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.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

He Believed His Brother Was Insane

My maternal 2nd great-granduncle, Lewis G. Waterman, was born on 8 May 1839 in Troy, Athens, Ohio. He and his twin sister Lucy were the 11th and 12th children born to my 3rd great-grandparents Asher Waterman and Bathsheba Paulk. Lewis' and Lucy's siblings were (in order of birth) Eliza, William, Charles, Eunice, Jerusha, Homer, Jason, Nancy, Sarah, and Cynthia.

I've written several blog posts about this family in the past. Asher was a veteran of the War of 1812. Homer served as an assistant surgeon in the US Civil War. Cynthia was my 2nd great-grandmother. Her husband, Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster, also served in the US Civil War. Cynthia and Ebenezer were the parents of my great-grandfather, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog.

At the time the 1850 US Federal Census1 was taken, Lewis and Lucy were 12 years old and were living with their parents and five older siblings.

Ten years later, when the 1860 US Federal Census2 was taken, Lewis and Lucy were 22 years old and were still living with their parents. The rest of their siblings had moved out of their parents' home. Asher and Bathsheba were then in their mid-to-late sixties. Lucy's occupation was listed as a housekeeper and Lewis was listed as a farm laborer.

This census was taken on July 11, 1860. Notice that nothing was written in the last column (column 14) which is titled "Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict." I don't know if Lewis was having or exhibiting any physical, mental, or emotional problems at the time this census was taken. So, what happened between the date this census was taken and February 13, 1861 when an affidavit3 was filed in Athens County court by Lewis' brother Jason "setting forth that he believes Lewis G. Waterman is insane?"

I had found the affidavit filed by Jason many years ago. But, I had only written down the page number and the township where I had found it. Yes, I didn't use a proper citation. Ugh! While scrolling through probate files on FamilySearch in an attempt to locate the affidavit again I was able to find it. Yay! And yes, I wrote down the citation this time.

Here's the affidavit that Jason filed.

Transcript of Affidavit

Probate Court, Athens County Feby 15 1861

In the matter of Lewis G. Waterman, Insane
On the 13th day of February 1861 Jason C. Waterman
a citizen of said Athens County, filed in this Court
an affidavit setting forth that he believes Lewis G. Water-
man is insane, that his insanity is of less than fifteen
month duration, and that he has a legal settlement
in Troy Township in Athens County Ohio. Whereupon
the said Lewis G. Waterman was examined before
the Judge of said Court; and in consideration of
the testimony of Dr John Pratt (a respectable Physician
of said County) and Jason C Waterman and
the said Judge being satisfied that said Lewis G
Waterman is insane, that he has a legal settle-
ment in said Troy Township in Athens County
Ohio; and that he is a suitable person to be received
into the Lunatic Asylum. It is ordered that appli-
cation be made to the superintendent of the
Central Ohio Lunatic Asylum for his admitian
into the same ---- Calvary Morris Prob Judge

As you can see, there is a question mark in place of one of the words. I can't make out that word, so if you have an idea of what it is, please let me know in the comments below. (UPDATE: a friend and fellow genealogy blogger suggested the word is "ordered." That makes sense and it does look like that is correct so I will update my transcription. Thank you Diane, owner of the blog Michigan Family Trails.)

The affidavit states that Lewis' insanity was less than fifteen months in duration. So, when did it begin? What were his symptoms that led to being admitted to an insane asylum? Was he really insane by today's standards? Was Lewis suffering from something that could have been managed or cured with today's treatments? And what was the definition of insanity in 1861? Also, what was the "legal settlement in Troy Township" that Lewis was entitled to?

I can't help but feel sorry for Lewis and for anyone else who suffered from mental illness back in the 1800s without the benefits of modern medicine and treatments.

Thanks for reading!

© 2020 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2 September 2015), Louis Waterman in household of Asher Waterman, Troy, Athens, Ohio, United States; citing family 1003, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
2 "United States Census, 1860," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 August 2015), Lewis Waterman in household of Asher Waterman, Troy Township, Athens, Ohio, United States; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, ( : n.d.); citing p. 113, household ID 769, NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 803,934.
3 "Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996," images, FamilySearch (,1116912711 : accessed 25 August 2015), Athens > Probate journals 1858-1871 (copy) vol 2 > image 104 of 362; county courthouses, Ohio.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Lesson Learned. Always Check for Additional Pages

I've been working on a timeline in Excel about my maternal great-grandfather, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog.

While doing some research for this timeline, I took another look at a document I shared in a previous post back in 2013. It's a U.S. Consular Registration Application from 1917 for Frederick.1 I was looking at it on Ancestry and clicked on the little arrow on the right side and there was a second page to this application! Not only that, it turns out that there was a third and fourth page too! I had only downloaded the first page to my computer years ago. Now these additional pages have been downloaded to my computer as well.

This second page contains some interesting information.

Information gleaned from this second page:

Name of witness: J. C. Terry
Address of witness: Curitiba, Parana
Date: 29 August 1917
Identifying documents: Previous registration
Name of person to notify in the event of death or disability: Rollin W. Webster
Address of person to notify in the event of death or disability: Chicago, Illinois
Additional data: I own land at Ironton, Missouri
Addresses supplied by Frederick for investigation:

Dr. F. S. Webster
Clinton, Missouri

Rollin W. Webster
525 E. 37th Street
Chicago, Illinois

Rollin W. Webster and Dr. F. S. Webster were Frederick's brothers. F. S. stands for Frank Summers. He was also a dentist. A very interesting bit of information on this page is that Frederick stated he owned land in Ironton, Missouri. Wow! I wonder if I can find some land records about his property.

Here's the third page of Frederick's application.

This is an affidavit in which the applicant had to explain the reason for their "protracted foreign residence" etc.

Information gleaned from this third page:

Date Frederick ceased to reside in the United States: On or about 20 October 1911
Places Frederick lived temporarily since that date: Various places in Brazil
When Frederick arrived in Curitiba, Brazil: About 1915
Reasons for such residence: Frederick said, "I have built up a profitable practice in dentistry which I cannot abandon to return to the United States to start in anew at this time and I expect to return at such time as I retire from practice."
Since establishing a residence abroad Frederick made how many visits to the USA: None
Frederick stated he never was naturalized, took an oath of allegiance, or voted as a foreign citizen or subject.
Frederick maintained the following ties to family, business, and property with the United States: "8 tracts of land near Ironton, Mirrouri on which I pay taxes. Also have two brothers and a sister living in the United States."
Did Frederick pay the American Income Tax?: Frederick said he did not and said, "My income is below legal minimum."
When did Frederick intend to return to the United States permanently?: Frederick answered within four years or when "I retire from practice."
Frederick last registered at the American Consular Office: At Santos, Brazil in about 1915.

There's so much information on this page. It's great to know the reason Frederick stayed abroad. It looks like he was doing pretty well with his dental practice. On the second page of this application he mentioned he owned land at Ironton, Missouri. On this third page he gave more specific information about that land. He said he owned eight tracts of land near Ironton. He also said he paid taxes on that land. These bits of information could lead to further research in land records and tax records, right? 

Frederick also mentioned he had two brothers and a sister living in the United States. His two brothers were those mentioned on the second page. Frederick had three sisters, but only one living at the time of this application. The surviving sister was Lura Elizabeth Webster. The two sisters who had already passed away were Mary Alice Webster and Lillian Dell Webster.

Frederick said he intended to return to the United States permanently within four years or when he retired. I don't know that that ever happened. He moved and traveled so much. I'd have to do more research to find out if he established a permanent residence in the USA at some point after this application. Frederick ultimately passed away in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil on 21 July 1946 and is buried in the Araca Cemetery in Sao Paulo.

Frederick stated that he had registered at the American Consular Office at Santos, Brazil around 1915, which is true. He also registered at the American Consular Office in Mexico City, Mexico in 1923.

The fourth page of Frederick's application is titled "Opinion of Officer Taking Affidavit" and contains a paragraph written by the officer. I won't include that here in this blog post.

The information within this U.S. Consular Registration Application is fascinating. I'm so glad I clicked those little arrows to see if there were additional pages in Frederick's application!

Now I need to go back to the other U.S. Consular Registration Applications for Frederick to see if I missed any additional pages in those.

Lesson learned. Always check for additional pages.

Thanks for reading!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 “U.S., Consular Registration Applications, 1916-1925,” database, ( : accessed 4 July 2020), Frederick Emory Webster.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...