Magdalene Førland Underle Oral History Interview, 1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Underle, Magdalene Førland
Title
Dates
1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 file folders
1 photographs
1 sound cassette
2 compact discs
Collection Number
t062
Summary
An oral history interview with Magdalene Førland Underle, a Norwegian immigrant.
Repository
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
98447
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
archives@plu.edu
Access Restrictions

The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Magdalene Underle was born on December 4, 1887 in Redal, Norway, which is located near Bergen. Her parents were Anders and Maren Førland, and Magdalene was the youngest of eight children. Anders was a sailor and also somewhat of a preacher. At one point, he went to the United States, where he settled in Seattle, WA, but later returned to Norway. In the fall of 1909, Magdalene's brother Ludwig, who was living in Mt. Vernon, WA, sent her a ticket to the United States. She spoke no English and attended Pacific Lutheran College to learn. She also became employed as a housekeeper, and her employer's children helped her with her English as well. In 1910, Magdalene began training at the Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA and graduated second in her class. During World War I, she went to France as a nurse, and this work enabled her to obtain her American citizenship. After the war, Magdalene visited Norway, and on this trip, she met her husband, Lyder Underle. The couple was married in Mt. Vernon and then went to Draper, SD, where Lyder had a farm. Due to drought, they later moved to Tacoma, WA, where Lyder was a builder contractor and Magdalene worked at Tacoma General Hospital. In Tacoma, Magdalene began attending the Baptist Church, but was not able to join any Scandinavian organizations. She still keeps her Norwegian heritage alive, however, by maintaining Scandinavian traditions and staying in contact with her relatives in Norway.

Lineage

Full Name: Magdalene Førland Underle. Maiden Name: Magdalene Førland. Father: Anders Førland. Mother: Maren Førland. Paternal Grandfather: Knute Foerland. Paternal Grandmother: Brita Førland. Maternal Grandfather: Anders Redal. Maternal Grandmother: Margrethe Redal. Brothers and Sisters: Karl Førland, Laurens Førland, Anders Førland, Ludvig Førland, Margrethe Førland, Inger Førland, Bertha Førland. Spouse: Lyder Underle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interview was conducted with Magdalene Underle on June 23, 1981 in Seattle, Washington. It contains information on family background, emigration, settling in, her career as a nurse, marriage, and Norwegian heritage. The interview also contains a photograph of Magdalene at PLU's Norwegian Festival (May 2, 1981). The interview was conducted in English.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The partial interview transcription highlights important aspects of the interview. Numbers may be used as guides to important subjects. Two numbers separated by a slash indicate that the first number is for cassette and the second for CD.

Container(s) Description
Cassette
62, side 1 007/06: PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Born on December 4, 1887 in Redal, Norway, which is near Bergen.
62, side 1 021: PARENTS
Anders Førland was a sailor. Her mother's name was Maren. Her father worked at PLC. He was somewhat of a preacher. Her father went to the U.S.
62, side 1 043: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
She had seven siblings. Karl emigrated. Anders stayed in Norway. Ludvig and Laurens also emigrated.
62, side 1 060/07: GRANDPARENTS
Her paternal grandfather, Knute Førland was a farmer. Her paternal grandmother's name was Brita. They were from Haugesund.
62, side 1 068: REDAL, NORWAY
A farming village. The school was hard to get to.
62, side 1 082: FATHER IN U.S.
Mother had her hands full with the children and the farm animals.
62, side 1 087: FØRLAND
Means an area with a lot of fir trees.
62, side 1 096: WHY HER FATHER CAME TO THE U.S.
Times were very hard. He settled in the Seattle area. Worked building and in the woods.
62, side 1 119: WHY SHE CAME TO THE U.S.
She was dared to.
62, side 1 131/08: FATHER CAME BACK TO NORWAY
Deceased shortly after. Talks about why so many people emigrated.
62, side 1 152:
Her brother, Ludvig sent her a ticket to the U.S. She came alone. Ludvig worked in Mt. Vernon clearing and building. His fiancée did housekeeping.
62, side 1 172: FEELING SAD LEAVING NORWAY
Sad, but determined. Left from Bergen.
62, side 1 180: INTEREST IN NURSING
Sick as a child. Helped deliver babies.
62, side 1 214/09: CROSSING THE ATLANTIC
Wasn't very pleasant.
62, side 1 226: ELLIS ISLAND
"Went from post to pillar."
62, side 1 235:
Arrived in Seattle instead of Vancouver. Talks about the story behind this. Took train to Mt. Vernon and found the place herself because she had a picture of it.
62, side 1 263/10: LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES
Spoke no English, her companion spoke English.
62, side 1 274: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
New York was big. She was afraid of getting lost. Liked it out west. Impressions of Seattle and Mt. Vernon. Worked in Seattle.
62, side 1 292:
Attended the Lutheran College there to learn English. Training in 1910 for nursing. (See counter I-350)
62, side 1 306: ALASKA EXHIBITION
Attended the exhibition there was a crowd of people. Had two brothers in Seattle. One was a druggist and the other was a real estate man.
62, side 1 326: EMPLOYED AS A HOUSEKEEPER
The children taught her English. Her duties included helping the children and the cooking.
62, side 1 365/11: ATTENDED PACIFIC LUTHERAN ACADEMY
Lived and worked at school. Learned English. (See counter I-292)
62, side 1 393: TRAINING IN 1910 AT THE SWEDISH HOSPITAL
Hospital started in a hotel. She was second in her graduating class.
62, side 1 450/12: SOCIAL LIFE
No time, she was busy with classes and work.
62, side 1 466:
Hospital conditions in the early days. She became a surgery nurse.
62, side 1 492: REGISTRATION OF NURSES
Started the year she graduated. Employed at the Ellensburg Hospital.
62, side 1 520/13: KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH RELATIVES AND WWI
Nurse in France during this period. Became a citizen due to this work.
62, side 1 602: DUTIES IN FRANCE (ARMY HOSPITAL)
Conditions were terrible.
62, side 1 618/01: TRIP TO NORWAY
Went to Norway directly from the war. (See counter II-224) Took a boat from France to England to Bergen and then to Redal.
62, side 2 SIDE II:
62, side 2 029/02: TRIP TO NORWAY
Met husband during this trip. Married in the U.S. He had a farm in South Dakota. They were married in Mt. Vernon, Washington.
62, side 2 044: MOVED TO SOUTH DAKOTA AND DEPRESSION
Didn't like it, terrible drought. Lost their money in the bank. They lived in Draper, South Dakota between Mitchell and Rapid City.
62, side 2 075/03: COMING WEST
No children. Drought brought them out here. Farmhouse near Tacoma, her husband was also a builder contractor. Employed as a nurse at Tacoma General Hospital.
62, side 2 104: DESCRIPTION OF FARM
Located outside of the city limits east side of Tacoma.
62, side 2 110:
Had contact with Scandinavians. Not able to join the organizations, but sometimes went to the meetings.
62, side 2 120:
Not common for women to work in those days. Her life's work, she was needed.
62, side 2 132/04: SCANDINAVIAN TRADITIONS
Christmas asked Norwegian friends over for rommegrøt and fattigmand.
62, side 2 146:
Women had it harder in Norway. It was more equal in the U.S.
62, side 2 156: CHURCH LIFE
Member of the Baptist church in Tacoma.
62, side 2 167: INDIAN HOSPITAL
Employed for a while. Present day boys correctional center. A lot of TB. Describes their typical working day.
62, side 2 224/05: SEVERAL TRIPS TO NORWAY
Last trip they had a family reunion. Husband deceased about 1943. (See counter I-618, II-029)
62, side 2 256: NORWEGIAN LANGUAGE
Still speaks and writes Norwegian. Talks of serving relatives.
62, side 2 274:
Relatives visit from Norway. Discusses photographs of the family home.
62, side 2 303/06: NORWEGIAN CUSTOMS
Wedding crown, sentre (?) drakt (bunad).
62, side 2 328: PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIV. NORWEGIAN FESTIVAL
She attended the festival and wore her cultural dress.
62, side 2 333: HOBBIES
Needlework, knitting, and klokkestrand.
62, side 2 357: NORWEGIAN KEEPSAKES
Gave most away. Loves Norway and her adopted country. Couldn't think of living in Norway now.
62, side 2 374/07: SPEAKING NORWEGIAN TODAY
Not much chance to use it. She is living in the center with her brother.
62, side 2 400: CLOSES WITH A NORWEGIAN SONG
Translation - Can you forget old Norway? It is my birthplace and you can never forget it.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Depressions -- 1929
  • Family--Norway
  • Norway--Social conditions--1945-
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ocean travel
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Personal Names :
  • Underle, Magdalene--Interviews (creator)
  • Førland, Brita
  • Førland, Knute
  • Førland, Ludvig
  • Førland, Anders
  • Førland, Maren
  • Redal, Anders
  • Redal, Margrethe
  • Underle, Lyder
  • Corporate Names :
  • Norwegian Heritage Festival (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Pacific Lutheran Academy (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Tacoma General Hospital (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Family Names :
  • Førland family
  • Redal family
  • Underle family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Draper (S.D.)
  • Haugesund (Norway)
  • Mt. Vernon (Wash.)
  • Redal (Norway)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Domestics
  • Nurses