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Gunil's Ancestors


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Gunil's Mother's Immigration



Bark (sailing ship_This is a picture of a typical bark, probably like the Drafna that brought Gunil's mother to America.  The ship gets its name from having three masts. The foremast and mainmast are square-rigged and the mizzenmast fore-and-aft rigged.  The design of the rigging allowed the ship to sail with fewer crew members than comparable sailing ships.


Helge's is the last name on the passenger list, and she is identified as a man!  She appears to have been traveling without accompanying family members. 


Drafna Passenger list 1849
  Hartvig EckersbergDrammenNew York July 25Roll # 81, no. 1021
171Helje Christoffersen20incorrectly listed as a man!
All passengers marked Residence/origin of Norway - Destination Wisconsin
Ship's passenger list transcribed by Børge Solum in 2001 and published on the Internet on the Norway Heritage website  Copied in 2005 from http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_list.asp?jo=540


An 1852 account of the Drafna's trip from Drammen to America

written by Svend Larsen Haug in a letter to his family in Norway

The letter was written onboard the ship and dated July 16th. It has been transcribed and printed in the book: "Fra Amerika til Norge, Norske utvandrerbrev 1838 - 1857" (From America to Norway, Norwegian emigrant letters 1838 - 1857) by Orm Øverland and Steinar Kjæheim. Translation for the Norway Heritage web site by Børge Solem

They had started out from Drammen. On May 19th, their baggage was taken aboard the ship, and on the 21st the passengers boarded. On May the 33rd it had been quiet on board the ship, and many of the passengers had gone ashore to hand over their money to the Captain. The total amount of money brought by the passengers was said to have been 5080 Speciedaler. Drafna departed Drammen at 1 o'clock in the night and the next morning, on the 23rd they arrived at Svelvik where they anchored. While the ship was there some of the passengers used the opportunity to set foot on Norwegian soil for the last time. At 3 o'clock in the morning on the 24th of May Drafna set sail for America, and by 9 o'clock in the evening she had passed Færder lighthouse. They could see the Norwegian coast for another two days. On the 25th people had started to become seasick. Svend was not very sick, but his wife and her mother were sick for more than 3 weeks. The Captain ordered the sick passengers to stay up on deck as much as possible. If they were to sick to get up there by them selves others were ordered to help them. The Captain demanded them to eat something if they had vomited. The Captain was described as a ill tempered person by Svend, but he said that the Captain did it of necessity to maintain the good health of the passengers. The between deck had to be "scraped" two times a week, and the Captain appointed 6 men every day to be responsible for the delivery of water and firewood. They also had to help the sailors clean the deck every day. The water was kept on a barrel, and every day, and one of the six men had to watch the barrel so that no one took more than the ration. If they needed water for washing they had to use water from the sea. Svend told that they had lots of space in the berths, The berths were so big that they could accommodate 5 persons in each, but on this crossing only 3 - 4 persons shared the same berth. The stow was up on deck, and not everybody got to cook every day. They had good wind across the North Sea, and entered the British channel on the 29th. They had some unfavorable wind in the channel. When they entered the Atlantic they had mostly wind from West, and fog. In June the 17th they had a storm. On June the 24th they came to the Newfoundland banks, where they caught some cod. On the 29th they had no wind at al and on the 4th of July the Captain held a service. He baptized two children, one was born in Drammen before the ship left, and the other was born on board the ship. On the 14the the pilot came aboard, and at 7 o'clock in the morning that day they saw land. On the 15th of July they arrived the harbor in New York, and the passengers were inspected by a doctor, all well. On the 16th a priest came aboard to conduct a service for the passengers. After the service the priest sold bibles and books to the passengers, and many bought from him.

From Gerhard Naeseth's "Norwegian Immigrants to the United States, a Biographical Directory 1825-1850", vol 4 1849, p 143: excerpt:

1836. Helge Christophersdatter Kopseng [Helje Christoffersen, 20, M] daughter of Kristoffer Olsen Kopseng and Gunhild Larsdatter Kodalen, born 1829, died in Fillmore Co., MN, November 8, 1910, buried at the Highland Prairie Cemetery, Fillmore Co., MN.  Emigrated from Sigdal, Bu. Married April 17, 1852, Bjørn Gundersen Kopseng (1842:381) who emigrated from Sigdal, Bu, in 1842 and with whom she is further described.

-Sigdal, Bu, Norway, Church records; Sigdal og Eggedal, III:913; Paul Larson.

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