Esther Roelofson & Abigail Duniway - Notable Women Ancestors
Esther Roelofson Johnson & Abigail Scott Duniway

Submitted By Eileen Garces
With Assistance from my Genealogist Father, Gerald Jack of San Gabriel, CA

My third great grandmother, Esther Roelofson was the wife of Reverend Neil Johnson, one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Oregon. They came across the Oregon Trail in 1851 from Iowa. Her sister Anne Roelofson, mother of Abigail Scott Duniway, died on the trail in 1852. Abigail Scott Duniway kept the diary of their family's experiences along the trail. Abigail's grandson (David C. Duniway) was the founder of the Oregon State Archives. He published Abigail's diary which can be found in Covered Wagon Women Diaries & Letters From The Western Trails, 1852 The Oregon Trail edited and compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes & David C. Duniway, Intro by Ruth B. Moynihan (Vol. 5 University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London).

Abigail Scott Duniway (Esther's niece and my first cousin 4 times removed) was the first woman to cast her vote in the state of Oregon. The suffrage amendment was adopted in 1912. She led the suffrage movement in the Pacific Northwest and worked along with Susan B. Anthony.

Esther Roelofson was a hard working pioneer woman who sacrificed her life for her family and church in Illinois, Iowa and Oregon. She and her husband settled in Belle Passe, Oregon where they had built a church and school. It is located next to Woodburn, Oregon.

This is another very informative web page with photos of bothAbigail and Esther

If you wish to exchange family information, please e-mail Eileen icon

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