Nils and Torbjørg were the first of the Vossings to emigrate. They, along with Nils Bolstad and John H. Bjørgo and others had heard Gjert Hovland’s letter read by a lay preacher travelling through Voss. It was this letter that prompted them to leave their home for America. Nils had no land in Voss so was able to leave quickly and by the 18 April 1836 the Dean had registered them as being emigrated after evidentially receiving a minister’s certificate. They left perhaps from Stavanger on one of the Köhler brigs, or from Bergen. For the first year or two they lived in New York. One source states they were in Orleans County and another indicates they were in Rochester. It is likely that they were at one of the Norwegian settlements at Kendall or Murray townships in Orleans County which is near Rochester. They were reported to have been living in primitive conditions and they later went to Chicago. In 1839 they and many others were reported to be living under limited circumstances in a log house on the north side of the river. Nils had purchased some land and in 1840 built a home on the property where he planned to move. The family fell ill and remained in Chicago. In June 1844 Randver Lydvo and Lars Knutson Dykesten were married in Nils’ and Torbjørg’s home by the Rev. Flavel Bascum of the First Presbyterian Church. Knut died before 1847 as Torbjørg was mentioned that year as being a widow and living in a house she owned in Chicago.
Nothing more is known about them or their children. Being the first Vossings to emigrate, there is of course much interest about what happened to them and their children. If you can help with this mystery please contact me.