Emigration year by year
1837 - 1849 1850 -1862

The Rue-party  from Tinn parish in northern Telemark left Skien May 22 on the boat "Paketten", led by Capt. Halvardsen from Brevik. They sailed to Gothenburg in Sweden, where they on May 31 went onboard the brig
"Niord" for New York, where they landed August 15. This party settled in Fox River in La Salle Co., south-west of Chicago. 
One of those who left  was Jon Torsteinson Rue, who later became known as "Snowshoe Thompson".
In the custom-protocol of Langesund we find dated May 22 a short note, that captain Ole Halvardsen from Brevik by the small boat "Paketten" of 4.1/2 kml (kommerselester) intended to export for Gothenburg some crates and packages belonging to various passengers. (Porsgrunn Historie 2 page 260)
In the local newspaper "Ukeblad for Skien" dated May 24, 1837 was written the following:
"Yesterday 56 people from Tinn departed for North-America in order to find a better destiny. Some of them is said to be supplied with more than 800 Speciedaler, and they have agreed among themselves that they will support each other with money and labour. They had also seen to that in the party there were carpenters, blacksmiths etc. Two of these people intended to go back then next year together with 2 men from Numedal in order to tell their neighbours and family back home of their destiny and prospects for the future.  If the prospects were favourable, one third of the people of Tinn and Numedal wished to emigrate the next year."

The Luraas-party: 
This year 40 people from Tinn sailed from Drammen on May 12  on the boat "Enigheden" bound for Gothenburg. From there 37 of them got onboard the American ship "Clarissa Andrews" for Boston. They left on June 1 and arrived July 20. The last 3 sailed on another American ship, also for Boston, together with some people from Stavanger.
This party which was led by John Nielsen Luraas, settled in Muskego, as the first Norwegian people there.

According to Ingrid Semmingsen I, page 60, the following parties left Norway during 1839.
  1. Ansten Nattestad's party onboard "Emilie", about 100 people. They left Drammen June 12.
  2. Those who did not get onboard "Emilie", ca 30 people, left Gothenburg on the brig "Bunian"
  3. Luraas-party, about 40 people, left Drammen May 12.
  4. The Stavanger-party, 20-50 people. Left Stavanger in May.
  5. A small party of about 10 people from Bergen, where whom were Brynild Leqve and Anders and Johannes Wiig. They left Gothenburg May 27.
  6. According to the paper "Christiansandsposten Jan 13, 1840", a party of 26 people left Gothenburg May 25.
  7. 44 people left Voss. Sailed from Gothenburg on the vessel "Skogmann" July 15.

Most of the people in Ole Nattestad's party settled in Fox River at Jefferson Prairie. 

Nearly all the emigrants of 1839 sailed from Gothenburg, only one vessel sailed directly from Norway to America.

During this year the first settlers also started to arrive in Koshkonong.

The Telemark-emigrants often travelled via Le Havre, because of the regular trade of timber from the Skien-area to the French market. And also because it got cheaper to obtain a ticket. From Le Havre the journey continued on the American packet-vessels.
Most of the people from Telemark settled in Wisconsin

The following local vessels departed during 1842.
Brig "Washington": Belonged to timber-merchant and ship-owner H.E. Møller in Porsgrunn. The vessel had a gross tonnage of 90.1/2 kml. She sailed in the spring of 1842 from Larvik with a cargo of iron from Fritzø ironworks. 63 emigrants from Telemark were onboard. She arrived in New York on July 30. The passage had lasted 55 days. The captain was Herman Roosen Smith. There was a cholera outbreak on Washington, but nobody died. Letters and reports of this passage were printed in the paper "Skiensposten" July 22 and September 5.
"Ellida" departed Drammen beginning of June with 43 out of the 63 people from Tinn who emigrated this year. When she arrived in New York August 8, 9 of the passengers were dead. The captain was Jansen from Flekkefjord.
The ketch "Prøven" left Langesund June 18 for Le Havre. Arrived July 12. They continued their voyage on the American vessel "Tuskina", which departed July 28 and arrived in New York September 5.


The following vessels were according to the newspapers occupied in the emigrant trade this year:

Vessel's name Captain's name Owner/Home port Departure Arrival
Columbus Capt Chr. Hassel Duus in Kragerø    
Æolus Thorbjørnsen H. Biørn in Kragerø Kragerø New York via Le Havre
Vinterflid O. Ellingsen Hans Cappelen in Skien   New York
Salvator Johan Gasmann Jacob Müller in Porsgrunn May 12 New York July 13
Columbus H. Jensen Porsgrunn    
Washington Leutenant Herman Schmidt Porsgrunn May New York
Axel & Valborg Cornelius Blom     Le Havre
Thora Johnsen M.C. Mathiesen's widow in Porsgrunn   New York
Vandringsmanden C.F. Wamberg Porsgrunn   New York
Kjellestad Blehr Stathelle   New York
Kronprinds Oscar Halvor Arveschoug Porsgrunn   New York
Lafayette   Brevik   New York
Venskabet Capt Blom Skien   Le Havre
Familien Capt Petersen Porsgrunn   Le Havre
Ellida Capt Werge Porsgrunn   Le Havre
Flora Capt W. Monrad   April New York

The Norwegian and Swedish Consul in Le Havre, C. G. Brostrøm, sent June 30 a letter to the Treasury Department, in which he complained about the bad condition of the emigrants who arrived in Le Havre. He mentions 6 vessel from Bratsberg Amt which had very bad conditions for the travellers. These were: "Thora", "Familien", "Ellida", "Eolus", "Venskabet", "Axel og Valborg".

This letter led to the establishing of the first emigration-commission, which were supposed to collect information and and to come up with a law to regulate the traffic. Capt. Johan Gasmann wrote to the commission in December and gave his opinion about the vessels' installations, number of passengers etc. He advised that no-one travel via Le Havre, as one could easily wait 3-4 months for a vessel to New York.

In upper Telemark 689, and in lower Telemark 429 traveller-passports were issued this year alone.

In "Skiensposten" on Friday July 7th, 1843 there was mentioned that, out of those emigrants who travelled with Capt. J. Blom to Le Havre, 28 persons is returning to Porsgrunn, because the transport to America was 3-4 times more expensive than calculated, due to the large amount of German and Norwegian emigrants arriving in Le Havre.


The brig "Washington" sailed with 100 emigrants on May 17 to New York, where she arrived July 9th.
Onboard was J. W. Chr. Dietrichson, who was to become the first Norwegian priest among the settlers in America.
"Salvator" and captain Johan Gasman departed Porsgrunn with 151 emigrants on May 2nd. They arrived in New York July 4th.
"Industrie" (Capt Bøye Adtzlew) departed Porsgrunn with 59 emigrants on May 18th. They arrived New York July 31st.
"Kronprinds Oscar" (Capt Halvor Arveskou) departed Porsgrunn May 22nd with 87 emigrants.
"Solertia" (capt Peter M. Petersen) left in ballast with 5 passengers June 8th.
Other vessels mentioned are:
"Buonoventura" (capt P. Mathiesen, from Larvik), "Preciosa" (capt. O.Krog, from Kragerø), "Henrieth" (Owner Chr. Myhre)
"Kronprinds Oscar" made a second voyage. This time from Antwerp to New York with 90 passengers. They left Antwerp Sept 19th.

A letter from Anders Brynhildsen was printed in the paper "Bratsberg Amts Correspondent" in January. It told a detailed tale of what could happen on a risky travel as this. He had emigrated the year before from Drammen on the vessel "Johanna". This vessel arrived in New York July 22. Anders Brynhildsen was born in Sauherad parish, moved to Gjerpen and later to Drammen. In the letter there is mentioned two other persons, Bache and Clausen. These were Søren Tollefsen Bache, who emigrated first time in 1839 from Drammen, returned to Norway in 1842, left again in 1843, returned once more in 1847 and settled in Lier parish, where he died in 1890, and Claus Lauritz Clausen, who was born in Denmark, but moved to Drammen in 1841. Clausen died at Parsons Landing, Washington in 1892. He was a clergyman. (According to "Norwegian Immigrants to the United States" by Gerhard Naeseth)


The brig "Washington" sailed from Porsgrunn with emigrants. She must have been a fast sailor. She made the trip from New York to Gothenburg in 34 days, but 12 days with strong headwind from the Dogger bank to Gothenburg. From here she sailed to Porsgrunn; took emigrants to New York, then back to England with cargo, from there to Ireland where she again took emigrants back to New York.
The bark "Salvator" left Skien with 118 emigrants for New York, where she arrived July 15th. She had a cargo of iron and was nearly wrecked in the Atlantic.
"Æolus" sailed from Kragerø with more 136 emigrants. She arrived in New York September 4th
The bark "Præciosa" sailed to New York with 91 passengers, where she arrived August 22nd.
The brig "Industrie" with captain Bøye Adtzlew sailed from Porsgrunn to New York. She arrived with 89 passengers on August 28th.
"Axel og Valborg" took 132 passengers to Le Havre in the beginning of June. They continued to New York on July 15th by the American packet-ship "Louis Philip" with captain Castoff.

On March 10 a new law was passed to regulate the emigrant-trade.
Only 2 passengers were allowed per "kommerselest" if the vessel sailed to another European port, and only 1 passengers per "kommerselest" or 2 per 5 tons if the vessel sailed directly to America.


The brig "Washington" with captain Coch left Tvedestrand May 30 with a cargo of 100 skippund iron and 100 emigrants for New York. She arrived August 11th. She also took passengers from Porsgrunn on Saturday May 23.
"Axel and Valborg" with captain Cornelius Blom sailed from Skien to Le Havre with 104 emigrants.
"Industrie" sailed from Porsgrunn to New York where she arrived July 1st with 8 passengers after 64 days. She had a cargo of 12000 iron bars.
"Bowditch" sailed from Le Havre June 26th with 228 passengers. The captain was John Pike and they arrived in New York August 8th.

The brig "Jury" seems to have sailed from Porsgrunn to Le Havre in May with passengers. Lars Larsen Aabye in Gjerpen was commissioner.


It seems only the brig "Axel og Valborg" sailed from Porsgrunn this year. She departed May 8th for Le Havre with ca 120 passengers heading for Wisconsin.

H. E. Møller's vessel "Porsgrund" of 170 kommerselester sailed with 123 passengers for New York. She arrived July 7th.
The brig "Alert" sailed from Kragerø with 115 passengers. Arrived New York July 8th.
The brig "Freya" with captain H. N. Wiborg (93 kommerselester) sailed from Kragerø to New York at the end of April.
"Olav Kyrre" with captain S. Nielsen sailed from Kragerø to New York.


The repeal of the Navigation Acts in England led to the start of emigration to Canada. The act was valid from January 1, 1850 and
vessels started to sail to Montreal with cargo and passengers.
"Superb" with captain I. C. Petersen from Skien to New York with 121 passengers. She arrived in New York July 2nd.
"Favorite" with captain Nielsen sailed from Kragerø to New York with 145 passengers. She arrived July 31st.
"Claus Thomesen" with captain Ch. Thorsen sailed from Skien to New York with 160 passengers. She arrived August 11th.
"Valhalla" sailed from Skien to New York with 183 passengers. She arrived August 11th.
The schooner "Vale" of 50.1/2 kommerselester sailed to San Fransisco.
There was a heavy outburst of cholera in Chicago in April and it followed the emigrants to settlements like Muskego, Fox River and Koshkonong.

© - 1997 - Skien Genealogical Page - by Jan Christensen