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The Johannes Larson family is part of the Norwegian-American settlement in southern Juneau County, Wisconsin, which became known as the Suldal Norwegian-American settlement because the overwhelming majority of the settlers came from the Suldal Parish in Rogaland County in western Norway. The connection with Suldal, Norway began in 1850 with the coming of Johannes Larson’s great uncle, Knut Ormson, to settle in Lindina Township. The Suldal Norwegian-American settlement is located in the triangle formed by the communities of Elroy, Mauston, and New Lisbon, in the townships of Fountain, Lisbon, Lindina, and Plymouth.

In 1864, Johannes Larson’s grandfather, Lars Osmundson, a renter on the Bakken subfarm under Guggedal and a former school teacher, led a party of 50 people from Suldal. They came on two sailing ships which left Stavanger on May 4, 1864 and arrived in Quebec on June 2, 1864. Traveling from there to Chicago, they were settled in Juneau County by June of 1864.

This genealogy is part of a larger prosopographical study of the Suldal settlement, The Juneau County Bygdebok, A Genealogy of the Norwegian Settlers, 1850-1950. This study attempts to identify all of the Norwegians who settled in Juneau County, Wisconsin between the first settlement in 1850 and approximately 1900. The identified families are traced one generation back into Norway and their descendents are traced to about 1950.

Prosopographical research has the goal of learning about patterns of relationships and activities through the study of collective biography. Prosopography is interested in the details of individuals' lives and relationships not only with family but also with in-laws, friends, clients, business contacts and so forth. Even one-time contacts may be important.

An example of such a study is described by Robert Anderson in his article “The Joys of Prosopography: Collective Biography for Genealogists,” in American Ancestors, volume 11, pp. 25-7, where he discusses applying the principles of prosopography to genealogical research in his Great Migration Study project, which has attempted to identify all those Europeans who settled in New England prior to 1635.

Publication Date



The Lemonweir Valley Press


Berrien Springs, Michigan and Mauston, Wisconsin


family history, Juneau County, Wisconsin, Norwegian-Americans




First Department

Library Sciences

The Norwegian Ancestry of Johannes (John) Larson (1886-1957); From the Bakken Subfarm, Guggedal Main Farm in Rogaland County, Norway to the Suldal Norwegian Settlement in Juneau County, Wisconsin

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