The Kaldor name consists of the Norwegian (dialect) words kald (cold) and or (spring, natural source of water). The farm has two such sources, which supply us with water even today. Click here for more on the Kaldor name.

The first mentioning of the farm in a written source that we know of is from 1520, but the farm is probably older. There are two pieces of evidence to support this belief: 

  • The farm name is a so-called two-component nature name. Farms with such names normally dates back to late Viking age, that is the period between years 800-1000.
  • The Farm is situated along the ancient pilgrim road (tjodveg) between Oslo and Trondheim. Such roads were established by the church in the 12 th century to facilitate travel between the different dioceses. Farms adjoining such roads are normally older than, or established at the same time as, the roads.

A possible reason why the farm is not found in written sources prior to 1520, could be the Black Death. This plague reached Gudbrandsdalen in the winter of 1349/50. Øyer was one of the parishes most afflicted in this part of the country, indeed legend attributes the name Øyer to the fact that the parish was desolated (lagt «øye») by the disease. Although the Øyer name most likely has a topographical explanation (named after the islands (øyer) in the river of Gudbrandsdalslågen),it is presumed that approximately 2/3 of the population died from the plague. A large number of farms were deserted, the last of these being resettled only in the late 1600-hundreds. It is therefore not unlikely that Kaldor could have been deserted until the beginning of the 1500-hundreds.

The first owners of Kaldor that we know by name are Anders and Ingebjørg who are mentioned in the cattle list of 1657/58. Their son (?) Guttorm took over the farm around 1670 and married Sigrid from the nearby Hunder farm in 1671. This family, whose heads were called Guttorm and Torgier alternately, owned the farm until the end of the 1700-hundreds, and built Vetlstugua (the old farmhouse from 1747) and Kaldorsetra, a summer farm in the Øyer-mountains. We do not know why the farm passed out of this family’s ownership, but it is tempting to believe it had something to do with the struggle for Kaldorsetra.

In 1790 the farm was taken over by Hans Olsen, originally from one of the Mageli-farms in Tretten parish (now a part of Øyer) and his wife Marit Knudsdatter, originally from Ringebu. In the 1801-census Hans Olsen is listed as the owner, while members of the former family (Torgier Guttormsen Kaldor, his wife Anne Ericsdatter from Kleve and their children) are listed as «provided» for (føråsfolk).

After the death of Hans Olsen Kaldor the farm was split between two of his heirs. The original farmhouse, Vetlstugua, became the farmhouse of Northern Kaldor, while an old house located on the site of the present farmhouse, served the same purpose for Southern Kaldor. The land was divided between the two farms, the rest of the buildings likewise. The original of the deed pertaining to this agreement, dated October 14 th. 1813, is kept at the farm.

Southern Kaldor came into new ownership around 1850. Nils Kaldor, the new owner, left his marks on the farm by building the main part of the present farmhouse (våningshuset). He was a bit short on luck in the family department, outliving two wives in a decade and barely married to the third when he himself died in a lumber accident in Åstdalen in 1863. His widow (Ragnhild Tronsdatter from Stubrud) and son Nils (born after his death) left for the US in 1865, after being forced to sell the farm to the neighboring farm of Jahr in 1865. 

Northern Kaldor was bought by Ole Olsen, from Sagstuen (owned by the Hunder farm), approximately 2 kilometers south of Kaldor, in 1841. He and his wife Anne Stenersdatter from Svegarden became the parents of 8 sons, 5 of who grew into adulthood. 3 of these (Christian, Simen and Mathias) emigrated to the US in the 1860es, eventually settling in Goose River County, North Dakota. Another son, Anders, took over the farm in 1866, but sold it to Ole Thorgersen (Kaldor) in 1873. The proceeds from the sale were used to take him and his family to the US to join his brothers. The oldest brother, Ole, followed in 1879. Most Kaldors living in the US today are the descendants of these brothers. The great-grandson of Christian Kaldor, Lee Kaldor, was the Democratic Party candidate for Governor of North Dakota in the 1996 elections.

Ole Torgersen, who bought the farm in 1873, was the great-grandfather of the present owner. He was the youngest son on the Botterud farm, located approximately 2 kilometers north of Kaldor. Prior to buying the farm he maintained himself as a trader, obviously with some gains. In addition to northern Kaldor he bought back most of southern Kaldor, and some land from neighboring Nestingen farm, thus leaving the farm with its original size at his death in 1915. He married Johanne Halvorsdatter from Jutulstad in 1876, together they had 7 children.

Their oldest son, Tor Olsen Kaldor, took over the farm in 1910. He married «the girl next door», Klara Rudi from the Jahr farm and together they had 3 daughters and a son. Tor was an enterprising farmer and built the cow barn, the pensioners house (førå), the houses at the summer farm and 5 barns below the farm (mainly between 1915 and 1930). Tor Kaldor’s only son, Ole, died at the age of 32 in 1949, and his oldest daughter Johanne (born 1914), together with her husband Sverre M. Austvik (born 1916), took over the farm in 1955. Tor died in 1957, Klara in 1984.

Johanne and Sverre are the parents of the present owner, Ole Gunnar Kaldor Austvik, who took over the farm as the youngest son in 1985. Sverre and Johanne then moved to a new house in the Tingberg-area of Øyer in 1989.

Owners of Kaldor Farm since 1873:
    1873-1910: Ole Kaldor
    1910-1955: Tor Kaldor
    1955-1985: Johanne Kaldor og Sverre Austvik
    1985-:         Ole Gunnar Kaldor Austvik
Click here for more on the Kaldor name.

More information about families and farms in Øyer can be found in the Øyer-genealogy and Øyer-maps pages on this site.
See also the official Church pages for Øyer created by Nanna.



Oppland County Archives
Diplomatarium Norvegicum
O.Rygh: Norske gaardnavne
Nordmenn i Amerika
DIS-slektsforum (etterslysninger)
Mormonernes slektsdatabaser
Cyndi's list

Preus fotomuseum

The family at Kaldor, ca. 1900

Tor and Klara Kaldors wedding in 1913 (at the Jaer farm)

Tor and Klara Kaldor, with Ole, Johanne, Kjerste og Marit in 1936

Lee Kaldor and Ole Gunnar at a family reunion in North Dakota 1998