Jim Lewis


pioneer, ancestors, immigration, America, Denmark


My great-grandparents, Niels Jensen Norgaard (1848-1920) and Karen Sorensen Norgaard (1852-1949) immigrated to America in 1869 and 1871, respectively. They had both been raised in the Aalborg area of northern Jutland. Niels left his family and a comfortable home at the age of twenty to travel alone to a new, yet unknown, destination. His immediate objective was Harlan, Iowa, where relatives had a farm. It was twelve hundred miles across unfamiliar land between New York City and Harlan, Iowa. Niels was alone in a strange land, didn't know the language, and had little money to sustain himself. He traveled on grit and sheer determination to make a good life for himself and the family he hoped to have one day.