Tonje Lilleås


Last year my grandfather on my mothers side passed away. For me it felt weird to live in a world where he no longer existed. He has been there all my life, and suddenly he wasn’t anymore. Reality as you know it changes in a single breath, and off course it’s really sad when someone dear passes, but more than anything it feels weird that their just not around anymore.
Anyway, my mum asked us if we wanted to visit the places where my grandfather grew up this summer. And so the image series “Roots” were created.


Four generations; grandmother Ellinor, mum Anne-Grethe, me and my son Erling. Happy to be at Herdalssetra close to where my grandfather grew up.


Herdalssetra is a great place to visit, and from here you can take many beautiful hikes. The summer farm is still up and running after nearly 300 years. At the summer farm they make brown and white cheese from goats milk, following old Norwegian traditions.


Erlings great grandmother shows him how the boat from leaves sails down the little stream. Mother and grandmother are also watching enthusiastically. People staying at the summer farm uses the stream to cool down food and beverage. Old school fridge.


Erlings Grandpa pretends to be the troll that has come up from under the bridge to catch the biggest billygoat. Hysterical if you ask my son.


From Herdalssetra we went to see where my great grandmother came from. Imagine living in one of these small houses and enjoying the magnificent view every day. Amazing.


This waterfall was close to where my great grandmother used to live. I have posted a b/w version of this picture in my last post, but wanted to show it in colours as well. It was really a stunning scene.


This is the house where my grandfather spent his first months. It has been built extensions on it since then, but still it was really cool to see where we have our last name from. The farm is really remote with steep hills on both sides, and I can’t imagine how it would have been for my great grandmother to raise children by herself here way back when. She brought the children down from Lilleåsen to Eidsdal when my great grandfather left to USA. My grandfather was only three months then, and his father didn’t return. We don’t know for sure, but we think he remarried in USA, so we probably have some relatives over there that may not know about us. Some day I might look into that.

It was an amazing day with the family. I’ve said so before, and I truly mean it; family is everything. And for me this day made me feel even more like I know where I’m from and where I belong. To know your roots are important to know who you are right?



  1. Reply


    August 10, 2016

    It is always amazing learning about our families. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    • Reply


      August 10, 2016

      Indeed it is! I think I will look further into what happened to my great grandfather after he arrived USA. Would be nice to fill in some blanks! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment🙏

      • Reply


        August 10, 2016

        At some point I’d like to go to my own historical sites, like Hawaii and Finland.

        • Reply


          August 10, 2016

          You should! Never been to Hawaii, but my brother lives in Finland. Do you know where in Finland you would go?

          • sargondorsai

            August 10, 2016

            I have no clue on Finland. I’ll have to do more research on that one. Haven’t done the research on my dad’s side of the family. My mom is the one who did the research on her side.

          • tonjelilleaas

            August 10, 2016

            Well, you have some blanks to fill in then, exciting!


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