Where did our forefathers come from

Where Did Our Forefathers Come From

Although I have chosen to name this work for our forefather, Arne Henriksen Goplen, as he was the first of our ancestors to be born with the surname of Goplen, there is more genealogical information;
Arne was the son of Henrik Arneson Odde (1784-?) and Marit Kristenstuen Ingjerdingen.
Henrik's parents were Arne Knudsen Odde (1753-1822) and Marit Johnsdtr. ?. Henrik was born on Odde, a farm that belonged to his father in Nord-Torpa, Norway.

[Southern Norway, Click on the map
area for a map of Nordre Land kommune.] Henrik purchased the farm Goplen from Jens Gunnerson Bratlein and changed his surname to Goplen, as that was the practice in rural Norway prior to the early 1900's.
When Arne Goplen emigrated to the U.S. he sold Goplen to his son-in-law, Christian Ulsaker. Christian and Helene later sold Goplen in 1877 to Mikkel Fønhus from Sør Aurdal and Anders Storruste from Hedalen. Christian and Helene then moved to Ulsaker in Vest-Torpa. Click anywhere on the map at the right for a more detailed view.

Goplen is a gård (farm) in Nord-Torpa bygd (rural district), Nordre Land kommune (municipality or township), Oppland fylke (county), in south central Norway. It is located almost due North of Dokka, and about 15 miles West-Southwest from the Olympic city of Lillehammer, or at approx. 61°N, 10°E. It lies high up in the hillside, at about 1500 feet above sea level, and has a panoramic view of the vast forests and high mountains surrounding all of Torpa.
The climate is cool in the summer and quite cold in the winter, with temperatures now and then dropping to -40°. The snow will usually last from late November until early May.
The Torpa farmers depend upon dairy products, and they grow grass, potatoes, and a little wheat, and also work in the woods. Many farmers are also dependent upon some other income besides what they can make on the farm.
The Torpa farms are well kept, and the houses painted, usually white dwelling houses and red barns.


Pictures of gård Goplen
Click on the thumbnails below to see the corresponding big picture.
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[Main Road] [Main House] [Small House]
[Barn] [Valley1] [Valley2]
Top Left; The main road leading into Goplen
Top Center; The main house on Goplen, the owner's dwelling.
The ornament over the door is from the original house that Arne H. Goplen lived in.
Top Right; The smaller house on Goplen, this is where the owner's parents reside.
Bottom Left; The barn on Goplen.
Bottom Center & Right; Views of Torpa from Goplen.
Photos provided by Knut Moe, Nord-Torpa, mange takk!

There are actually two farms in Nord-Torpa carrying the name of Goplen. Often when a farm was divided the name was retained and an adjective was added. Arne's farm is called Goplen or sometimes Store Goplen (Greater Goplen), the neighboring farm is Lille Goplen (Little Goplen).
Although the emigrants from both farms took the surname of Goplen when they arrived in the U.S., there is no blood relationship. There very likely is a relationship by marriage as Arne's mother-in-law was from the Lille Goplen farm.

The name Goplen is derived from a flower. A "gople" in the local dialect meant a bell, and was used as the name of a bell-shaped flower, like a bluebell. There likely was an abundance of these "bluebells" where the farm was built and given it's name a very long time ago. The "gople" is more commonly known as the Blåklokka.