Name:                     Tormod Jensen MADLAND1,2,3,4,5,6,7 -  AKA: Thomas Madland

Sex:                         Male

Father:                    Jens Osmundsen MADLAND (1733 - 1810)

Mother:                  Kristi Tormodsdatter MORK IN HÖLE (bef 20 Jan 1737 - 1792)


Individual Facts

Birth                       1780                                                        Madland, Gjesdal, Stavanger Amt (Rogaland), Norway

Death                     Jun 1826 (age 46)                                  Kendall (Murray), Orleans Co., NY



1. Siri Ivarsdatter SELDAL

Marriage                15 Jun 1800 (age 20)                             Norway

Children                 Martha Tormodsdatter MADLAND (abt 1800 - betw 1865 & 1875)

                                Kriste (Kristine\Christian) Tormodsdatter MADLAND (1802 - )

                                Jens Tormodsen MADLAND (1804 - 1885)

                                Rakel (Rachel) Serine MADLAND (1807 - bet 1840 and 1870)

                                Guri (Gurine\Julia) Thormodsdatter Foss-Eigeland MADLAND (10 Oct 1809 - 24 Dec 1846)

                                Serine (Serena) Tormodsdatter MADLAND (1 Jan 1814 - 7 Jan 1898) - m. Jakob A. SLOGVIG


Notes (Individual)

General: IMMIGRANT    SLOOPER*  -  He was listed in the 1801 Norwegian census in Stavanger Co., Lye Parish, Gjestdahl subparish, Madland farm, as age 21, Head of the household and a farmer.   Tormod lived on the Madland farm (about 18 miles SE of Stavanger), Norway, until 1807, then Foss-Eigeland (Foss Eikeland) (about 10 miles S of Stavanger), from approximately 1810 to 1819 he lived in Höle (north of Madland on Högsfjord and at this time he was known as Tormad Höle), and then took citizenship in Stavanger, a major port city in south west Norway, as a blacksmith Dec 4, 1820. (Rosdail, pp 10 & 408)   According to the research of Gunleif Seldal of Norway, "His shop was located in Høleberggata 1.  In Stavanger he became acquainted with the Quaker movement.  The family decided to emigrate to USA together with some other Quaker members, and 4th July 1825 they left Stavanger on the sloop Restaurationen.   Tormod had abandoned his citizenship 20th June the same year.  However, when the sloop passed Tungenes outside the Byfjord the sea was rough, and some of the passengers got seasick. The master of the sloop decided then to return to Dusavik where they anchored up, awaiting the gale to subside.  Tormod's three oldest children; Martha, Kristi and Jens were amongst those suffering from seasickness.  They insisted to go ashore, and left the sloop the following morning. (According to family tradition)  This was the last time they ever saw their parents." (Seldal communication 4 Dec 2000; this information also found in Blegen, 1969, p. 393, and supported in the historical novel, Cleng Peerson, by Hauge, pp. 342-347.)   Tormod thusly immigrated to America bringing only his wife and 3 young daughters. They sailed on the famous Norwegian Sloop "Restoration" (often called the "Norwegian Mayflower") with close to 50 other Norwegians.  This group* from Rogaland County in south western Norway was fleeing religious persecution (over 1/2 were Quaker; the remainder Haugeans), economic hardship, scarcity of land and government inequities.  "Tormod ... had left the farm and gone to Stavanger where he operated a blacksmith shop.  He had five daughters and only one son, so had no particular problem of inheritance.  His son was old enough to take over the business and most of his daughters were of marriageable age so there was apparently less family compulsion for him to immigrate. Was it religious liberty or simply the chance of a better economic life that drove him to America?  Religious liberty was undoubtedly high among his reasons for emigrating." (Rosdail, p. 10)  Tormod was one of the  6 heads of families contributing funds to buy the Sloop, Johannes Steen (Steine) being the principal owner.  The voyage took 98 days arriving New York Oct. 9, 1825.  The ship was seized by US Customs for being over crowded (2 1/2 times as crowded as the Mayflower).  Eventually the Sloop was released and sold (at a loss) to help travel upstate, to pay for their land, and to build homes.  The majority of the Sloopers then settled in north western New York in "the 'town' (or township) of Murray (near Lake Ontario), which comprised the northeastern one-sixth of Orleans County." (p. 39) (This area had been separated from Murray township and named Kendall township shortly before the Sloopers arrived.)  It was there, in what became known as the Kendall settlement, that Tormod died, only 8 months after the Sloopers arrival in America.

    In the history of early Norwegian emigration Tormod Madland is often mentioned as the author of a letter written in Stavanger in Jun 1825 (before the Restoration sailed) to Mauritz Halvarsen.  This letter incorporates a letter written by Cleng Peerson from New York on 20 Dec 1824 reporting on his advanced preparations for the arrival of the sloop folks.  Tormod was also one of the 7 "sloopers" who signed a letter along with Cleng Peerson that was addressed to the "Rappites" (Harmony Society of Economy) of Pennsylvania.  This letter requested financial assistance (a loan of $1600).  Some historians point to this letter and request as a possible indication of communal leanings among some of these early pioneers, while others discount this idea and suggest that this just indicates the financial hardships that these folks endured during their early years in America.


*"SLOOPER" is the term applied to the 52 (53 after the birth of a baby girl during the 14-week voyage) pioneers of Norwegian immigration who came to America aboard the sloop Restoration (also spelled Restauration).  This small, fifty-four foot long vessel reached the port of New York on October 9, 1825.  The group's journey and success in America marked the beginning of  the major, and historically significant, influx of Norwegian immigrants during the nineteenth century.  The descendants of these pioneers are also called "Sloopers."  The Slooper Society of America exists today.  Made up of descendants of these early Norwegian settlers, the Society holds its annual meeting in Norway, Illinois.

For those interested in more detailed information on the Sloopers and their descendants, the following books are recommended: THE SLOOPERS, THEIR ANCESTRY AND POSTERITY, 1961, by J. Hart Rosdail (difficult to find, but reprints are available through the Slooper Society), THE PROMISE OF AMERICA, A HISTORY OF THE NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE, 1984, by Odd S. Lovoll (now available in expanded 1999 Revised Edition); THE PROMISE FULFILLED, A PORTRAIT OF NORWEGIAN AMERICANS TODAY, 1998, by Odd S. Lovoll; BETWEEN ROCKS AND HARD PLACES, 1993, by Ann Urness Gesme; THE NORWEGIANS IN AMERICA, Rev. Ed., 1991, by Percie V. Hillbrand.  The following two historical novels are also highly recommended: THE BECKONING, A STORY OF LOVE, 1989, by Nora Stangeland McNab, and CLENG PEERSON, Vols. I & II, 1975, by Alfred Hauge, translated by Erik J. Friis.



1.  Rosdail, J. Hart.  The Sloopers; Their Ancestry and Posterity; The Story of the People on the Norwegian Mayflower, The Sloop, "Restoration.".  Broadview, IL: Norwegian Slooper Society of America, 1961.

2.  Anderson, Rasmus B..  "'Restaurationen' -- the Norse Mayflower,"  AMERICAN SCANDINAVIAN REVIEW, Vol. 13., pp. 348-360. (Copy of original from Washoe Co. Library, Reno, NV; furnished by Bob Westberg.).  January 1925.

3.  Anderson, Rasmus B..  The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, (1821 - 1840), Its Causes and Results.  (This is a very difficult to find, out-of-print book, but it was transcribed by Neil Hofland of Santa Monica and posted in many installments to the Internet Norway List.  These postings were gathered together from the List Archives and made available in a zipped file format by Debbie Chan of Winnipeg, Canada, in Feb 2000.).  Madison, WI: Published by the author, 1895.

4.  Flom, George T..  A History of Norwegian Immigration to the United States; From the Earliest Beginning down to the Year 1848.  Iowa City, IA: Privately Printed, 1909; Facsimile Reprint by Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD, 1992.  pp. 46, 54, 56-57.

5.  Blegen, Theodore C..  Norwegian Migration to America 1825-1860.  New York: Haskell House Pub., 1969.  pp. 39, 381-385, 387, 393, 395.

6.  De Pillis, Mario S..  "Still More Light on the Kendall Colony: A Unique Slooper Letter" in Vol. 20, Norwegian-American Studies.  Northfield, MN: The Norwegian-American Historical Assoc. (NAHA), 1959.

7.  Hauge, Alfred.  Cleng Peerson, Volume 1 & 2, Translated from the Norwegian by Erik J. Friis. (Historical novel/fictionalized biography originally published in 3 volumes by Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo.).  Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1975.  Vol. 1, pp. 80-85, 106-107, 222, 333, 342-347, 355, 392-393, 400; also several references in Vol. 2.


Prepared by:

O. Keith Wheeler

Mad River, CA 95552

(707) 574-6595

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