NameMalene Abelsdatter Isene
Birth17 Jun 1837, Isene, Norway
Immigration1870, By sailing ship to Quebec, then by train & boat to near LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Death12 Dec 1934, Clinton, Minnesota
BurialClinton, Minnesota
MiscellanyIsene is 4 km east of Dombesten on the sourth side of the Nordfjord at the mouth of Hundsviksfjorden.
Flags#Steens, Error, Linked, Thumbnail, [FamLabel], [Gen11], [GenYes]
FatherAbel Rasmussen (1808-1845)
MotherMarie Eliasdatter (?1806-1880)
Birth20 Jun 1850, Dombesten, Norway
Immigration1870, By sailing ship to Quebec, then by train & boat to near LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Death15 Apr 1918, Clinton, Minnesota
BurialClinton, Minnesota
MiscellanyDombesten is on the south side of the Nordfjord just below the confluence of Eidsfjorden and Hundsviksfjorden.
FatherOle Peder(son) Orem (1820-1895)
MotherKristi Johansdatter Aardahl (1818-1880)
Marriage17 Apr 1870, Norway
ChildrenMarie (Mary) Christine (1871-1952)
 Olai (1873-1961)
 Abel (1876-1958)
 Ida Petrine (1878-1937)
 Dena Rasmine (1881-1893)
 Sem Paul (1884-1967)
Biography notes for Malene Abelsdatter Isene
See for Reminiscences, an autobiographical sketch written in 1922 by Malene Abelsdatter Isene Steen. Reminiscences was written in Norwegian when the author was 85 years old and translated by the Norwegian-American Historical Association in March 1979.
Notes for Malene Abelsdatter Isene
Malene was 33 and Sevrin was 20 when they married, one week before departing for the United States. Some years later she wrote a memoir entitled “Reminiscences” which was translated into English in 1979 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association. This English translation appears on pp. 37-41 of “Family Tree” and is reproduced below. What follows here are excerpts from Ernest Steen’s notes in Family Tree about his maternal grandmother:

“Malene was a remarkable person, a fact that becomes clearly evident as one reads between the lines of ““Reminiscences” [see below]. I remember her as a deeply spiritual Christian. When I was about to enter the ministry, she spoke to me about the very serious responsibility that I was assuming for the spiritual needs of the congregations that I would be serving. One is reminded of the statement made by a little girl who was asked what her grandmother was doing. She answered: “She is doing her homework for heaven.” The remark aptly applied to grandmother. She did not neglect her homework in devotional reading, prayer, and worship in her home and at church. She attended my ordination at 89 years of ageamdas 93 drove with my parents about 300 miles round trip to attend some special services in my first parish.

“Grandmother had remarkable artistic talent. ... In 1937-38 while I was in New York studying, Inez took art classes at the University of Minnesota. Several lessons on weaving resulted in Inez showing a type of tapestry done by Malene, and in the request that it be displayed in a weaving exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It hung there for four months in the spring of 1938.” [A photo of this weaving can be found on p. 34 of “Family Tree.”]

Ernest then quotes a tribute paid to Malene by her oldest son Olai, Ernest’s father:

“Life was not always a path of roses, but a stern character-bulding master, which in her case left its stamp on her whole future life. She was always ready to set aside her own convenience and respond to calls for aid in sickness and distress, to share with others in time of need, to give to others what could scarcely be spared, and in short to lend a helping hand where struggling neighbors needed help and comfort. From her early childhood she became imbued with a true Chritian spirit from which it can be said that she never wavered and never tired of practicing it in relation to family and community. It behooves us as succesors to the old pioneers, who are rapidly passing, to take stock and adopt sterling values of Christian stewardship in our relation to life.”
Last Modified 29 Oct 2012Created 6 Sep 2014 using Reunion for Macintosh