Charles Olsen was born 9 June 1834 in Oslo. At least family folklore says this was his birth place and birth name. In the USA he was called Charles Wilson. The family believes Oslo is his birthplace but have no proof of that.
His death certificate states that his father’s name was Charles (perhaps an Americanization of a Norwegian name such as Carl or Claus).
Family folklore tells that he entered the USA by “jumping ship,” which implies that he was a member of a ship’s crew.
He appears as Charles Wilson in a Brooklyn, Kings, New York, city directory dated 1864, so he was in Brooklyn at least by then (and possibly earlier). His first child was born in May 1865 in Brooklyn.
His wife was Catherine Reinhardt. Their twelve children were Caroline, Anne J., Charles John Jr., Mary, Annie G., Fannie, Lulu, Kate, Katrina, Fred, Martha M., and Ida Louise.
An old family photo of him has a handwritten note on the back; a hard-to-read word appears in front of the word OSLO, that could say Christiansted? Christiansand? or Christiania? The cousin who owns the photo was told Charles's birth place was Oslo.
Thanking you so much in advance for any help you can give!
P.S. Posted this yesterday in Denmark forum - it was posted last November 2011 in Oslo, Norway, forum (by John Wilson) with no answers. Just realized there's this regular Norway forum as well.