Frysig (Frøsig)
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Carl Ferdinand Frysig
Telegraph Operator

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: Hekla"
Source: The Danish Demographic Database

Hekla II

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.


Carl's home in Chinook, Montana
Carl's home in Chinook, Montana abt. 1935

           Useful Links:

Ancestors from Norway: great source for information about emigration from Scandinavia 
The Danish Demographic Database: emigration and census documents; searchable 
The Solem, Swiggum & Austheim Ship index:  information about ships, routes, and schedules

FROSIG  Resource Page at RootsWeb

Norway Heritage: Hands Across the Sea

The Surname Web

Maps of Denmark From the Perry-Castañeda Library at the Univ. of Texas at Austin


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