The Family Files at The Weyerhaeuser Museum are the core of our genealogical resources. The Family Files were started with a collection of W.P.A. Biographies taken from area families in the 1930s. Since that time, the Family Files have grown to include family sheets, obituaries, newspaper articles, pedigree charts, census records and other documents. As museum staff or researchers find information, they may add it to the files. Some files have very little information; some have a lot. New files are created as new family names are uncovered.
Documents within the Family Files are arranged alphabetically by last name. Everyone with a particular last name, related or not, is filed alphabetically by first name within the same surname file.
Links to the index of family names on file at the Morrison County Historical Society are below.
Note: The index does NOT include all of the families in the county.
If you can’t find a family name listed, but have evidence that the family was in Morrison County at any time, please contact us to see if we have the information you need. We are happy to start new Family Files for unlisted names and will accept copies of family information for our files.
See our Research page for information on conducting research at the museum.
Family Files Index
27 Replies to “Family Names”
My father, Grant A. Wicklund, was born in Motley on 3/28/1988. His parents were John Wicklund and Tonsett (Johnson) Wicklumd. I was at the family home many times as a child. I fished from the bridge over the Crow Wing River and bought minnows from Mr. Funk.I am curious material what is available. Thanks
Hi, John – Thanks for your Wicklund family information. I was looking at our Wicklund file yesterday and noticed that it is very skimpy. Only a couple of sheets of paper – one a baptism certificate for Adolf Wickland and Mildred Frederick’s daughter Isabella Theresa Meyer and obits for Ethel N. (Peterson) Wicklund. If there’s information you can add, we’d greatly appreciate it. You can email the info or mail it to our contact address. Thanks!
My husband is a desendant of Margaret Ayer, the adopted daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth Ayer. We know that she was from the White Earth Band, but we cannot find any information about her “adoption.” She does not appear on the census and then she does appear. What can you tell me about Margaret Ayer? Thanks for any information! We have a beautiful beaded headband that we assume was Margaret’s. It has been handed down in the family for generations.
Hi, Marla – Tracking down Margaret Ayer is proving to be tough. I’ve found only one mention of her in our box of Ayer family information and that in an email from a serious Ayer researcher. The researcher’s email says that Margaret Ayer is an “unexplained person in school list.” Just before the mention of Margaret is the name Marcia Faceon, “who may have been unofficially adopted by Ayers ….”
Frederick and Elizabeth had two sons, Frederick and Lyman. Frederick (the son) died within days of coming to Belle Prairie with his parents. Because the Ayers ran and mission and school in Belle Prairie from 1849-1865, and the students typically lived on-site, there seemed to have been situations of unofficial adoptions. Based on the time, there probably weren’t any official papers drawn up for such adoptions. Morrison County wasn’t formed until 1856 and formal court proceedings were sporadic for a number of years.
I have a feeling our Ayer researcher would like to hear from you. I’ll send you a private email to pass along her contact info. As we have so little information on Margaret in our files, we would appreciate any info you can give us on her and her descendants.
Thanks for contacting us.
Hello Mary and Maria and other readers! I believe that both Marcia Faxcion (Fasion, other spellings) and Margaret Ayer lived with the the Ayers at Belle Prairie in 1850s and that the household also had other Ojibwe kids and/or traders’ mixed blood children while they attended the Belle Prairie Seminary. Fascion was the name of the sponsor who paid bills for Marcia during the mission period. Marcia married a man named Wilson and she eventually appeared on the White Earth rolls at the turn of the 19th century. Marcia was born abt 1845.
Margaret was their adopted daughter born abt 1839. I don’t know when she entered the family. (Was it one of you who proved to me that Margaret was full-blooded Ojibwe orphan from the Mille Lacs band?) Margaret married Edward Taylor, Elisabeth Ayer’s nephew from Massachusetts in 1858. He was in the 1st Minn. Infantry and died at Savage Station in 1862. She remarried–Henry M. Mixter. There were two little girls when Edward died: Leila b. 1859 and Mary b. 1861. I believe Henry Mixter adopted them; there was also a son Frank Mixter born in 1868.
Edward Taylor and Margaret Taylor are both mentioned in _Gold Rush Widows of Little Falls._ Lyman was too young to have adopted Margaret–it was his parents who did this, perhaps after his brother Frederic Ayer Jr. died in 1850. Lyman was born in 1834 and his brother in 1837 both at Pokegama Mission I believe (now Pine City, Minn).
Edward’s father was Dr. Thomas Taylor, one of Elisabeth’s brothers, who died in 1853 in North Adams, Mass where he had a practice. His wife was Lucy Gay. Thomas Taylor and his brother Samuel both attended Berkshire Med. college.
Edward Taylor, Patrick Henry Taylor, and Isaac Taylor were all in the 1st Minn. Infantry and were at Gettysburg. You can find their photos on the 1st Minn. website run by Wayne Jorgenson! Jonathan Taylor III and Lyman Ayer were in the 2nd Light Artillery. These guys were all cousins. Additionally, Frank Ferrand served in the 1st Minn. for a while and some of Lyman’s wife’s brothers the HIlls were in the 1st Minn. Also Helon Hamilton was in the group yet was apparently not a child of Lucy’s — but perhaps from her husband’s extended family. The young men of Morrison County were very patriotic and eager to serve but the war took a terrible toll on the the community. After the war Jonathan married Helon’s widow and adopted her child. It must have been a very close-knit group.
My best guess is that Edward came to Minn. for the same reasons that other Taylor relatives did–they hearkened to the Ayers’ hope to create a “Pious Colony” to buffer the Ojibwe country from liquor and rapacious whites. The Hamiltons, Ferrands, a White niece, and the Illinois Taylors were probably all part of this same group of well-intended relatives who came to Minn Terr to pioneer and serve the Lord at the same time. But…Edward was 10 in a Mass census of 1850 and 15 in a Belle Prairie student list Dec 31 1855. He was too young to have arrived as a “pioneer” so I’m not sure why he was there. Perhaps the family in Mass. was struggling? Or perhaps Aunt Ayer was such a crackerjack teacher that they wanted Edward to be mentored by her? He became a teacher and was a good one according to Gold Rush Widows.
Lucy Taylor Hamilton, Elisabeth’s sister who came from Vermont with a half-grown family and lived next door to the Ayers, ran a boarding house for the Belle Prairie Seminary after her hubby died.
There is also an Ojibwe boy Ne Zho Com ig (Two Earths) listed in one of the 1850s censuses who I believe may also have been an Ayer adoptee. He occurs in the White Earth censuses as living adjacent (or with) Marcia’s household. For a time, Marcia was translator either at Leech Lake Indian Agency station or the Episcopal mission in 1860s before she married. I’d like to learn if Margaret also did school/mission translating. As for the Oibwe bible project, I can’t speak to that. The New Testament was translated at La Pointe in 1830s and 40s by other missionaries of the Ayer cohort, but I don’t know anything about subsequent Bibles.
One problem posed by censuses from 19th c. is that Indians were not counted in censuses until there were reservation rolls made. But…there was a category for “M” for mulatto that some white community census takers used for Ojibwe mixed bloods. Some census takers just ignored the race column altogether. Others marked everybody as white, esp if they lived in a white man’s household. Some inserted an I for Indian. Others omitted the Indians entirely even if they were in the household because Indians weren’t considered citizens. (Similarly you will find that even if a white husband was living with his Ojibwe wife, he may not appear on an Indian census roll–but you can’t assume that he had died just because his name is missing.)
I would be very pleased to get a peek at any family materials that you Ayer and Taylor relatives have. I’m trying to piece together the story of this remarkable family. I have read a lot of the Minn Hist Soc material from the Oibwe missions period 1830s and 40s and have also located a few materials from 1850s and thereafter. I am eagerly seeking more letters and other evidence of their activities. If I eventually create a biography I will need all the accurate materials possible to keep things honest and correct. I believe these are unsung people who need to be better known and celebrated, no matter what our modern religious beliefs may be.
Linda Bryan, 1752 Gulden Place, Maplewood MN 55109
P.S.–just to show you the breadth of genius (or crackpotness?) in this family, you need to know that other cousins were the nation’s most famous phrenologists. Look up Orson and Lorenzo Fowler!
Linda – Thanks so much for your wonderfully detailed reply. I don’t know anyone who knows as much as you do about the Ayer family and their family at Belle Prairie. I hope you produce a biography of the family because we sure could use it in our archive.
I don’t know if I can be of any help here but I’ll try.
Elizabeth Ayer is my 3rd great-grand aunt. According to what my uncle had done on the family history, my great grandmother had told him that Lyman Ayer had a sister that had helped translate the bible into the Ojibway language, but her name was not mentined. We are under the assumptin that the Ayer’s had taken an Objibway girl into thier home and maybe adopted her.
Lyman Ayer (Fredericks and Elizabeth’s son) had adobted had adopted a Native American girl. Her name was Marcia. She was born in1857 in Mil Lacs County. She married a George Wilson in 1869 and died in 1924..
I have a Margaret Ayer listed that was married to an Edward Taylor. If this is the same Margaret that was mentioned, I can help with the Taylor ancestors but not with Margaret’s and Edward’s descendants
Duncan, after a little looking the death date for Thomas Taylor was May 9, 1853, unknown to me where. Looks like Edward Taylor had gone to Belle Prairie, MN. to join other relatives and had started farming with hi cousin, Jonathan Taylor and later joine the First Minnesota Volunteers to fight in the Civil WaeEvenee
Thanks for your input, Allen. Even the smallest clues help us put the mysteries of history together.
Thanks for your feefback, Allen! Edward and Margaret Taylor are my 2nd great grandparents. Margaret was Ojibwa. I do not know if she was legally adopted or taken in and raised as a daughter by Frederick and Elizabeth Ayer, but I do know she was living with Frederick, Elizabeth and Lyman in the Minnesota 1857 census and was identified by them as Margaret G. Ayer. Edward was the son of Thomas and Lucy Taylor of North Adam Massachusetts and was Elizabeth Ayer’s nephew (Thomas is Elizabeth’s younger brother).
I have been able to put together the genealogy, but I am very interested in chronicling the story of their lives. Do you by any chance know why Edward moved to Belle Prairie? I assumed he had become interested by hearing his Aunt Elizabeth talk about Belle Prairie during her visits to Massachusetts as she raised money for the school. I was recently given a lead that Edward was “fatherless”, making me wonder if his father Thomas had died and Edward moved to Belle Prairie to live with his aunt. So I would appreciate hearing if you have a family story explaining Edward’s move to Belle Prairie or if you have a date for Thomas’ death.
Thankyou for your reply, Duncan. Sorry to have taken so long with this one. I’m not sure what brought Edward to Minnesota, but I’m assuming it was to be with relatives. I didn’t know who Edwards parents were unti I read your post,, but I knew who some of the other relatives were.
As far as Thomas goes, I have him being born on July 31, 1807 and his death was in 1853, no info on places. My third great grandmother was Lucy Taylor, sister to Elizabeth and Thomas. Lucy married Samual “James” Hamilton. If you like, I would be mre than happy to compare and exchange info with you by email. I have info on the Taylor’s back to John Taylor that was born in England about 1605 ans died at sea about 1645
Was wondering about the Parke family in Morrison County. I see the name in the file. How can I go about getting information about them? Looking to see if one is an Annie Parke.
Lynne, We do have a Parke family file but it currently does not have any information on an Annie Parke. Our family files “grow” through ongoing research, either by staff or researchers like you. We have other sources of information that can be checked if you are interested in doing research or having staff do research for you. If you are interested in making use of our research service, let us know!
Ann Marie Johnson, Curator of Collections
Mary, in your entry dated 2/21/12 you said “The researcher’s email says that Margaret Ayer is an “unexplained person in school list.” My first document listing Margaret Ayer is 1857, and it would be very helpful to identify her earlier. Do you know the date of the school list you refer to? Also, do you have the school lists at MCHS?
Along those same lines, Linda Bryon says that Edward Taylor is “15 in a Belle Prairie student list Dec 31 1855” in her very informative 4/22/13 entry. Does anyone know if this is the first record of Edward Taylor in Belle Prairie?
Hi, Duncan – The researcher I was referring to in 2012 was Linda Bryan, who has added a considerable amount to this thread, so now I feel free to mention her. I can’t put my hands on the letter that references the school list without serious digging. (I’ve already looked through two years’ worth of research letters.) We don’t have this school list in our files and I sense that if a date had been included, I would have probably mentioned that above.
I did find a note in a compilation of Ayer references (done by Stella LeBlanc) that says the first school district was organized in 1855 in Morrison County, with school being held in the old mission building. I’m assuming this is the Belle Prairie mission. Elizabeth Ayer was among the first instructors. So the earliest Margaret could be listed as a student would be 1855. You reference the Belle Prairie student list of 1855 that Edward Taylor is listed on. I half-suspect this might be the same student list Margaret appears on, but don’t know where that list is archived. Linda would have to help with that.
As for 1855 being the first record of Edward Taylor, I’m afraid I’m not much help. I can tell you that the Ayers arrived in Belle Prairie in 1849 or 1850. Another Stella LeBlanc reference note says that the school was started in 1849, so within the course of two paragraphs, we’ve got a discrepancy. The only good thing is that you’re dealing with a very slim number of years between the arrival of the Ayers in 1849 and the references to Margaret and Edward in 1855 and 1857. Now, if we could just track down the school lists.
I did a search of the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog online using the term “Belle Prairie school” and found a likely possibility. There is a collection of Henry M. Nichols and family that contains letters from Henry’s sister Harriet Nichols Fletcher. Harriet was one of the teachers at the Belle Prairie school. Letters are dated from 1851 to 1862. I’ll give you the link, but I can’t guarantee it’ll take you right to the catalog description, so you might have to conduct your own search at mnhs.org.
thank you for your reply in April 2013 to MCHS. It appears that it will be helpful in my research. I am the 3rd great grandson to Lucy Taylor Hamilton. sister to Elizabeth Taylor Ayer
Allen Schneider, Who is the child of Lucy and James Hamilton that you have descended from? Nancy? or Mary? (Samuel was a bachelor.)
Any chance that your family has any extant papers from the Ayers, the Taylors, or the Hamiltons, or other relatives from 1820s to 1890s? I’m very eager to learn about such things. Apparently there was a fire that burnt up the papers of Frederic and Elisabeth. [This is a shout-out to any other readers of this thread…I’m very very eager to identify and access such papers, for my research project!]
I’ve recently discovered a few new Frederic Ayer papers, but they’re not very interesting unless you’re into Minn Territory gov’t procedural info…he’s signing official documents in Benton Co. as a probate judge. They mostly deal with whether a case can be delayed a few more months. Sigh.
Linda Bryan, I had just read your post to me. I am a descendant of Nancy Hamilton. She married Daniel Mason and they are my gg grandparents. Their daughter, Sarah Alvira Manson married Robert Andrew Russell and they are my g grandparents. According to what my Uncle has done, my grandmother, Sarah (Russell0 Munson was born at the Ayer School in Belle Prairie. There was a farm outside of Randall that my g grandparent Russell’s had owned that my grandparent Munson’s had taken over when the Russell’s were no longer able to take care of it. According to my Mom, shortly after my grandparents had moved into Randall, the farmhouse had burned down. to the best of my Mom’s knowledge, the only things that were lost was some family pictures and heirlooms. She doesn’t know if anything about Frederick and Elizabeth was lost. But at 91, I can’t expect her to remember everything. It also appears to me that everybody buried at the cemetery inside the park in Belle Prairie is related to me
My Grandma was Ina Marie Gablenz born in 1925. Her parents were immigrants from Germany. She also has a sister and brother still living Milly and Bill Gablenz.
We have some very old photos floating around and a complied full family tree/story if you’re interested. It’s possible my great uncle Bill already submitted this info to you.
Please let me know if this is anything you’d be intereste in. If not, totally understand.
Your site is lovely. I do a fair amount of genealogy and this is really well done.
Tonia, that sounds great. Thanks for thinking of us. Ann Marie
Helpful article ! I was enlightened by the specifics , Does someone know where my business might locate a fillable a form copy to fill out ?
Robert Andrew Russell and Sarah (Mason) Russell are my GG grandparents as well as Munsons in the area, any early info on them would be lovely. Why they came to Minnesota and what were their occupations. I know Robert came from Canada but not if alone or with other family members. Any photos would be lovely. Thanks for any assistance, C
Hi, C. Delk – If you’d like us to do some formal research on your family names, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff research fee is $25 an hour (1-hour minimum) + copies + postage. Be sure to include your mailing address with the request if you decide to go that route.
If you’d like to get in touch with the person above who discussed the Russells and Munsons, let me know and I’ll forward your contact info on to him privately.
I am looking for info on the Boser family. According to
the research I have done my GG Grandfather was Laurence Boser. My G Grandfather was George L Boser. I am trying to find anything on Laurence’s parents. Laurence came to America from Germany in 1871.
Hi, Steven – I did a quick look through our Boser Family File. I can find a family sheet for Lawrence (Lorenz) Boser who came to the U.S. in 1871 and was married three times. Two of the wives were Katherine Sendelbeck and Kunigundis (sp?) Held. Unfortunately, there is no information on the family sheet about Lawrence’s parents.
If you would like museum staff to dig into this further, please send us an email at contactstaff (at) morrisoncountyhistory (dot) org. We charge $25 an hour for research, plus and copies and postage.
Is there any family info on Kalusche as Anton m a Puchalla
Also Brockway families
We have family files for those names in our collections. What can we help you find?