Paul Pederson - Pederson Saga, 1854-1976  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Pederson, Paul
Paul Pederson - Pederson Saga
1854-1976 (inclusive)
1 File (1 folder)
Collection Number
OPVSIEmss_28 (collection)
The Pederson Saga is the family history of Norwegian immigrant Paul Pederson who came to America in 1912, became a citizen in1919, and eventually moved to Lakewood, Washington. He and his wife Magda raised two children and were long-time members of the First Lutheran Church, which Paul helped to build in 1921. Paul died on 10 December 1971 and Magda died on 23 May 1972.
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
Access Restrictions

The Pederson Saga is available for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Georg Pederson was born on July 6, 1854 in Norway. He attended Tromsø Seminary for religious and educational training and taught at various places in Norway. Georg married Anna Hundseth and they had eight children. Only three survived into modern times, Olga, Torvald, and Paul. Anna died in 1909 and Georg married Martine Aalberg, who had a son, Olav Johanson. In 1912, Georg and Anna’s son, Paul immigrated to America, eventually residing in Lakewood, Washington with his wife, Magda Nilsen. Paul and Magda had two children, Arne and Mildred.

George and Anna’s son, Paul, immigrated to America in 1912 on the “Oscar II.” He took a train from Ellis Island to Anacortes, Washington, where he met up with some friends from Norway and got a job in a cannery. He attended Bethania College in Everett to learn English. Paul met Magda Nilsen in Lakewood. They were married in Seattle in 1917. Magda was born 25 April 1896 at the farmstead Vatnet on lake Vassvatnet, Southeast of Aldersundet near. Her mother, Marianne Johnson, raised the children by herself when Magda’s father, Kristian Nilsen, died in 1909. Magda immigrated to Lakewood, Washington, in 1913 with help from her aunt and uncle, Sara and Mathias Nilsen. In Lakewood she worked for Sara and did housework in the area. Magda’s two sisters, Gidsken and Bergljot, married and stayed in Norway.

Paul became a citizen on 12 June 1919 and purchased twenty acres of land before he and Magda were married. They cleared the land for farming, built a small house, and dug a well. They added another bedroom on after the children Mildred and Arne were born.

Paul worked during the fishing season in the Puget Sound but was home in the winters. Later, he turned to farming fulltime and started in the poultry business. They were able to build a new, two-story house with a basement in 1930. This house had a bathroom and a wood furnace. They purchased a 1924 Model T Ford. They also became involved in growing strawberries commercially, and the children picked berries to earn money.

Paul volunteered to help build a new First Lutheran Church in 1921. Magda crocheted the white altar cloth edging. The church was an important part of the lives of the community members. Mildred later taught Sunday school for ten years. In March 1952 they sold their farm and moved to Marysville. They moved into Havenwood Nursing Home. Paul died on 10 December 1971 and Magda died on 23 May 1972.

Arne (born 1 June 1919) attended Pacific Lutheran College from 1937-1941. He taught for three years in Carnation, Washington, and then served in the Philippines during WWII. When he returned he continued his studies at PLU and then became a professor there. He retired after 33 years. He married Gloria Marguerite Whitney Rummer in 1941 and they had five sons: Leslie, James, David, Mark, and Robert. Arne was involved in the Sunday School program at Trinity Lutheran and in the Cub Scout program of the Mount Rainier Council. Gloria, born in Sioux City, Iowa, on 15 June 1920, attended Spokane College and then at Pacific Lutheran College. She was a Den Mother in Cub Scouts for 19 years, and held several offices in the PLU Faculty Women’s Organization. As president of the women’s organization she helped found the annual Yule Boutique. She also held offices in the Trinity Lutheran Church Women’s Organization and at the District level. She opened Gloria’s Scandinavian Gifts in 1976.

Mildred (born 6 September 1924) graduated from Arlington High School in 1942 as Valedictorian and took college preparation courses. She got a job in Seattle and then moved to Everett where she worked as a bookkeeper. She married Elgie Collins in 1951and they moved to Marysville. Elgie died in 1960. In 1970 she married Charles Boone and moved to the Lake Stevens area. She retired from Rodgers Electric in 1986 at age 62.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of the history of Paul and Magda Pederson, their children and their extended family.Within the history there is genealogical information, history of Lakewood, Washington, and a list of early Lakewood settlers are included.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from (the collection) must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

The Pederson Saga, OPVSIEmss_28, Archives and Special Collections, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Box 2, file 14

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Norway--Emigration and immigration
  • Shivaree

Personal Names

  • Aalberg, Martine
  • Boone, Mildred (Pederson Collins)
  • Hundseth, Anna
  • Nilsen, Magda
  • Pederson, Arne Kenneth
  • Pederson, Georg
  • Pederson, Paul--Archives
  • Rummer, Gloria MargueriteWhitney

Corporate Names

  • Bethany Lutheran Church (Lakewood, Wash.)
  • Cub Scouts
  • First Lutheran Church (Lakewood, Wash.)
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Rodgers Electric Company (Marysville, Wash.)
  • Tromsø Seminary (Trømso, Norway)
  • Bethania College (Everett, Wash.)
  • Faith Lutheran Church (Lakewood, Wash.)
  • Gloria’s Scandinavian Gifts (Tacoma, Wash.)

Family Names

  • Pederson family

Geographical Names

  • Ellis Island (N.J. and N.Y.)
  • Nesna (Norway)
  • Lakewood (Wash.)
  • Anacortes (Wash.)
  • Carnation (Wash.)
  • Dallas (Or.)
  • Finnmark fylke (Norway)
  • Marysville (Wash.)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Family history


  • Farmers
  • Teaching