Ott, Tove

Partial transcript

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SIE 2-1-t048

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Ott, Tove


  • 1981-01-01 (Creation)


2 file folders
1 sound cassette
2 compact discs

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Scope and content

This interview was conducted with Tove Ott, January 1981, in Burlingame, California, by Scott Lawley, a Pacific Lutheran University student and Tove's grandson. It provides information about family background, emigration, marriage, employment, community involvement, and Danish heritage. The interview was conducted in English.

Folder Contents

Box 2, File 13 Personal and Family History
Tape Archive Sheet, Family Background, and Tape Index

Box 2, File 13A Correspondence and Forms
Release Form
Handwritten Tape Archive Sheet and Family Background

System of arrangement

Interviewed by Scott Lawley
Transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby
Encoded by Kerstin Ringdahl & Amity Smetzler
Recording Quality: Poor - very noisy and difficult to understand throughout.

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Biographical Note

Tove Ott was born on June 25, 1896 in Sønderholm, Jylland, Denmark to Trenton Barfod and Emily Foth. Her father was a minister in a small town called Jølunde, which is located outside of Copenhagen, and Tove had three older siblings: Volner, Kaj, and Louise Johanna. In 1916, Tove married Mr. Peterson and a year later, had her daughter Gertrude. Shortly after Gertrude's birth, Tove's husband died of heart failure. To support herself, Tove worked at an establishment similar to Western Union, sorting telegrams.

At work, Tove became friends with a woman named Annie (Kolten) Newman. Annie immigrated to the United States in 1921 and encouraged Tove to do the same. Tove came two years later, leaving Gertrude with her sister in Denmark. Tove's first job in America was as a babysitter, and in April 1924, Annie informed her of a job opening at a boys' school in Palo Alto, California. Tove got the job and started work immediately. In May, she met her husband, Minet William Ott, and was married in March of 1925. Two years later, Tove sent for Gertrude. Gertrude was ten and a half at the time and learned English quickly.

Tove has not been actively involved in church in the United States but does belong to the Danish Sisterhood in San Francisco, a Senior Citizens group in Burlingame, and a civic group. She has returned to Denmark in 1936 and 1969 and still uses Danish when she writes to her relatives there. Tove is very proud of her heritage.


Full Name: Tove Barfod Ott
Maiden Name: Tove Barfod
Father: Trenton Barfod
Mother: Emily Foth
Brothers and Sisters: Volner Barfod, Kaj Barfod, Louise Johanna Barfod
Spouse: Mr. Peterson, Minet William Ott
Children: Gertrude Barfod Peterson

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55.4 MiB


June 9, 2022 12:18 PM

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