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Archival description
Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection With digital objects
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Jonas Olson family papers

Consists of a manuscript describing the Olson family’s history beginning with Jonas (born 1831) and his wife Anna Britta Hed (born 1835). The manuscript talks about their lives as immigrants and pioneers in Minnesota. History about their daughter Josephine and her husband John Olson and their personalities and their children is also discussed.

Baalson Centennial Family History

These documents are the family history of the Baalson family beginning with Ellen and Kari Baalson who came to America in 1861. Their descendents numbered close to 400 one hundred years later. The program for the Baalson Centennial shows that the event took place 4 July 1961 at Big Grove Church in Brooten, Minnesota. There is also a booklet that has a poem “Ode to Ellen and Kari Baalson” by Herman Baalson (the only living child of Ellen and Kari), a foreword by George Baalson, a family tree, a brief sketch of Elle and Kari Baalson’s history with a picture, and short biographies of family members.

Runa Thordarson Records

A photocopy of a twenty-seven page typed biography of two Point Roberts pioneers, Dagbjort and Helgi Thorsteinson. Compiled, translated, and written by Runa Thordarson. Also included are photocopied portraits of Helgi and Dagbjort and a photo of their home in Point Roberts from a newspaper clipping (the newspaper cites their surname as Thorstenson).

Ole Nilsen Hegna Papers

"My journey to America and reminiscences of the Civil War" by Ole Nilson Hegna includes a 5 page typed document and 3 handwritten notes concerning the Civil War and the Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment.

Jonas Bergner Autobiography

Photocopied musings of Bergner titled "På väg till Amerika," or "On the Way to America." These documents are both in Swedish and typewritten in English.

Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe Materials

Consists of photocopied articles from the Milbank Herald Advance and We Alaskans, including eleven photographic reprints. The articles, written by Frederick's grandson, describe Frederick’s adventures in Alaska’s gold fields as well as biographical information. The photographs include a portrait of Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe and various scenes from his time in Alaska.

Article citation: Walter Poppe, “Journey to Alaska,” We Alaskans, June 15, 1986, 06-07.

Article citation: Walter H. Poppe, “Milbank men tried their luck in Alaskan gold fields,” Milbank Herald Advance, April 1, 1986.

Svanøe Family History

A detailed genealogical list of the Svanøe family and an historical account of its “establishment” on the island for which the family is named. Within this is also an extensive description of Svanøy itself, complete with a description of its geography. Many of these documents, including speeches and sermons retelling the family story, were written and/or compiled especially for the Svanøe family banquet that was held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa on the 10 July 1994. Also included is a well-wishing letter from Ambassador Harald Svanøe Midttun who also retold the family story, sending his greetings to the family and reaffirming his own ties to the Svanøe family in America, as his grandfather was Atle Svanøe. The Nordic Fest sermon that is part of this collection tells the Svanøe story as it relates to that of Hans Nielsen Hauge and the religious aspects of the family’s foundation, the immigrant experience, and Norway’s 19th Century “Nation Building” as a whole. There is also a photocopy of a book documenting various Norwegian immigrants to America with a short excerpt on Atle Svanøe. Documents specific to the family banquet include a program for the event with family tributes, presentations, and genealogical updates, an invitation letter to the banquet and travel arrangements, and addresses of the various family members in America, Canada, and in Scandinavia. There are also articles in local Midwestern newspapers specific to the Svanøe family story and legacy.

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