The Norwegian Bride– Not Your Ordinary Bride

The Norwegian Bride– Not Your Ordinary Bride





Image result for norway immigrants canada 1800s

The sailing ships averaged 38 days from ports in the United Kingdom, 50 days from Germany and 51 days from Norway. The general health of the passengers of the season was good; out of the passengers from the United Kingdom only 11 deaths occurred on the passage, and of the 337 deaths recorded in the sailing ships from Germany and Norway, the greater number, viz: 311 were children who died from infantile diseases incidental to the long voyage, closeness of atmosphere and the want of proper nourishment suitable to their age.

  • From a letter dated Quebec, 10 June, 1868 from L. Stafford to The Baron Falkenberg, Norwegian consulate, Quebec: “It is my duty to inform you that a party of Norwegian emigrants, numbering 85 souls, equal to 64 adults, at present on board the ship Caroline, from Christiania, (now lying in the stream,) and destined to the Western States, have been represented to me as having neither the means to pay their fares to the West, nor to provide for their daily support. I have already, I believe, informed you that the system hitherto existing of affording temporary relief and land passage to destitute emigrants is abolished by the curtailment of the grant for immigration purposes, and I shall, therefore, I regret to say, be unable to render these poor people any assistance. The Captain of the Caroline expresses his intention to land them in city this afternoon, ans as our sheds are already fully occupied and we have no room for their accommodation, I trust that your official position may enable you to adopt some means of affording them protection and relief. I shall also feel obliged by your communicating the substance of this letter to your Government, and I hope you will explain to them the hardships to which all emigrants must necessarily be exposed, who land here without sufficient funds to carry them through to their destinations.” The reply was: “I am duly in receipt of your esteemed favor of the 10th inst., and note contents. With reference to the poor emigrants lately arrived per Norwegian ship Caroline, I beg to inform you that on the arrival here of Norwegian emigrants, who have no complaint to make respecting breach of contract, which, in the present instance is not the case, my function ceases, and I can officially take no notice of them. I must, of course, advise the Master of the Caroline to land his passengers whenever he thinks proper, within the limits of the law, and if through over-crowding or otherwise, malignant fevers should break out, the responsibility does certainly not fall on my shoulders. I consider the present case, as well as the subsequent ones, which, no doubt, unfortunately will occur as great hardships, particularly as your communication of the 4th May last, conveying the Canadian Government’s intention not to assist indigent emigrants for the future has barely had time to reach Norway, and be made publicly known there.”


Image result for norwegian bride

The bridal crown came in use at the end of the middle ages, with the Virgin Mary’s crown at the forefront. The crown was undoubtedly the most expressive part of anything the bride would wear. It would be a symbol of her purity and virginity. Women who did not qualify in that category or who were pregnant or who were widowed were not allowed to wear the bridal crown. In some districts pregnant brides were allowed to wear smaller crowns or a modified version of the hodeplagget – a head covering that married women wore with their bunad.

Bridal crowns varied from district to district. They, as a rule, would be richly decorated with detailed silver work and, of course, would be very valuable. Some crowns could be so heavy that they would have to be sewn into the bride’s hair in order for it to sit properly in place. A very strong neck was necessary to carry this honorable head piece the entire day! Some crowns were owned privately, but many were owned by the church. Usually the crowns would be rented out and the price was usually one “daler”- Norwegian money unit prior to 1875.

That would be the custom of bride gifts, a folk tradition that was kept alive until the mid-1800s, when a new Norwegian law abolished the bride’s right to these gifts. Baklid conducted the research for his recent doctorate in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo.

Before marrying for love came into the picture, the primary intention of a couple’s union was economic. Throughout history, it turns out that the groom often gave one or more traditional gifts to the bride.

According to Baklid, the bride could draw on these gifts if she became widowed. The basic principle underlying the gifts was that she would be financially secure if her husband died.

Clipped from The Frankfort Bee,  16 Dec 1887, Fri,  Page 6





Was originally called Norway Pine Falls, then Snedden’s Mills after the first settler Alexander Snedden in 1822. Then it was called Rosebank in the 1850s – which is one of the names showing in the Historical Atlas for Lanark County, however Blakeney PO shows at the same place.


Clipped from The Evening Independent,  14 Feb 1948, Sat,  Page 3


Clipped from The Circleville Herald,  18 Nov 1929, Mon,  Page 1




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


The McArthur Love Story

How Many Women Does it Take to Replace a Team of Horses?The Doukhobors


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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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