Nilsen, Martha

Partial transcript Audio T0232-1 T0232-2 T0232-3 T0232-4 T0232-5

Identity elements

Reference code

SIE 2-5-t232

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Nilsen, Martha


  • 1983-03-02 (Creation)


Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This interview was conducted with Martha Nilsen on March 2, 1983 in Tacoma, Washington. It contains information on her family background, emigration, settling in, return trips to Norway, and Norwegian heritage. Also available are photographs of Martha at ages seventeen and nineteen, Martha and her family during her first visit to Norway, and Martha at the time of the interview. The interview was conducted in English.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Biographical Note

Martha Nilsen was born on December 15, 1894 in Kvalnes, Tjoetta, Norway. Her parents were Sverdrup Dagsvik and Rebecca Ericksen, and there were at least thirteen children in the family: Edvin, Nilsine, Signe, Einar, Lucie, Agny, Line, Marte, Sverre, Georg, Aslaug, Johan, and Anne. Anne had a twin who was a stillborn. The family lived on a farm, where they raised a few crops and various animals. Martha's father was a schoolteacher who traveled from place to place, and her mother and the children tended to the farm while he was away. Martha raked hay during the hay season and fed and milked the cows. When Martha was fourteen, she was confirmed and began to work in town. She worked in a cafe and then did housework for various families. Martha met her husband Nils Nilsen when he came to Kvalnes to visit his family. He had been in America for many years, and Martha later immigrated to Tacoma, Washington to marry him. Martha and Nils had two children, Viola and Noble, and Nils was a fisherman, which kept him away from his family often. Martha returned to Norway three times, once in 1937 with Viola, in 1962 with Nils, and in the late 1960s with two of Nilsine's children. In Tacoma, she remained active in the community, belonging to the Ladies Aid at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and the Daughters of Norway. She also continued to make Norwegian foods, including rice mush, broed, morlefse, krinalefse, goro, fattigmann, krumkake, and berlinerkranser.


Full Name: Marta Johanne Nilsen. Maiden Name: Marta Johanne Dagsvik. Father: Sverdrup Nikolai Dagsvik. Mother: Rebecca Elisabeth Ericksen. Paternal Grandfather: Nikolai. Maternal Grandmother: Marte Ericksen. Brothers and Sisters: Edvin Mork Dagsvik, Nilsine Tanke Dagsvik, Signe Dagsvik, Einar Angal Skroeper Dagsvik, Lucie Falk Dagsvik, Agny Julliete Sol Dagsvik, Nikoline Dagsvik, Sverre Reinhart Dagsvik, Georg Dagsvik, Aslaug Dagsvik, Johan Dagsvik, Anne Dagsvik twin with Marte, Marte Johanne Dagsvik (deadborn). Spouse: Nils M. Nilsen. Children: Viola M. Woods, Noble R. Nilsen.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places