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Ole Løkensgård's account of the crossing on the Sjofna in 1857

Ole Løkensgard - Michael Lokensgard

This account from the 1857 crossing was submitted by Michael Lokensgard, of Appleton, Wisconsin, U.S.A. The author of the account, Ole Lokensgard, was the son of Ole Lokensgard (1825-1871) and Helga Mikkelsdotter Veslegard (1828-1911) from Al, Hallingdal, Norway. The family settled near LaSeur, Minnesota, USA. Michael Lokensgard is the great, great grandson of Ole and Helga. Ole Lokensgard, "Pioneer Stories," The Lokensgard Family, a Collection of Reminiscences, St. Paul Minnesota, 1994. (2d Printing). Originally published under the title "Nybygger Historier," in Hallingen, a Norwegian language monthly publication by and for immigrants from Hallingdal, Norway.

"In the Spring of 1857, my parents decided to emigrate to America. They booked passage on the sailship Sjofna due to sail from Drammen (a port near Oslo) in mid April. The party of emigrants included by father's youngest brother Kundt and his wife Birgit, the daughter of Thor Lislelien. Likewise, mother's youngest brother Ole and his wife Birgit accompanied the group.

During the first two days out we had fine sailing weather, and the captain of ship declared that if such weather continued, we would be in Quebec in two weeks. The ship passed to the north of Scotland and Ireland, and then struck out for the open spaces of the great Atlantic. But now the good weather was at an end; we had storms and prolonged counterwinds, which made progress impossible for many days.

On top of this bad luck, measles broke out among the children on the ship, and practically all of them were affected by the disease. Thirteen children died and were buried at sea. My sister escaped the illness, but I was very ill and not expected to pull through. But I got over it, although it left me in such a weakened condition that I was unable to walk for quite some time. I was two and a half years of age at the time. Six weeks and two days were required to make the trip from Drammen to Quebec. This was considered fairly good time in view of the experience and rate of travel in those days. We landed in Quebec during the first part of June."

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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
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
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