Anna Jørgensdatter Tveiten Lovrak Oral History Interview, 1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Lovrak, Anna Jørgensdatter Tveiten
1981 (inclusive)
2 file folder
1 sound cassette
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Anna Jørgensdatter Tveiten Lovrak, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
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The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Anna Lovrak was born on December 19, 1909 in Tveiten, Norway. Her parents were Jørgen Karleson Tveiten and Jori Olene Tveiten, and she had three siblings: Carl, Martha, and Gunhild. In 1902, Anna's parents immigrated to America, where her father found work as a logger in Bellingham, WA. In 1906, they returned to Norway and bought the family farm with the money they had earned in Washington. At the age of six, Anna began working on the farm as well as attending school. At fourteen, she attended Folkeskolen and was later confirmed. In 1930, she decided to immigrate to Tacoma, WA, where her brother and friends lived. She stayed with friends from Sirdal, Norway, and her mother and sister arrived a few weeks later. Anna had come to America to make a better living for herself, and once in Tacoma, she was soon hired as a housekeeper by a Presbyterian pastor. Anna met her husband, Greg Lovrak, through her brother. Greg was from Grimstad, Norway and had changed his name from Gregorius Lauvrak to Greg Lovrak upon his arrival to America. Greg was employed as logger when Anna met him, and they had three children: Oscar, Judith, and Glenn. The children spoke only Norwegian until they began attending school, and Anna raised them with Scandinavian foods and customs. Anna has been a member of the Daughters of Norway for 51 years and a member of the Central Baptist Church for 22-23. She has visited Norway and remains in close contact with her relatives there.


Full Name: Anna Jørgensdatter Tveiten Lovrak. Maiden Name: Anna Jørgensdatter Tveiten. Father: Jørgen Karleson Tveiten. Mother: Jori Olene Tveiten. Paternal Grandfather: Karl Karleson Tveiten. Paternal Grandmother: Martha Tveiten. Maternal Grandfather: Ola Lunde. Maternal Grandmother: Gunhild Lunde. Brothers and Sisters: Carl Martin Tveiten, Martha Annia Tveiten, Gunhild Bertine Tveiten. Spouse: Greg Lovrak (Gregorius Lauvrak). Children: Oscar John Lovrak. Judith Irene Bentley. Glenn Arnold Lovrak.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interview was conducted with Anna Lovrak on August 7, 1981 in Tacoma, Washington. It contains information on family background, schooling, emigration, employment, marriage and family, community involvement, and Norwegian heritage. 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
Born on December 19, 1909 in Tveiten, Norway. Discussion of names. Closest towns were Flekkefjord and Stavanger.
79, side 1 037: PARENTS
Jori Olene (Lunde) Tveiten and Jørgen Karleson Tveiten, employed as a farmer.
79, side 1 048: GRANDPARENTS
Paternal grandmother was a nice old lady, lived with her uncle.
79, side 1 056: FAMILY NAME
Discussion of Tveiten, meaning unknown. Husband's name, Lauvrak has been changed to Lovrak upon arrival to the U.S. Anna married in the U.S. to Greg (Gregorius) Lovrak.
79, side 1 069: FAMILY BACKGROUND
Parents emigrated in 1902 to the U.S. Her father was employed in Bellingham, Washington. Wanted to make money fast, worked as a logger.
79, side 1 083: REEMIGRATION
Went back to Norway in 1906, bought family farm with the money earned in the U.S.
79, side 1 088: GROWING UP
"Lots of work" since age six, milking cows and haying in June.
79, side 1 100: SCHOOL DAYS
Started school at age six, Folkeskolen at fourteen, later confirmation. Stayed on the family farm until emigration to the U.S. Her brother was already in the U.S.
79, side 1 115: ARRIVAL IN U.S.
1930, looking for better way to make money, wanted to find work, hard to make it in Norway.
79, side 1 137: DESTINATION TACOMA
Brother and friends resided here.
79, side 1 142: BOAT TRIP
Came aboard the Bergensfjord. Took three weeks plus two days to arrive from Tonstad, Norway to Vancouver, B.C. (See counter I-155).
Wondered if she was doing the right thing.
79, side 1 155: BOAT TRIP
Good food. Seasick on the trip over due to cheap quarters beneath the water level. Mostly Norwegian aboard (see counter I-142).
Alone upon arrival in Vancouver, B.C. Mr. Strom (?) escorted her to Tacoma, the Strom (?) family owned a grocery store in Tacoma.
79, side 1 208: TRIP ACROSS CANADA
No paper problems and not many language problems.
Very different from Norway. Outside toilets surprised her. Mother told her what to expect.
79, side 1 240: ARRIVAL IN TACOMA
Stayed with the Skreen (?) family, friends from Sirdal, Norway. Mother and sister arrived a few weeks later. Finally all together.
79, side 1 257: GETTING A JOB
Put an ad in the newspaper and was hired by a Presbyterian pastor in the north end.
79, side 1 277: AVERAGE WORK DAY
7am cook breakfast, later lunch and dinner, cleaning. Some problems with the English language. Pastor Etcheson (?).
79, side 1 308: LEARNING ENGLISH
Attended night school for one winter. Spoke Norwegian at home with family and friends. Spoke English at work.
79, side 1 326: MEETING HUSBAND
Through her brother. Husband was from Grimstad, Norway. He worked as a logger when they were married.
79, side 1 343: DEPRESSION
No work, bad times, could always get housework, made $35 to start then up to $45.
79, side 1 353: HUSBAND'S JOB
Worked from Sunday until Saturday night, home only on Saturday nights, lived in the woods where he worked.
79, side 1 364: CHILDREN
(See lineage) Her mother helped at home with the children. The children spoke Norwegian until they went to school, attended Franklin school, they picked up English fast, still able to speak and understand Norwegian.
79, side 1 402: GRANDCHILDREN
Granddaughter learning Norwegian at PLU.
79, side 1 412: COOKING
Made meals for the families she worked for.
Bought house after renting it for a while. Had two acres with cows, chickens, rabbits, sold milk to the neighbors, this was during the Depression, growing vegetables and canning. Had all they needed on two acres.
Scandinavian food and customs, (see counter I-430).
79, side 1 494: CLEANING JOBS
Cleaned doctor's offices. Did this for many years.
Member for 51 years in the Daughters of Norway, joined to meet Norwegian friends.
79, side 1 544: CHURCH LIFE
Member of Central Baptist for 22-23 years, attended the Norwegian church upon arrival to America. Very active in church today.
79, side 1 585: HOBBIES
Knitting and crocheting. Talks about her bunad being passed down.
79, side 1 608:
Speaks of grandchildren, six total.
79, side 1 615: HUSBAND
Member of the Sons of Norway for many years.
79, side 2 003:
Speaks of remaining relatives.
79, side 2 004: VISITING NORWAY
Beautiful trip. Many changes they have everything. Visited friends and relatives.
79, side 2 020: RELATIVES VISIT
Come over every summer to visit.
79, side 2 025: SPECIAL KEEPSAKES
Dolls, weaving, and pictures.
79, side 2 037:
Speaks the Norwegian Table Prayer.
"Not sorry for being Norwegian." Scandinavians have fun together.
79, side 2 056:
Glad she came to the U.S., likes it here, glad to be an American.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Confirmation
  • Depressions--1929
  • Education--Norway
  • Embroidery
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Knitting
  • Marriage service
  • Norway--Social conditions--1945-
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ocean travel
  • Railroad travel
  • Personal Names :
  • Lovrak, Anna--Interviews (creator)
  • Bentley, Judith
  • Lauvrak, Gregorius
  • Lovrak, Oscar
  • Tveiten, Carl
  • Tveiten, Martha
  • Lovrak, Glenn
  • Lovrak, Greg
  • Tveiten, Gunhild
  • Tveiten, Jørgen Karleson
  • Tveiten, Jori Olene
  • Corporate Names :
  • Bergensfjord (Steamship)
  • Central Baptist Church (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Daughters of Norway (U.S.) Embla Lodge #2 (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Family Names :
  • Bentley family
  • Lauvrak family
  • Lovrak family
  • Lunde family
  • Tveiten family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Grimstad (Norway)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Tveiten (Norway)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Domestics