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Hanna Jacobson Starks' account of the voyage on the Marie in 1864

1999 - Darrell L. Trygstad

From Darrell L. Trygstad we have received yet another account that was told by Hanna Jacobson Starks to her niece Sophia Jacobson Quarness. Hanna's mother (really step-mother) was the sister of Darell's great-grandmother, Guruanna Olsdatter Jermstad, who was married to the mentioned Johannes Trygstad and whose family was also along on this journey.

"In the year 1864 I started with my mother, father and a little brother age 2½ for America. I was then at the age of 9 years. We started in May and arrived in La Crosse, Wis. in September. My mother's sister and her family, namely Johannes Trygstad and wife, their children Martha, Olianna and Peder were in company with us on this journey.

We started from Trondhjem and went by a steamboat to Bergen where we boarded the ship bound for America. In crossing the North Sea we had great storms. On a Sunday afternoon we seen a storm approaching. My father who had often been out in the sea asked the captain if he had not better take in the sails but he did not listen but sailed on into the great hurricane which nearly tipped the ship. If the ropes holding the masts had not been cut it would have tipped.

I can remember as my father & I sat near my mother's bed, how the chests and everything loose came sailing across the floor to the side where we were sitting. Now our ship was without masts or sails only some short stubs where left whereon some small sails had been fastened. In this shape the captain wanted to set out for America but the crew aboard objected so he set sail for England to have the ship repaired there. I think it was around three days before we reached England. Here we staid [sic] three weeks. This was a very unpleasant place to be as the smoke from the many factories was so thick we never could see the sunlight. It proved to be very unhealthy as when we left England 80 members of the passengers [sic] were sick. My little brother Oluf was also taken sick & died soon after. I can remember the funeral services and the little coffin which floated out on the ocean. My step-mother was sick all the time while on board and when my little brother died my father was also unable to be up as he became sick from sorrow…."

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A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
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