She lived at Ørskog, Ålesund, Norway. Her siblings were Anna, Lisa, Bertha, Louise Nels and Lauritz. Anna, Lisa, and Bertha emigrated to the USA. The brothers remained in Norway.
Miss Abelseth was traveling with Olaus Abelseth (who, being a family friend, accompanied her but was no relation), Anna Salkjelsvik, Peter Søholt, Sigurd Hansen Moen and Adolf Humblen. They all set sail from Ålesund to Newcastle via Bergen and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as Third Class passengers. Karen's destination was Los Angeles, California where her sister Anna lived. She shared a cabin with Anna Salkjelsvik and some Swedish girls.
She slept through the collision but was woken up by Adolf Humblen. When she went out in the corridor the people had risen "and came dragging their trunks." She became very scared. Sigurd Moen had to hold on to her because she was shaking with fright. Up on deck she was escorted by Olaus, Moen and Søholt to a lifeboat (probably Lifeboat 16). Moen said to her to be brave, all would be well in the end. Then the boat was lowered. Olaus survived in the very last collapsible lifeboat, swamped with swimmers and half-sunk in the icy water. He was saved by Lifeboat 14 just in time.
Karen was some time at St. Vincent Hospital before she was able to continue to Minneapolis.
Karen married to Harry S. Little and had two sons Norman and Francis and three daughters, Phyllis, Wanda and Iris. In 1956 she was living in Los Angeles. She died in Inglewood, California on 27 July 1969.