Rolfsen Family Notes

By Janet W. Sorensen
[clarifying comments added by Darrin Lythgoe]

Great Grandma Margrethe Kirstene Kjelsen [was the] oldest child [in her family]. She was] married [in] 1851. Mother & sister-in-law went to hear missionaries speak. [Jacob said the missionaries had] "invaded the sanctity of his home during his absence." [He left an ax by the door, intending to harm the missionaries if they returned. Margrethe said, "If you] so much as touch that ax to harm those elders your arm shall become useless." Terrible pain struck, [his arm] began to swell. Boils or sores broke out on it. [It] became useless, remained [so] for weeks.

[Jacob] began to study Bible. About 5 years later he joined the church. He [was] baptized Jan. 1858, left Norway 1861, sailed from Liverpool May 16, 1861 [with] Capt. Wm. R. Gardner [on the] packet ship "Monarch of the Sea." 960 aboard. Cargo ship.

Passenger list:
Jacob 32
Margrethe 33
Nicolene 8
Bength 6
Gjertrud 4
Niels 1

[They arrived in] New York June 19, 1861, 34 days crossing. All [were] sea sick. [They] lay in rows on the deck. On [the] journey [they] had to unload trunk full of fine clothing to make room for someone else or [to] lighten [the] load.

Nicolene [was] 9 years [old. She] walked all the way. Gathered buffalo chips for fires & caring for the smaller children. Nicolene remembered how disappointed she was [upon arriving in Salt Lake City]. No streets paved in gold. Went to Lehi or American Fork to relatives. Served yellow bread made with eggs? No "saleratus" used as leavening. Lived in Ephraim. Came to Mt. Pleasant in 1862.

Jacob-carpenter. Built benches, pulpit and parts of old No. Ward chapel. He died Oct. 21, 1883. Four other children. She [Margrethe] died April 16, 1913. Jacob was guard in Black Hawk War. Served 2 year mission to Norway in 1877.

Ship-largest number of immigrants [were from] Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and England. [They were] divided into wards while on river. Mercy [?] meetings held. No smoking between decks. Many deaths & marriages. Went to Florence, Nebraska by rail & steamboat via Dunkirk, Cleveland, Chicago, Quincy & St. Joseph, July 1, on train of 70 wagons. Left July 13, 1861.

70 wagons - 338 saints, 277 oxen, 81 cows, 6 mules, 2 horses. Samuel A. Wolley's company.

Out of Omaha [they] divided 40 wagons and provisionsgiven to Joseph Porter. This company passed Chimney Rock Aug. 15. Arrived [in] Salt Lake Sept. 22. 200 church wagons, 4 yolk oxen to each with 150,000 lbs of flour. Left Salt Lake for the Weber [?] to meet Saints.