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Bark Erling Skjalgason, Main Page >>

BurdenBuiltShipowner or operator Dimensions
 1864 at Hillevåg, Stavanger, Norway by J. A. Køhler & Co.    
 1869 Captain O. S. Meling  from Bergen May 12 to Quebec June 23  Passenger list: Passenger list 
The information listed above is not the complete record of the ship. The information was collected from a multitude of sources, and new information will be added as it emerges
Bark Erling Skjalgson
Bark Erling Skjalgson, Capt. Meling - Painter: Louis Louxts - Source: Stavanger Sjøfartsmuseum - License: contact owner

In 1869 the Erling Skjalgson departed from Bergen May 12, and arrived at Quebec June 23. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 263 steerage passengers and 18 cabin passengers. There was an outbreak of Varioloid (variola = smallpox), two sick, three passengers died on the voyage. There had also been one birth. The Erling Skjalgson was mastered by Capt. O.S. Meling, with a crew of 17. Tonnage was 274 Norwegian Commercial lasts.

The following story has been submitted by Peggy Anderson and Selmer Westby. It has some very interesting details about the journey.

Bergen, Norway to Quebec, Canada - 1869

Anders Nilssen Kloster (1843-1936) and his wife Madel Magdela Handsdtr Lie (1843-1889) lived at Kloster gård, Halsnøy, Norway with their two sons, Nils Andreas (1866-1940) and John (1868-1917). They made the decision to move to the United States and departed on the bark Erling Skjalgson on April 23, 1869. During the entire two-month voyage Madel was pregnant with her third child, Hans Olai (1870-1947). Passengers were responsible for bringing their own bedding, food and liquor, and Anders brought provisions for his family in a wooden rosemåled chest that belonged to his mother, Anna Jonsdatter Sjø (1807-1861). The Kloster family had plenty of food for the journey, giving some to passengers who had not brought enough.

The ship landed in Quebec, Canada on June 23, 1869. The remainder of the food left in the chest was sold to the captain of the ship. Their long journey from Norway was complete when the family moved to North Dakota and homesteaded near the small town of Sharon. They raised a family of twelve children before Madel passed away in 1889. Anders later re-married and had two more children. Their grandson, Selmer Westby wrote the following account of the supplies they brought with them on their voyage from Norway:

"One of the remembrances of the voyage to America is the old Rosemåled chest that carried their food and medicine supplies. The date it was built, 1828, is painted on the front right, in the center of a circular garland of leaves and roses. On the left is a similar floral arrangement displayed around a center in which is printed the letters AJDS. It is as sturdy today as it was when it was new, and served our grandparents well. My mother Nettie once asked her father to list the contents of the chest when it was put on board the sail ship for America. Here is mother's list and her 'tribute' to her father:"

"Father and Mother's eats on the way to America on the sail ship that carried them across the Atlantic Ocean. He was some provider."

Contents of the Rosemåled Chest

Kjue-kjue leivar flat brø. (400)
76 pund smør. (butter)
Tolv saua. (twelve legs of mutton)
1 tønne kavring (cask of hardtack)
2 tønne nøteknekker (crackers)
½ anker brennevin (cask of brandy)
2 kvart rom (quarts of rum)
1 kvart mjø (mead)
½ anker sur melk (sour milk)
8 gallon primost (cheese)
Wooden Chest
Emigrant chest


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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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