By knowing about our roots, we know who we are.

For me it is important not to forget about the past, therefore I wrote this book "At home  - A trip back to childhood and upbringing in Hallingdal. The intention of this book is to tell new generations how life was in the early 1900s and up to the seventies.  By knowing about our roots, we know who we are.  And by telling this I also want to give thanks to those who walked the way before us.

I grew up in Gol in Hallingdal and I am the youngest daughter of the seven children to Birgit and Torleiv Rensel. We lived at Rensel Farm in Åsgardane, about 10 km up from the center of Gol.

The farm has remained in our family for six generations, and the second owners were Ole Renslen and Anne Golberg.  They had ten children – five who immigrated to America, and four of them stayed there for the rest of their lives. These immigrants were the two sisters Guri, married to Thor Haugstad and Kari, married to Knute Sondrol. And their brothers, Knute Rensland married to Kari Olsgaard and Ole Renslen married to Kari Bakkene, all settled in the United States. Finally also the daughter of their eldest sister Ragne; Sigrid Brennen and husband August Bredeson travelled as immigrants from Gol to the US. The spelling variations include Rensel, Renslen, Rensland. So we really have a large number of relatives in the US!

My father, Torleiv Rensel, visited relatives of these immigrants and many others in America  for six months in 1960.  I myself visited some relatives in Minnesota and North Dakota in 1972, like I did last April when I had a wonderful gathering in Fargo. The people I met there were eager to hear news about Hallingdal and Norway and also very happy to be the owners of my  book.  Very few of them can read Norwegian today, but the pictures tell a lot, they said.

In view of this, I am therefore pleased to offer the book to more of the descendants of immigrants - not only from Gol. Although the book tells the story of my family, others who lived in Hallingdal at the same time likely had similar experiences. 



  • Do you want to buy a book?

    Just send an order to my email: and instruction about payment through PayPal will follow. After receiving the amount I will send the book directly to your address.

  • One book or 4 books?

    For one book the price will be included fees and shipping from Norway: 38 dollars.
    For 4 books in one package: 30 dollars each.

This is how the book looks like. It is hardcover, 236 pages and hundreds of photos:)

  • HEIME - The content of Part 1 and 2

    Part 1: "Farm and family - memory from the past" Here my father tells about his childhood, how work was done on the farm 1. half of 1900, the involvement of communities and houses of worship, ski jumping and school time. Participation in war eruption and America-trip is also included. Everything detailed and diverse. The text is typeset in my father`s language - and photos added from his time. This is the first part of the book.

    Part 2: “Childhood Home” My mother describes her memory from childhood and youth in school time, play and working at the family-hotel in the mountain, dotted with small incidents and stories. As when she saw the first car, and the lamp that lit without kerosene. She wrote down these stories as she approached 80. This text is typeset again, and remains a valuable contribution as part 2 of the book. Photo from her time are added.

  • HEIME - The content of Part 3

    Part 3: Childhood and adolescence after 1940. Here's childhood and adolescence in Gol such as I remember it. But not least through my father's many diaries, and from letters, photos, memory books and newspaper clippings. And what siblings have told. Part 3 will therefore contain a history from farm activities, also at the mountain farm during the summer, Christmas, Oslo trips and car purchases, schooling and Sunday school. One chapter is given for my mother, my eldest sister and two of my brothers. In addition a chapter about my father - "the emissary" (preacher).

  • Heime - The content of Part 4 and 5

    Part 4: America letters in air mail, are letters my father sent home during his 6 months in The States and Canada, from June to December 1960. In a good way he describes the impression from this long journey to the unknown America with the enormous distances. We hear about how he took his way, meetings with relatives on the prairie, and about his meetings in many churches. But also about loneliness and longing - how are all things going back home?

    Part 5: Addition: The first car in Norway and Gol. Postcards from everyday life. Poems, songs of mother and father. The end of the journey. 76 years ago since it all began.

    Note: If there is a wish from the buyers, there might be an option to forward Norwegian text, and the individual can make a translation through eg. Google Translate.

Listen to The Norwegian National anthem: Ja, vi elsker dette landet

The singers: Bodø Domkor, Norway.
This song is written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Rikard Nordraak has made the music.