Carl Frøsig of Denmark
Carl Ferdinand Frøsig emigrated
from Copenhagen, Denmark to the United States in 1898, changing
his surname from the Danish 'Frøsig' to Frysig. His children recall him
saying that he sailed alone from Denmark to New York at the age of 14
(1898/99), with the eventual destination of Michigan. According to Danish emigration documents, a Carl
Frøsig registered for emigration on March 3, 1898:
"Frøsig, Carl; Occupation: child; Last residence: Copenhagen; Age:
11; Destination: NY; Contract no.: 116; Reg. date: 8 March, comments:
Source: The Danish Demographic
The Hekla II departed Christiania March 10,
1898, and arrived in New York on March 26 Source: The
Solem, Swiggum &
Austheim Ship Index
Carl appears to have been traveling alone, as
there were no other Frøsig's listed in the emigration records for that
date. His date of birth (December 5, 1884) would have made him almost 14
years old at the time of his voyage. He may have claimed to be 11 years
old in order to pay a lower fare. For an excellent article on the Thingvalla
Line and the emigrant ship industry in Northern Europe, see "For
the people who are not in a hurry: The Danish Thingvalla Line"
by Professor Odd S. Lovoll.
Very little is known about Carl's early
life or ancestry, except for the information provided on his death
certificate, and what family members remember. On his application for
Social Security, he listed his parents as Nels Paulson Frysig and Anna
Maria Nelson. To be correct in Denmark, their names would have been 'Niels
Poulsen Frøsig and Anna Maria Nielsen (or Nielsdatter). It is unclear at
this point whether he changed the spelling, or whether his parents came
from another country such as Sweden, where the -son endings are common.
The surname 'Frøsig' most likely refers to a village in the south
of Denmark, near the German border. Frøsig is a small village near
the west coast of Jylland (Jutland), Denmark, about 55 degrees 48 minutes
north latitude and about 8 degrees 38 minutes east latitude. It is south
of Ølgod ( which is probably the parish for Frøsig) and north of Varde
and located in Ribe County. All FRØSIG lines are believed to have
come from two farms, “Frøsiggaard” and “Frøsigholm”. Upon
immigration into the United States, the surname FRØSIG was changed,
usually to FROSIG, and sometimes to FRYSIG.
At the time of his marriage to Ora Irene Higgins in 1914, Carl
was living in Ransford, Montana. Ora was a schoolteacher from Cass City,
Michigan. Carl worked at various odd jobs, but most of the time he was a
telegraph operator for the railroad. Carl and Ora had four daughters. The
family moved often, mostly westward along the railroad line.
Following Ora's death in 1930, Carl remarried and
established a second family. He continued as a railroad telegraph operator
until his death in 1947, in Portola, California.