Jack M. Johnson has learned Norwegian to be able to read the Diary of his great-grandfather, Nils Emil Aars from Hafslo

Jack M. Johnson is the great-grandson of Nils Emil Aars. He has learned Norwegian so that he can read his great-grandfather’s diary.

As we have seen in the excerpts from his diary, Nils Aars came to the Hitchcock sugar plantation on the island of Hawaii.

Johnson knows that his great-grandfather completed his contract time. Afterwards, he moved to the Kekaha plantation on the island of Kauai. There he met Pernille, and they got married. One year later they moved to Maui.

They had two children, Emilie, and Ragna Fredrikke who is Jack’s grandmother. Great-grandmother Pernille had formerly been married to Edvard Eriksen, but he had left her and their two children, Anders and Marie Elizabeth.

Marie Elizabeth married John J. Walsh, who was a merchant and later Vice-President of the Bank of Hawaii. Anders moved to Oahu and later disappeared. 

“We think he moved to Norway,” Johnson says. 

Great-grandfather Nils worked on many sugar plantations before he had to quit because of his health. He died on 22 September 1921. Both he and wife Pernille are buried in the cemetery in Makawao, Maui.

Grandmother Ragna married Frank T. Crawford, an engineer for Puunene Sugar Company, and later in Oahu Sugar Company. They had five children.

“There are still cousins from the Walsh family living on Maui and Hawaii, and I keep in contact with them,” says Jack.

Jack was born in Honolulu, but grew up on Maui, and later on the sugar plantation in Waipahu, Oahu. After high school, he traveled to California to attend the University of California at Berkeley. There he met Barbara, who became his wife. She has worked as a dietary consultant, while Jack has been a chemist researcher at the University.

The family wondered

Jack remembers that his mother’s younger sister had contact with Nils Emil’s nephew, Conrad Flood. Jack and his wife have visited Norway and his relatives there many times.

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“Aloha from Forgotten Norwegians in Hawaii”

2 Comments on "Jack M. Johnson has learned Norwegian to be able to read the Diary of his great-grandfather, Nils Emil Aars from Hafslo


  1. Hello,
    Pernille is my great, great, great grandmother! I grew up on Maui and would love to meet Jack Johnson and learn more about our family history.

  2. Ragna was my great grandmother. This is awesome!

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