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 Cemeteries in Norway
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TLarson
Senior member

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2009 :  22:55:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is it true that if the family of people buried in Norway do not pay a certain amount the remains of their ancestors (in this case) would be moved and the plots in cemeteries are reused?

jkmarler
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
6577 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2009 :  23:22:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

Yes, I have heard this reported by cousins in Norway...but not due to lack of a money payment but a lack of care and concern--cleaning the site and the stone...

Jackie M.

Edited by - jkmarler on 10/07/2009 23:25:12
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TLarson
Senior member

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2009 :  23:29:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If this does actually happen, what happens to the remains of the people buried in a certain plot?
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4680 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  00:05:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The normal preservation period for a grave in Norway is 20 years, or 25 years if the the grave is from before 1997. When the preservation period has passed, the closest relatives will get a letter from the church authorities, asking if you want to renew the lease. A lease is normally then renewed for 10 year periods, and paid in advance (for the whole 10 year period) by relatives. A special permit must be given by church authorities if the lease is to be renewed 50 years after the burial.

After the 20/25 year preservation period, the grave can be reused without any movement of remains, since there will be mainly soil left. Between 1960 - 1979 plastic shroud was used around the coffin. It has been decided that those graves will not be reused.

Jan Peter

Edited by - jwiborg on 11/07/2009 00:12:24
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TLarson
Senior member

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  00:47:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does this mean that if I tried to find out where my ancestors in Norway were buried, if the preservation cost was not paid that I would not be able to find their grave or where their grave was located... This disappoints me and does not seem respectful to the people that were buried in those plots.
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TLarson
Senior member

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  00:53:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What happens if the only living relatives are in America and they are not able to be contacted by the church authorities?
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dsenk
Junior member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  02:26:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I know the cemetery and grave, how can I find out if they are still buried there or moved.

Debbie
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Hopkins
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
3267 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  03:49:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can't apply your uniquely North American burial ideas to the cemetery customs of older and more practical Europe. Lack of respect has absolutely nothing to do with it.

If you know a cemetery in Norway where your ancestor was buried then you can visit it anyway. Dust to dust. They've become part of the cemetery itself. I would think it less morbid to concentrate on seeing where they LIVED.

New world customs are NEW and do not apply to the OLD world. They are not better, they are not more respectful, they are only different! And they always have been different.
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KnudsonFamily
Medium member

USA
175 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  05:44:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sometimes it is hard to think outside the our paradigm. I think back the the story around "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus' and the talk of the ossuary. Or how crypts are handled in New Orlean. Or a recent National Geographic story on Asian burial rights. The Norwegian are more the norm.

I had been wondering what the thinking of Norwegians arriving in America around 1850 would have been? That's the time frame my 3rd great grandparents arrived in Wisconsin from Søndeled, Aust-Agder. The couple died 20 years a part and each is buried where they died (different towns about 75 miles a part). I can't located the burials of four of the children that died as children.

I've been wondering if I've been doing what Hopkins warns against. Am I applying our current paradigm to people who were both more practical and who's did see it as "dust to dust'. Possibly keeping the grave up during the mourning process and focusing on the life.
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4680 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  10:34:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dsenk

If I know the cemetery and grave, how can I find out if they are still buried there or moved.

You should contact the local church authorities, and ask them directly. Click on the map to select the Diocese, and then select the Parish Council. There you'll find contact numbers and email addresses.

Jan Peter
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Kåarto
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
5816 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  11:40:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tim,
You could also try to search here, the registration is not completed.
For poor people a wooden cross was all they could afford, it don´t take many years before it´s gone.

Thousands by thousands of headstones from 1700-1800 is kept.

To expand cemeteries wasnt always easy in a rocky landscape.

The nickname Norwegians use on our dear fatherland "Steinrøysa" Scree, tell all about that.

Some look upon as a ill-mannered even the sword, axe and shild are put away for ever.

Good luck in searching Headstones.

Kåre

Edited by - Kåarto on 11/07/2009 11:43:03
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Jo Anne Sadler
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  19:18:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the very early days of immigration here, before established churches and cemeteries were built, many times people were buried in some out of the way place on the farm.

I took a class on Swedish research and the lecturer said not to bother to find a grave in Sweden over 50 years old. In February, I attended a lecture at the FHC in Salt Lake about Norwegian burial customs and he said people are not embalmed, buried in simple, bio-degradable clothing and a coffin that will quickly decompose. Embalming is a very American thing, made popular after the assasination of Abraham Lincoln.

In countries that are thousands of years old, compared to our short history, this seems to me to be a most practical system.
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Lislcat
Advanced member

USA
690 Posts

Posted - 17/07/2009 :  06:38:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As Jo Anne mentioned, I also found that my family that came to Wisconsin in the 1840's and died during the 1855- 1865 period, were all buried in a designated field, since the church hadn't been built yet. After the church was built, a cemetery was made near the church and as years passed, the area that my family was buried in, became a farmer's field once more. It didn't make me happy to find this out, but it was there custom to do this.

When I visited both Norway and Denmark last summer, I think that it became apparent that if family still remained there, I had a better chance of finding tombstones. This was definitely true in Mykland, Aust-Agder.


Lislcat
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peder
Advanced member

USA
827 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2012 :  18:28:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
from my own experience here in my part of the country (USA) owners of a lot paid a fee per year and records were kept in the town hall and noted in the annual town reports. but if the lot fee was not paid for the grave would not be disturbed, but no one else could be buried if there were available space in the lot unless the fee was paid in full.
the taxes of the town were for many things including the perpetual care of the cemetery.
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Lislcat
Advanced member

USA
690 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2012 :  20:26:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was just searching for family members graves at the Østre Gausdal church in Oppland, Norway a few weeks ago with Kåre. I was looking for my great grandfather's family. Hoping to find his parents, but they had died before 1900. What we did find, were his sister, brother-in-law and their granddaughter. I was very excited about this, but the only reason that the sister and brother-in-law were there, was because when their granddaughter died recently, there was a new tombstone made for her and her grandparents were added underneath her information. This makes me think, that the grandparents were probably buried in that same spot.

Therefore, it could be that it was a family plot. They had been gone for 70 years, when their granddaughter died and was buried there.
One thing also, they don't use the big coffins and vaults like we do here. They have wooden coffins, that break down over time.

Lislcat
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