Joe's Page
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This is the history page by Joe Zsedeny.
He was the Pembina County Coordinator for this website for many years.

My interest in Pembina County began as a child when I listened to my mother relate tales of life on the prairie during her childhood around the turn of the century near Bowesmont and Hensel (Canton).


Hensel looking east 1900



Hensel looking west before 1905
Photos from 1867 - 1967 Centennial Booklet

She loved to ride her pony and hunt ducks with a .22 rifle at nearby sloughs. She told of the snow drifts which made super sleigh ways over the fences. I always intended to go there and see it. Well, it happened last August, 1996 and I will never forget the feeling I had as I stood with a sprightly and thoroughly delightful Marjorie Tully , the current owner of the farm where my mother was born, and looked at the old grain sheds still standing after 100 years.

But the family research really got into high gear when my nephew , Steve Zsedeny in Roy, UT decided it was time to learn more. He lives 35 miles from the Mormon Library, which houses, I am told, four stories of genealogical information. Steve began his search in 1996 at the same gait he pursued his Air Force Career, full throttle. He has amassed a blizzard of information in what I call the mother lode. My role has been to mine the tailings, so to speak, picking up a nugget here and there and offering new theories to pursue and researching the Register of Deeds Office in Cavalier with the kind and patient assistance of Denis Martin, Register of Deeds and his Deputy Ruth Thon. Denis provided the 1867 - 1967 Centennial Booklet from which most of the history above was condensed. If anyone in Pembina County, seeing this, notices factual errors or omissions please feel free to bring them to my attention. Although we have space limitations, we want those who live there now to feel comfortable with the accounts of our past. Also, I want to come back again and feel the same sense of coming home I felt there last summer.

We have been able to close the book on all the Newell Family who lived, died or left ND except one, my Grandmother Margaret Newell. We know she lived and probably died at the farm near Bowesmont.

Steve and I both have a military background in electronics which gives us a keen interest in the personal computer, which we use for almost daily contact, research and record keeping. My interest in databasing (RBase) and other computer matters in general has evolved into this web site. We had kicked the idea of a web site back and forth, dedicated to the search for our roots in Pembina County. The advent of the USGenWeb  Project seemed the ideal time to do it. We hope to provide to others online information and sources, without cost, which we have discovered and found useful. Our goals seem to mesh nicely with those of USGenWeb.

If you have information which you feel would be useful in this endeavor don't hesitate to contact me. Joe Zsedeny

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