Solum, Telemark One Place Study

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Solum, Telemark, Norwaymap
Surnames/tags: One_Place_Studies Norway
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This is the Home page for the One Place Study of the old Solum parish and municipality in Lower Telemark, Norway. This project has been started in order to give the contents of the now defunct personal genealogy Web site of "" a permanent home.

The "Solumslekt" database has been in continuous development since 1997, and currently contains more than 40,000 profiles, from Solum and the adjacent parishes of Porsgrunn, Skien, Holla, Gjerpen, Bamble, Eidanger, Drangedal, and Brevik. There are, however, many profiles in that database which have never been connected to the tree, and the emphasis here is on adding connected profiles, which may constitute about 80 % of the total. The biographies of each profile are generated automatically in Wiki format from the "Solumslekt" database by a Perl script, with a little manual polishing.



The sources are mainly my own transcripts of parish registers and probate protocols. I have transcribed many volumes of parish registers through the years, and have accumulated them all in a tree-structured database table with currently some 160,000 rows, of which about 140,000 are full-text transcripts of individual Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, and Burial entries. I have developed powerful search tools for this table, and can easily associate sources with events and relations, and build fully-sourced profiles simply by "connecting the dots" in a source-driven process.

A few words are needed about the church books, or parish registers. Mostly, the pastors made a decent job of keeping the records, even if some were more terse or even sloppier than others. The worst example of the latter kind in my study is the pastor Lauritz Bremer, who kept the records of Holla parish between 1801 and 1811. It is told that he preferred to work in the smithy, seemingly to the detriment of his pastoral duties. He wrote as little as possible, and his records are full of obscure abbreviations and miswritten names. The worst part is the baptisms of 1805 and 1806, when he made a mess of it, probably by piling the drafts in a heap of loose scraps and neglecting to enter them into the book until it was too late, and the heap had fallen apart. The scraps must have been dated, but without the year. There are vaccination dates written in the margins of the baptism pages, and many of them are dated months before the baptism, which of course is impossible. Compared with the probates of the same time, there are also several chronological issues. In many cases I have tried to explain the circumstances, but not everywhere. The baptisms may be commented by me with the words "Usikkert om fødselsåret er 1805 eller 1806", which means that it is uncertain whether the birth year is 1805 or 1806.


The study has a timespan of roughly about 1650 to 1840. The lower year is the Norwegian "source horizon", ie. the limit where you normally may find sources which are useful for the genealogy of common people, without expert domain knowledge. The upper year is the preliminary cutoff for baptisms, but there are lots of marriage and burial data for profiles after that year, as well as a few with emigration data. I'm planning to extend the timespan forward to the 1865 census, but that may take many years, — if I ever get there.


Every profile in the Solum study, except for those who died young, will be filed under one or more farms in the Solum, Telemark, Norway category. The Farm name is an instrumental concept in Norwegian genealogy. You can read more about Norwegian naming practice on the page How to enter Norwegian Names in WikiTree.

A "farm" is usually a cluster of one or more "bruk" (self-sustaining parts), as well as a few "husmannsplasser" (cotter's places or just "places"). The farm categories so far do not distinguish between the individual bruks and places. Thus, a place like "Hella", with the full name "Hella under Hanes nordre" is a place under the "Hanes nordre" bruk, categorised under the main farm name "Hanes". The full name will usually be found in the Biography of the individual profile.

The Wiki format allows for other objects as well, and perhaps I'll eventually get around to write history pages for the individual farms.


Due to the large numbers involved, I have to orphan most profiles where parents, siblings, spouses, and children have been fully researched. In addition, profiles that I don't intend to do more research on in the immediate future, will be routinely orphaned. However, I'm keeping my own watchlist, and will revisit every profile that I've created or added to on a biannual schedule. 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 Solum profiles. Please drop me a few words if you're able to connect to one of them.

Leif Biberg Kristensen 14:12, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

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I am one of those who connect to Solum genealogy. My connection is from the Aabye/Auby/Obye/Obey family in America through the wife of Lars Larsen Aabye, Kirsten Larsdatter Larsdatter-1756. Anyone else who connects can contact me... we have a fair amount of cousins here in America!
posted on Solum, Telemark, Norway One Place Study (merged) by Darrell Larocque