Gunder (Gunnard) Sorenson immigrated to the United States in 1869, traveling from Trondheim, Norway via steamship. He was single, the only son of Soren Gundersen Fladby. He left his parents and four sisters…no other members of his family ever came to America. The family farm, Fladby, was passed down to the eldest daughter. Nonetheless, he set out alone, eventually to settle in Todd County, Minnesota. Let’s reflect on what little is known of his family’s past.
The farm Fladby is divided into Lille Fladby (little) and Store Fladby (large). It lies three miles northeast of Klofta, a mile north of Ullensaker Church. Oslo lies about forty miles to the southwest. Written records of the farm date back to 1393. At that time, Torgrimmer a Flataby donated the farm to the church. For many years the farm served as home for the various priests of Ullensaker. In 1824, two men renting Lille Fladby were allowed to purchase it from the church; Jens Askildsen and Trond Hansen. In 1835, Jens sold his portion of the farm at auction, half to Kristoffer Trondsen (son of Trond Hansen) and half to Soren Gundersen.
Soren Gundersen was born in Vinger, Norway about 1790. There he married Mari Eriksdatter. He purchased a portion of Lille Fladby in 1835. This is located in Ullensaker, Akershus commune. As was Norwegian tradition, he took the name Fladby as his surname. Apparently, hard times forced him to sell a portion in 1848, but he bought half of this at a later date. Soren farmed Lille Fladby until his death sometime in the 1860’s.
Children of Soren Gundersen and Mari Eriksdatter:
- Berte Mari
- Anne (bap 9/16/1828)
- Inger (bap 1/29/1832)
- Elen Kristine (bap 5/25/1834)
- Gunder (9/20/1836 – 8/7/1905), baptized 10/23/1836 at Ullensaker church
- Karen (bap 12/26/1843)
His eldest daughter, Berte Mari, married Herman Arnesen. She inherited the farm. Eventually their daughter, Inge Mari (married Edvard Stokker) took over. After the death of Edvard in 1920, the original home and barn were abandoned.
The remainder of Lille Fladby was owned by Kristoffer Trondsen after the year 1835. He died in 1837, leaving a widow, Dorte. They had no children. Being a widow alone, she promptly married Ole Nilsen. After the death of Dorte in 1852, Ole married Anne Sorensdatter, sister to Gunder. Thus the entire farm, minus the small portion sold in 1848, belonged at one time to our Fladby relatives. It is the descendants of Ole and Anna who remain on the farm today.
The son of Ole and Anna Fladby, Nils Olsen Fladby, married Karoline Kristoffersdatter. They inherited the farm in 1892.
Children of Nils and Karoline Fladby:
- Reidar Fladby
Reidar Fladby (1905 -) married Inge Alvilde Bjorklund in 1926. Reidar inherited the farm and operated it. Reidar was a member of the Norwegian underground in WWII. He operated a radio, listening to the BBC at night. Frequently the loft was crowded with neighbors listening for the latest war updates. Towards the end of the occupation, a reward was offered for Reidar, but he was never captured. He spent two years after the war rounding up the German soldiers who had not turned themselves in. There were more than a few who would have liked to remain in Norway.
As you can hear, Reidar plays the accordion quite well, despite taking it up late in life. When I visited him in 1991 he entertained me with numerous traditional Norwegian tunes. At eighty-six both he and his wife remained quite spry. Reidar and Anna are second cousins to my grandparents, Al and Gladys Sorenson.
Children of Reidar and Anna Fladby:
- Aage Reidar
- Einar Joban
- Arne Leif
The grandson of Reidar, Magne Fladby, lives on the farm but works primarily in Oslo. He is my age, married to Ragnild and has two children. He is my fourth cousin.
Magne works for the National Health Insurance as section chief (medicine in Norway is socialized). He is quoted in the following newspaper article in Aftenposten in which he outlines a plan to ensure proper patient identification and prevent fraudulent disability, an expensive problem in Norway with its excellent benefits:
Oslo (ANB): Snart må du bevise hvem du er når du kommer til legen. Årsaken er at Rikstrygdeverket har mottatt en rekke tips om at syke personer oppgir feil navn for å hente sykemeldinger på vegne av andre.
Svindelmetoden som går ut på at friske personer svindler til seg sykepenger ved å samarbeide med venner som er syke eller har en skade, er ny ifølge Rikstrygdeverket, som nå ønsker å sette en stopper for denne virksomheten – med legenes hjelp.
– Vi har mistanke om at personer som er syke, har gått til lege og fått stilt diagnose. Så har de oppgitt en annens navn og fødselsnummer. På den måten har de i vinnings hensikt oppnådd å få utbetalt stønad til flere personer, sier seksjonssjef Magne Fladby i Rikstrygdeverket til Aftenposten.
Rikstrygdeverkets innstilling for å bekjempe trygdejuks foreslår ID-sjekk hos legen som mottrekk. I planen heter det:
«Tiltaket vil skape en bevisstgjøring av ansvar både hos pasient og lege. Vi vil foreta en enkel endring i blankettutformingen, ved å lage to rubrikker hvor legene må avkrysse hvorvidt pasienten er kjent av legen, eller om det er avkrevd annen legitimasjon. Trygdekontorene får dermed samme rutiner som bankene og postkontorene».
At det ligger store summer i denne typen trygdejuks er det liten tvil om. I praksis vil en person få utbetalt full lønn, til tross for at han ikke er på jobb.
Flere konkrete tilfeller
Rikstrygdeverket kjenner foreløpig ikke til omfanget av svindelen. Samtidig kjenner man til flere konkrete tilfeller i hovedstaden. Foreløpig er ingen av disse politianmeldt på grunn av manglende bevis.
– Vi vet lite om omfanget av denne formen for trygdemisbruk, men tror ikke det er spesielt stort. Problemet blir sannsynligvis enda mindre som følge av fastlegeordningen, fordi legene får mer kunnskap om sine pasienter. Likevel vil vi som et forebyggende tiltak be leger kreve legitimasjon av ukjente pasienter, sier seksjonssjef Magne Fladby.