Mr Johannes Hansen Nysveen

Norwegian farmer and Titanic victim

Johannes Hansen Nysveen was born 17 September 1851 in Rognstad, Øyer, Oppland's County, Norway, to Hans Syversen (Guldberg) and Anne Jonsdatter (Rognstad). He was christened 26 October the same year in Øyer.1

He was married to Kristiane Erikson, (b. April 1849), on 15 November, 1877, at Øyer Church.  The family emigrated to America c. 1885 and later become an American citizen.  

Johannes and Kristiane had several children including John, Jr., b. 16 May 1878 (d. 29 October 1903), Elias/aka Nils, b. 14 September 1882 in Norway (?), Arnt, b. 28 July 1885 in North Dakota, Caroline 'Lena', b. 28 July 1887 (d. 31 January 1906), Martha, b. 28 December 1888, and Henry, b. 2 November 1891, North Dakota.

After the death of his first wife he had gone back to Norway where he had married Pauline Regnstad.  On 12 July 1911 she gave birth to twins, Jan. & Paul.  Johannes was travelling from Øyer to Grand Forks, Traill County, North Dakota to give his share of his farm to one of his sons.

He was not originally intending to travel on the Titanic and his wife did not know what had become of him until the final lists were produced some weeks after the catastrophe. By then his name had been distorted to Nyoven.

His widow had no income and insurance so life was hard for her after his death. The Mansion House Fund paid 2180.40 NKr (£120) on 17 January 1913. 2205 NKr ($625.75) damage claims were paid on 26 April 1916, and she received further payments of 607.50 NKr ($168.25) in 1917 and 25.41 NKr ($6.84) on 31 December 1927.

Johan's body was never found.

The Grand Forks Herald announced 29 April that 'Nysven was a prominent farmer of the Hillsboro district and was on his way home from Norway where he had been on a visit. He was 61 years old and leaves a number of children.' The Ward County Independent stated 2 May that

'Among the victims of the Titanic, was John H. Nysven, an old former resident of Hillsboro, who had been living in Norway, his old home, the past two years. He went back to Norway two years ago and married. Four children by his first wife live near Hillsboro. Nysven owned considerable property near that city.'

There is a cenotaph on the family gravesite in Norway Lutheran Cemetery, Mayville, Traill County, North Dakota.


  1. His parents may have been the Hans Syversen (b. 17 March 1820 in Hedmark County) and Anne Sorine Johnsdatter (b. 31 December 1821) who married 11 June 1847 at Christiania (Oslo), Norway. He may have had some siblings.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996) Titanic. Rabén, Stockholm
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Trevor Baxter, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Leif Snellman, Finland
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) Johannes Hansen Nysveen (ref: #1082, last updated: 22nd July 2020, accessed 14th June 2021 03:19:42 AM)

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