J. C. Svabo was born in 1746 in Jansagerði, Miðvágur. He went to the Latin school in Tórshavn before travelling to Copenhagen to study natural sciences and economy.
During his studies, he started writing on agricultural reforms, but no one listened to him.
In the 1770 s, he expected to be awarded a major assignment from the authorities. It went to his friend instead.
He gets the chance to return to the Faroes in 1781-82 to collect data for a major work. But it was never printed.
He wrote a Faroese-Latin-Danish dictionary. It was never published.
He never received his final degree because of illness and poverty.
He applied for many positions in the civil service but was never appointed.
In 1800, he returned home disillusioned and lived in Tórshavn in poverty until he died in 1824.
Only after his death, did people begin to see the value in his work.