Asher and Gad in the Northern Land
Originally published in, "Brit-Am Now"-855
#3. KJETIL TANGEN: Gadites and Asherites in Norway
I suppose most readers are not familiar with Norwegian and Scandinavian geography, but Gadite clan names are reflected in the name of the province Hordaland on the west-coast, and in the landscape Hardanger which is situated within the same province. This is the dwelling-place of the clan of Arodi,son of Gad. Furthermore another clan, (G)eri, is represented in the landscape "Grenland" which forms the southermost municipalities of the province Telemark, but originally constituted a larger part of that province. (G)eri might also be dwelling in the province Vestfold, next to Grenland. All of these names are recognised by many modern historians in Norway and abroad to reflect tribal names, especially Hordaland.
This is what modern encyclopedias have to say about them: "Haruder, germanic people beaten by Caesar at the Rhine 58 B.C. The same people have probably given name to the province Hordaland and the landscape Hardanger". About 150 A.D they have moved to Denmark, the province known as Hardesyssel. From there they eventually moved to Hordaland. The Haruder were also known as "Hreidgoter", preserving the name of Gad.
The Grenii, which have given (at least in my opinion) name to Grenland were the descendants of (G)eri, son of Gad. They also had dwelled in central Europe, before finding out that is was more peaceful without Roman influence in the north. Possibly there are also other pockets of Gadites in Norway.
In Rogaland, bordering Hordaland to the south, and west of Telemark/Grenland, lives "Ryger", regarded as the "germanic" tribe which were the latecomers to Norway. They are descendants of Asher, and one of his grandsons were indeed named "Rohga". The northern areas of Telemark, that is the area which not constitues Grenland (which today is part of this province), are regarded by historians as having been populated by Ryger from southwest. They are thus also Asherites, and they indeed look and behave the same! That is, many are heavily built, with a broad face and a cheerful good-humoured nature. If you look at at map, you will see that they (Asherites in Telemark) border on Gad/clan Geri in the south, and Gad/clan Arodi in the west.
Stavanger, the capital of Rogaland, is the oil capital of Norway. Asher was said to "dip his feet in oil. The same can be said about Scotland on the other side of the North Sea, for according to many, the Scottish are mainly from Asher. Additionally, Rogaland is the most productive and fertile agriculural area in Norway. Asherite Telemark is also a very rural area without towns, thus reflecting the Asherite pattern of a rurally inclined population, preoccupied with agriculture. Grenland on the other hand is the most heavily industrialized area in Norway, with an industrially minded population, like in many ways the Swedes are. Some years ago there was an interesting article in a local newspaper in Telemark, which featured the differences between the populations in the south and north of the province,that is, Gadites and Asherites. It provided a picture taken at the turn of the last century, showing local leaders from both areas gathered in the local assembly. The journalist claimed it was quite easy to distinguish which person was from each area just by the features of their faces. Likewise the article stressed the difference in mind-set between the two populations; inclined to agriculture/forestry and industry respectively.