The spelling of names and places is often altered after Norwegians emigrated. Sometimes the children will pass along what they HEARD said, other times the spelling will be adjusted to make it easier for new neighbors to at least make it sound like the original, etc. But even in Norway you have to keep yourself flexible when looking for spelling... it is rarely completely consistent. My advice - think "Sounds Like"...
You can study about Norwegian naming practices/patterns and the census columns and their meanings at this website -http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~norway/articles.html
and a couple more that may help -http://home.online.no/~otjoerge/files/word.htmhttp://www.rhd.uit.no/nhdc/michael02.html
Hopefully we've identified the location in Norway - and you'll find that there are many resources available for continued research.