Monday, January 10, 2011


When putting together the various family histories, there are a few things that have been very helpful:

1. Having parents or grandparents who had been savers: pictures, obituaries, postcards, certificates, etc.

2. Living in Iowa City where one of the State Historical Libraries is located with its censuses, land plats, newspapers, etc.

3. Others in the various families willing to share their information to enhance the collection.

4. Knowing Dr. Gerhard Naeseth of the Genealogical Center in Madison, WI (Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library) as a very knowledgable resource.

Living in Decorah [Iowa] in the sixties and seventies, we attended many Sander reunions (Mrs. Gustav Johnson was a Sander) and Bill Johnson would comment that he knew quite a lot about his Sander relatives but not very much about his dad’s side of the family. So that started the research on the Johnson Family History.

In the late seventies, having moved to Iowa City, by doing much letter writing and aided by the help and expertise of the aforementioned Gerhard Naeseth, the data began to be accumulated.

Birth and marriage certificates were obtained from the Archives in Oslo, Norway; birth, death and emigration from the Norwegian church records are very useful, and I researched those a couple of times at the Salt Lake City Family History Library. Census records, old newspapers, plat books are available for use at the State Historical Library.

And maybe best of all, my mother-in-law [Lillie (JOHNSON) Williams] had been a saver and had handed down many pictures, obituaries, newspaper articles, etc. We had learned enough so that in 1986 when we spent a semester in Norway, we were able to travel to and take pictures of the home farm – Huusmoe – of Anna Gurine, the mother of Gustav Johnson. So for a Johnson ‘Cousin’ family reunion in 1992, I put together this book I call Gustav Johnson Descendants.


Post a Comment