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.