After much serious studying, thinking, and debating among themselves, Henrick (Brekke
Anderson Bjolgerud Bjorud) and a small group decided to take this final step and come to
America. They sold their farms and made plans for their departure. Their friends, relatives,
and even the minister tried to talk them out of this fantastic idea, but the call of America
was too great to turn down. Henrick's party felt they could better themselves and could give
their children many more advantages in the land of the free where everyone had the same
So, in 1852, Henrick and Gunhild (Andersdatter Haugsund Bjolgerud), their three children
(Karen (Caroline), Annie Maria, and Andreas (Andrew)); Gunhild's parents, Anders Mikkelson
(Haugsund) Bjolgerud and Ronog (Andersdatter Gunhus), and their two children, Maren and Mikkel;
with Henrick's brother, Andreas, left Modum for Drammen. Here they lived with Henrick's brother
Erick while they made plans for the long trip. All the food, which was to be consumed on the
ship, had to be taken along as did the drinking water. It consisted mostly of flatbrød, lefse,
dark bread, and dried meats with potatoes to be cooked on board the ship in the community stove.
They had plenty of food during the long trip.
At last they were ready to depart, so in April of 1852 they left Drammen for America.
The sailing vessel was named Shoffina (Sjofna). They sailed through the rough North Sea which
was very stormy according to Gunhild. She often spoke of this voyage in later years. They made
one stop either in Scotland or England to get supplies, and this was the only delay before reaching the new land. All they saw day after day was sky and water. The ocean at times was very
rough and big waves would sweep over the deck. The women on board were kept busy preparing
meals, sewing, and knitting. Gunhild said that Karen (Caroline) knitted a pair of stockings
and Annie Maria had almost finished knitting a pair by the time they reached Canada.
One death occurred while they were at sea. A young child had died and was buried at
sea. Gunhild said that the captain spoke a few words and that they all sang some beautiful
One day Gunhild missed her son Andreas, (Andrew). He had wandered away from his
parent's cabin, and his mother became worried. She looked all over the boat and finally asked
one of the officers. He said that he had seen a little boy. Then he took her to the captain.
When they reached his cabin, they looked through a porthole, and there she saw her little boy
sitting on the captain's lap dipping a sugar lump into his coffee cup. He was having a big
time, drinking coffee with the head of the ship. When Gunhild saw that he was in good company
and the scare was over, she left Andreas there and went back to her work. After this, Gunhild
stated that she always knew where to find Andreas. The captain would often carry him around on
his shoulders. It seemed that the captain had a little son in Norway that reminded him of
Gunhild's little boy. When they parted at Quebec, Canada, tears could be seen in the captain's
They reached Quebec two months after leaving Norway. The trip had been very tedious.
The party then had to take a canal boat to Milwaukee. Here they met some men from Wiota,
Wisconsin, who had hauled wheat there for shipment. After some bargaining the men agreed to
take Henrick and his party to Dane County. They loaded their belongings on the wagons and
started west. Most of the time they walked behind the wagons. It was on this trip that a
beautiful little corner cupboard of Gunhild's fell off the cart and broke into many pieces.
Finally in July, 1852, they reached Primrose, Dane County, Wisconsin. The first winter was
spent with Tante Christe Reddern (Colby) who was a sister of Mrs. Ronog Bjolgerud.