The historical association Eide Sognelag

Eide Sognelag is in the former municipality of Eide and now a part of Grimstad. It was founded in 1930 by the initiative of a teacher, Johan Markussen. One of its purpose was to keep the connection with those who had emigrated from the municipality and at that time mainly to the USA. Furthermore the association wanted to initiate the writing and publishing of the history of our parish, Eide. During the 1930's three booklets were published, containing a lot of various subjects and family histories

After the war the Sognelag along with Eide municipality engaged the local historian Peder Woxholt, who for many years had done historical research of our community. He was to complete the collection and write the local history of the parish. Unfortunately, he died in 1953 before he had accomplished his task.

Until 1967 little work was done in order to publish the book. But from then on the activity of Eide Sognelag has been quite good. In 1972 the first book was published; "SAGAEN OM EN SØRLANDSBYGD", Volume1, which deals with cultural and social history of the Eide parish from the earliest times and toward to 1970. The writer was Birger Dannevig, an established author specializing in seafaring life, coastal- and ocean navigation, where many of the inhabitants of Eide were involved.

In 1981 Eide Sognelag published the next local history-book by the same writer. "SAGAEN OM EN SØRLANDSBYGD" Volume 2, part 1. That book deals with genealogy and the history of the farms and places where people lived up to the beginning of the twentieth century. The collected material of the book had mostly been done by the previous mentioned Peder Woxholt.

In 1983 the Sognelag started the work of gathering old names of places within the parish, that probably would have vanished with the older generation. This partly due to the change of living from a mainly farming-, fishing- and seafaring life to other trades and professions. In addition our small community has doubled its population to about elleven hundred, and many of the local places have become residential areas, that have got new names. This book "NAVN I EIDE" (local toponym), was published in 1991. It contains nearly four hundred names, with their meaning explained and located on maps. A local book-commitee did the collection and writing.

In 1999 the association wrote and published a paperback "Medlemsskrift ved 1000 årsskiftet", that contains a lot of narratives told by local people during the last century.

Eide Sognelag's largest and most popular book came in 2006: "Historiske GLIMT FRA EIDE Ei bygd ved havet". The 400 pages contain almost all kinds of life events about the history of Eide The book is richly illustrated with pictures and paintings and has many additional explanatory columns especially meant for younger readers. The book has been popular with the pupils of the local elementary school.

Publishing the books has been a very expensive activity. A major contributor to meet the costs has been the former annually arrangement of "the Sørlandskveld in Homborsund", which for many years took place at the local harbour, with lottery, music and contests, and where people could meet for the evening.

SAGAEN OM EN SØRLANDSBYGD I ............... 150,- NOK
NAVN I EIDE .......................................................... 100,- NOK
MEDLEMSSKRIFT 1932 ....................................... 30,- NOK
MEDLEMSSKRIFT 1935 ....................................... 30,- NOK
MEDLEMSSKRIFT 1938 ....................................... 30,- NOK
HISTORISKE GLIMT FRA EIDE, En bygd ved havet 2006 400,- NOK

For your order please contact :
Torgeir Retterstøl                 phone       +47 37 04 64 74       +47 46 91 31 14
Monika Thorsen Meijer       phone       +47 37 25 99 42       +47 90 14 77 36
Atti Wåga                             phone       +47 37 04 64 16       +47 47 84 96 67

Today Eide Sognelag is very involved in taking care of cultural monuments and historical buildings within the parish. Generally the association has engaged itself in activities that increase the standard of living for the inhabitants within the old municipal borders. Last but not least we will accomplish the writing of the history of Eide by publishing the third and last volume of "Sagaen om en Sørlandsbygd" that will deal with genealogy and farm history of the twentieth century.

Over the years many people from Eide have emmigrated to USA, and in 1935, "Eidelaget of New York" was founded in Brooklyn. The founders were Andword Lindtveit, Thomas P. Svennevig, Anders Svennevig and Charles Nelson. The association in New York must have been very active with a number of members around 100. After the second world war "Eidelaget of New York was dissolved, and the members joined the Sons of Norway. If you have any information, pictures or stories about Eidelaget of New York, we would be very greatful if this could be shared with us. Eide Sognelag has a substantial genealogy database of people, who have lived in Eide parish over the centuries. We also have a good connection with other historical associations in the adjoining parishes.

For further information, please contact:

Torgeir Retterstøl       e-mail address: