Dyrdal

My family originates basically from the western parts of Norway, more specific from Hordaland. My mothers family comes from Austevoll south and west of Bergen, and my farthers family comes from the areas between Bergen and Voss.

My family name Dyrdal is taken from a little farm whilst my grand-grand-grandfather lived there from May 10th 1870, and my grand-grandfather sold out June 27th 1905.

There are several families with the Dyrdal name but my parents, my brother and his childeren, my children and myself is the only persons with Dyrdal as family name from our ancestors. Other people with Dyrdal as family name is not directly related to us, but there might of course be common ancestors.

The maps on the left shows where Dyrdal is located in the World, Europe, Norway, Hordaland, north of Bergen at Lindås on the north side of Austfjorden.

Dyrdal is ca 55 kilometres north from Bergen, and ca. 50 minutes drive in any reasonable car.

About Dyrdal – the name, the place and the farms

Dyrdal has it’s name after the norwegian word for animal – “dyr”, and the norwegian word for valley – “dal”. In this case the animal is actually dear probably since there where dears in this valley ! The name has been written in several ways during history and some of them are: 1522 – Dewerdall, 1563 – Dyrdall and finally 1723 – Dyrdal.

The farms in Dyrdal is located north in the valley besides a little river comng down. The montains are high and steep. The wind from the montains gets stronger as it passes through the valley and could in some cases result in some heavy sea and large waves in the fjord. In addition the wind from the east could be strong and dangerous. In the times when boats where the only means for transportation – the people in Dyrdal might have to wait several days for the eastern wind to ease. If not they would risk their lives. Usually it went fine but there is mentioned several fatal accidents on the sea outside Dyrdal because of the winds.

The first people settled in Dyrdal in 1522, and it was the only farm in the Austfjord paying the rent in 1567. After the “Svartedauen” people built up again Dyrdal pretty fast, if it was abandonned at all during the “Svartedauen”. Dyrdal belonged to “Munkelivs Klostergods” and in 1660 Dyrdal became part of the wealthy Smith-family’s properties. Later on the farms where sold on to other people. There was only one farm in Dyrdal up to 1660. In 1660 Dyrdal was divided into two farms and was kept that way until ca 1750. From ca 1750 to 1830 there was only one farm in Dyrdal again. From 1844 on onwards to today there has been four farms in Dyrdal.

Source: Bygdebok for Lindås by Martin Toft – 1981