Personal Research

Obituary for Joseph E. Johnsen, 1947

Amanuensis Monday – this daily prompt, developed by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch, encourages bloggers to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. (An amanuensis is someone employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.)

Today’s transcription is an obituary for Joseph Edward Johnsen, my great-great grandfather. This newspaper clipping was found in a collection of scanned notes compiled as part of a family photo project from a number of years ago.

Original text:

[Currently unknown.]

[June 12, 1947 written at the top in pen]

Joseph E. Johnsen, Sr., 58, of route 3, box 508, Duluth, died yesterday in a Duluth hospital. He has resided here 58 years and was formerly employed as a stationary engineer and mechanic for St. Louis county. Surviving are his widow, Alvilda; seven sons, Walter, Merrill, Joseph, Raymond, Vernon, Richard and Alexander, all of Duluth; three daughters, Mrs. Lester Lathrop and Mrs. James Ross, both of Duluth, and Mrs. William Rahja, Floodwood; his parents; one brother, Harry J. Johnsen, Minneapolis, and 16 grandchildren.


  • I did a quick search on but this obituary doesn’t seem to be part of their collection at the moment.
  • It’s interesting that both of his parents are still living in 1947! Since JEJ Sr. was born in 1888, that would’ve put their birth date around the 1860s. That’s pretty long-lived for back then.
  • Mrs. Lester Lathrop = Lois Elaine Johnsen, my great-grandmother. Mrs. William Rahja =

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