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A Norwegian Colonisation Undertaking


The Debora Expedition sailed from Bergen in 1879 to establish a Norwegian colony on an Indian Ocean atoll called Aldabra. The organisers endeavoured to find practical and Christian people to create a settlement based on the teachings of the Norwegian preacher Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771 -1824). The expedition was aborted in Madagascar - a few of the participants remained in Madagascar and the rest settled in the British colony of Port Natal (Durban). They were the first group of Norwegian emigrants to settle in Port Natal.

The forty-seven persons who took part in the Debora Expedition were:- Captain Tobiassen and wife, mate Berentsen and wife, mate Oftedal, A Olsen and wife, I Iversen and wife, O Heidalsvig and wife (Høidalsvig), J Finsen and wife, K Bang and wife with three children (Amanda, Severin and Knut), F Larsen and wife with six children (Angel, Emil, Sigvart, the three sons of the late Sivert Andersen Hordnes, and Petra, Ludvig and Karl), H Johnsen and wife with three children (Sina, Josefine and Karl), A Andreassen and wife with three children (I don't remember their names), R Andersen, R Rasmussen, K Jensen, Hesselberg, H Grung (Grong/Grang), O Fosdal, E Eriksen, P Bang, E Ellingsen, widow Egelandsdal and Miss Serene Larsen. Two children were born on the voyage: a son to Mr and Mrs F Larsen and a son to Mr and Mrs Andreassen.

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Johan Oftedahl (Oftedal)

Yngve Nedrebø wrote:

Subject: Greetings from Bergen
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 09:33:49 +0100
From: "Nedrebo, Yngve"
To: "'larsen@salbu.com'"


A long time has passed, and I have had a crash or two on my computers, but now I will like to point out the web-version of the recollections of S. A.Bang of Debora: http://digitalarkivet.uib.no/sab/sabang.htm

We have now also identified with certainty Oftedahl on the Debora:
Johan Oftedahl, born at the Malde farm in Håland parish near Stavanger April 8, 1856. He was the son of farmer Jonas Oftedahl (1811-) and Johanne Oftedahl (1832-). We have found him in the Seamen's rolls of Stavanger, and he made one trip in 1876, then registered on Debora. He is on record there as having died at "Bandrive, Lake Nyasa, Africa Jan. 29, 1884".

Marie Elisabeth Sivertsdatter Nygaardsvik was born Aug. 20, 1844. She was a widow when she married Fredrik Johan Larsen. And she had a sister Serene Sivertsdatter, born Dec. 15, 1838 in Askży parish near Bergen. This is most likely Cyrenne Solbakken, Fredrik Larsens sister-in-law, and one of the persons leaving Debora in Tulear.


Yngve Nedrebø
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