Our Norwegian Heritage
Emigration to the USA
New York (Ellis Island): This was the point of embarkation for almost all of the Scandinavian immigrants of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Ellis island was an efficient facility to control and process immigrants. One of the interesting results of this process was creation of inheritable last names, such as Woldhagen, that simply did not exist in Norway at the time.
Chicago: Most of the Norwegian immigrants simply passed through New York on the way to the mid west and relatives or family friends that would provide shelter and food until employment could be found. Many, many Norwegians gravitated to the bustling city of Chicago.
Minnesota and Wisconsin: Even Chicago often proved to be a temporary location. Often Norwegians moved west and north of Chicago to Wisconsin and Minnesota to start farms in a climate and conditions similar to their native land.
Florida and the West Coast: Although many Scandinavian immigrants stayed in the midwest, many others joined the migrations to California and Florida that was sweeping the USA in the 1910's and 20's.
Woldhagen Family Site