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Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1238852504000
Classification: Query

My Jacobsen (Jacobson in America) line included siblings from Brandbu, Hadeland, who emigrated during the 1860s and 1870s. their parents were Jacob Eriksen (1798-1854) and Anne Nielsdatter (1797-1870; died in Freeborn County, MN, USA). I have found the ships that carried two of these families from their homes in Gran parish to Quebec and Philadelphia. Here are their stories (with my sources):

FAMILY 1: Niels Jacobsen, wife Siri Olsdatter, 24-year-old daughter Anne, and 16-year-old son Ole, left Svinningseiet tenant farm in Gran around April 15, 1874. Eldest son Jacob Nelson already had left Norway for America four years earlier. The four sailed from the harbor at Christiania (presently Oslo) on April 22, 1874, aboard the ship Pontecorvo. They had no idea what lay ahead. From the Norway-Heritage website:

“In 1874 (the Pontecorvo) departed from Christiania on April 24th and arrived at Quebec June 15th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 270 steerage passengers. On May 21st she collided with an iceberg in fog (150 miles) off Cape Race, Newfoundland. The collision sent the mast crashing down upon the deck, tearing a big hole in the planking and tons of ice cascading back over the deck of the ship. There was a lot of wailing and confusion among the passengers following the collision with the iceberg. A few prayed to God, others sang and shouted. The passengers were rescued by the S. S. Macedonia. After being rescued, the passengers were forced to sleep on piles of coal at night. The worst was that they were also very short of water and the small amount that was available was rationed. It is anticipated the Pontecorvo was towed to the quarantine station by the Macedonia. She came into quarantine station at Grosse Île (the quarantine island on the St. Lawrence River, about 30 miles downstream from Quebec City) on the 10th of June. There had been five deaths at sea due to an outbreak of measles, and many of the passengers were sick when they arrived at the quarantine station. There was also one young man suffering from fever…The vessel was purified and disinfected. No subsequent cases of illness occurred amongst the passengers from this vessel. All those who were admitted to the hospital recovered. The passengers arrived at Quebec on June 15th. The Pontecorvo was mastered by Capt. Pedersen and had a cew of 15.” [Article from The Daily Telegram, Eau Clair, Wisconsin, dated 7 Oct 1961; report of the celebration of the 98th birthday of Andrew Johnson; submitted to Norway-Heritage by his descendant, Don Desmond.]

The family left Quebec by rail for Freeborn County in southern Minnesota. Farmer “Nels” Jacobson and wife “Siri Olsdatter” appear in the 1875 Minnesota State Census at Riceland Township, where they lived next to his younger brothers, Christian and Jacob Jacobson. By the 1880 U. S. Census, “Nels” and “Sarah” Jacobson had moved a few miles to Geneva, an adjacent township north of Riceland. Their home was next to their son, Jacob Nelson, his wife Anne, and granddaughter, Mary. Soon thereafter, both families left Minnesota. They settled in Traill County in eastern Dakota Territory. In September 1884, Jacob Nelson purchased a farm in Buxton Township, and father Nels Jacobson bought a farm one mile south in Wold Township in November 1886. Around this time, the family began using a Norwegian farm surname – Sletmoen. In 1889, the area of Dakota Territory where they lived became the state of North Dakota. Nels Jacobsen Sletmoen died sometime before the 1900 U. S. census was taken, and his 77-year-old widow, “Sigrid” Sletmoen, lived with Jacob and his wife, Anne, on their farm. Jacob and Anne – the eldest daughter of Rangdi Jacobsdatter Melquist – were first cousins, as well as husband and wife. Siri Sletmoen died at Wold, North Dakota, on March 17, 1910.

1. Emigration Record, Digitised Parish Records,"Individual nos. 36-39, Niels Jacobsen Svinningseiet, b. 1 Feb 1822; Siri Olsdatter, b. 19 Nov 1822; with children: Anne Nielsdatter, b. 12 Apr 1850; and Ole Nielsen, b. 20 Aug 1857; Left for Amerika; Attest: 15 Apr 1874," Page 522 of original documents; Gran 1856-1874; Digitalarkivet; Archives of Norway.

2. Christiania Politkammer Emgrant Protokoll 3, "Nils Jakobsen (52; male; married; cotter; Gran to Albert Lea, MN); Siri Olsdatter (50; female; married; Gran to Albert Lea, MN); Ole Nilsen Svennungseiet (17; male; laborer; Gran to Albert Lea, MN); Anne Nilsdatter (23; female; servant; Gran to Albert Lea, MN); Captain: Pedersen; Departed: Christiani, 23 Apr 1874; Arrived: Quebec, 15 Jun 1874," Norway-Heritage website;

3. Canadian Passenger Lists: 1865-1935, "Niels Jacobsen and Ole Nielsen Svinningseie; [note: although the names of Siri Olsdatter and Anne Nielsdatter are not on the list, there are numbers (2 and 3, respectively, immediately after the names of the two men); the passenger list unfortunately only lists the names of the "head of household", with numbers showing the adults in the family/group, the number of children 1-14, and the number of infants.]; Ship: skibet (sailing ship) 'Pontecorvo"; Departed Christiania 22 Apr 1874; Arrived: Quebec, Canada 15 Jun 1874," Image 88 and 89/118 at; also at Library and Archives Canada website.

FAMILY 2: Kari Jacobsdatter, husband Erik Christiansen, son Jacob, and daughters Anne, Ingeborg, Elise, Kari, Mari, Marthe, and Randine, left Smedshammereiet tenant farm for America around May 2, 1878. Their eldest son, 21-year-old Christian Eriksen, already had sailed to America with the family of his uncle, Niels Jacobsen, aboard the Pontecorvo in 1874. After saying farewell to friends and neighbors in Gran, Erik and Kari Christiansen took their eight children to beautiful Christiania harbor. Ocean travel had changed dramatically since the mid-1860s. Steamships had begun to replace sailing ships, cutting the trip from a couple months to less than a couple weeks. The family first boarded a Wilson Line steamship called the Angelo, which left Christiania on May 17, 1874. This relatively small vessel transported them to the port of Hull, on England’s eastern coastline. With bags and trunks safely transferred, they soon boarded a steam-engine train that chugged across the English countryside to the Liverpool harbor. Their belongings next were stowed aboard the Indiana, a large American Line steamer. The ship, captained by R. W. Sargent, left Liverpool on May 29th and arrived at Philadelphia harbor on June 10th – a marked departure from the nerve-wracking oddyssey their son Christian had endured aboard the iceberg-damaged Pontecorvo. The Christiansens made their way by rail to Albert Lea, Minnesota, where they joined their son and several of Erik’s and Kari’s siblings.

Erik and Kari lived only briefly in Freeborn County, Minnesota, according to her obituary. The family moved by ox cart prior to June 1880 to Bear Park in Norman County, Minnesota. At the time, this area was still a part of Polk County. Shortly thereafter, they began using the surname, Milsten. Erik and Kari (Carrie) Milsten homesteaded and farmed at Bear Park for many years, before retiring in the nearby village of Gary in Strand Township. They remained there until about 1907, when for health reasons they moved several miles north to live with their daughter, Kari Garden, in adjacent Sundahl Township. At the time of her death at Sundahl on September 18, 1912, Kari Jacobsdatter Milsten was 83 years of age. Her 89-year-old husband passed away in the same place on May 17, 1916.

1. Emigration Record; Digitised Parish Records,"Individual nos. 42-51: Erik Christiansen Smedshammereiet, b. 1826; Kari Jacobsdatter, b. 1829; with children: Jacob Eriksen, b. 1858; Anne Eriksdatter, b. 1855; Ingeborg Eriksdatter, b. 1860; Elise Eriksdatter, b. 1863; Kari Eriksdatter, b. 1865; Mari Eriksdatter, b. 1868; Marthe Eriksdatter, b. 1871; and Randine Eriksdatter, b. 1873; Left for Amerika; Attest: 2 May 1878," Page 91 of original documents; Gran 1875-1879; Digitalarkivet; Archives of Norway.

2. Emigranter fra Oslo 1867-1930, "Passengers 44677-44686: Erik Christiansen (m; gift; arbeider, 50); Mari (sic - Kari) Christiansen (47; f; gift); with 8 Christiansen children (all ugift): Jacob (20); Anna (22); Ingeborg (18); Elise (14); Mari (sic - Kari) (11); Marie (9); Marthe (6); Randine (3); [notes for all: Bustad: Gran prestegjeld, Hadeland; Reisemål: Albert Lea, MN]; Ship: Angelo [a small, Wilson Line steamship which takes passengers to Hull, England, for transfer to a larger, trans-Atlantic steamship]; Date: 17 May 1878," Digitalarkivet; Archives of Norway.

3. Philadelphia Passenger Lists: 1800-1945, "Eric Christiansen (50; male; farmer) with wife Kari Christiansen (47) and children: Jacob (20); Anna (22); Ingeborg (18); Elise (14); Kari (11); Maria (9); Martha (6); and Randi (3); Ship: Indiana (American Line); Departed: Liverpool, 29 May 1878; Arrived: Philadelphia, 10 Jun 1878; Capt. R. W. Sargent; [note: all members of family incorrectly identified as from Sweden]," Image 5/24 at;

If you have more information on these families, please feel free to respond here. Thanks.


Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276397356000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Skrivseth Sletmoen Hamre Turli Landmoen Sletmoen Svinningseiet Withe
This is fantastic, my grandfather Leiner Theodore Skrivseth wrote a letter describing his mother's trip across the Atlantic. She was Anne Berg Sletmoen and the details of the trip are just as you describe. If you wish I will send a transcription from my grandfather's letter, as he died in approximately 1978. There are many Skrivseths in the USA, and Anne Berg Sletmoen married Tore Skrivseth. Thank you so much for sharing your information, I was wondering how to trace ancestry back to part of the family that came fomr the area of Gran. The Skrivseth side came from near Surnadal, on a fjord that is connected to Hals Fjord, between Kristiansund and Trondheim. Best regards, Ken great grandson of Anne Sletmoen from Svinningseiet.

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276431002000
Classification: Query
The parish church records are the best resource for finding ancestral information in the Gran, Oppland area just a little north of the city of Oslo/Kristiania.

Surnadal district/parish is in Møre og Romsdal on the west coast of Norway.

The Digitalarkivet web site has been adding scanned images of the original Norwegian parish church records for anyone with Internet access since November 2005.

The Digitalarkivet web site -
An English option is available by clicking on that word from either the left hand column or the blue link bar along the bottom of the homepage.
The scanned images are available from the homepage link "Skanna kyrkjebøker" [Norwegian version]/"Digitised parish records" [English version] which is listed along the left hand column and from the blue banner of links along the top section of the homepage.
After you've clicked on that link and a new main page has presented on the screen be sure and read the instructions that are available from the Digitalarkivet for navigating the scanned records. The instructions are available in Bokmål (official Norwegian), Nyorsk (Norwegian), Davvisámegiella (Saami), and English.
Recommended basic reading are the "Startsiden" [Norwegian version]/"Main page" [English version], "Brukerveiledning" [Norwegian version]/"User's guide" [English version] and "Om tjenesten" [Norwegian version]/"About this service" [English version].

Good information about translating the formats of Norwegian parish church records during various time periods, many of the basic terms used and understanding how to use the information should be studied at this web site -

Good basics to study for Norwegian ancestral research -

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276441317000
Classification: Query
Glad you found the information useful, Ken. "Thoraway" is always a most helpful and kind researcher, and I completely agree with him. All of my research (aside from two trips to Norway) has been done since 2006 using Digitalarkivet. Don't be afraid to try it using Thoraway's tips! I'd love to see the transcription of your grandfather's letter. By the way, was your Anne Sletmoen from Sviningseiet born 12 Apr 1850? If so, her father was Nils Jacobson Sletmoen of Logan, Traill, North Dakota. I have never found the death date/place for your Anne Sletmoen Skrivseth. Most importantly, I do not know the death date/place for her father Nils Jacobson Sletmoen (brother of my great-great grandmother, Rangdi Jacobsdatter Melquist). I know Nils died around 1900, and I assume it was at the family farm in Logan, Traill County. Can you provide information and sources? Thanks.


Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276540361000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sletmoen, Skrivseth
Thanks Jan. I have made two trips to Norway also and have been to Statsarkivet's in Bergen, Kongsberg and Trondheim chasing down other sides of the family (Turli & Hamre, Stenseth and Skrøvset respectively) and have enjoyed it very much, and made great headway with inventive searches online also. Have not used the Digitalarkivet resource much but will give it a go, especially with "Thoraway's" and your joint recommendations.
I am showing Anne's year of death 1902, she died young and I think the grave will be in North Dakota as you suspect but I have not verified that. I'm referring to Skrivseth family genealogy books that includes some family tree info that goes a good ways back. My great grandfather Tore Larson Skrivseth was born the same year as Anne and lived until 1934, and is buried in Saum, Minnesota. I will find my grandfather Leiner's letter transcript in a few days and post it here unless you wish to have it a different way.
Best wishes,

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276540677000
Classification: Query
Jan that was me sending the last post. Didn't realize I was logged in with my wife's handle - Sorry for any confusion!

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276562574000
Classification: Query
Yes Ken,

Please post Leiner's letter here.


Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276614158000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sletmoen Skrivseth
Hello Jan I found the transcription. There are some discrepancies in the info I have. For one thing they show Anna being born in 1860 and for another thing they show the ship coming into America - so we are not 100% certain these families are one and the same but a lot of time passed between the crossing and the telling, if you know what I mean, and Anna died in 1902. I have some other text but have to get permission from the writer to send it. In any case, here is the transcription. I also have some poor copies of photos of Anna and her parents, and could send that to you by email and if you have pictures also, that might cinch the connection for sure.

Transcription, Letter from Leiner Theodore Skrivseth to granddaughter Esther Ann Skrivseth Powell in 1963, while Esther was in college. This was probably for a project in one of her classes. Leiner was the son of Tore Larson Skrivseth and Anna Berg Sletmoen and was born in North Dakota in 1884 I think.

Missoula, Montana
November 3, 1963

Dear Esther Ann,

Will try to answer your question of early days. That I can remember.
Mother (Anna), your great grandmother, came to America just after the revolution [ed. Note: refers probably to the Civil War in the USA]. They were on the last sailing ship that came direct to America with passengers only, direct from Norway to the USA.
On the way over they ran into an iceberg, and broke every mast off at the base, lost all their power to navigate. Half of the passengers were picked up by a coal freighter, Mother was one of them. The freighter had not enough food nor water to feed the passengers, so quite a few did not make it. The only water they had towards the last was drippings from the ropes and cables that held the masts.
They arrived in new York either three or six months after leaving Norway (I do not remember the three or six, but I think the six is correct). On arriving to New York, the sailing ship arrived at the same time as the coal freighter. They had repaired the old masts and sails and arrived safely.
Father and mother were married in Albert Lea Minnesota and a year later they moved in a covered wagon to North Dakota about 1878 or 1879.
Part of the country was at that time settled and covered wagon people were able at times to buy supplies, but at other times the settlers had not the supplies to sell. They ran out of hay for the horses and could not buy any from the settlers that would sell.
Father at last found a settler that would sell, and told him he could have all he could carry for thirty-five cents. He had a rope sling, and roped in enough to last the horses for a few days. He wanted to pay the settler more, but he said he had made a vow to not charge more than thirty-five cents as he was in the same predicament when coming over in a covered wagon.
In the early days they settled on the Buffalo Country, the land was covered with buffalo bones. Buffalo killed by the white for the sake of a couple of dollars for the hides. This left the Indians with out any means of a living, so they had to beg for a hand out and if you helped them, they would not want to quit, and would come in groups, as they were hungry. One can not blame the Indians, as the White Men killed their cattle (buffaloes) and stole their land. This was hardship on the settlers and also the Indians.
One of our neighbors ran out of flour so had to go to the flour mill at Caledonia, a mill run by water power on the Red River, twenty miles away. It was a lot of snow and no roads so had to use skis. He left early and came back the same day with 100 lbs. of flour carrying the 100 lbs. on his back with out taking it off to rest.
The old settlers did not all have a watch or alarm clock that would work, and Father was one of them. We got our wood from the Goos(?) River, thirteen miles away. My grandfather [ed. note: Lars Larson Skrivseth] lived half ways between, or seven miles on the way. So in the fall of the year they would get their year’s wood supply. So Father got up early to make the twenty-six mile round trip in a day, and arrived at grandfather’s place at 2:00AM. (If he had left home at 4:00 he would have made it in time, which he intended to do).
I hope you can make this out.

All for now,

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276617637000
Classification: Query
Thank you very much for the tip with good detail in it regarding the Digitalarkivet web site.

Re: Ships for Jacobsen/Jacobsdatter Families from Gran to America

Posted: 1276627854000
Classification: Query
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