Norway Retirement Contracts
Kårkontrakt,Føderåd (Retirement contracts)
“Kår”, “Folloug”, “Livøre”, and “Føderåd” are words used in conjunction with retirement in early day Norway. Føderåd is an ancient social institution. A law was established in the early 1600s to make sure that the farmers would be supported in their old age. A Føderåd, Folloug and Kår document is usually always connected to a farm and can be defined as a contract between a person who turns his/her farm over to another in order to receive support (everything needed in old age such as room, board, clothing, medicine, medical help) for as long as he or she lives and includes funeral expenses.
Kår could also be used in conjunction to unmarried children, who had a right to live on a farm and receive support until they became of age or married. This was the rule as well for persons who was not capable of supporting themselves such as handicapped, sick or retarded persons.
These contracts were binding after they were tinglyst (the contract was read and filed at the court).
Pensions came in existence on trial bases in Norway from 1936 to 1957. It was not before 1967 that pensions as we know it came in existence. The pension law stated that a person from age 70 was to receive income until his/her dying day. This law was changed to age 67 in 1973.
Following are examples of what can be found in retirement contracts in Norway.
1. In this case the parents turn their farm over to their only son and it indicates relationship to each person mentioned in the contract. This contract is from Numedal og Sandsvær Sorenskriveri (1704-1862) from the mid 1700’s.
Summary of what can be found:
Jeg efterskrevne Syver Andersen paa egne, Gisle Kittelsen Korgmoen paa min hustrue Barbro Andersdatters vegne, Knut Olsen Ramsrud paa min hustrue Birrith Andersdatters vegne, Gullech Sørensen Stefning paa min hustrue Turi Andersdatters vegne, og Knud Olsen paa min hustrue Karri Andersdatters vegne, kiennes og giøre hermed samtlig vitteterlig at saadan vaares foreldre Anders Syversen Ruud og Ambiør Gulbrandsdatter haver opledt deres festegods for os som deres børn og arvinger, der består seg udi garden Ruud med huslede Nordre Flaaterud der skylder 6 skind med bøxel oc beliggende I Flesberg Prestegield i Nommedal, mod at ieg Syver Andersen, som deres eneste søn giefer bem:t mine kiære foreldre til deres dødsdag med fornøden opphold.
Translation of summary:
We undersigned Syver Anderson on my own behalf, Gisle Kittelsen Krogmoen on behalf of his wife Barbro Andersdatters behalf, Knud Olsen Ramsrud om behalf of his wife Birrith Andersdatters, and Gullech Sørensen Stefning on behalf of his wife Turi Andersdatter and Knud Olsen on behalf of his wife Karri Andersdatter, all of us hereby do announce that our parents Anders Syversen Ruud and Ambiør Gulbrandsdatter have let go of their estate to their children and heirs, that consists of the farm Ruud in addition to houses in Nordre Flateruud valued at 6 skins with lease, situated in Flesberg clerical district in Nommedal on the condition that I, Syver Anderson, being their only son will provide my dear parents with their need until their dying day.
2. Sometimes a contract can be found listed within a probate. The following contract was found in Lister Sorenskriveri, vol. 2 (1738-1744) page 213.
Jeg efterskrevne Maren Gullufsdatter Store Tiomsland tilstaar og hermed for alle witterlig giør at efterved i ieg en kort tid efter min Sal: mand Osmund Joensen wed døden war afgangen, fant mig saa Svag og affældig at ieg icke kunde dyrke noget gaardebrug, men siden den tid haver ladet min Søn Osmund Osmundsen bruge for mig, mine paa skiftet etter min Sal: mand tildenlede 2 9/10 engl. i garden Store Tiomeland og der af mødt min nødtørstlige underholdning, dog alt uden noget blev Indkom til Dato at oprette, Saa haver ieg nu af frie willie og welberaad her tillige med min antagne Laugwærge Osmund Torbiørnsen Kiærefiorde forenødent resolverit at begive mig udi folloug til bem:t [benemt] min kiere søn Osmund Osmundsen paa efterskrevne maade, at hand aarlig her etterdags, ligesom tilforene Stund skal forskaffe mig min nødtørstlige under holdning med huusværelse wedd og warme samt op agt og tilsiun til min døde dag, og derefter bekoste mig en Christelig og Sømmelig begravelse, som velsom og vær forplight om mig skulle paa falde saa Saar Sygdom og Svag hed at ieg inte kunde Søge Kirken og gudshuus, at hente Præsten hieme til mig udi min Salig hedz Sag at betiene haver imod bem:t min Søn Osmund Osmundsen skal nyde og beholde som vel for den tid hand forhen haver forskaffet mig min underholdning med vidner, som den liv hand her etter til min døde dag bør mig for skaffet til odel og ejendom for sig og sine arvinger berørte – 2 9/10 Engl. i garden Tiomsland saavehlsom alt hvis andet ieg er ejende og efter min død mig efterlade, effter de bem:t min søn des uden lid efter andre haver leveret til min datter Anne Osmundsdatters mand Tollj Davidsen Vester Føreland i alt 18 rd., saa hand i alle maade der med finder sig vel aflagt, for hvad samme efter mig, naar ieg ved døden afgick kund tilkommer, og her saa des aarsage icke i Ringeste maade med mit eftterladede Wed min Dødelig afgang at beskaffe, effterdi min kiere Søn til bem:t Osmund Osmundsen er eier om at forskaffe mig min underholdning ligesom forhen forklaret er, og derforuden Vidner Erstatning til hans medarvinger, nyder alt mit efterladen, baade løst og fast som bemelt er. Dess til bekræftelse haver ieg formaaet min Laugverge Osmund Torbiørnsen paa mine vegne dette at beseigle, tillige med min Svoger Tollj Davidsen Sørfelle, som ligeledes sitt zignerte eller Boemercke hos settes at hand her med i alle maade finder Sig for nøget, Saa Viser herforuden embedet de 2re mænd Lensmanden Velagte Mads Torbiørnsen og dend Dannemand Anbiørn Madland med mig til als være Stadfæstelse dette at besegle. Lyngdal den 28 October Anno 1740 Underskreven af Sorenskriver J. Lom
I the undersigned Maren Gullufsdatter of Store Tiomsland declare and make it known that in the short time since my husband Osmund Joensen died, found that I am to weak and feeble to run the farm, and since that time have allowed my son Osmud Osmundsen to farm the land for me. The probate for my diseased husband includes 2 9/10 part in the farm Store Tiomeland and will include my necessary support, even though not anything of income to this date is included, therefore I have now of free will and sound mind with my legal guardian Osmund Torbiørnsen Kiærefiorde reached an acceptable folloug (retirement) from my dear son Osmund Oslmundsen in the following written statement that he will supply me with room, firewood for heat, support and care to my dying day and pay for my Christian and becoming funeral; as well as if I should fall ill to a sickness or feebleness and will be unable to seek the Church and Gods house to pledge to bring the minister to my home so that I may receive his holy service, and want my previous mentioned son Osmund Osmundsen to enjoy and keep from this time as well as his previous service to me for his support to keep for him and his heir the 2 9/10 part of land in the farm Tiomsland as well as all my household goods and anything I own that is left behind after my death for him to keep. Besides some I have left to my daughter Anne Osmundsdatter’s husband Tollj Davidsen [of] Vester Føreland all together 18 dollars, therefore he [her son Osmund Osmundsen] should feel that he has received a great inheritance in his lot from his mother’s death, therefore it shall not be a hardship for my mentioned son Osmund Osmundsen as the owner to produce support as previously stated [for his mother]. And the same, when I by death depart, there is no reason that I should be a burden, as he will enjoy all that I leave behind, both household items and properties as reported. As proof with my law guardian Osmund Torbiørnsen on my behalf have sealed together with my brother-in-law Tollj Davidsen Sørfelle, with his signed Boemerke [he does not know how to write and uses a special mark], conducted by the office of the 2 men sheriff the honorable Mads Torbiørnsen and the Dannemand [man in high standing] Anbiørn Madland to be reported and sealed. Lyngstad the 28th October in the year 1740 Signed by [the] district judge J. Lom
Numedal og Sandsvær Sorenskriveri. Syver Andersens Kårkontrakt. Digital Archives, Bergen, 2012.
Lister Sorenskriveri. Maren Gullufsdatter Kårkontrakt. Digital Archives, Bergen, 2012. Vol. 2 (1738-1744) page 213.