My Norwegian Cousin, Oddleif

I love my Norwegian relatives. I’ve now met two in person, Siri and Oddleif. (Five if I count Oddleif’s children, who are my cousins, too!)

I met both Siri and Oddleif, (who are unrelated as far as I know, but Norway is a small country…) online, either on a Norwegian Facebook group or through My Heritage. I love that the interwebs can make this huge world a little smaller.

I met Siri, who is an American with Norwegian roots, last summer, when she was in town for a conference. She is also a frequent flier on the airline I work for, so I’m really hoping that I run into her again in the friendly skies.

Oddleif lives in Stavenger, a bit north from where our common ancestors once lived in Flekkefjord. He and his family are in the United States, enjoying their enviable four weeks of paid vacation. They began with six days in New York, flew to Los Angeles, spent a few days in both Las Vegas and San Diego, and stopped in Orange County before finishing up their grand tour in the San Francisco Bay area.

We met up for ice cream in Seal Beach. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and breezy. We walked out on the pier, where we could watch the wind surfers and see all the way from San Pedro to Huntington Beach.


(Yes, I do know that my hair is wild and crazy. My cousin, Sue, thinks that I can rock a mohawk.)

They very kindly brought us a calendar with gorgeous pictures of Norway. We are definitely going to visit!

I kinda think we look a bit alike…

Oddleif, pronounced “Ot-leaf”, and I are related (on his mother’s side of the family) through our third great grandparents, making us fourth cousins.

My great-great grandfather, Hans Tobias Oleson, and Oddleif’s great-great grandmother, Johanna Olsdatter, were siblings. Their parents, Ole Johannes Håkonson and Inger Torgeirsdotter, are our common ancestors, our 3x great grandparents.

But, wait! There’s more! As I already mentioned, Norway is a small country. So, it turns out that we also have common ancestors through Oddleif’s father. We share the same 7x great grandparents, too! Steiner Sivertson Reppen and Anna Eivindsdatter.

And, frankly, who knows if there are more! I will keep on digging.

See you soon in Norway, Oddleif!



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