Compiled by Bruce Winton Christopher
Welcome. If you are a first time visitor to this family tree, please review the following paragraphs. Since there is no uniform standard for publishing a family tree, I hope to clarify my method of presentation and prepare you to make sense of what you find here. Otherwise you can use the links shown above to begin exploring this tree immediately. You can always return to this page via the “Contents” link which appears at the bottom of every page (except this one).

Each nuclear family is presented as a “Family Card” on a single Web page, showing a husband and wife with links to their children below and their parents above. The Family Card only provides basic information about the husband and wife, so to learn more about them, click on the name of the husband or wife to display the “Person Sheet” page which provides any additional details that may be available, including links to the numbered “Source” citations. The Person Sheet will also tell you how that person is related to the author. If either the husband or the wife had other spouses these are indicated on the Family Card by links appearing below the personal data for that individual, e.g., “Spouses: 1, 2”. Click on any spouse number that is underscored to display a new Family Card showing that spouse. For additional clarification, the use of the term “spouse” here does not necessarily mean that the couple was married. Nor does the absence of a marriage date mean that they were not married (the Person Sheet will state “Unmarried” if that is a known fact).

In addition to the Family Card and Person Sheet views, you can also display a graphical “tree” view of any person’s direct ancestors (also known as a pedigree chart). Click on the little green tree icon () that appears next to the name of each husband and wife to view the tree. On a single web page you will see the selected person and up to four generations of their ancestors. If an ancestor’s name appears as a link (underlined), clicking on that ancestor’s name will redraw the tree with that person as the base. In this manner you can follow the pedigree further back than the initial four generations, if that data is available. Unfortunately, at the present time, you cannot navigate to an ancestor’s Family Card from the tree view. You will have to use your browser’s Back button to return to the starting person’s Family Card and seek out the ancestor through a chain of parental links.

The "Home Card" is considered the starting point for navigating through this family tree, but you may use the Index or Surname pages to locate a specific individual (see under “INDEX” below for special usage considerations).

The information provided for each person is categorized as “Events” (e.g., Birth, Census, Death), “Facts” (e.g., Alias, Occupation, Education), and “Notes” (Military History, Miscellaneous Notes, Research Notes), though with the exception of Notes, these category labels are not actually mentioned on the Person Sheets. Many persons will have multiple occurrences of certain events or facts, e.g., multiple census years, or multiple occupations, but only one of them will appear on the Family Card. So be sure to click through to the Person Sheet to see if the person had additional occupations, name variations or other event or fact multiples.

This genealogy uses the convention of all-uppercase letters for surnames in the main entry, though this practice may not be consistent in notes and source citations. A surname appearing in square brackets, e.g. [JOHNSON], represents the surname of a female’s first husband (or only-known husband), in the case where her maiden surname is unknown (see also under “INDEX” below for more about this special case). A person whose name is shown as "(Private)" is either known to be living or presumed living based on their date of birth and the absence of any knowledge of their death.

By design, each person’s name appears as it did on their birth record. If I have not yet located the birth record, the name is taken from the next earliest official document available. And in the absence of official documentation, the name most likely came from written correspondence or word-of-mouth. If the person changed their name later in life, other than via marriage, this will be noted in the “aka” field. That field is also used to indicate nicknames. The most common use of the “aka” field is for persons who changed their name after immigration to the United States. The “asp” (alternate spelling) field also supplements the birth name by identifying spelling variations found in some source documents. If the author of the cited document is not the subject person, the spelling shown may not have been actually used by that person, and in fact may simply be a typographical or transcription error in that document or index.

Norwegian names provide a special case. Although not used consistently in this genealogy for all persons born in Norway, some of them have been entered with their farm name appended to their patronymic surname. This was a common practice to distinguish one Hans HANSEN from another. Some Norwegian immigrants dropped their farm name in America and went with an American variation of their patronymic name (e.g., OLSEN STIGEN --> OLSON) while others adopted their farm name as their American surname.

As a result of my approach to entering names (see above), the index in its present form is based on the birth name of each individual and therefore does not reflect name changes due to marriage, “Americanization” or other reasons. Unfortunately this presents some difficulty if you only know the married surname of a female. For now, the best you can do is to lookup that surname in the index and check each male listed to see if his wife is the person you seek. As a partial solution, for married females whose maiden surname is unknown to me, I am starting to implement a convention of entering their husband’s surname enclosed in square brackets, e.g. Jane [JOHNSON]. The advantage of this is that the Index will then include the female’s name under the surname of her husband, with a side effect being that the surname will appear in the index in square brackets, even though the meaning of the brackets only applies to married females with unknown maiden names. Of course if such a female had multiple husbands, I can only do this for one of them and so it will arbitrarily be for the first (or only known) husband. In the case of persons who changed their foreign birth name to something else after immigration to the United States, if you know the name of one of that person’s descendants (deceased ones only) you can try looking for that person in the index and follow back through the generations.

Persons in this genealogy who are known only by their first names, will appear at the front of the index, followed by an index organized by surname. Also noted in the Contents table above, is a page called “Surnames” which condenses the index to a set of links for each unique surname in this genealogy, enabling you to more quickly access that section of the index.

When multiple sources disagree as to the date of an event, the date displayed is generally taken from what is believed to be the most reliable source. Ideally this would be a source created at the time of that event and by a person who was present at that event. My experience has shown that no type of source is immune to error. But in most cases, birth certificates are pretty reliable for the birth date and place; and similarly the death certificate is usually correct as to the date and place of death. But the further removed a document is from the event, the greater the chance for error (for example, the birth date given on a death certificate may be wrong even if it was provided by a close family member). And even though dates inscribed on gravestones are “written in stone” it doesn’t guarantee they are correct. I have listed all known sources for each date (as well as other facts) so that you may evaluate any discrepancies for yourself.

The absence of a death date does not necessarily mean the person is still alive. And in fact, persons who are known to be living or potentially living (defined as “born after 31 Dec 1916”) are intentionally noted only as “Private” without any identifying details. As a result of this approach to privacy, persons who are in fact deceased, but I don’t know that yet, will be categorized as “Private” if their date of birth suggests the possibility they are still alive (the cutoff date is arbitrary and will be updated annually). Once I have been able to document their death, their vital statistics will then be added to the online display. If a person died very recently, they also may be listed as Private for a period of time.

It is also important to note that in an effort to ensure that every person is listed with at least a year of birth, many of those years are nothing more than an educated guess. Such dates are specifically noted in the corresponding Birth Memo field and the year given is prefixed with the abbreviation, “abt” (about), to suggest a greater degree of uncertainty than a date prefixed by “ca” (circa). I normally use “circa” when there is a source document that gives at least the year for the event but with an uncertainty present of no more than 2-3 years in most cases.

The Person Sheets list the age of each person at the time of the various events listed. This is calculated based on the date of birth, which, as noted above, may be only an estimate. Even if the date of birth is correct, in some cases you will find that the age reported in the source document for the event may differ from the age reported here for various possible reasons.

Clicking on any “thumbnail” photo will present a larger version, along with any other photos associated with that person. Clicking on the camera icon () next to the person’s name will display the same set of photos. If you see the camera icon next to the marriage details, you can click on that to see pictures associated with the family rather than an individual (e.g., group photos). Unfortunately, for privacy reasons, photos which include persons believed to be living, are not included in this online version of my family tree.

Wherever possible, each fact presented on the Person Sheets is linked to a “source citation” on the “Sources” page (see link in the “Contents” table above). Each source is uniquely numbered and may represent one or more facts used in this genealogy. It is hoped that each citation provides you with sufficient information to locate the original source for yourself (with the caveat that some source repositories may charge a fee for access to those records). And of course there are a few sources which are unique items privately held by myself or others. Where possible, links to online sources are provided but keep in mind that online resources do occasionally get relocated or deleted. I do print some website pages for preservation in case the online page disappears.

The facts are linked to the source citations via a superscript number in square brackets on the “Person Sheet” pages (see GENERAL LAYOUT paragraph above). Since some sources contain many facts spread across multiple records or pages, additional qualifying information such as a page or certificate number may be included within the brackets, e.g., “[1824,p.6].” When you click on a source link, you will be taken to the page of the Sources list containing the description of that source. It will try to position the specific source at the top of the screen but if it is one of the last dozen or so sources on that page it may not be able to do so. In order to reduce download time, each Sources page is limited to 100 sources, and links to the other pages of the Sources list appear at the bottom of each Sources page.

Because some sources are associated with living persons (e.g. , interviews or e-mail messages), those citations will not display the name of such persons online. If you believe you are one of my "Living" sources, and you wish your name to be displayed publicly as the source, please notify me via e-mail (see link at bottom of page).

Some source citations are rather nonspecific with regard to the fact in question, such as a reference to an Internet website or a named database in some other type of repository. In the cases involving events such as birth or death, you may find further details in the “Memo” field associated with that event (the Memo field only appears on the Person Sheets). If the citation refers you to a website which only returns an index entry rather than a transcript or image of the original record, it may be that the index entry is the only source of the fact in question, unless the fact has another source cited which indicates that an actual document copy or transcript was obtained. It is of course possible that the data in an index entry contains errors not contained in the original record (which could also be true for a transcript).

Not all my sources are of equal quality or accuracy. And multiple sources for the same fact do not always agree, so I have noted them all for comparison and in some cases have explicitly noted the differences. Thus the information you find in this genealogy is only as good as my sources. And then on top of that, only as good as my ability to transcribe the source data into my database. Because this website includes the relevant source citations, you can judge for yourself whether any particular fact is to be believed or not. If a fact is not supported by a source citation, or the only citation given refers you to somebody else’s online or published genealogy, you are encouraged to be skeptical. The compiling of this family tree began around 1970, and I was then ignorant of the importance of sources, so elements of this tree that date from that period may not be sourced at all and most likely came from undocumented interviews of family members. This genealogy is a “work in progress” and it is hoped that all the facts will eventually be supported by credible documentation.

In the course of my research, I have occasionally collected information on families which are suspected of being connected to mine but which have not yet been positively linked. And in at least one case, I am fairly certain I was following a “red herring” and concluded there is not a connection. But rather than discard these lines of research, they are included here for the benefit of anyone who might be related to them. You may run across one of them if you enter via the Index or from an online search engine.


abt = about (used to indicate a greater degree of uncertainty for a date than one noted as “ca.”)

aft = after

aka = Also Known As (nickname or legal name change). Note that this field is always present on the Family Card even if the person has no known alias.

asp = “Alternate spelling.” These entries indicate spelling variations found in certain source documents, and not necessarily a spelling actually used by the person. Such alternate spellings may be useful in locating additional documents about the person.

b. = birth date and place.

bef = before

bp. = Baptism date and place.

BMD = Birth, Marriage & Death Index of England & Wales

bur. = burial date and place

ca. = circa (usually implies an uncertainty of 1 or 2 years).

CA, MN, SD, etc.: U.S. states and Canadian provinces are sometimes referenced by their official Post Office abbreviation, but in most cases these abbreviations have been replaced by the full name.

Cem. = cemetery

Co. = County

d. = death date and place

edu. = educational history

(female) = female whose first name is not known

FHL = Family History Library (Church of Latter Day Saints). This is, in effect, a reference to or their main library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

G, GG etc. = Great, Great Great etc. (as in Great Grandfather); by extension, “nG” means n-times Great.

HQ = HeritageQuest (online database available through many libraries)

IGI = International Genealogical Index (see FHL); this index predates the website (it was originally on microfiche).

m. = Marriage date and place

(male) = male whose first name is not known

MNHS = Minnesota Historical Society

nCnR = nth cousin, n-times removed

Occ = Occupation

(Private) = Indicates the person’s details have been omitted from this website because the person is either known to be alive or was born after 1916 and no knowledge of the person’s death has been obtained, so the person is assumed living. This cutoff date will be incremented one year each coming year.

Qtr. = Quarter of a year (e.g. “Jun Qtr.” = Apr, May & Jun).

sep. = Separated.

sic = Latin for "thus was it written" — used to indicate that the spelling of the name is as it was written in the source document; the implication being that this spelling is incorrect or otherwise not the expected spelling.

SSDI = Social Security Death Index (see Source[105], if referenced).

SSN = Social Security Number.

Twp. = Township

(unknown sex) = person of unknown sex whose first name is not known

WHS = Wisconsin Historical Society

< = before

> = after

[ ] (“square brackets”) = when enclosing a number it is a reference to a source citation; when enclosing a surname, it represents the surname of the first (or only known) husband of a female whose maiden name is unknown. In the Index, it means that one or more females listed under that surname married a man with that name but her own maiden surname is unknown. When enclosing a place name, it indicates the current name of the place if the name was different at the time of the event. One other usage is when a child in a family has a special status such as “[Twin]”.

~ (tilda) = same as “abt.” (about).

For those who like statistics:
Total number of persons in my family tree database: 9,318
Total number who are blood relatives of the author: 4,269
Number of persons known or presumed to be living: 3,039
Number of persons in unconnected families: 447
Number of sets of twins: 37
Most children of one couple: 16