|Summary: The following pages contain
information on the Larsen Family - Our Norwegian Roots - Debora
Expedition - Aldabra Atoll - Hordnes - Salbu - Fana - Norwegian History
- Norwegian Immigration
Norwegian Family History
The Larsen Family and the Debora Expedition
Sivert Andersen Hordnes, son of
Anders Tollevsen Salbu (Salbuen) and "Jana" Johanna Hansdtr Hordnes (Hordneas), was born on the 18th
of November 1836. Sivert married Marie Elisabeth Olsen on the 17th of September
1865 - at the time he was employed as a carpenter on a boat-building estate
called "Little Damsgaard". Marie was born the 20th of August
1844 - she was the daughter of Captain Sivert Olsen, who, together with
his wife Severine Torelsdtr Nygaardsvig, were tenants on a smallish part
of a big farm, Nygaardsvig, now a suburb of Bergen.
Sivert and his father-in-law were boat builders (sic).
On the 27th of February 1869, Sivert, who had returned to the
family farm Hordnes and was farming the section called "Haugsneset",
drowned when his sailboat, heavily loaded with herring, overturned in
the Korsfjord - near the entrance to the Fanafjord - during a storm.
Sivert's father-in-law, Sivert Olsen Nygaardsvig, was lost in the same
accident. (See Askøy Church Records)
In Madagascar the travellers received the unexpected and unwelcome
information that the expected paradise had already been claimed by the
French. Since they were
not able to stay in Madagascar, they decided, on the advice of those
founded the undertaking, to continue to Port Natal, the harbour which belonged to the English possession of the same named colony in South Africa, where they arrived on the 12th November, 1879. These people who, in the old homeland,
had a certain high standard of living (since all those who participated
had contributed fairly high sums of money) had now to be grateful for a
labourer's wage in a strange country where their language was not spoken.
The Fana Bygdebok (4) records: "Jana" Johanna Hansdtr Hordnes (Hordneas), was the daughter of Hans Paulsen who died in 1792, Hans Knudsen, who had no children of this own, married "Siri" Sigrid Iversdtr Birkeland the widow of Hans Paulsen. Jana, being Hans Paulsen's only child, inherited her fathers portion of the farm Hordnes. Jana and Anders Tollevsen Salbu were the parents of Sivert Andersen Hordnes.
The Askøy records show: Sivert Andersen, age 32, and his father-in-law, Sivert Olsen Nygaardsvig, age 62, were lost at sea Feb. 27, 1869 in a "Strong Storm". Their bodies were never found.
The Askøy records show: Sept. 10, 1871 the widow Marie Elisabeth Olsen married Frederik Johan Larsen, age 26, and the son of Lars Findsen Lervig. They had a daughter Petra Benedikte Feb. 3, 1872. A son Ludvig Nov. 3, 1873, another Ludvig born Jan. 10, 1875.
The Askøy records show: Fredrik Johan Larsen Lervig and Cathrine Marie Tollefsdatter had (out-of- wedlock) a daughter Cathrine Johanne March 8, 1866, but the child died Jan. 29, 1869.
Mystical Atoll Of The Indian Ocean: The Aldabra archipelago is one of the least affected by man of any of the Indian Ocean Islands. Aldabra is the world's largest raised coral atoll and is made up of a chain of more than a dozen islands. Together they are about 35 km wide and enclose a huge tidal lagoon so vast that one cannot see from one end of the lagoon to the other. Volcanic in origin, it is a harsh yet incredibly beautiful and unique eco-system rising out of the oceans depths off the eastern rim of the Mozambique channel. "Aldabra" wrote Sir Julian Huxley in 1970 "is one of natures treasures and should belong to the whole world".
Charles Darwin himself was well aware of Aldabra's importance to naturalists and pleaded for its protection over 100 years ago. Incredibly, (since the time of the Debora Expedition) Aldabra has been off limits to all but a few scientists and explorers. In 1991 Aldabra was officially opened to selective and small groups of eco-tourists, primarily birders and divers. The United Nations has proclaimed Aldabra a World Heritage Site. It is managed by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), which is sponsored by the Royal Society and the Smithsonian amongst others.
The Land Mass - Aldabra is the largest raised coral atoll in the world. 4 main islands (Picard, home of the research station and nature reserve wardens, Polymnie, Malabar and Grande Terre) surround a lagoon so immense that one cannot see from one end to the other. 4 main channels cut through the atoll filling and emptying the lagoon twice a day creating a tidal flow so awesome that it is considered by witnesses to be one of the most remarkable forces of nature known to man. On land is the largest colony of giant tortoise on this planet. Over 150,000 of these imposing reptiles make Aldabra their home. Off Aldabras virgin beaches over 2000 giant green turtles mate and come ashore to lay their eggs. Rare exotic birds like the Flightless Rail and Ibis are found in the undergrowth along with giant coconut crabs with powerful claws capable of crushing a coconut husk.
The Channels - Deep cut channels and shallow mangrove colonies line the outer rim of the lagoon.
The Lagoon - an incredible wonderland of endless shallows dissected by the deep cuts of the main channel. Much of the lagoon is exposed in low tide. Giant mushroom rocks laden with colonies of sea birds, eagle rays, black tip sharks, parrot fish and jacks, all in 2 meters of water.
The Mangroves - A dense mangrove jungle borders the channels and lagoon. A shallow area with a wealth of bird life unparalleled on our planet. Boobies, Frigates, Herons, Terns, Flamingos, Kestrels and more. Schools of Parrotfish, Snappers, Grunts, Rays and Jacks glide alongside weaving through the shadows eerily reflecting the sunlight filtering through the mangrove trees.
The Coral Reef - As if all the other parts of Aldabra were not enough , the outer coral reefs of the atoll are as rich in marine life -notably large schools of coral and pelagic fish. Many Eels, Turtles, Rays, multicolored butterfly fish, anemones, angelfish, many cleaning stations. Occasionally Shark and Barracuda can be seen in the open water or cruising along the reef.
Note: In the 1970s Harry Stickley (VQ9HCS) was caretaker of
Aldabra. Later, at the request of Mrs Veevers-Carter, he became
caretaker of Astove.
Captain Sivert Olsen and Severine Torelsdtr Nygaardsvig's family and the Askøy Church : Sivert Andersen Hordnes, son of Anders Tollevsen Salbu (Salbuen) and "Jana" Johanna Hansdtr Hordnes (Hordneas), was born on the 18th of November 1836. Sivert married Marie Elisabeth Olsen on the 17th of September 1865 - at the time he was employed as a carpenter on a boat-building estate called "Little Damsgaard" (Damsgård). Marie was born the 20th of August 1844 - she was the daughter of Captain Sivert Olsen, who, together with his wife Severine Torelsdtr Nygaardsvig, were tenants on a smallish part of a big farm, Nygaardsvig, now a suburb of Bergen. Sivert and his father-in-law were boat builders (sic).
As Askøy is an island, family groups used to row to church each Sunday from Nygaardsvig.
I found some information about the church in Strusshamn. It was in use from 1741 but burned down in 1861. There are of course no pictures from that time, but I found a sketch (made with a pencil). I made a copy it, the sketch depicts a sunday ca. 1820, you can see boats being rowed to the church. You can also see a mill built near a river. The mill uses moving water for power. It was built and owned by Hans Nilsen Hauge. It burned in 1861, at the same time as the church. The fire started in Hans Nilsen Hauge's mill and went on to the church.
I will send you the picture and some other information about Strusshamn, but I have to send it by post, so it might take some days.
After the first church burned down in 1861 they built another one in
1864. It was placed ca. 500 meters from the first church. But it burned
down as well in 1966. In 1969 they built the third church at the same
place as the second one, and it`s still standing.
The Natal Mercury of November 11, 1929 wrote:- "Armistice Day is an anniversary of double interest to the Norwegian community in Natal, for it was on November 11, 1879, that the first Norwegian emigrants came to Port Natal. They arrived on the Deborah, a small schooner of 92 tons capacity. It was a vessel of an uncommon type, known as the Galut, and probably many old Colonists remember the sensation created by her arrival at the Point. Despite her smallness, the gallant ship brought to South Africa an adventurous company of 49 men, women and children. The organisers first sailed to the beautiful Aldabra Islands, near Madagascar, with the intention of colonising them under the Norwegian flag, but subsequently decided that Natal offered better prospects."
The Debora sailed non-stop between Bergen and Madagascar. A member of the Debora party wrote: "We left Bergen, Norway on 19th July 1879, a group of 47 people, including 12 couples and 14 children. On 20th July we were West of Ireland and a fresh breeze from the North cleared the air - the sun shone and gave us all new life. On 11th August - at 40 degrees 15 minutes a son was born to Mr and Mrs F Larsen, so the Debora Company was increased to forty-eight. On 3rd October a dark and foggy bank rose out of the sea in the East. Rasmussen suddenly cried out; "Land fore on the lee side!" Everyone came on deck and viewed the dark outline of Table Mountain and other mountains about Cape Town; it was then 9. 30 am. On 4th October we rounded the Cape of Good Hope in the finest weather. A small German brig which had come out from Cape Town showed us the way, but at 4 pm we passed it. When we left Bergen, the Zulu War had started. The Captain took a hatch and K Jensen wrote with chalk in German: "Is the Zulu War at an end?" The Germans answered on a hatch "Ended". At 8 pm Cape Agulhas lighthouse was passed. On 16th October, at 3 pm, we saw Madagascar's West coast but, as the wind had quietened off, we only lay and drifted with the stream. In the afternoon the next day we had wind from the sea. Two Sakakaves in a canoe with a straw mat as a sail met us and went beside us along the three mile long coral reef which, like a tremendous mole, makes a port outside Tulear, where we in lee of the coral reef cast anchor the 17th October, 4 pm." A detailed chronical of the Debora voyage is at this site - together with a number of other interesting accounts of the Debora Expedition.
MAPS OF NORWAY
Above - Korsfjord and Fanafjord