Genealogy Intro (sticky)


If you’re reading this, it’s either because you’re related to me and would like to be involved with the genealogy project, or because you hit one of the search terms on this page.

I’m trying to get in touch with anyone who has information about the people listed below; this is most likely all the information I have, so if it fits a piece of your puzzle, please email me and maybe we can figure something out!

For those family members looking for the genealogy databases, they are located at one of these links:

Burton-Kelly (list of surnames)

Finstad (list of surnames)

You will need a username and password to edit information or see details for living individuals

Alma Swansen

Looking for information on:

Alma [B? L?] Swansen (Swanson, Swansan, Svensen, Svenson, etc.)
Born about 1872 in Sweden
Immigrated to USA about 1888
Married John Bernard Johnson (1865-?)

Alma Elnora Johnson (1896 – 1914)
Huldah Christenia Johnson (1894 – 1988)
Anna M. Johnson (1892 – 1973)
Harry B. Johnson (1897 – 1969)
Carl R. Johnson (1899 – 1973)
Jennie Johnson (1901 – 1966)
Lilian Johnson (1905 – 1984)
Mabel Johnson (1907 – 1987)
Edna Johnson (1910 – 1977)

Information on Alma from Sweden would be very much appreciated!

Frost-Keysor Genealogy

I had to write this all out to email it to the keepers of the Genealogy of the Abial Frost Family website, so I might as well post it here in case someone finds it from another angle and has information.

I’m looking for a connection to the Frost family and hoping someone might be able to give me some guidance on my wife’s side of the family.

Looking over the newsletters and this site, I don’t think she is a descendant of Abial Frost, but there are references to the Hadley, NY area that I think are intriguing.

My wife is descended from an Elizabeth Frost, who married Clark Keysor Sr., father of Civil War Union Captain Clark Keysor of Mankato, MN. We don’t have direct familial knowledge of the line this far back, but Capt. Keysor’s early life is documented in both “Mankato: It’s First Fifty Years..” (1903) and “History of Blue Earth County…” (Hughes, 1901). I’ve copied some text below:

Captain Keysor was born in Luzerne, Warren county, New York, May 24, 1826, and was among the five children of Clark and Elizabeth (Frost) Keysor. The father followed the lumbering business until his death, which occurred in New York state in 1830. Survived by the widow, she eventually came to Mankato [MN] and died here in 1877 at an advanced age. Their son, Clark, Jr., received a common-school education in New York state and grew to manhood upon a farm, early gaining a thorough knowledge of agricultural pursuits. (Hughes, 1901)

KEYSOR, Capt. Clark–Born in Luzerne, Warren County, New York, May 24th, 1826, a son of Clark and Elizabeth (Frost) Keysor. His grandparents on his father’s side were natives of Germany, who landed in New York City about the end of the 18th century, were the grandmother died, leaving the Captain’s father an infant, who, being adopted by a family named Wells, was brought up in New York State, where he died in 1830. After his father’s death, Capt. Keysor made his home with his grandfather Frost, in the town of Hadley, New York, working on a farm and attending the country school until he was sixteen years of age. He then started out for himself, finding employment first in a saw mill at Luzerne, and the following winter in a lumber camp. (Mankato, 1903)

Elizabeth Frost Keysor did move to Mankato and died there. She may have remarried to a Noyes after Clark Sr’s death, but I am having a hard time finding documentation. There are two markers that bear her name in Glenwood Cemetery in Mankato.

Looking through the newsletters, I see mention of Uncle Elijah, who lived in Hadley around that time and had a daughter named Lizzie. This is noted in the Frost Genealogy (1912); Elijah is individual #8.

I’d appreciate any sources documenting the Frost-Keysor connection if there is one. Thanks for any ideas.


P.S. My wife’s tree is online, the direct link to Elizabeth Frost is here:

Exploring genealogy with R: readgedcom and tidygraph

My code is an absolute mess right now, but here’s a fun plot showing everyone in my family GEDCOM. With so many people, it’s hard to visualize all of them at once, and most software provides one or the other of a descendant tree or an ancestor tree.

Colors on this plot show whether a person is a terminal ancestor (no parents) or terminal descendant (no children). You can also tell that I don’t have the graph (connections between people) set up properly, because I don’t have that many unrelated individuals in this GEDCOM (at least, I shouldn’t). Overall I think this is a good start and eventually I can end up with a poster.

network plot with lots of circles and arrows
Red = terminal ancestor, green = terminal descendant, blue = neither.

Getting Started in Genealogy

I responded to a “how do you get started” question somewhere else and came out with the following brain dump, so I’ll post it here too.

What tips and tricks would you have to get started with genealogy?

You don’t have to put your tree in Ancestry and pay monthly, especially if you have hosting somewhere. Webtrees is good software. If you are associated with a university, you may have access to an Ancestry subscription for free through the library. Set up a system for digital files and naming conventions on your local machine to back up any documentation you add to an online tree. Family tree software should all operate with the GEDCOM format, which makes it really easy to move around if you are dissatisfied (although objects like photos may be harder to).

When I started in high school 20 years ago, it was just a tree of everyone I knew I was related to. Then you get back far enough and have to ask people for help. My grandmother remembered dozens of names and dates, which got me further. Ancestry and similar free websites ( can fill in a lot. helped me find a ton of obituaries and gossip column entries, which filled in even more.

It’s only recently that I got into thinking about the “History” going on around my ancestors when they were alive, and that’s been driving my interest for the last year. Person A lived in this place in the 1890s–what was going on there, and how were global events affecting them? or another archive were very useful for this as well.

Although Ancestry and are subscription, even one month lets you dig into and download as much as you want, so if money is tighter you can sign up for a single month and dedicate a lot of time to getting as much raw material as possible.