Thorvald Martin Tandberg
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Birth: June 24, 1874 (1874-06-24) (148 years ago)
Portland, Maine
Emigration: Born in the USA
Lived in Norway
Back to USA circa 1895
Death: November 8, 1970 (age 96)
(52 years ago)
Detroit, Michigan
Father: Andreas Thorsen Tandberg (1846-1910)
Mother: Valborg Margrethe Fischer (1848-1915)
Spouse/Partner: Alvilde Marie Magdalene Naess (1875-1933)
Marriage: October 10, 1897 (age 23)
(125 years ago)
Boston, Massachusetts
Children: Ethel Valborg Alfreda Tandberg (1898-1995)
Thorvald Martin Tandberg, Jr. (1900-1900)
Thoralf Christian Andreas Tandberg (1901-1995)
Yolanda Christina Tandberg (1902-2003)
Thordis Jetta Alvilde Tandberg (1904-1919)
Carl Frederick William Tandberg (1910-1988)
Findagrave: Thorvald Martin Tandberg

The Tandberg Family c. 1893 Back, L to R: Andreas, Thorvald, Christian & Valborg. Front, L to R: Erling, Valborg & Nils.

Alvilde Marie Naess (1875-1933) and Thorvald Martin Tandberg (1874-1970)

Thorvald Martin Tandberg (1874-1970) was a restaurant and hotel manager. (b. June 24, 1874; Portland, Cumberland County, Maine - d. November 08, 1970; Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, 48227, USA) Social Security Number 363038387.


The Tandbergs were from East Prussia and the name was originally "Tannenberg". Because of the constant warfare in Prussia, in 1570 they emigrated to Norway, which at the time was under Danish rule. They settled in "Ringerrike".


From 1878 to 1924, Kristiania was the name used for Norway's capital Oslo. On January 01, 1925 the name was changed from Kristiania to Oslo.


Thorvald was the second son and child of Andreas Thorsen Tandberg (1846-1910) of Hønefoss, Norway; and Valborg Margrethe Fischer (1848-1915) of Kristiania, Norway. Valborg was the daughter of Maren Kirstine Kronsteen (1821-1902) and Christian Andreas Fischer, Jr. (1816-1863).


Thorvald was born on June 24, 1874 in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine. His family was coming to the United States through Canada.


  • Christian Tandberg (b. 31 July 1872 - d. 06 July 1947) who was born in Orangeville, Dufferine, Ontario, Canada and lived in London.
  • Valborg Andrea Tandberg (b. 03 August 1876 - d. ?) Her nickname was Valley.
  • Andrea Tandberg (b. 03 August 1876 - d. 06 August 1876) who was a twin of Valborg.
  • Nils Jacob Tandberg (b. 23 June 1878 - d. ?) of Kristiania, Akershus, Norway, who married Gemanda Fredrikke Hartmann (1880-?) of Soggendal, Norway. His nickname was Jack.
  • Johannes Emanuel Tandberg (b. 23 June 1878 - d. 1880) who a twin of Nils.
  • Erling August Normann Tandberg (b. 12 October 1879 - d. 28 November 1972) The 1900 Norway Census has his birth year as 1881 and his place of birth as Kristiania. Erling states that he was born in 1879 and that his birthplace is Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA. He passed away in Oxnard, Ventura, California, USA.
  • Ragnhild Aagot Tandberg (1880-1880)
  • Bjarne Adolf Tandberg (1884-1885)
  • Gudrun Ingebjorg Louise Tandberg (1887-1907)
  • Ragnhild Aagot Martha Tandberg (1887-?) who was a twin of Gudrun

1875 census[]

In 1875 they were living at Nedre (Lower) Voldgade 11 in Kristiania, Norway. The family status for Andreas was tilreisende which translates as "visitor". Andreas was working in handlende (trade/commerce) and he was born in Hønefos. Living at home were: Christian Tandberg; and Thorvald Martin Tandberg.

Merchant seaman[]

He started as a wardroom boy and in three years he served on three different ships:

  1. The Levi Woodbury, a Revenue Cutter under Captian Phillips, formerly called the Mahoning (her name was changed in 1873). She patrolled the American Coastline from Massachusetts to Maine for the major portion of her active career. Thorvald and his brother Christian served on this ship together. When Christian finished his appointed year and returned to Norway to finish his law studies, Thorvald asked for a transfer to the Dexter.
  2. The [Samuel] Dexter under Captain Congdon. She served out of Newport, Rhode Island: Boston, Massachusetts and New Bedford, Massachusetts during her Revenue career. She conducted winter cruises along the coast of New England each winter, usually from Late November or early December through April. She also transported dignitaries, patrolled regattas, attended local celebrations, and assisted vessels in distress. Thorvald next asked to be transferred to the Dallas because he wanted to see more of his family in Portland, Maine.
  3. The Dallas under Captain Gabrielsen. She was a third generation Revenue Cutter with the name of Dallas. She would be one of the most enduring vessels to hold the name. Built in Maine, the Dallas patrolled the New England coastline for the majority of her life changing homeports from Portland, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts, thence to New London, Connecticutt. During his service on the Dallas, the homeport was Portland, Maine. At the end of his three years he was a quartermaster.


He married Alvilde Marie Magdalene Naess (1875-1933) aka Alvilde Marie Næss, of Norway on 10 October 1897 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts in the Norwegian Lutheran Church on 22 Dorr Street.


Portland, Maine[]

In 1898 he volunteered for the Spanish-American War but was rejected for service. In 1899 he learned the hotel business at the Grand Hotel in Portland, Maine.

Kristiania, Akershus, Norway[]

In the 1900 Norway Census Thorvald and Alvilde were living at Niels Juelsgade 39 in Kristiania, and Thorvald was listed as working as the "Inspectør [of the] Grand Hotel" in "Portland, [Maine] Amerika". They were listed as: "Thorvald Martin Tandberg" and "Alvilde Marie Tandberg". With them was their daughter, "Ethel V.A. Tandberg". His parents were living at Stolmagergaden 3 in Kristiania. Andreas was listed as working as a "fabrikeier mek værksted & jernsengfabr." Valborg Margrethe Fischer was listed as "Walborg Tandberg" and her mother, Maren Kirstine Kronsteen Fischer (1821-1915), was living with them. The children at home were:

  1. Christian, who was working as a "portier & tolk";
  2. Erling, who was working as a "bicyclearbeider";
  3. Gudrun;
  4. Ragnhild.

Holmenkollen Tourist Hotel[]

From 1899 to 1907 he was manager of the Holmenkollen Tourist Hotel where he met King Oscar of Norway and served him a drink of punch and seltzer. He quit because of the low pay and returned to the United States.

World War I[]

He lived at 778 Morton Street, Mattapan, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts in 1915 after he married. He registered for the World War I draft while in Boston, but was too old to serve at age 46. He was indexed as "Thorbald Martin Tandberg". He served as senior warden for his district and after the war he was given a citation signed by the governor and the mayor.


In the 1920 United States Census, it states that he was living at 351 Norfolk Street in Boston and managing a restaurant. The restaurant was called "Jakob Wirth". Ralph, Yolanda, and Carl were living at home, and Ralph and Yolanda were working as clerks in an office. Alvilde is listed as emigrating in 1905 and the children were listed as emigrating in 1910.


He retired in 1960 at age 86 and wrote a one page family history.

Memoir of Thorvald Martin Tandberg[]

In his unpublished autobiography, Scraps From the Heap Thorvald Martin Tandberg, circa 1954, at age 80 wrote: Scraps From the Heap by Thor Thorson Tandberg. After I retired in 1940, I have been urged by friends and family, to put down on paper, my many experiences in the vocation which I had adopted. They are generally written services to mankind, I can lay no claim to the Hotel and Restaurant field. I know that a Memoir about men or woman, that has achieved greatness through such as writers, scientists or Industrialists such recognition , However as my services has been a few gets a chance to accomplish, required in higher places, which only many in our line of business often remain at the same jobs their whole life without having the opportunity to advance them self to higher offices. Many have tried, but only a few are chosen , I have been fortunate of being one of the few, as I at an early age of 29 became manager of one of the finest resort Hotels in Norway, after spending nine years learning, first the Kitchen, then the dining room, then the front office and so on. It was a wise man that made this statement, 'Do not slight the man on your way up, for you will meet him on your way down'. How true, for after having been on the top and as you grow older one begins to slide back. Edgar Guests has written, that it takes a heap of living to make a home, and its from the heap, that I have plucked the scraps ... It was June [of 1909], and I was to meet my family at the south station that Sunday morning. We were closed, as you know on Sundays, so I had the full day. Thordis, when she saw me, started to cry. Then I took them to a taxi, to their new home, and told the driver to pass the Essex Street Restaurant on our way so they could see where I was working. When we arrived home the Andersens were there to greet them. And Mrs. Andersen had put the coffee on and prepared a meal for them as they had been traveling all night from New York. Mr. Stollman called me up as I had a phone already installed and asked how everything was. I told him they were now just having their first breakfast in their new home."[1] On December 29, 1960, Thorvald Martin Tandberg wrote Martha and Jarl: "December 29, 1960. Dear Martha and Jarl. It was nice to hear from you. I remember one Sunday long ago when we went to your house when it was [still] a forest of two by fours and beginning to [take the] shape of a home. I [always] admired the location and Joe [French] and Yolanda [Tandberg] told me how nice it was when they visited you some time ago."

Memories about Thorvald Martin Tandberg[]

  • June Tandberg Baker said on May 12, 2006: Thorvald saw an ad to hire a cook on a yacht, and he took the job.
  • Pauline Dutton said on May 24, 2006: He was on the television show "You Bet Your Life" with Groucho Marx in the 1950s. Thorvald was upset when Groucho made fun of him. Thorvald would always sing the song "Little Old Lady Passing By" by Hoagy Carmichael.
  • Natalie French Cheatham wrote on May 29, 2006: He used to memorize facts in his old age. He knew all the capitals of all the States and Countries of the world. He also could recite all the Greek mythology characters.
  • His great-granddaughter Sharon Leah Cangelosi wrote on February 17, 2008: I loved to listen to him talk. He had a strong accent. He would speak to me in different languages. He knew Norwegian, German and English very well. He also could understand Danish. I also loved to hear him recite his poem, called; My Ode to Autumn 1959:
When Autumn leaves are falling, they make our lawn a sight.
I put them down and pick them up and rake with all my might.
When at last the job is done, for a rest I have a yen.
Then comes a gust o'heavy wind and I start to rake again.
  • Anonymous at Findagrave wrote: "Thorvald is the second child of Andreas Thorsen Tandberg (1846-1910) and Valborg Margrethe (Fischer) Tandberg (1848-1915.) His older brother is Christian Tandberg (1872-1947.) His younger siblings are Valborg Andrea (Tandberg) Orrs (1876- ?), Andrea Tandberg (1876-1876), Nils Jacob Tandberg (1878- ?), Johannes Emanuel Tandberg (1878-1880), Erling August Normann Tandberg (1879-1972), Ragnhild Aagot Tandberg (1880-1880), Bjarn Adolf Trygve Tandberg (1884-1887), Ragnhild Aagot Martha Tandberg (1887- ?), and Gunrun Ingebjorg Louise Tandberg (1887-1907.) His paternal grandparents are Thor Andersen Tandberg and Marthe (Christophersen) Tandberg. His maternal grandparents are Christian Andreas Fischer (1816-1863) and Maren Kirstine (Kronsteen) Fischer (1821-1902.) Thorvald was baptised at the First Lutheran Church in Portland, Cumberland, Maine on July 14, 1874 by Rev. Knut O. Storli. His parents traveled in Canada and in the United States of America in their young married life and returned to Norway when Thorvald was a young boy. We know that Christian was born in Orangeville, Dufferine, Ontario, Canada and that Erling was born in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Thorvald returned to the United States of America as a young man and lived with relatives in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts to work. It was sometime later that he was reunited with a childhood friend, Alvilde Marie Magdalene Naess (1875-1933), who also happened to be working in Boston for a family friend. They were married on October 10, 1897 at the Norwegian Lutheran Church on 22 Dorr Street in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts (license 4932.) Thorvald and Alvilde had eight children, two of whom were still-born in 1914 & 1915. Their children are Ethel Valborg Alfreda (Tandberg) Milner (1898-1995), Thorvald Martin Tandberg, Jr. (1900-1900), Thoralf Christian Andreas Tandberg (1901-1995), Yolanda Christina (Tandberg) French (1902-2003), Thordis Jetta Alvilde Tandberg (1904-1919) and Carl Frederick William Tandberg (1910-1988.) Alvilde moved back to Norway in 1898 to have her first child. Thorvald joined her later that year. He told a story about that time, that he owed his life to the fact that he lingered too long at a quartet frolic in Boston. He and three pals had been singing at the Scandinavian Bazaar for free on a Saturday evening. Thorvald had planned to take a boat that night for Portland, Maine. The singing went on toward boat time, and there was the little matter of consuming Danish pastry and drinking coffee between songs. Finally, reminded by friends, Thorvald hurried to the dock just in time to see the night boat's sternlights moving out into the harbor. Philosophically, he noted that a wind was blowing up and it would probably be a rough night on the ship anyhow. So he and his singing friends repaired to a German restaurant for frankfurts and potato salad, and then to bed. The next morning, Thorvald awakened refreshed and went down to get the Boston Post. A headline told him: "Steamer Portland Foundered Off Cape Cod - All Passengers And Crew Lost." Because of five minutes of tardiness, Alvilde was spared widowhood. Thorvald moved back to Boston in 1907. Alvilde, Thoralf (Ralph), Yolanda and Thordis joined him in July 1909. Ethel finished her schooling in Norway and joined them later around 1912 or 1913. Carl was born in Boston. Thorvald worked as a restaurant and catering manager for most of his life. In the course of his long career he has served many notable people, among them King Haakon; Hanson; Ibsen and Grieg. He wrote poetry, here are one of the favorites: MY ODE TO AUTUMN - 1959. When Autumn leaves are falling, they make our lawn a sight. I put them down and pick them up and rake with all my might. When at last the job is done, for rest I have a yen. Then comes a gust o'heavy winds and I start to rake again. Thorvald's daughter Thordis (Tootsie) died when she was fourteen years old. Her death was devastating to him. But later, an even more upsetting event happened. He became a widower when his wife passed away in 1933. He loved his wife and missed her very much. He enjoyed talking in the different languages he learned over the years; norwegian, danish, german and english and had a heavy accent. He lived a long life, witnessing the many things that came to be, which we today take for granted. Namely electricity, running water, automobiles, airplanes, telephones, radio, etc."


He died on November 8, 1970 in Detroit, Michigan.


  1. ^ [Ellis Island records show that ALOILDE (Alvilde) - 32y (33y), THOLALF (Thoralf) - 7y, JOLANTE (Yolanda) - 4y (5y) and LORDIS (Thordis) - 3y (4y), TANDBORG (Tandberg) sailed from Liverpool, England on the 31 October 1908 on the Lucania and arrived at New York City on the 7th of November 1908. Note: Thorvald's memory was not accurate on dates, but the situations were probably more close to the truth. Such as Thordis's tears, the telephone, conversations and the Andersen's help.]

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