Amund Leaves Norway

There is nothing new to learn regarding Amund Amundson’s immigration to the United States from Norway. I know everything regarding the bold facts. The only thing missing was the actual passengers’ list. The only reason I bring this up, is that I finally decided to find out more about Amund’s trip to America and thought I would share.

Amund Amundson turned 19 three days before he boarded the ‘Frigate Bird’ in Bergen on April 23, 1871, with no other family, although it is possible he traveled with others from the same area. He was heading to Minnesota via Quebec, Canada.

The trip took a little over a month, as the ship arrived in Quebec on the 31st of May, but, because 11 passengers had measles, they were not allowed to disembark until the 4th of June. Although, on arrival at Grosse Isle, all emigrant ships were quarantined until they could assure the authorities that they were free of disease.1

A ship of the time rigged as a Bark. This is not a picture of his ship, but it is close.

I estimate the cost for the trip to have been about $15 US (or about $300 in current money), this doesn’t include the outlying cost of bringing all your own food. The ship’s picture I have inserted above was found at http://www.norwayheritage.com, it is known as a bark. Which describes the type of rigging on the ship that when rigged this way needed fewer crew to get ‘er where she was going. According to historical reference, Amund’s ship was sometimes rigged this way. Which also means that Amund’s trip was definitely not aboard a steamship.

The emigrants in those days had to supply themselves with the necessities of life during the passage and be their own cooks and waiters, families as well as single persons. Several people usually combined their kitchen and food chores and it all occurred, as far as I can recall, without much grumbling or commotion. The only items that were provided without cost by the shipping company were the stove, firewood, and water, as well as fresh air when one stood on deck, though the company did not actually provide the latter. To be sure fresh air was also free below deck, but when so many people had to stay in such a limited space at night and occasionally by day, one may more easily imagine its quality than I can describe it.

Recollections from My Journey to America and My First Years in America, by Halle Steensland 2

An interesting tidbit I found when researching more on Amund’s trip was how in 1869 Norway passed a law to better protect passengers from all the scummy company’s trying to exploit them.3

Originally all I had been able to find regarding Amund’s trip was his entry in a database regarding his leaving Norway in 1871. And from this search entry, I have been able to suss out the origins and ancestry of Amund. But I never had an actual passengers list for him.

Here is the database entry from the Digitalarkivet site from about 10 years ago, that helped me find my Amundson ancestors.
And finally here is the passenger list, found at the Quebec Archives. He is listed as Aamund Ammundson Rogdaberg of Ullensvang, 19 years old.

Okay, so Amund is in Quebec. Now what?

Amund, might have purchased a packaged trip to his final destination, or arranged with the captain, as was one of the customs, to continue on to the United States. So that meant he was now going to board a train, as that was the usual mode of transport when heading to Wisconsin, Minnesota or Iowa. And for those folks going to Minnesota, the usual route was to Milwaukee, and from there the train to Minnesota.

If the emigrant is to continue the trip westward by rail, he will be ferried across the St. Clair River at Sarnia to Port Huron in the state of Michigan… For those emigrants who plan to go by way of Milwaukee, it will be most convenient to change trains in Detroit, Michigan, and go to Grand Haven in the same state. From there they can go by steamer across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Those who wish to settle in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or northern Iowa usually choose the Milwaukee route as the most convenient.

John A. Johnson, translated by C. A. Clausen4

Amund possibly went right to Goodhue County in Minnesota, as he is found there in the 1875 state census, already married to Jorgina Johnson, and they had a daughter. But not my great grandmother, yet.

So there you have it. And, if I hadn’t known the ship’s name, it might have been a lot trickier to find this little gem. Now I have to work on finding Jorgina’s arrival.

Source:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grosse_Isle
2. http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/pubs/nas/volume33/vol33_08.htm
3. http://www.norwayheritage.com/articles/templates/historic_documents.asp?articleid=27&zoneid=18
4. http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/pubs/nas/volume33/vol33_07.htm

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