Angie's paternal grandfather, Cherrolf "Chips" Olaf Christopherson was born in 1910 in Angus, Minnesota, but that was about all we knew. She did not have the names of his parents, or any of his siblings, except one, Hank, who worked with him on Bainbridge Island at the creosote plant.
For years she could not find anything about them and online results came as dead ends. Until recently, when Ancestry.com updated and improved the algorithms for AncestryDNA. One of the matches that came up was for a 3rd cousin that she'd never seen before, with 792 people in her family tree AND it was unlocked. The only shared surname was "Christopherson", so in reviewed her family tree, we found only two Christophersons... Hans Christopherson, born in Norway in 1859 and Tena Christopherson, born in 1894 in Angus, Polk County, Minnesota. Tena passed away in Seattle on (coincidently), Angie's 10th birthday March 20th, 1973. Digging further into Tena's family tree, we were able to view the 1910 Federal Census that was attached to her profile and found a Henry Christopherson, four years of age living in the household. When I read her the other names, "Mable, Howard, Clarence.." "Wait", she said, "Clarence, I remember a Clarence."
Yes, but there was no Cherrolf. Pondering the situation, we realized that the census was taken on April 15, 1910 and Cherrolf was born in October.
So, onto the 1920 census for further investigation. In the same county, but a different town, Brandt, we found Henry, Clarence and Jerrold, but no Cherrolf. Knowing that census takers sometime made mistakes with difficult names, we figured that the "Jerrold" was indeed "Cherrolf" as he was exactly shown as 9 years old. Bingo.
Several hours later we were able to paint, with a wide brush, Cherrolf's family tree. His father, Hans, had arrived in America in 1882 at the age of 25.
He found his way to Polk Couty, Minnesota and married Anna Bertina Christianson, also from Norway. She was 10 years his senior. The had four children, Carter, Anna, Oscar and Tena. Tena was the sibling we found in that AncestryDNA match. On further research we found Anna Bertina had passed away and he married a 2nd time in 1894-96 range (yet to be verified) to Anna Olson. Anna was also from Norway, born in 1876. The had eight sons, starting with Howard who was born in 1900, followed by Clarence, Francis, Henry (Hank), Raymond, Cherrolf (Chips), Kenneth and Ellsworth.
So far, we have found that six of the eight boys all relocated from Minnesota to the Seattle area, and all the brother's children lived in the Seattle area, too.
We're still working on finding the cousins and contacting the AncestryDNA match from Ancestry.com, but we're well on the way to filling out the branches of the Christopherson tree.