Olaus was from Norway and crossed the Atlantic on the ship John J. Boyd with his parents and siblings in 1863. His mother, (Karen Olsen,) had taken a PEF loan for their emigration. He crossed the plains in the John R. Young pioneer company of 1863 and married Anna Helena Dyersen Amundsen on 9 September 1863 at Echo, Utah. In Utah he used the surname Johnson. He and his new wife were both rebaptized on 11 October 1863 at West Jordan under the latter name.