Ingrid Amundsen Oral History Interview, 1983

Overview of the Collection

Amundsen, Ingrid
Ingrid Amundsen Oral History Interview
1983 (inclusive)
3 file folders
2 photographs
1 sound cassette
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Ingrid Amundsen, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 2535357586
Fax: 2535357315
Access Restrictions

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

Ingrid Amundsen was born on May 12, 1987 in Alstahaug, Norway, a small island west of Mosjoen, to Kristian and Marie Ulrikson. Kristian was a shoemaker and Marie a homemaker. Ingrid had four siblings: Eli, Magda, Olaf, and Kristjuf. Ingrid has no special memories of her childhood, but remembers Christmas in Norway fondly. On Christmas Eve, they received gifts and had risengynsgroet, and on Christmas Day, they attended church and had lutefisk, soetsuppe, potatoes, and other vegetables. After her confirmation, Ingrid went to work in Namsos, where her father had relatives, and then immigrated to America in 1919 when she was twenty-one. Her older sister, Eli, already lived in America, and Ingrid went to her house in Sioux City, Iowa. Ingrid worked as a domestic, and in 1921, she married Emil Amundsen, who was also from Norway. The couple had two children: Clarence and Ethel and later moved to Seattle, WA. In America, Ingrid attended some Norwegian organizations, but never got very involved. She did, however, continue to attend church regularly with her family.


Full Name: Ingrid (Charlotte ?) Amundsen Maiden Name: Ingrid (Charlotte ?) Ulrikson Father: Kristian Ulrikson Mother: Marie Ulrikson Brothers and Sisters: Eli Astrid Ulrikson Magda Ulrikson Olaf Ulrikson Kristjuf(?)Ulrikson Spouse: Emil Amundsen Children: Clarence (Bud) Amundsen Ethel Amundsen

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This interview was conducted with Ingrid Amundsen on January 18, 1983 in Seattle, Washington. It contains information on family background, emigration, work, marriage and family, and community activities. Also available are two photographs of Ingrid at the time of the interview. 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

Custodial History

The Oral History collection project was started during an experimental course on Scandinavian Women in the Pacific Northwest. Students in the course were encouraged to interview women and learn about their experiences as immigrants to the United States. The project was continued and expanded with support from the president's office and by grants from the L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, from the Joel E. Ferris Foundation and the Norwegian Emigration Fund of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project was directed by Dr. Janet E. Rasmussen. The collection was transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Department.

Acquisition Information

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Processing Note

The interview was conducted by Inger Nygaard Carr using a cassette recorder. A research copy was also prepared from the original. To further preserve the content of the interview, it is now being transferred to compact disc. We deliberately did not transcribe the entire interview because we want the researchers to listen to the interviewee's own voice. The transcription index highlights important aspects of the interview and the tape counter numbers noted on the Partial Interview Transcription are meant as approximate finding guides and refer to the location of a subject on the cassette/CD. The recording quality is good

The collection was transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby.


Rasmussen, Janet Elaine. New Land New Lives: Scandinavian Immigrants to the Pacific Northwest Tacoma, Washington University of Washington Press 1993

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
223, side 1 028: INGRID AMUNDSEN
Born Ingrid Charlotte Ulrikson Amundsen on May 12, 1897 in Alstahaug, a small island in Nordland west of Mosjoen.
223, side 1 080: PARENTS
Kristian and Marie Ulrikson. Her father was a shoemaker and later on, also worked for somebody else. Her mother was a homemaker.
223, side 1 101: HOME
Lived in Alstahaug for about 11 years; then moved to the place where her dad worked (Mo i Rana). Had a small country place - not a farm.
223, side 1 115: SCHOOL
She walked to a country school; she skied a lot, but not to school.
223, side 1 126: CHURCH
The family attended a nearby church regularly.
223, side 1 150: GRANDPARENTS
: She can't remember much about them; they lived far away.
223, side 1 156: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
: One older sister, Eli Astrid, then Ingrid, Magda, Olaf, and Kristjuf (?).
223, side 1 167: CHRISTMAS
Ingrid remembers a nice Christmas tree, gifts on Christmas eve, and church on Christmas day. They had risengrynsgrøt on Christmas Eve, and lutefisk, søtsuppe, potatoes, vegetables on Christmas day. Risengrøt was served with milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Mother did lots of baking.
223, side 1 211: CHILDHOOD
No special memories, just school and playing.
223, side 1 216: CONFIRMATION
She was confirmed, and then went to work in Namsos. Her father came from Namsos, and other relatives still lived there. She worked there for several years before emigrating to US.
223, side 1 235: EMIGRATION
Ingrid emigrated in 1919; her older sister, Eli, was in US already. She traveled alone, by ship from Trondheim to Bergen, then to England, and then New York. She went to her sister's in Sioux City, Iowa by train.
223, side 1 280: MARRIAGE
She was married (about 1921) to Emil Amundsen, also from Norway.
223, side 1 304: SEATTLE
Seattle was well liked; she moved here.
223, side 1 320: CHILDREN
She has two children: Clarence and Ethel. Clarence is married with two or three children and is a mechanic. He lives close by. Ethel is also married, with four children, and lives in the Midwest.
223, side 1 336: SCHOOL IN AMERICA
She attended school for a while in Sioux City to help with her English.
223, side 1 340: CITIZENSHIP
She became a citizen when she married
223, side 1 347: NORWEGIAN CUSTOMS
Foods included fish, meatballs, and rommegrøt.
223, side 1 362: TRIP BACK TO NORWAY
She returned once by ship and visited her parents and siblings. Her mother approved of Ingrid's emigration because Eli was in America, and her mother had other children at home.
223, side 1 394:
Church in America. She and her family attended church regularly.
223, side 1 404: ORGANIZATIONS
Ingrid just attended some; was not too involved.
223, side 1 410: WORK
It was not hard to find domestic work; her sister helped. The non-Norwegian families helped her to learn English.
223, side 1 433: LANGUAGE
Both children know how to speak Norwegian, and her son has visited Norway. The biggest difficulty in America was learning to speak English. Her son helped her after he entered school.
223, side 1 463:
SPEAKING NORWEGIAN. She likes to speak Norwegian, and says The Lord's Prayer in Norwegian.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Christmas
  • Education--Norway
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Norway--Social conditions--1945-
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs

Personal Names

  • Amundsen, Clarence
  • Amundsen, Emil
  • Amundsen, Ethel
  • Amundsen, Ingrid
  • Ulrikson, Eli
  • Ulrikson, Kristian
  • Ulrikson, Kristjuf
  • Ulrikson, Magda
  • Ulrikson, Marie
  • Ulrikson, Olaf
  • Amundsen, Ingrid--Interviews (creator)

Family Names

  • Amundsen family
  • Ulrikson family

Geographical Names

  • Alstahaug (Norway)
  • Namsos (Norway)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Sioux City (Iowa)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Oral histories


  • Domestics
  • Housewives
  • Shoemakers