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On 27 April 1847 a young couple from the rural community of Høre in the administrative township of Vang in the Valdres region of Norway visited Pastor Carl Andreas Hansen at the Vang parsonage. They were Thomas Andersen Veblen, aged 29, and his seven-years-younger wife, Kari Torsteinsdatter Bunde. In refined handwriting, the pastor registered the two in the ministerial records as emigrants to America. Five days later, they left Høre to embark on their overseas journey to the land of promise.
This chapter aims to present the Norwegian background of Thorstein Bunde Veblen's parents, Thomas and Kari Veblen, with an emphasis on the period from the beginning of the nineteenth century until their exodus, and analyse their migration and settlement process in the upper Midwest. I do not make any particular mention of Thorstein Veblen, but I do assert that his parents’ experiences on both sides of the Atlantic may help us better to appreciate the origins of his ideas. The historical backdrop for this is illustrated by Thorstein's older brother Andrew A. Veblen in his notes The Veblen Family: Immigrant Pioneers from Valdris, and by the recollections of their father, Thomas Veblen, particularly with regards to his family background and his journey to America.
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