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.



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