Monday, April 12, 2021

My 9th Blogiversary

Oops! I missed my 9th blogiversary. It was actually on April 5th.

Wow! How has it already been nine years since I began this blog? I haven't been blogging as much this past year. I have been keeping myself busy though. I just finished my third semester at BYU-Idaho's Online Degree Program. I am now officially a senior. Yay! My goal is to graduate next year, in April 2022.


Thank you to my wonderful readers for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving comments over the years. I appreciate your support very much!


Here are my posts from the last year (since my last blogiversary)

David Debs Webster ~ My Newly-Discovered Granduncle - April 13, 2020

Genealogy Treasures in Great-Grandpa Carl's WWI Draft Registration Card - May 24, 2020

Enhanced Photos Using the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer - June 21, 2020

My 6th Great-Grandfather's Signature - July 23, 2020

Dr. F. E. Webster, The Painless Dentist - July 29, 2020

Lesson Learned. Always Check for Additional Pages - August 5, 2020

He Believed His Brother Was Insane - August 27, 2020

Phebe (Barker) Waterman ~ Revolutionary War Pension Payment Record - November 11, 2020

Ole Anthon Christopherson's Last Will and Testament - December 16, 2020

Ole Anthon Christopherson's Land Record Plus a Map of His Property - January 10, 2021

Thank you Minnesota Historical Society for Ole's Death Certificate - March 14, 2021

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2021 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Thank you Minnesota Historical Society for Ole's Death Certificate

Sometime last year, I went to the Minnesota Historical Society's website and ordered the death certificate for Ole Anthon Christopherson, who was my paternal 2nd great-grandfather. In my Legacy Family Tree I had his cause of death as asthma but I couldn't remember where I got that information (yep, this is an example of why citations are so important 😉).

I did not initially find Ole's death certificate information on the Minnesota Historical Society's website. It turned out that his name was listed as Ole Arthur Christopherson instead of Ole Anthon Christopherson. It's important to use various search strategies when searching for an ancestor. I'm glad to say that I was able to find and order his death certificate.

If you have ancestors from Minnesota, I highly recommend the Minnesota Historical Society's website. It's amazing! They have digital newspapers, maps, and more. I searched for Ole's death certificate in the Minnesota People Records Search link under the Research Tab on the website.

Here's Ole's death certificate.1

Information gleaned from Ole's death certificate:

Place of Death: Benson, Swift, Minnesota

Full Name: Ole Anthon Christopherson

Sex: Male

Color: White

Marital Status: Married

Date of Birth: April 20, 1837

Age: 77 yrs, 0 mos. 2 ds.

Occupation: Retired Hotel Keeper

Birthplace: Norway

Name of Father: Michal Christian Christopherson

Birthplace of Father: Norway

Maiden Name of Mother: Seryanna Olson

Birthplace of Mother: Norway

Informant Name: Abe Christopherson

Informant Address: Benson Min

Date of Death: 8 pm on May 12, 1914

Cause of Death: Asthma

Duration: 1 yrs. 3 mos. 0 ds.

Place of Burial or Removal: Benson Cemetery

Date of Burial: May 15, 1914

Ole's occupation in his death certificate is consistent with his previously stated occupations in two US federal census records. In the 1900 US census Ole's occupation was listed as a "Boarding H. Keeper" and there was one boarder listed in his household.2 In the 1910 US census Ole's occupation was listed as Manager in the Hotel Industry.3 His wife's occupation was listed as a Cook in the Hotel Industry.4 There were six boarders listed in their household.5

Ole's cause of death was asthma. What was the treatment for asthma in the early 1900s? I have another 2nd great-grandfather, Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster, who also suffered from asthma. 

The informant on Ole's death certificate was Abe Christopherson. Ole had a brother named Henning Abraham Christopherson. Apparently Henning went by his middle name as I've seen him listed as Abraham on many records.

A big thank you to the Minnesota Historical Society for Ole's death certificate. The ordering process went well and I received his death certificate without any problems.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jana Last

© 2021 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Minnesota Division of Health, death certificate 14525 (1914), Ole Anthon Christopherson; Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.
2 1900 U.S. Census, Swift County, Minnesota, population schedule, Benson Village, enumeration district (ED) 270, sheet 8-B, Anthon Christofferson; digital images, ( : 14 March 2021); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623.
3 1910 U.S. Census, Swift County, Minnesota, population schedule, Benson Ward 2, enumeration district (ED) 157, sheet 11-A, Anton Christopherson; digital images, ( : 14 March 2021); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Ole Anthon Christopherson's Land Record Plus a Map of His Property

In a previous post I wondered if I could find land records for my paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Ole Anthon Christopherson. I think I found a land patent record for him. I did a search in the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records website and found a land record for Anthon Christopherson in Swift County, Minnesota.1

Here's a screenshot of the Patent Details.

Information gleaned from this record:

Accession Nr: MN0180__.195

Document Type: State Volume Patent

State: Minnesota

Issue Date: 3/30/1880

Cancelled: No

Names On Document: Christopherson, Anthon

Land Office: Benson

US Reservations: No

Mineral Reservations: No

Authority: May 20, 1862: Homestead Entry

Document Nr: 3766 Original (12 Stat. 392)

Misc. Doc. Nr: 5678

BLM Serial Nr: MN No S/N

Total Acres: 80

Metes/Bounds: No

Land Descriptions:

State: MN

Meridian: 5th PM

Twp - Rng: 121N - 039W

Aliquots: S½SW

Section: 20

County: Swift

It is so great that a map is included with this land patent. Within the large square is a smaller square. That is Section 20. And within Section 20 is a rectangle containing the 80 acres that Ole Anthon Christopherson acquired. The Issue Date was 30 March 1880. This matches known information for Ole and his family. He and his family were enumerated in the 1880 U.S. federal census living in Torning, Swift, Minnesota.2 In that census he was listed as Anthon Christopherson and not Ole Christopherson and his occupation was a farmer.

Here's a map of Torning in Swift County, Minnesota. Comparing Ole Anthon's land record map to this one, it seems to match the 1880 census locality for Ole Athon and his family in Torning.

Here's a closeup view of Ole's 80 acres of land that he acquired in Swift County, Minnesota according to this land record. It's the rectangle in the southwest corner of Section 20.

This map shows that Ole Anthon Christopherson's property was at the corner of 10th Ave S (state highway 29) and 40th St SE. 

And here's a zoomed in view of that same intersection in Torning, Minnesota using GoogleMaps. Isn't this so cool!?

More evidence that the Anthon Christopherson who acquired land in this land record is my 2nd great-grandfather, Ole Anthon Christopherson, is that a Michael C. Christopherson and a Peter Christopherson also acquired land in this same area. Ole Anthon's land was in Section 20 and so was Michael's and Peter's land. Anthon's father was named Michael Christian Christopherson and Ole Anthon had a brother named Peter. It is very likely that the family members would have wanted to live close to each other.

Here is Michael C. Christopherson's land in Section 20.

And here is Peter's land in Section 20.

As you can see, Michael and Peter's land were right next to each other. And Ole Anthon's land was in the southwest corner of Section 20.

The way I found out about Michael's and Peter's land was by clicking on the "Related Documents" tab right next to the Patent Image tab. Michael C, Anthon, and Peter are at the top of the list. This list also shows who else owned land in Section 20.

Land records are so amazing and helpful. It's really wonderful that Ole Anthon Christopherson, an immigrant from Norway, was able to acquire land in his new country, the United States of America.

This post is getting pretty long already and I haven't shared Ole Anthon Christopherson's Patent Image yet, so I'll do that in a future post.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2021 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records ( : accessed 17 December 2020), Anthon Christopherson, Swift County, Minnesota, Homestead Certificate No. 3766.

2 1880 U.S. census, Swift County, Minnesota, population schedule, Torning, p. 6, dwelling 56, family 56, Anthon Christofferson, image, ( : accessed 6 May 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T9.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ole Anthon Christopherson's Last Will and Testament

 Yesterday I found the Last Will and Testament of my paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Ole Anthon Christopherson!1 He was born in Norway and immigrated to the United States. I am confident this is his Will because it lists known information such as his wife's name, and the names of their children, and the name of his stepson. 

This is quite an exciting find. Ole's Will is dated 22 January 1906. He passed away a number of years later in 1914. This Will contains two pages. I've added a transcription following each page.

Here's the first page of Ole's will.

Transcription of the first page of Ole's will:

Will of Ole A. Christopherson Decedent.
In the name of God, Amen. 
I, Ole A. Christopherson of the Village of Benson
in the County of Swift and State of Minnesota, being of sound mind 
and memory, do make, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament.
           First—I order and direct that my Executor hereinafter named, pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon
after my decease as conveniently may be.
           Second—After the payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I give, devise, and bequeath to my beloved
wife, Aslou Christopherson all of the property of which I may
die seized, both real and personal, to be held and owned by her
during her life time and the rents and profits and increase thereof to
be used by her for her support and maintainance, the remaining
interest therein, subject to her life Estate, to go in equal portions to
my children as hereinafter directed and to the son of my said wife.
           Third, I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved children,
Annie Iverson, Serena Iverson, Nels Christopherson, Julia Larson,
Elsie Larson and my step-son Halvor Christopherson, the son of my
said wife, Aslou, all the property both real and personal of which I may
die seized subject however to the life interest of my wife Aslou
as hereinabove directed.
           Fourth, I further order and direct and it is my will, that should I
survive my said wife Aslou, then and in that case, upon my death
all of my property shall go direct to my said children above named,
and to my said step-son Halvor Christopherson, to them share and

share alike.

Here's the second page of Ole's Will.

Transcription of the second page of Ole's Will (it doesn't line up exactly as the original):

Lastly, I make, constitute and appoint Magnus Pederson of Benson, Minnesota

to be Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.

                In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal the 26th day of

January in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred

and six (A.D. 1906)

                                                                                 Ole Anthon Christopherson [seal]

                 This Instrument Was, on the day of the date thereof, signed, published and declared by the said Testator Ole

A. Christopherson to be his Last Will and Testament in our presence, who at his

request, have subscribed our names thereto as witnesses, in his presence, and in the presence of each other.


C. L. Kane                                            residing at             Benson, Minnesota

P. Christopherson                                 residing at             Benson, Minnesota


                 State of Minnesota              }                                                     IN PROBATE COURT,

                                                               }ss.                                          CERTIFICATE OF PROBATE

                County of Swift                    }


In the Matter of the Estate of Ole Anthon Christopherson Decedent.

                 Be It Remembered, That on the day of the date hereof at a Special Term of said Probate Court

pursuant to the notice duly given, the Last Will and Testament of Ole Anthon Christopherson

Decedent, late of said County of Swift bearing date the 26th day of January

1906, and being the annexed written instrument, was duly proved before the Probate Court in and for the County of

Swift aforesaid; and was duly allowed and admitted to probate by said Court according to law;

as and for the Last Will and Testament of said Ole Anthon Christopherson deceased,

which said Last Will and Testament is recorded and the examination taken thereon filed in this office.

                                In Testimony Whereof, The Judge of the Probate Court of said County has here-

                                                unto set his hand and affixed the seal of said Court at Benson

            in said County, this 22 day of June 1914 

Court Seal                                                                 J. N. Edwards

                                                                                Judge of Probate.

 Recorded this 22nd day of June 1914

As I mentioned before, I am confident that this Will is the Will of my paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Ole Anthon Christopherson. The relationships mentioned are correct and so is the locality. 

In his Will, Ole lists his wife's name as Aslou. My records have her name as Aslaug. Ole listed the following children in his Will: Annie Iverson, Serena Iverson, Nels Christopherson, Julia Larson, Elsie Larson and his step-son Halvor Christopherson. Halvor was the son of his wife, Aslaug. He was born before Aslaug and Ole married. Ole and Aslaug were the parents of seven children. Sadly, two of the children did not survive to adulthood. Annie Iverson was my great-grandmother. She married Christopher Iverson. Annie passed away before her father on 4 June 1913 in Benson, Swift, Minnesota. Her father, Ole, passed away on 12 May 1914 in Benson, Swift, Minnesota and his Will was proved in Probate Court on 22 June 1914.

An interesting item in Ole's Will is that he appointed Magnus Pederson as his Executor. I don't know who Magnus Pederson was. As for the witnesses, I wouldn't be surprised if P. Christopherson was Ole's brother, Peter Christopherson. I don't know who C. Kane was.

Also of interest is the phrase "and being the annexed written instrument" on the second page of the Will. What does that mean exactly? I've heard of adding a codicil to a Will before, but what is an annex? Is it the same thing? If so, is there an earlier version of Ole's will?

I'm so glad I found Ole's Last Will and Testament. In his Will Ole mentioned "real and personal property." That's interesting. I wonder if I can find land records for Ole. And, if there is an earlier version of Ole's Will then searching for that should be added to my research to do list.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jana Last

© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Swift County, Minnesota, Last Will and Testament, Vol 2. Pages 138-139, Ole A. Christopherson; “Minnesota, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1801-1925,” database with images, District and Probate Courts, Swift, Minnesota. ( : accessed 15 December 2020); image 141 of 324.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Phebe (Barker) Waterman ~ Revolutionary War Pension Payment Record

 Happy Veterans Day!

Today is the perfect day to share an interesting document related to my maternal 4th great-grandfather's Revolutionary War military service. This particular document is a pension payment record for Revolutionary War widows.1

My 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Luther L. Waterman, was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. His wife's name was Phebe Barker. I highlighted her name and information in yellow on this document. This is a great document that provides valuable information.

Information gleaned from this record:

Widow's Name: Phebe Waterman

Name of Husband (Revolutionary War Veteran): Luther

Rank: Surgeon

Half Yearly Allowance: 150

We also have some writing on the right of the document indicating Phebe's death date of 2 February 1843.

I ordered Luther's Revolutionary War pension file years ago and have that in my possession. Now has Luther's Revolutionary War pension file on their website, which is amazing! The copy of Luther's pension file that I ordered years ago only contained 12 pages. Luther's pension file on contains 63 pages! So, if you ordered and received a pension file for your Revolutionary War ancestor, make sure to check out too. You never know. Maybe you will discover more pension file pages like I did.

Thanks for reading!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "U.S., Revolutionary War Pensioners, 1801-1815, 1818-1872," database, ( : accessed 11 November 2020), entry for Phebe Waterman, image 107 of 195. 15: Widow Pensions, 1831-1843, page 133, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, Record Group Number 217; Series Number T718, Roll Number 15.



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