My great great grandfather's name was William Sylvanus Hansen. He was a sail maker and rigger born May 20, 1848 in Tromso, Norway.
I am looking for his family in Norway as we have no history of them.
This is his story on how he ended up in Canada:
"He ended up working and living in the Port Hill/Tyne Valley area, PEI, Canada. William had been on many whaling expeditions and spent two winters on the frozen island of Spitzbergen. He made many voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific--and it was on one of these that his Norwegian barque, loaded with lumber from NB, was shipwrecked off North Cape, PEI.
The “August Gale,” 24-26 August 1873, spewed disaster in waters surrounding Nova Scotia and PEI. Many ships found cover in ports along the north shore of PEI; others were not so fortunate. Yeo shipyards had lost two ships in this same storm, and it is said that the crew from the wrecked Norwegian barque was hired by Senator Yeo and worked in Port Hill until they had a ship built.
When it came time to set sail, all but William left. He lived with a Ramsay family in Port Hill and went to school with the children of the area so that he could learn English. He continued to work at the Yeo shipyards, purchased land in Tyne Valley, and built his house with money borrowed from James Yeo. He married and even after, he continued to sail. His family says that “he sailed around The Horn at least seven times.”
When the shipbuilding museum opened at Green Park, Edwin Hansen [grandson], donated a wooden sea chest that carried the tools of William Sylvanus Hansen. The children of the family always called it “Grandpa’s Donkey."
Please comment or message me if you can help with Norwegian translation and genealogy searches in the Tromso area. Thank you!