The Lenore Jesness Fund for Genealogical Research
The Minnesota Historical Society is a valued part of Lenore Jesness' life. "I have been a member of the Minnesota Historical Society since 1982 and have spent many wonderful hours in the Library and on the MHS website researching my family records," she says. Her training and career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist made historical research come naturally.
Lenore has both Norwegian and Swedish ancestors. The Norwegian branch emigrated from Norway and settled in Minnesota during the Territorial period (1849-1858) and was instrumental in establishing the Elstad Church in Fillmore County. The Elstad Church is one of the two oldest Lutheran congregations still in existence in Minnesota. Other members of the family arrived in the 1860's and 70's. Her Swedish ancestors also arrived in the 1860's and settled in McLeod County, later generations moving on to Douglas and Stevens County.
The photograph (below) is of Amos and Hannah Stark, her Swedish great grandparents who settled in Stevens County. Lenore found the notice of Amos and Hannah's marriage (June 13, 1900) in the Hubbs microfilm library at the History Center. She has augmented her genealogical research by several trips to Norway visiting relatives.
Lenore cites two main reasons why she chose to make an estate commitment to the Society. Her love for Minnesota History and her appreciation for the care that the Minnesota Historical Society has for collection, preserving and sharing the many family stories that make up the larger story of Minnesota. and her experience of the Society's unique ability to bring history to life through exhibits such as the "Minnesota 150" and "Open House: If These Walls Could Talk" The Society, she says, "takes history beyond names and dates and makes it live."
These are values, Lenore says, that deserve to receive the perpetual support from a strong endowment. Her commitment will result in The Lenore Jesness Fund for Genealogical Research and will be funded through an estate gift.