Kittson County Historical Society

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I had an idea last night. I would dearly love to do a 'Family Tree' of Kittson County. I can't speak for your families (although I am aware of several of your families that this would apply to...), but in our family, there are several marriages into other 'original' families. What I'm talking about, is the main migration in the mid to late 1800s. Those families, especially those coming from the same area (i.e., Prince Edward Island, Ontario, etc.) commonly married into other families from that same area. There were (and still are to a degree) of relation between families because of this. It would a lot of fun to create such a family tree based on, say, those alive mid-last-century (around 1950). Marcy Johnson, what do you think? I was thinking that we could start by looking at the various cemetery surveys you've done, and start linking that way. It's a massive project, but I think it would be quite fun. It could be then graphically produced on a large poster mounted on foam board, and be displayed at the Kittson County Museum...

Feedback, please!! 

Views: 194

Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on November 23, 2013 at 4:58pm

For a number of decades, Dennis Matthews has been working on collecting genealogical information on KC families.  The results of his efforts (and countless contributors) can be viewed here:  While most of the original families are considered to be descended from "The Islanders," these families are likely the primary foundation upon which the development of the RRV began.

Comment by Trish Short Lewis on November 23, 2013 at 5:24pm

Thanks for info, Robert.  Dennis is a shirt-tale cousin of mine, as it happens, in the manner of which I spoke in my original post of how Kittson County is literally all related.  Not only that, but I have been helping him for a few years maintain the RRV site.  Two years ago, Kristine Baldwin Ohmann also began helping with the site.  We were responsible for moving it from its last online location, to its now permanent location on rootsweb, which is now part of  It is a solid platform for it to continue on...

Comment by Jackie Edkins on March 11, 2014 at 12:30pm

Skip Smolak Rither what does RRV stand for?  Trish Short Lewis have you gotten anywhere with the tree?


Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on March 11, 2014 at 1:49pm

RRV is short for Red River Valley.

Comment by Trish Short Lewis on March 11, 2014 at 3:09pm

Jackie, I haven't even started on the idea I mentioned above.  I've been dealing with health issues and SSA disability for months now.  I still want to try, but trying to figure out the best way to do it.  I've had people make suggestions, but it's not what I want.  I know what I want to do, although it's not easy to explain it to others.  I hope to get it started by this fall.  Summer will be busy... As far as the RRV site goes, you can reach it at Red River Valley website

Comment by Margaret McGill-Zimny on July 29, 2014 at 1:10pm

Trish, what did you find out as far as the Kittson family tree? I am looking for information on the Brown(Bruehn) family. My great Grandmother was Alfreda Brown who married John Patrick McGill and had three boys

if you know of any help i would greatly appreciate it



thank you

Maggie McGill-Zimny


Comment by Trish Short Lewis on July 29, 2014 at 5:09pm

When I said county family tree, I meant showing how the original settlers intermarried and resulted in many of the second and even third generations being related and intermarried.  This will be based on known residents from census records and family trees.  That said, I won't even start on this until later this fall, as stated above.  In the meantime, there is a BROWN family page on the Red River Valley Website - see - I noticed that under Nils Gustav Brown line, there was an Alfrida Brown...

Comment by Jackie Edkins on July 29, 2014 at 7:33pm

Trish, I have been noticing that also, the intermarriages in the families. I have also been noticing many of the families came to St Vincent from Prince Edward Island and there are intermarriages there also. Good luck on your venture and let me know if I can be of help.

Jackie Edkins Fritsch

Comment by Trish Short Lewis on July 30, 2014 at 9:48am

Thanks, Jackie.  I'll be plunging into it after October sometime.  In the meantime, I would appreciate any brainstorming thoughts or ideas from you or anyone else reading this, on how to design such a project.  At this point, I only have a broad idea, but haven't had time to decide on HOW to accomplish it...LOL


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