Olsen, Irving

Partial transcript

Identity elements

Reference code

SIE 2-4-t280

Name and location of repository

Level of description


Olsen, Irving


  • 1983-06-25 (Creation)


3 file folders
1 sound cassette

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This interview was conducted with Irving Olsen on June 25, 1983 in Seattle, Washington. It contains information on family background, emigration, work, and involvement in Norwegian organizations. Also available is the announcement of Irving's 100th birthday from the Western Viking. The interview was conducted in English with some Norwegian towards the end of the interview.

Folder Contents

Box 12, File 13 Personal and Family History
Tape Archive Sheet, Family Background and Tape Index

Box 12, File 13A Correspondence and Forms

Box 12, File 13B Clippings
“Western Viking” article November 6, 1987

System of arrangement

Interviewed by Janet Rasmussen
Transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby
Encoded by Kerstin Ringdahl & Amity Smetzler
Recording Quality: Good, Mr. Olsen has a soft voice.

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

Irving Olsen was born on November 5, 1887 in Laksevaag, Norway. His parents were Kristian Olsen and Georgine Elisabeth Fuglum, and Irving was the fourth of ten children. Two of the younger children died before the age of one, and Georgine died eight days after giving birth to the youngest child, Harold. Irving was ten years old at the time. Irving's father remarried to Kristine Lambertson, who was actually his first cousin. Kristine's son attended a private 'middelskole,' and Irving was given the opportunity to attend there as well. He obtained a good education in German, English, and mathematics.

After finishing school, he worked in a men's clothing store in Bergen and was called upon to help all of the American and German tourists. In 1907, Irving immigrated to Boston, where his older sister Hilder was working as a domestic. Hilder had become acquainted with Soeren Hammer in Bergen and had emigrated with him under the impression that they would be married. The marriage never occurred, but when Irving arrived to Boston, he got a job at Tailby-Mason Pharmaceutical Company where Soeren worked. When Soeren left, Irving took over his job coating tablets, and after several years, was promoted to superintendent of the store.

In 1914, he married Marie Berg (also Norwegian) and had two children, Edith and Harald (Hal). While living in Boston, Irving was very active in Norwegian organizations, belonging to the Good Templar Society, Den Norke Forening, the oldest Norwegian society, and Norumbega. He also took an active part in establishing the Norwegian Old People's Home in Boston and was the chairman when the Home was dedicated.

Irving's Norwegian work in Boston lead to him to being decorated by King Haakon of Norway in July 1939. He received the Order of St. Olaf medal. In 1957, Irving retired from his job at the age of seventy and moved to Seattle. After Marie's death, Irving also married his second wife, Constance, in 1961. Irving had known her as a child in Laksevaag and invited her to come to on a trip to America with his sister, which evolved into a marriage.


Full Name: Oyvind (Irving) Olsen
Father: Kristian Olsen
Mother: Georgine Elisabeth Fuglum
Stepmother's Name: Kristine Lambertson
Paternal Grandfather: Lars Olsen
Paternal Grandmother: (?) Lambertson
Maternal Grandfather: Georg (?) Fuglum
Brothers and Sisters: Hilda Olsen, Erling Olsen, Ragna Olsen, Sigrid Olsen, Aslaug Olsen, Tryg(g)ve Olsen, Harald Olsen, two children that died before one year of age
Spouses: Marie Berg, Konstanse (Constance) Olsen
Children: Edith Olsen, Harald (Hal) Olsen

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

Digital object metadata





Media type





80.5 MiB


June 9, 2022 11:00 AM

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places