Leif Biberg Kristensen
Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)

Leif Biberg Kristensen

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Signed 6 Mar 2018 | 174,015 contributions | 1,735 thank-yous | 1,827 connections

I'm mostly researching pre-1814 genealogy in the Lower Telemark (Grenland) area in Norway, where my core interest lies in the old Solum parish, and with a lot of collateral research in the neighbouring parishes of Holla, Skien, Gjerpen, Porsgrunn, Eidanger, Bamble, and Drangedal. My own research database contains about 40,000 profiles and I'm in the process of transferring the bulk of them to WikiTree in the hope that my work will remain publicly accessible.
Leif Biberg Kristensen
Born 1950s.
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
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Profile last modified | Created 6 Mar 2018
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Norwegian Native
Leif Biberg Kristensen was born in Norway
Denne brukeren/brukaren har norsk som morsmål.
This user can contribute with a near-native level of English.
Leif Biberg was featured in a Meet Our Members Post on the WikiTree Blog!

I was born in 1952 in the smallish town of Porsgrunn, Norway. I'm now a retired civil servant, having worked for many years with Unix and databases in the IT department of the Norwegian Health and Social Security Insurance administration.

Since 1997, I've been a devout genealogist, with making sense of 18th century parish registers ("Kirkebok") and probate protocols ("Skifteprotokoll") as my favourite subject. I'm working with the entire population of the Solum parish in Lower Telemark, Norway during the period c.1660-1840, and lots of collateral research in the neighbouring parishes. I'm almost exclusively using original sources, and I always include full transcripts of the Baptism / Marriage / Burial entries from the parish registers. For Norway, the parish registers include the entire population before 1845, as membership in the Lutheran state church was mandatory.

Where I find a probate, I will usually write down what it says about relationships in the Biography section. It should be mentioned that a Norwegian "probate" (skifte) is a quite different animal from its American counterpart. It was a public affair, and there was generally no will involved. Here's a very good Introduction to Norwegian probate records.

In the Sources sections of my profiles, you will also find embedded links to images of the original documents at the Norwegian Digital Archive ("Digitalarkivet"), thus being able to verify the data for yourself, and even (hopefully) arrive at better conclusions than mine.

I started entering data in a couple of programs that I'd rather not mention, but soon I became a fan of The Master Genealogist (TMG), which I used until 2005, when finally my old laptop running Windows 2000 broke down. Working professionally with Unix, I've never been very impressed by Windows, and by then I had developed my own replacement database application (Yggdrasil) in PostgreSQL and PHP, running on my big, fat, powerful Gentoo Linux workstation. This is still my research / production database environment.

In 2002 I started my own genealogy site "Solumslekt.org". I closed it down in 2019, mostly because of a growing realisation that my own custom software was a dead-end, which I couldn't expect anyone to step up and maintain after me. I'm now transferring my data to WikiTree, as this site to a certain degree appears to be focused on quality rather than quantity. To that end, I wrote a Perl script which will generate a Wiki biography for any person in my database, complete with inline references. That is saving me massive amounts of typing, and I can easily add scores of people whenever I've got the time.

My contributions here on WikiTree are centered around the Solum, Telemark One Place Study, which is a continuation of my old "Solumslekt" web site. I do hope that my data will survive here on WikiTree, and that my rigorous sourcing and cross-linking will protect profiles from being abused by addition of random unsourced or mythical connections. It is also my hope that others will join me and collaborate on the Lower Telemark genealogy, always keeping a decent scientific standard in mind. Documentation is everything.

Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down. -- Adam Savage, Mythbusters


Some profiles that i worked a little harder on.


Due to the large numbers involved, most profiles created by me where parents, siblings, spouses, and children have been fully researched will be routinely orphaned. You are welcome to adopt them, but please respect the many years of research behind these profiles, and don't change vital data or add any family members unless they are well documented. Also, I'd love to hear about descendants of my profiles. Please drop me a few words if you're able to connect to one of them.

Useful Links

Quarterly Statistics

This is a table showing dates, number of imported profiles, differences, and rounded percent of imported profiles over total number of profiles in my own database. As the latter includes many private, unconnected and poorly documented profiles, I don't expect the percentage to ever exceed much more than 80. When I have imported all the connected and documentable profiles, probably some time in 2024, I will resume my primary research and continue to add profiles and sources.

Date Profiles Diff  %
2018-04-01 187 187 0
2018-07-01 390 203 1
2018-10.01 538 148 1
2019-01-01 1118 580 3
2019-04-01 1885 767 5
2019-07-01 2735 850 7
2019-10-01 3859 1124 10
2020-01-01 5210 1351 13
2020-04-01 6006 796 15
2020-07-01 7354 1348 18
2020-10-01 7945 591 19
2021-01-01 8927 982 22
2021-04-01 9813 886 25
2021-07-01 11004 1191 28
2021-10-01 12235 1231 31
2022-01-01 13322 1087 33
2022-04-01 15708 2386 39
2022-07-01 17524 1816 43
2022-10-01 20443 2919 50
2023-01-01 23037 2594 55
2023-04-01 25389 2352 61
2023-07-01 27756 2367 66
2023-10-01 29607 1851 70
2024-01-01 31761 2154 75

The number of profiles include those created by me, and about 500 created by others where I have contributed with my own data. Many of the latter category have been entered into Wikitree by others based on profiles from my old "Solumslekt" site.

Finally, I want to mention that I am working in a continuous revision loop on all these profiles. In the table that links Wikitree IDs with the IDs in my own database there is a timestamp field called "updated_at" which will update automatically whenever I generate or regenerate a biography from my WikiBio script. I will always go to work on the profile with the oldest "updated_at" timestamp. I may also set this timestamp manually if there is nothing to do, but so far there have been so many changes in my way of writing profiles, as well as internal Wikitree changes, that I usually recreate each biography (even if I won't necessarily rewrite the entire bio) every time i return to it within a period of (currently) 15-18 months. My long-term goal is to revisit each profile at least every two years.

Leif Biberg Kristensen 2018-2023


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Comments: 38

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I'm writing to you because you are the Norway coordinator for the Nordic project, of which I am a member. I am filling in my ancestor from Luster and am using GARDS- OG ÆTTESOGE for LUSTER KOMMUNE by Øyane et al. I have gotten the impression from others' remarks that this is a good, generally trustworthy, secondary source. Now I have come to the father of Torgerson-394. His father was born around 1485 according to Øyane. But because I am not pre-1500 certified, I cannot add him. Should/Can I ask you or another pre-1500 certified member of the project to create his profile?

Andrew, I moved your question to the G2G forum: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1680081/luster-sf-father-of-torgerson-394-born-about-1485

I think you should go there and fill in some information about this father born about 1485. Like, surely he had a name?


posted by Leif Biberg Kristensen
My great-great grandparents left Porsgrunn in 1850 for Wisconsin. They were living on the Gunsholt farm as renters I think. Is this in Lardahl? I visited the farm and church in 2014. Siljan?
posted by Anonymous Johnson
edited by Anonymous Johnson
It's probably the Gonsholt farm in Siljan. It's not far from Lardal, but that is on the other side of the county border to Vestfold.


posted by Leif Biberg Kristensen
edited by Leif Biberg Kristensen
Yes. This is the line I am working on at present.
posted by Anonymous Johnson
Thank you for the improvements you made to profiles of my 4th Great Grandmother Karen Tolvsdatter (1761-1834) and her family.
Thank you for all your recent improvements to my various wikitree pages. Your expert help is much appreciated. Just a note: Lars Thygesen Kjær and Gunhild Gundersdatter are my 3GGP.

Mange takk. Janet

Hello! I really need your help with the Gjerpen records. I have all of this great detailed information on Ole Oversen, but for some reason I cannot locate some of the records on Digitalarkivet. The chronological pages are very hard to read and I can't find the following:

Ole Evensen Borge

  • herfra dpt. 7/8-1729
  • d. 28/8-1775 (bg. 4/9-1775). ”Ole Borge 51 1/2 aar.”

Maria Engebretsdatter fra Espedalen(1)

  • dpt. 25/1-1733
  • bg. 6/5-1775. ”Ole Borges kone 42 aar.”, d.a. Engebret Gulliksen Espedalen.

The records from 1729 and 1733 are the toughest records I have seen to read yet for Gjerpen. They come from this site: https://gamlegjerpen.no/Bygdebok/BorgeV/BorgeV_A.htm

Thank you!!!


posted by Darrell Larocque
I've taken the liberty to insert my own biographies for both Ole and Marie. Those are also my ancestors through their daughter Marte. I've left the original bios at the end, below the horizontal line (created by four dashes). I don't mind f you want to keep them, but you should in any case consider whether it's a good idea to copy/paste a large chunk of text from another website, for copyright reasons.

I agree that the first Gjerpen parish register is hard to read, however, it usually improves with practice :) As I regularly have to look up records from Gjerpen in my Solum research, I once and for all entered the entire bulk of BMD records for Gjerpen 1681-1814 into my own source register many years ago. An old transcription existed, which I used to save most of the typing, but I read every record from the book itself and corrected misreadings and omissions along the way. Gard Strøm and I collaborated for a long time, and whenever you see a reference to "Solumslekt" at his pages, it's from my own old web site.

In any case, I always keep a reference to the original page at the Digitalarkivet in my transcripts, so you can look them up there.

As this couple are my family as well as yours, I've registered lots of their ancestors in my own database, dating bach to the early 17th century, and a few beyond that. But as my priority lies with the Solum inhabitants, I've laid that part of my ancestry aside for the present.

regards, Leif

posted by Leif Biberg Kristensen
edited by Leif Biberg Kristensen
Thank you, cousin, I appreciate this very much. I can understand how your focus is on the Solum project and believe me I have a lot of other ancestors and a couple of projects here that need help as well. Normally when I find some source material I go directly to the primary source and just add the links (free links of images always preferred to paid sites) but with these records I was going cross eyed trying to just find the month and day in the early Gjerpen records and so I just added the family list and intended to replace them one by one with the references and links. Now that I see what you did I can use it as a guide to add and/or improve others... but in this case there was no way I could do it without help. I'm not going to change what you did as it's excellent Thank! Thank you again!!!


posted by Darrell Larocque
edited by Darrell Larocque
Regarding Larsen-7771 Lars Larsen Aabye-

You know, this goes against everything we have seen in sources that were created decades ago by my cousins Kathleen Bickert Sutherland and Anne Aronson...


Your research is extremely well documented and compelling. I would have had no idea that Lars would have issues with his parentage, but the Lars Larsen who married Aaste Hansdatter and had children with her and who died in Brevik in 1840 I agree looks to be the Lars Larsen from Bamble parish.

Now new ground must be explored to try and find my 4th great grandfather Lars Larsen who married Kirstin Larsdatter in Solum in 1810. NOTE: Lars Larsen appears in the 1850 United States Census in Galena, IL as 72 years old, so his birth year of abt. 1778 is still pretty close.

WOW! Also, thank you so much for your work with the records on Digitalarkivet!Thanks to your efforts, you support a free treasure trove of resources for us,

posted by Darrell Larocque
edited by Darrell Larocque

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Categories: Porsgrunn, Telemark, Norway | No | En-4