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Betsy Berntsen-Enge History Page (updated)

Betsy Caroline Berntsen

I'll add a page like this one to describe each family member I've researched. I'll create links to these individual pages from my "Family Members List Page."

Here's the type of information about each person I might include:

Date and place of birth:  Nov 9, 1894 - Oslo (Kristiania), Norway, I believe.
Date and place of death:  Dec 25, 1975 - LaMarque, TX
Marriage date and place:  Galveston, Tx? Dec 10, 1916
Maiden name:  Berntsen
Names of children:  Agnes, Edna Mae, Doris, Mary, Oscar 
Names of parents:  Johan Berntsen and Ellen Marie Micholsen (from Norwegian census)
Marital status
Name of spouse:  Oscar L. Engebretsen
Immigration information:  From Norway on September 8, 1913, age 19
U.S. military service record:  n/a
Places the person lived: Roken,Norway, and America

Passenger Record:
First Name:Betsy
Last Name:Berntsen
Ethnicity:Norway, Scandinavian
Last Place of Residence:Roken, Norway
Date of Arrival:Sep 08, 1913
Age at Arrival:  19y    Gender:  F    Marital Status:  S  
Ship of Travel:Kristianiafjord
Port of Departure:Kristiania, Norway
Manifest Line Number:0028

Other Relatives in U.S.:  Regina McMurray, Helga Olsen

Where the person "fits" in our family tree:  The mother or grandmother of many people.

I'll include sources for the information wherever possible.

Memories and Stories:

My Sister Betsy's Journey

After having been in Texas for a few years, I went to business college where I learned to be a stenographer. I worked for various companies, namely Insurance, Banks, Publishing firm and the International Harvester Co. when I was 18 years of age, my dear Uncle passed away so my grieving Aunt decided she and I should take a trip to Norway, where my sister Betsy was working as a helper in a hospital. She was required by the government to sign up for life as hospital worker. After I obtained a secretary position with an English Firm, I promised Betsy that when I got back to the U.S.A., especially good old Texas, I would try my best to save enough money for her trip to America. Auntie and I stayed nearly one year in Norway. Her beloved, beautiful mother, my dearest grandmother passed away. After I got back to Dallas one of the firms I had worked for gave me back my position. Then I started pinching pennies, not even spend money for street-car rides. Anyway, it took me two yrs. To save enough for Betsys fare. By that time she was practically 18 or 19 yrs. Of age. If I had known what trials she would encounter when she reached Ellis Island, I dont believe I would have had the nerve to subject her to such seeming tragic treatment, however, while Lady Liberty stands for everything good in dear old America, I am very grateful to 2 men employees at Ellis Island, one a examiner of Betsys sore eyes, the other a very kind policeman. Continued.

The first day Betsy was at Ellis Island the eye examiner did not let Betsy land because her eyes were worse than usual due to the sun shining on the ocean. The ship was full of people, crew and many passengers. When evening came everyone got off of the ship allowed to go on land as they were permitted to land, except my poor young sister and she was terrified. She could not sleep, but kept praying to our Heavenly Father, hoping He would keep her from having to spend another night alone. The next morning the crew [back], being Norw. Sailors came back on board. The eye examiner went to see Betsy. He looked at her eyes, and said, "Your eyes are in bad shape, I just dont know what to do for you, but since you have a rich aunt in Dallas and a sister (and a sister in Glens Falls), surely they will help you to get your eyes well." Then he let her land. She ran out into the street and found a policeman, who turned out with the same kind spirit similar to the wonderful man on the ship. Betsy could not speak a word in English, but she had papers showing she was going to Glens Falls, N.Y.. The policeman drew her a map showing the way to the railroad station and pinned papers on her back with all the information to help her to get to Glens Falls, N.Y. She found the train and all went well all the way to Glens Falls where our older sister Helga lived and she was at the station to meet our youngest sister, so God was really with Betsy.

Thank you, dear God and all your kind and loving workers at Ellis Island and other place.

Regine Berntsen

Betsy coming to America
I believe this picture was taken on the ship that she took from Norway to America.

Ship: The Kristianiafjord
This is the ship that Betsy came over in.

Ellis Island website