My great-great-grandmother Marthe Elisabeth Erickson (Eriksdatter) was born in Avaldsnes, Rogaland, Norway on 8 April 1853. Her mother Marthe Maria Jacobsdatter was also born in Avaldsnes. Avaldsnes is now part of the municipality of Karmøy, along with other towns on Karmøy Island, including Torvastad, the birthplace of Marthe's father Erik Svendsen Haavig (or Håvik).
Avaldsnes was named after King Augvald, who had lived there according to the Norse sagas. Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway, resided at Avaldsnes after the unification of Norway about 870. Notow was a trading port in Avaldsnes.
King Håkon Håkonsson ordered the construction of a church about 1250. The church, St. Olav's Church of Avaldsnes (Olavskirken), was completed in the early 1300s.
Avaldsneskirken, 2004. Photo by Tor-Egil Farestveit. Available from Wikimedia Commons.
The Virgin Mary's Sewing Needle is a monumental stone near the wall of the church.
Die Nähnadel der Jungfrau Maria [The Sewing Needle of the Virgin Mary]. 29 January 2011. Photo by Frank Hüncke. Available at Wikimedia Commons and www.huencke.de. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany.
Rekonstruiertes Winkingerlanghaus auf der Insel Bukkoya bei Avalsnes (Reconstructed Viking boathouse at the Nordvegen History Centre). 29 January 2011. Photo by Frank Hüncke.Available at Wikimedia Commons and www.huencke.de. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany.
Archaeological discoveries at Avaldsnes have shown that the coast of Norway was controlled by kings long before the Viking Age, and confirmed that a royal manor was present in the Middle Ages.
Avaldsnes – Norway’s oldest royal seat
Avaldsnes, Norway's oldest throne
Avaldsnes in Norway (Viking Ship Museum)
Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes - a feeling of being back in the Viking Age
Church of Avaldsnes
Pre-Viking hotspot on the Norwegian Coast
Archaeologists discover medieval Royal Estate
Avaldsnes Royal manor project
13th Century Rural Residence Discovered in Norway
Medieval Royal Hall: Royal Norwegian Estate from 13th century found at Avaldsnes
Ancient coin confirms saga