Ear: Forsstrom

"I am researching the history of the Forsstrom House (theforsstromhouse.com)," owner Lauri Krämer Serafin reported, "trying to figure out what stories are true for our National Register of Historic Places application." The house is pictured, courtesy of John Goodenberger.

"FamilySearch.org has Clatsop County deeds from 1852 to 1907, digitized and free to search … The kicker is that you have to know the owner's name to look it up in the index to locate it."

"No worries, use the 1900 or 1910 census to figure that out," she explained. But "beware of address changes … our house has had three different addresses since constructed in 1894.

"… I was surprised how many land records were in the wife's name only in Clatsop County during this time. It is important to look up the wife's name in the index, or you might miss a transaction.

"I determined that the Forsstrom House was built by Lucy 'Lulu' Warren and her husband, Henry C. Thompson, after they purchased the property from her parents for the consideration of $1 in October 1893. He was the Clatsop County treasurer at the time. Her parents were D.K. and Sarah Warren of Warrenton."

Oregon pioneer and Warrenton founder D.K. Warren reclaimed 900 acres of land previously underwater through extensive diking. He built a mansion on the new acreage he created, which still stands today.

"I was curious if the Warrens were Mayflower Warrens, like my mother's family," Lauri continued. "No, but I found the initial 'K' stands for the Knight family. It turns out one of my ancestor's sisters married into that Knight family in Marlboro, Vermont, and they lived next door.

"… It's a strange connection!" Lauri noted. "Lulu Warren is a distant cousin by marriage. She was in the Forsstrom House for about 10 years."

Are you humming "It's a Small World" yet?

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.