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Byfelie (Byfuglien)

According to the Skatteliste of 1595, Byfelie was written as Byefogetlien and in 1604 as Byefogllie, then in 1616 as Bifolie. Ma states that it was written as Byfuljenn in 1647 and Byffuelien in 1667. Later it was written Byfuglien in 1723 and by 1838 the name was spelled Byfugllien and finally in 1950 it was written Byfuglien. Rygh believed that the name might be connected with Fogden in Hadeland and Valdres, who was the owner in the late 1500s.

As this farm name is rather unique in Norway several theories have been introduced. Because "By" is a town, "Fugl" is a bird, and "Lien" is a hilly grass field perhaps birds could have been trapped on a large scale and sent to town. Another theory comes from the word "Bufe" which is another name for cattle. The third theory makes a combination of the two mentioned: cattle were gathered together on the farm and driven to town for sale.

Byfelie was deserted after the Black Death until around 1590.

Among the earliest inhabitants of Byfelie was Peder Knutson, who had the farm from around 1595 until the 1620s. The first family that we know much about was the Halvor Knutson family. Halvor was born about 1613 and had children: Knut, Pål, Ole and Marit.

In Etnedal there are several bygder. Etnedal in itself is a bygd, a big one. Within Etnedal there are smaller bygde units and Byfuglibygda is one of them. A bygd can consist of several farm units, like a parish. If they are big enough they could have their own school etc. Byfuglien is located up on the hills from the valley. Thanks to the influential men that owned Byfuglien in the 16th and 17th centuries, the communal administration was located there for some time.


Source: Gard og Bygde i Etnedal Book B, pages 378-379


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