On my tour with the Cirque du Soleil show Varekai, one of our destinations is the Oslo Spektrum arean in Oslo, Norway. The end of August 2017 was able to spend a week with my cousin to trace our ancestry back to my great grandparents on the island of Ona, Norway. It was our “back to our roots” tour.
My great grandfather was Peder Ona (1873-1946) and my great grandmother was Ragna Ona (1881-1949). They were both from the island of Ona and were raised just about 150 feet from each other. My grandfather was a “Fiskevraker”, the person that would decide which fish passed quality control to eat and which did not. Peder Ona’s father, my great-great-grandfather, was also from Ona and was a pilot for ships needing assistance navigating up the Norwegian Sea. It was a very dangerous job and he died at sea during a storm while trying to help another boat navigate out of the storm.
Ona is a very small island. It is actually more like a rock with a few dozen small houses. At it’s peak there were some 200 residents on Ona and the adjoining island where they worked in the fishing industry. I was told that at one point there was a single person that owned all the houses and the grocery store.
In 2017 I am told that there are only 5 year-round residents on the actual island of Ona. It is a small tourist destination during the summer where people visit the lighthouse, rent the cabins and do some fishing.
Thank you to our friends on the island of Ona, Norway for a wonderful visit!