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Pioneer Families Homepage

Part of the Great Western Migration


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Building a home on the prairie in an environment that did not include timber, the prairie pioneers had to find building materials other than lumber. Capitalizing on the tough network of grass roots firmly enmeshed in the soil, many pioneers built sod homes, or “soddies.” Blocks of turf were cut and laid like giant bricks to form walls. Logs or boards were used for room beams and rafters, which were covered with sticks, willows and sod. Windows and doors were usually mail-ordered or purchased in town. The sod homes proved to be cool in the hot summer and warm in the winter. Some whitewashed the interiors to lighten them up and also covered the outside to protect it from the weather which was hard on such structures. Many added wooden lean-tos to their sod houses as entry ways or as additional rooms. As soon as a farm family could afford it, they purchased lumber to build a frame house, thus leaving behind a part of the pioneer era.



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Write to me - Nancy Brown Knepper Rudolph


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Meet Our Family


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Welcome to Our Home Page - the link to our Family Genealogy. These families represent a part of the Great Migration to America from mostly Great Britain and Germany and the Greater Migration to the West. The ADAMS progenitor was born in New Jersey and was a Michigan Pioneer before his son went to Dakota Territory as a pioneer. Our DANIELS ancestor came from England, served in the Civil War, and homesteaded in Dakota Territory. The BROWNS began their western migration after the Revolutionary War from Connecticut to New York and Michigan Territory. The ARY family originated in Virginia and migrated to Ohio, Illiois and Iowa. Four brothers served in the Civil War for Illinois. The THOMPSON and WHEELER families settled in Cherokee County, Iowa. The Thompsons migrated from Norway and the Wheelers were early New England settlers. The RUDOLPHS arrived from Germany before the Revolution and settled in Tennessee and Kentucky. They intermarried with families who were in Jamestown. The KNEPPERS also arrived from Germany, but settled in Pennsylvania. They intermarried with families from Northern Ireland and Scotland. Descendants of these families settled all across the United States. Their stories are contained on my websites. Pictures, documents and sources are included whenever possible. Enjoy this information and let us know if you recognize anyone!


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LAST UPDATE . . JANUARY 2010 WE'RE ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION!