The Waupaca Area Genealogical Society celebrates Family History Month during October.
The society recently issued Waupaca County Pioneer Certificates to the Johnson Family, recognizing their ancestors came to Waupaca County before Jan. 1, 1870.
Receiving certificates were Richard G. Johnson, Erika L. Johnson, Caitlin A. Johnson, Nancy M. (Johnson) Hamilton, James S. Johnson, Susan J. Johnson and Stephen E. Johnson.
To receive a Waupaca County Pioneer Certificate, the applicant must have an ancestor living in Waupaca prior to January 1870.
The background of the certificate depicts pioneer settlers crossing the Wolf River to enter the newly opened “Indian lands” and was drawn by Walt Disney artist William H. Juhre for the Appleton Post Crescent on Oct. 28, 1962.
Richard G. Johnson submitted applications for his family’s certificates based upon their ancestress Julia Dorothy Black, who was born in Waupaca on March 29, 1864 to Soren and Maren Johanna “Hannah” (Anderson) Black.
Soren and Hannah arrived at New York in May 1862, coming straight to Waupaca, and in November of 1865, Soren was able to file his declaration of intent to become a citizens of the United States.
According to the 1870 United States Federal Census, Julia (age 6), her sister Mary, her brothers (Willie and Peter) and their parents, Sorena and Maren Black, were residents of the city of Waupaca.
Julia married Alfred Johannesen/Johnson in Waupaca on Feb. 12, 1885.
Both Alfred and the parents of Julia Black were born in Denmark, and all three are buried at Lakeside Memorial Park, in Waupaca.
The couple had five children: Florence (married Matthew Ovrum), Alfred, Edward, Ethel (married Irving Hanson) and Soren W. (married Nellie Kweddeboom).
Soren and Nellie Johnson were the grandparents of the Johnson Pioneer Certificate recipients.
For many years, the Johnsons held a special dinner, called Martin’s Goose, coinciding with a holiday in Denmark in recognition of St. Martin.
Richard G. Johnson recently retired from First National Bank of Waupaca, serving as its attorney and a board director.
Stephen E. Johnson is an officer and board director at the bank.
Both their father and grandfather served as the bank’s president.
Now the Johnson brothers and their sisters are shareholders of the bank.
Four generations of the Johnson family have resided at Bethany Home, in Waupaca.
Information about applying for a Waupaca County Pioneer Certificate may be found at www.wigenweb.org/waupaca/WAGS/WAGS.htm or by emailing WaupacaAreaGenSoc@hotmail.com.
Descendants applying for the certificate do not need to reside in Waupaca County.