Searching for Miguel Angel Olsen, Olaf Olsen and Lupe Olsen in Veracruz, Mexico

Miguel Angel Olsen, possible born around 1960.

I am very interested in family history and always on the lookout for «new ones». For several years I have been trying to find traces of Olaf Olsen, Lupe Olsen and their adopted son Miguel Olsen.

Olaf Olsen was born in Tromøy, Arendal February 6, 1913 (06.02.1913 in Norwegian standard, 1913-02-06 in international standard). He was the child of Nils Olaf Olsen (1887-1957) and his first wife Beate Johnsen (1887-1914). They lived in Torjusholmen on the island Tromøy close to Arendal (now a part of Arendal municipality).

Olaf Olsen had two siblings (children born by Beate Johnsen): brother Olaf Kaare Olsen (born July 6, 1909, died August 26, 1909) and sister Kathe Olsen (born November 25, 1910, died of tuberculosis June 2, 1927).

His father, Nils Olaf Olsen, remarried October 9, 1919 with Pauline Josefine Palm (1896-1980). Nils Olaf and Pauline Josefine (nickname Paula) got 4 children (Sigurd Olsen, Ivar Lotfred Olsen, Nils Petter Olsen and Ebba Marie Olsen).

Beate f. Johnsen (1887-1914) and Nils Olaf Olsen (1887-1957)

Olaf Olsen had his Christian confirmation (confirming his baptism) in the Færvik church on September 25, 1927 (25.09.1927 Norwegian standard – 1927-09-25 international standard).

Olaf Olsen sailed internationally as a cook on different ships. He was also a so called war sailor (krigsseiler in Norwegian) and was awarded with King Haakon VII Freedom Medal (unknown date) and the Norwegian War Medal (March 26, 1980). His registry number during the war was London 23800 and NY 12509. You can see more information in the war sailor registry.

His activities on ships is to a certain amount traceable:

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Sailor protocol

The following information comes from an interview I made with my mother Else Pauline Nikolaisen (1944-) about Lupe and Olaf Olsen in October 2018.

We know very little about aunt Lupe as she was called by the relatives in Norway. My mother (Else Pauline Nikolaisen born Kaino/Olsen) referred to her as «Gouda Lupsiane Olsen» (creative naming), but her name was in fact Guadelupe Olsen (see passenger protocol further down), but used the short form Lupe Olsen. We don’t know her maiden name. Guadelupe Olsen was born appr. 1930 (1953: weighed 54 kg and 153 cm tall). Lupe is noted in the seamen’s protocol as stewardess of Mexican «race» but with Norwegian nationality.


Guadelupe Gonzales de Olsen was born January 21, 1929 in Veracruz, Mexico – as you can see from the register card from the Department for Seamen in Norway. She sailed on some ships together with Olaf Olsen.

The wedding picture of Olaf Olsen and Lupe Olsen was taken around 1950. Picture was taken in Veracruz, Mexico so we assume they got married there. On the backside of the photo it is noted «Pauline Josefine Olsen, Torjusholmen» (Olaf’s stepmother). Probably the photo was sent to Nils Olaf Olsen, Olaf’s father.

Exactly when they got married we don’t know (date maybe 1950-04-06), but in 1952 their honeymoon took them to Norway and Tromøy to visit the family. The year can be specified by Else because she still lived in Dalene, Tromøy at the time, in 1953 she moved to Jonsvold, Tromøy. During the visit it was only Lupe and Olaf visiting.

Due to records for seamen we can specify the visit to Tromøy to June – August 1952. Olaf sailed from February 6, 1952 from Veracruz to June 16, 1952 to Harstad, Norway. His next employment was from Arendal August 12, 1952 to December 17, 1952 in Amsterdam with the ship «Fred Christensen».

Later they found a boy outside their house door (Ellen Synnøve notes «they found him outside a church according to her mother Jenny Elise Olsen»), they adopted him and named him Miguel Olsen (Ellen Synnøve notes «Miguel Angel Olsen»).

Lupe, Olaf and Miguel Olsen (picture taken 1966/1967)

In 1966 or 1967 Olaf Olsen, Lupe Olsen and Miguel Olsen travelled to Norway to visit the family. Between 1952 and 1966/1967 there were no visits to Norway. During the years Olaf stayed in contact with the family, but not in fact with his father or stepmother Paula. He wrote with Lillian Nilsen (born 1908-08-29) – a member of the family of his birth mother Beate Johnsen.

NEW INFORMATION: The visit must have been in the period between January 7, 1966 and June 15, 1966. From 01/1964 through 01/1966 Olaf sailed on the ship Alabama from Kristiansand and the next ship he sailed was Anatina (from 09/1966 to 11/1967) from New Orleans to Balboa, Panama. Else notes that she herself was a stewardess with her husband Egil Johan Nikolaisen from 07/1965 to 06/1966 and came home June 15, 1966 from Antwerpen. At that time Olaf, Lupe and Miguel had already left Tromøy.

To be more exact: the visit was probably in the period April – June 1966, because the picture shows lack of snow and they were wearing light clothing.

Miguel Angel Olsen (bilde tatt 1966-1967?)

When Lupe wrote in English to Jenny Elise Olsen to tell that Olaf Olsen had died («many years later than 1966/67»), Jenny turned to Lillian who translated the letter. This was probably after 1980, because Paula died that year and Olaf wanted his share of the inheritance. He didn’t get any, because there was nothing to inherit.

Else thinks that Olaf left Norway when he started working as a cook after his confirmation. He went ashore in Mexico and ended his career at sea. The family was poor. He started working as a caretaker at the harbour in Veracruz, Mexico. He had to beg for food and money from the Norwegian boats coming there. Supposedly, nephew Nils Olaf Olsen (brother of Else and Ellen) met Olaf during a stay in Veracruz, we don’t know when exactly that was.

About Miguel Olsen: Olaf and Lupe couldn’t get children of their. After many years of marriage, they adopted Miguel who supposedly was found on their doorstep. But, Else says, Miguel was the child of Lupe’s sister. Maybe Miguel was born around 1960. Else did not meet them when they visited Norway in 1966/1967, because she was at sea. Jørgen Kristian Olsen told Else that Miguel maybe visited Norway one time later, but he was not sure.

Another anecdote:

Ship model owned by Stig Petter Olsen, son of Nils Olaf Olsen (1948-2003).

Jørgen Kristian Olsen thinks this boat was owned by Olaf Olsen. His father (Kristen Olsen) was asked if he could repair the boat, but Jørgen Kristian is not sure if that happened. We can assume that he did, because Stig Petter says the boat was okay until about 1988. Olaf left the boat at his father’s house after the last visit in 1966/1967. When Pauline Josefine died in 1980, Ivar Lotfred got the boat, but give it to Nils Olaf Olsen (1948-2003). Now in possession of Stig Petter Olsen, Nils Olaf’s son.

New information found:

In 1953 the passenger lists of discharged seamen of the ship Gypsum Prince show the 40-year-old Olaf Olsen and 23-year-old Lupe Olsen. Lupe is according to protocol a Norwegian citizen! Olaf signed on in Veracruz, Mexico on 1953-07-28 and Lupe Olsen in Tampico, Mexico on 1953-08-10. That means that Lupe was born ca. 1930.

Another passenger list from the ship S/S Hadrian sailing from Antilla, Cuba to New York (arriving there December 11, 1953) shows us even more information:

Here we can see that the first name Lupe is in fact Guadelupe, and that she worked as a stewardess – Olaf is registered as the cook. Her «race» is noted as Mexican, but Nationality is Norwegian.

Olaf is in 1953 155 cm tall and weighs 91 kg, and Lupe is ca. 153 cm tall and weighs 54 kg. As you can see from the picture earlier in this text, there is a distinct difference in height between Olaf and Lupe, so the numbers mentioned in the protocol below don’t seem to be right.

In the directory for seamen, Olaf is found with the following information (thank you, Jørgen Kristian):


The record shows that Olaf Olsen sailed as a cook at least until February, 1969.

NEW INFORMATION: I will try to check out the ships he sailed on. Here is the first part:

Aquila (Marcus Chr. Stray, Kristiansand) New Orleans/Pensacola – Kristiansand 03/1964 – 07/1964
Alabama (Marcus Chr. Stray, Kristiansand) Kristiansand – 07/1964 – 01/1966
Anatina (Marcus Chr. Stray, Kristiansand) New Orleans – Balboa 09/1966 – 11/1967
Arabella (Marcus Chr. Stray, Kristiansand) New Orleans/Port Talbot – Kristiansand 02/1968 – 02/1969


PS. If you think I write some dates and names several times and in a funny way, it is due to the fact that I write this text in case remote relatives search the internet. Search engines need food!

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