Eli Asselina Halvorsdtr Hinderaker comes to America

(Photo of Hans Ivarson and Eli Asselina Halvorsdtr Hinderaker)

Hans and Eli Hinderaker

Eli came to America in 1910 at the age of 78. Her husband, Hans, had died. All of her children, except one, came to America when they were young. They had all married after coming to America and subsequently had children. Eli had never met these grandchildren or daughter-in-laws. She knew that by coming to America she would die in America, never to see her beloved Karmøy, Norway again. She spent the final six years of her life living with the Andrew and Lena Hinderaker family.

Upon the death of her husband, Hans Ivarson Hinderaker, in 1905, Eli decided to go to the United States. This was a very grave decision, because she knew that she would never again lay eyes on her family in Norway. She decided to make the journey, however, because before she died, she wanted to see her family in the United States. She, therefore, traveled to Hamilton County, Iowa in 1910, at the age of 78. Making this journey would be a huge undertaking for anyone, but for a 78 year old woman, a journey on an ocean liner, crossing the Atlantic, must have been very frightening. The S.S. Megantic left liverpool on 15 March 1910. On that same ship were three young men also from Avaldsnes Parish, who were also going to the Radcliffe, Iowa area in the United States; Johannes Kjetland, age 21, Mathias Norheim, age 22 and Knut Skeie, age 18. The S.S. Megantic arrived at the Boston Port on 23 March 1910. She was greeted by her sons, Andrew and Nils, who accompanied her, the final distance across the country to Hamilton County, Iowa and the loving arms of her American family. Eli spent her remaining years living with her son, on the Andrew Hinderaker Family Farm. In fact, she and Nils were shown, on the 1910 federal census, as living with the Andrew Hinderaker family, 30 April 1910, a little more than a month after Eli landed at Boston Port.


The S.S. Megantic was launched in December 1908 and was delivered to White Star on June 3, 1909. She crossed from Liverpool to Montreal on her maiden voyage on June 17 of that same year.


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