Næss family reunion, 1965

Nes farm. Photo by Bjarne Lysnes.
Current photo of Nes farm by  Bjarne Lysnes (#81-9, Kvelde/Hedrum, Vestfold Co., Norway)

The Old Næss Farm
July 4, 1965

The announcement

NÆSS i februar 1965

Etter manges ønske, er det nå bestemt at OLE LARSEN NÆSS of hans hustru ANNE KRISTINE’S etterkommere, skal avholde slektsstevne i KVELDE Søndag den 4. juli 1965.

Translation (courtesy of Betsy Armstrong): “After many requests, it is now confirmed that Ole Larsen Næss and his wife Anne Kristine’s descendants shall hold a family reunion in the evening of Sunday, July 4, 1965.”

I will skip the logistics of the gathering and go to the best part:

“One thing that is very important:

We will try to set up a family record. So that it can be as accurate as possible, it is absolutely necessary that the accompanying slip be answered by everyone. Also, those who do not attend the family reunion. We ask also that the family members who are dead also be named.”

The announcement directs everyone to send the information to Anne Kristine Høijord, Kvelde. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Anne Kristine. Thank you for doing all the planning, compiling all the names, and preserving them for younger generations. See the first four generations here.

All of the names compiled for the reunion are in the “Næss Ness Roots” file I have uploaded to FamilySearch.

River Lågen and Nes Farm

River Lågen and Nes Farm

The Nes farm buildings (including the long red building with the green roof) are at the center of the photo, up against the base of Husås (see poem above). The river Låger in the foreground separated Kvelde from Hedrum before a bridge was built, so the family used the Hedrum church (a little down the river and on their side) rather than the nearby Kvelde church. The photo was taken from Jorstøyp in early spring by Bjarne Lysnes.

The Poem

Prolog to family meeting at Næss

By Anne Kristine Høijord, Næss
(Translated by Betsy Armstrong)

Norwegian version

We all have come from east and west
From south and north to such a rare festival.
Many who never this community have seen
Or thought about, “that herefrom comes my people.”
For here in winter at command, they come
At fourth of July shall the family have meeting,
And everyone who is related must you name.

And there it happened, what no one could believe for any price:
That we were family by the hundreds.

But first we got back in time
And remember those who no one here today has seen.
They go and struggle with a pick and hoe,
And clear themselves a farm on this old spot.

They not either car or tractor.
No, with an old cart, it went well and good.
Or, if they were taking a trip to the city with their wares
So it was, just to take the cart
And they themselves had to drive.

They struggled steadily for themselves and their loved ones,
But afterwards the children “found their wings”
That Lars, the oldest boy, had to remain at home.
The others, one at a time from home left.

Helene took her blue trunk out and drove to the farm,
For there with Jacob built a house and farm.
In Bergen, Kristen wanted to be.
He there is at home, himself and his sheep.

And Bernt, he only plods along in the neighborhood
And does the best he could there.
But Anders drove to the city, you great big world,
And it was very much, much better there.

Oh, we must carry on, that we must believe,
Our family is spread around the whole world.
Many left and never came back any more.
They thought not like that, the time long ago.

But let us hurry ahead in time.
We have a festival here on Næss today.
And acquainted and unacquainted, they will be the same,
With each and every one we can break the social stratum.

And let us remember on this place
Where our forefathers at one time went.
We will them remember today with honor,
For the legacy from them we received.

And heaven above them, then it was the same,
And the sun just the same as today.
And Jordstøyp stood there so majestic.
And Husås, who gave shelter for the eastern wind.

Let this day be for us a reminder,
That we may happily look back on.
And so send a greeting in our thoughts
We send them so long from the native land where they must be.

The Newspaper Article

I’m sorry to say my photocopy cuts off the name of the newspaper; it begins with “Larvik Morg.” The article is dated July 5, 1965. Here are a few excerpts (thank you to Betsy Armstrong for translating):

Over 600 people with mutual roots in the old Naesfarmstead attended. They came from Hedrum and Larvik districts, Skien, Porsgrun, Bergen, and Oslo. (Apparently no one from the USA attended.)

Anne Kristine Høijord made the arrangements and assembled family data, and Kristian Næss and his wife Kathrine were were the host and hostess.

The family has its origins in Ole Larsen and Anna Kristine Hansdatter, who came from Ludal near Åsrumrannet nearly 200 years ago and set up a home near Husåsen.

Of their five children, Lars had two marriages and twelve children. He stayed on the family farm. Three of children went to the USA. They were Caroline (Lina), who married a Swede, Johan A. Carlsson; Ingebret; and Hans. Helene Olsen married Jacob Farmen and had four children. Bernt Olsen settled down on a neighboring farm and had seven children. Kristen was married in Bergen and had five children. Anders was married in Larvik and had six children.

One of the newest members of the family, Ole Jan Rimstad, was christened during a church service in the Kvelde church that was part of the event. He received his name in memory of Ole Larsen Næss. The oldest family member attending was Hans Næss. (It is possible he was Hans Anton Næss, grandson of Anders Olsen Næss, but I’m not sure.)

After the midday meal, there were speeches and music. Anne Kristine Høijord read the poem she had written, and Kristian Næss spoke about the purpose of the reunion. He emphasized the generations that are gone now and the contributions they have made.

Near the end of the article (translated): “Many were very interested in studying the family history that Mrs. Høijord had assembled.” Nothing has changed!