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Yankee’s Norwegian Lineage

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My Norwegian Lineage is traced back to Kvinnherad – Olve, Norway on my Mother’s side!  The featured image in my post is of my grandmother Ottillia’s second cousin Olav Nagell.  Olav sent this picture of himself to me.  He is wearing his Norwegian military uniform.  Olav was born and raised in Norway.

The year 1802,

In Kvinnherad, Norway, at a place named OLVE, my Great, Great, Great Grandfather was born to Gyri F. Eugleberg and Lars Larsen Skarvetun.  His name was John Larsen Skarvetun, and he married Anne Ulveness also from Kvinnherad.  They moved to Sauda, Norway, where they lived out the rest of their lives.  They had 12 children, although, four of the 12 children died early in life.

John Larsen Skarvetun was an active man, and he earned a lot of money in the Fishing Industry.  He also started a Store and a Hotel in Sauda, Norway.  Unfortunately, he later filed for Bankruptcy, and he died a poor cottage man on Jan 14, 1867!

One of John and Anne’s 12 children, Halvard Johnson, who was my Great, Great Grandfather was born in Norway in 1830.  Halvard, his wife Olena Olson, their two boys: Andrew and John, and Halvard’s brother Haktor all traveled on ship from Norway to America with 50 other people in 1857.  Olena was pregnant with my Great Grandmother, Josephine Hegseth on the three-month voyage to America.  It was noted that Olena was very sick on the ship.

Josephine was the first generation, Norwegian Immigrant, born in the U. S.  Her youngest sibling and sister Lena was also born in America, and their Mother Olena died in childbirth a few years after arriving to America, leaving Halvard to care for all four children.

Josephine married Peter Hegseth, and they had seven children that were born in the State of Minnesota.  One of those children was my Grandmother, Ottilia Hilda Nyberg, and she and I were very close.  We lived together for four years on her hobby farm outside of Dodge Center, MN.

My Grandmother Ottilia was a hundred percent Norwegian, and she was also the last generation born in America to speak Norwegian as a first language.  She celebrated her 104th Birthday two months before she passed away on Christmas Eve 2008.  On her 100th Birthday, she received a Birthday card from the President of the United States, Mr. George W Bush.

“In the winter time back when I was a little girl, I traveled by horse and sleigh across the county line, and as a 95-year-old woman, I flew on a 747 across several State lines.  I have seen amazing changes in my lifetime, and Wow, what a wonderful time to have lived!”  (Ottilia Nyberg)

“We own nothing,

People and things are gifts,

They belong to the Universe”

Sandra Rietmann


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