According to family tradition, George was an assistant cook on the ship Monarch of the Sea in 1864. During a voyage to the United States he met the widow Carolina Hammarlaid Pettersson and her two children (Johan and Emma). They arrived in New York on 3 June 1864 where George and Carolina soon married and together with the Pettersson children they crossed the plains to Utah. Carolina bore a son at Salt Lake City on 26 February 1866 before any emigrant trains could arrive that year so they must have crossed the plains in 1864 or 1865. Additional research is needed to identify the exact year the family crossed the plains and the name of the pioneer company with which they traveled.