Family history documents and stories to supplement the genealogical information at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Detour to the Prairie

I hate to create a break in the middle of Tena's letters, but a tweet from a fellow garden blogger got me thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books. I read and reread those books many times when I was young, and even though I'm no longer young I still love them.

I recalled that Laura's parents, Charles Ingalls and Caroline Quiner, were married in Concord, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, near where my Beilke ancestors settled. (That's the connection to my genealogy, however tenuous.)
Image of the Ingalls family Bible, from Laura Ingalls Wilder Country by William Anderson

I got all excited when I first learned that, thinking that Little House in the Big Woods must have been nearby. Well, no, the Ingalls family had moved on by then and the Little House in the Big Woods was far to the northwest in Pepin, Wisconsin.

My great-great-grandfather, Franz Beilke, and family immigrated from Germany in 1867 (the year of Laura Ingalls birth) and eventually bought a farm in the next township west of Concord.
Franz Beilke house in Jefferson County Wisconsin

While I was searching online for info about the Ingalls family, I can across something that I hadn't heard before. Charles Ingalls, as a boy, lived in Kane County Illinois, just east of where I lived in DeKalb County. So I have a double connection to the Ingalls family, even though both are very tangential. But even more surprising (to me) is the volume of Little House material online. There are fan sites, blogs, and even Twitterers. A whole universe that I didn't know existed.

::: A few links for you to get lost in :::

Blogs & Fan Sites:
Pioneer Girl, fact and fiction of Laura Ingalls Wilder
from laura ingalls wilder to cyberbessie (this blog is part of the site above)
Beyond Little House
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

Buy a CD of Pa's fiddle music:
Happy Land: Musical Tributes to Laura Ingalls Wilder from CD Baby or from Pa's Fiddle

Or download for $0.89 per song

Follow Little House fans on Twitter:

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Beyond Little House
Laura Ingalls Wilder (HalfPintIngalls)

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