wish to learn more about the culture, folklore and customs of their ancestral land and/or keep in contact with the land of their ancestors by bracing their roots.
Oftentimes an area developed their own language dialect, culture and traditions which were differenct from every other area of the country. Folkdances were unique to each area and patterns of Rosemåling were different in addition to the dialect spoken.
Where is Gudbrandsdal?
Gudbrandsdal is a large valley in Oppland county, Norway, beginning at Lillehammer on Lake Mjøsa, following the River Lågen northward to Lesja and extending westward toward the county of More and Romsdal. Gudbrand, a famous man of the valley, lived in Hundorp. The valley was named for him. The valley has twelve kommuner:
Dovre, Lesja, Lom, Skjåk, Vågå, Sel (including Heidal), Nord_Fron (including Kvam, Kvikne and Sødorp), Sør_Fron, Ringebu (including Venabygd and Fåvang), Gausdal ( Østre Gausdal and Vestre Gausdal), Øyer (including Tretten), and Lillehammer (including Fåberg)
* Stevne Gatherings
Tre Lag Stevne is an annual gathering of friends and descendants of the Gudbrandsdal, Trønderlag and northern Hedmark regions of Norway. The meeting offers opportunities to: 1) attend seminars on Norwegian history, heritage and culture, 2) research ancestors, and 3) meet and socialize with other descendants from this area of Norway.
* Genealogy Research
In the Gudbrandsdal Lag family history has become very important at the annual stevne. Approximately two days are devoted to genealogy research. Special reference materials are available including bygdebøker, census records, church books, emigration records, family histories and many other sources. Genealogists ae available to assitst members in their research using unique lag references. During Norwegian Lag Week in February, members can work with lag genealogists at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Members stay informed with a newsletter, Gudbrandsdalslaget Brev, published June, October, and February.
* Tours to Gudbrandsdal, Norway
Cultural heritage tours and genealogical seminars are designed to immerse members in Gudbrandsdal culture, history and heritage. It is a unique opportunity for people on tour to learn more about their ancestors, often meeting relatives, seeing ancestral homes, and/or meeting knowledgeable people with valuable insights on ancestral family. The fourth trip to Norway since 2005 included the Kringen Festival in 2012.
* Other Benefits
Lag volunteers work hard to preserve the history of Gudbrandsdal immigrants and the activities of the lag. In 2009 and 2011, lag yearbooks (Årboker) were published. A lag genealogy database has been launched, and charter and early members are being documented. The Board has also established an endowment fund.
The leadership of the lag continues to build relationships with Gudbrandsdal historielags and their members in Norway.
Goals of the Lag
1. Keep in loving memory Norway, the land of our ancestors.
2. Preserve the knowledge of the people of Gudbrandsdal and their history, materials and arts.
3. Foster knowledge and friendship between the peoples of these areas of Norway and the people of America.
4. Nurture and encourage interests that will benefit and honor Gudbrandsdalen here and in Norway.
5. Gather material for a historic description of these immigrants and their descendant's life and ways, circumstances and influences here to this land.
6. Work together with like organizations in things that are common for all Norsemen.
Should you be interested in these goals, we welcome you to become a member of Gudbrandsdalslaget.