Mother Gunderson

Mother Gunderson Mother Of Leeve Elizabeth p1Mother Gunderson Mother Of Leeve Elizabeth p2

‘Mother’ Gunderson, mother of Leeve Elizabeth”

Old photo, circa early 1900s, taken from tintype.

Price:  $15.00 for original photo. Digital copy $7.00.       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 5″

From the dark splotches and the general look of the photo, the original image was probably a tintype. How wonderful to have some i.d. written on the back, and one of the best clues within that writing is the use of the parentheses:  “Mother” Gunderson is likely someone that the “writer” either knew personally or had heard plenty of references to, within the family. In other words, it’s a good bet that this beautiful lady had lived with or near her kids and grandkids in the (most likely) United States, rather than having stayed in the “old country.”

Possible related family surnames:  Working, Salisbury, and Lesher

After searching thru census, family tree and grave site records, we have a strong possibility that the lady was named Anna, born about 1798 – 1809 in Norway, married to John Gunderson, born about 1797 in Norway. The 1857 Minnesota State Census for Belle Plaine, shows them living next door to Daniel W. Working, born 1827 in Pennsylvania, “Levi” Working (Leeve listed incorrectly as male) born Norway about 1830, and their son, about one year old John Brown Working, born in the Minnesota Territory (M.T.)

Per family trees in Ancestry, Leeve Elizabeth Gunderson married Daniel Webster Working in 1855 in Minnesota and had six other children after John B. True, it’s possible the above is not the correct match for our photo, however, no other near matches were found. And this one fits quite well for dates. Find A Grave has Leeve’s headstone showing born September 14, 1825 and died April 18, 1878.

Other Ancestry tree info has sisters of Leeve (aka Libby or Olivia) as Adeline (Gunderson) Salisbury (1830 – 1900) and Anna (Gunderson) Lesher (1832 – about 1887). And a date of death for our possible Anna “Mother Gunderson” as 1906. If the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census records are correct for Anna’s year of birth (1798) then she would have been about 108 years old when she died.

Sources:  “Levi Working.” Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

“Leeve Elizabeth Working.” Find A Grave Memorial# 13454263. (accessed September 5, 2016).

“Annie Gunderson.” Year: 1870; Census Place: Belle Plaine, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: T132_10; Page: 403; Image: 22726; Family History Library Film: 830430. (

“Anne Gounderson.” Year: 1880; Census Place: Blakeley, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: 633; Family History Film: 1254633; Page: 94A; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 0191.

5 thoughts on “Mother Gunderson

  1. I believe this is my great great great grandmother. Levee’s son, Daniel Webster Working, married my great grandmother Ella Grace Booth. We know a fair amount about the Working side but not much about the Gunderson side.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kari. I’m so glad you found the photo. I would think she’d be a correct match for you. Though we know all i.d. on the back of photos is not always correct, this one written with the “mother of…” info seems definitive what with the records and names matching up….It’s great to have your comment, too for anyone else searching for their Gunderson side.

      • This is my g-g-great grandmother. Anna Gunderson, dau, b. 1832 Holla, Telemark, Norway and was married to Benjamin Lesher b. PA. Still searching but believe their son, Jacob (my g-g gf) was b. 1870 Minnesota. Thank you for posting.

  2. Believe this could be my relative, Gunderson side. My g-g-great grandfather, Benjamin Lesher was married to Anna Gunderson b. 1832 in Holla, Telemark, Norway.

  3. Thanks for your comments Anna, and they got in reverse order and I tried 5x to fix them, whew, exhausted now, lol. Still out of order. Oh well! But I’m happy you found Mother Gunderson. Good luck in all your searches.

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