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Minnesota Genealogical Journal: 41, Letter from the Editor

Hopefully spring is just around the corner, following one of the snowier and colder Minnesota winters in years. My earliest Minnesota ancestors arrived in New York in May, 1854, from Germany, made their way that spring to Washington County, then Sibley County a couple of years later, and eventually to Nicollet County. No central furnace, no hot running water, no warm vehicle to go to the non-existing supermarket for meat, fruit, etc. It has made me grateful that I live today, and yet can experience vicariously through my collection of family history materials what many of my ancestors experienced first-hand. Hopefully, too, you'll find something in issue 41 of the Minnesota Genealogical Journal to help you share that feeling.

In addition to our continuing series of marriages for Itasca, Lincoln and Meeker counties and Masons from all over the state, there are church records from long-closed Episcopal churches, more territorial period declarations of intent from Fillmore County, a taste of the public's feelings toward capital punishment in St. Paul in 1894, and more from Washington, Blue Earth, Olmsted, and Cass counties.

It also includes a kind of challenge to readers interested in the Dakota Conflict of 1862. The onset of that war spawned frightening rumors which in turn caused white settlers to leave their homes for places of safety. Little has been written about these settlers. What happened to them? How many left the state? How long did it take for them to return, that is, if they did? Did the stockades and fortifications built for protection accomplish this objective? The article on the stockade at Hutchinson is an attempt to re-create the listing of the 447 people reported by Nathan Lamson as resident there. But that is only one of two dozen or more places fortified or garrisoned in 1862 and early 1863. Who stayed and who left following the hostilities? Attempts to positively identify those killed in the hostilities requires those who came after the 1860 census but before the outbreak began in mid-August 1862 be identified, as well as those who survived.

The sesquicentennials for the Civil War and for the Dakota Conflict are only a few years away. If your family has a story about its activities and survival during these events, consider writing a few paragraphs, together with your sources, and submitting it for upcoming issues of the Journal. I'll set aside space for them, especially those which have not been previously published elsewhere. We know at least one wedding took place while the stockade at Hutchinson was populated. And there were likely other marriages between surviving spouses who met at such places, as well as births. We'd like to hear about them.

The ad on the back cover describes our newest publication, Claims from the Dakota Conflict: Emergency Aid for the Sufferers, Volume 5 in the series on claims. This volume describes the interrelated programs authorized by the state to provide emergency aid and names the people who received such aid. It includes only that aid received from the state, not those to whom donated clothing was distributed. Stories about such private aid, first-hand accounts of care of those in hospitals, or similar topics would be welcome as well. By sharing your family story, you may meet other families whose stories intersect. I look forward to hearing from you!

Be sure to check your label for subscription information. If the number shown in "41," this is your last issue. We've had to raise our subscription rate to offset increases in postage, but we'll continue to honor multi-year subscriptions into the future. And if you're planning to move, let us know that as well. The Journal is sent bulk rate to keep down mailing costs, and is discarded if not deliverable. We don't replace those issues. We love hearing from our readers. Do keep in touch.

Mary Hawker Bakeman
Editor, Minnesota Genealogical Journal

For more information on the Minnesota Genealogical Journal, see the button at the top of the page, right hand side.


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