Half Norwegian, Half Hawaiian

By her looks one cannot tell that Agnes had a Hawaiian mother. Her features look more Norwegian. The same goes for her 4 brothers and 3 sisters, except one brother who has his mother’s Polynesian looks.

Agnes Thronas was born on the island of Kauai. Her grandfather Elias Nilsen Troneas came on the Musca in 1881, and with him his wife Anna, nee Olsen, and 2 children, Anna 4 years and Elida Theodora 2 years old.

The ship’s manifest shows that Elias came from Trones in Hardanger while his wife came from Kongsberg. Their 2 children were born in Christiania (now Oslo).

Those who arrived on the ship Musca had signed contracts to work on the sugar plantations, but some fled and many went to the Mainland USA. According to Agnes her grandfather managed to get to Kauai upon arrival and brought his wife and children along. 
The Thronas family settled on Kauai and Agnes’ father Olaf was born there. He married Irene, a Hawaiian.

Agnes feels that her mother’s family was proud of having Irene marry a Norwegian.

“Both my mother and father were tall people. It was rather unusual for Hawaiians to be tall like my mother,” Agnes told us when we visited her in the apartment she has on the island of Oahu. Now she has moved to Kauai.

Agnes’ father was a butcher by profession and her mother the homemaker.

How would you describe your mother and father?

“Father was of the quiet type. I had a close relationship with him, could almost read his mind. I often thought he would do ‘such and such’ and right enough he did,” Agnes declares.

She remembers well how her mother sang and played the ukulele, the 4-stringed instrument very typical for Hawaiians, even though it originally came to the islands from Portugal in the 1800’s.

“She sang different kinds of songs such as love songs, sad songs, and religious songs. And she would often put the name of the one she was singing for into the text.”

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“Aloha from Forgotten Norwegians in Hawaii”

3 Comments on "Half Norwegian, Half Hawaiian"

  1. Who are you!? Agnes was not blood related to me, but she was closer than any aunt I ever had. She introduced my parents to each other in Honolulu in the 40’s. We always called her Aunt Agnuts because she was so funny. Agnes moved to San Francisco in the 60’s and she would spend almost every weekend with us in Redwood City. I am very interested in finding out more from you and how you know her.

    • Hi Lisa,

      I am wondering if you have any stories to share about Aunty Agnes. She was the sister of my childrensʻ grandfather Sam. would love to hear back from you.

  2. Hi Noe!
    I’m reading your last comment while visiting our condo on Maui. I have so many wonderful memories of Aunt Agnes. I remember my parents and her talking about her brothers and sisters on many occasions. We attended Irene’s wedding in California when I was a little girl and Agnes joined our family on a trip to Munich, Germany for the 1972 Olympics and she also celebrated many other family milestones with us. Agnes was very religious and I remember her sleeping with her rosary every night. Once again it was her quick dry wit and fabulous laugh that I will always remember. She enjoyed entertaining us with the ukulele and singing (beautiful voice). Would enjoy

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