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Sørvig Genealogy and Sørvig Family History Information

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About the Sørvig surname

The Sørvig surname emanates from the farm at Survika on the Otterøy island outside the town of Namsos in mid-Norway. The family that aquired the farm in 1851 was named Holmen Andersen, but took the name of Sørvig (meaning southern inlet or bay) after moving there. It was not uncommon in Norway at that time -- and even to this day -- to take the name of the farmstead where one resided. Survika was a family farm, but with a number of resident laborers at different times over the centuries.

The history of Survika (or Sørvigen as it was called in the period when Norway was under Denmark) is well documented. The place has lent itself to industrial production over the centuries, such as sawmills and flour mills (both based on waterwheels powered by the stream from the lake in the hills above the farm (Heimvatnet). But the owners also have been quite industrious in their own right. Over the years there has been a hostel (gjestegiveri), a sea-salt extraction operation, a herring-and fish trading business, ship building industry (building, among others, a widely renowned schooner), and a glass factory.

During the Napoleonic wars (1808-14) Survika was authorized to issue and circulate its own money. At the science museum in Trondheim there is a circulating payments bill signed by Otter Carlson that obligates Sørvigen Glass Works. The same Otter Carlson was named the local leader in the Coast Guard when it was established in 1808. Later on there was production of prefabricated houses in Survika, most of which were sold to northern Norway. The housebuilder's name was Salomon Duna, who also operated a general store in Survika. Later on a shop was set up to make homespun cloth (vadmel), and in 1904 the first hydro electric power plant north of Trondheim was built in Survika. The place also had a post office; it was a port of call for local shipping lines; and the owners were represented in the local political assembly and were partners in regional shipping freight lines.

During the last several years while Survika was still inhabited there was a fur farm and most recently fish farming has been a main source of income. The place has not been inhabited for the last 30-40 years (to 2010). It is currently owned (I think) by a lawyer in Namsos who is a direct decendant of the owners who took over Survika in 1851.

The Norwegian author and poet, Olav Duun (1876-1939) from Dun at Gjøa (another island on the coast by Namsos) was related to the owners of Survika. One of his poems, "At the Mill" (Ved Kvenna), takes its theme from Survika.