Laura Ingalls Wilder family tree

Laura Ingalls Wilder family tree

Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s life reads like a novel full of adventure, resilience, and the pioneering spirit that shaped America. Born into the expansive era of westward expansion, her experiences became the bedrock for one of the most beloved children’s book series in American literature.

With roots tracing back to Mayflower passengers and connections to historical figures like President Ulysses S. Grant, Laura’s lineage offers a rich tapestry for exploration and discovery.

Delving into this family tree is more than a peek into nostalgia; it unearths our collective past wrapped in prairie winds and homestead struggles. The heritage that Laura Ingalls Wilder left behind stretches beyond the pages of “Little House on the Prairie” to an actual lineage awaiting uncovering by enthusiasts and genealogists alike.

Continue reading as we journey through time, mapping out a legacy etched against the backdrop of America’s frontier days. This story is far from fiction—it’s history coming alive before your eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family tree includes her immediate family, the original Ingalls clan, and connections to the Wilder family.
  • The roots of her lineage can be traced back to Mayflower passengers and historical figures like President Ulysses S. Grant, showcasing a rich tapestry for exploration and discovery.
  • Delve into ancestral links provides insights into the influences that shaped Laura’s experiences and writings.
  • Each member of Laura’s immediate family left an indelible mark on her life story, shaping her experiences into timeless tales that continue to inspire new generations.

Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Family Tree

The photo shows an old family farmhouse in a vast countryside.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family tree includes her immediate family, the original Ingalls clan, and connections to the Wilder family. Each branch of her family tree played a significant role in shaping Laura’s life and experiences that ultimately influenced her literary legacy.

Laura’s Immediate Family

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s roots are deeply embedded in the rich soil of American history. Her immediate family played a central role in her life and writings, which still captivate readers today.

  • Charles Phillip Ingalls, Laura’s father, was known for his adventurous spirit and deeply ingrained pioneering values. He led his family through various settlements across the Midwest.
  • Caroline Lake Ingalls, her mother, provided stability and care to the family, teaching Laura valuable lessons that would later be reflected in her books.
  • Mary Amelia Ingalls, Laura’s older sister, faced significant challenges after losing her sight but remained an integral part of the family dynamic.
  • Caroline Celestia Swanzey, often called Carrie, was Laura’s younger sister and a constant companion throughout their childhood travels.
  • Charles Frederick Ingalls, fondly remembered as Freddy by the family, was Laura’s brother who tragically passed away at a young age.
  • Grace Pearl Dow (née Ingalls), the youngest sibling, brought joy to the household with her vivacious energy and close bond with Laura.
  • Almanzo James Wilder became Laura’s husband and shared in the trials and triumphs of farming life. His own story is told through “Farmer Boy,” one of the books in the “Little House” series.
  • Rose Wilder Lane grew up to be an influential writer herself and played a significant role in preserving and promoting her mother’s literary works.
  • The couple also had a son named NN Wilder who unfortunately died soon after birth; this sorrowful event marked a period of hardship for Laura and Almanzo.

The Original Ingalls Clan

Charles Ingalls, often known as Pa, led the original Ingalls clan with strength and adventure in his heart. Born in New York State, he moved westward and married Caroline Quiner, making her Ma to their pioneering family.

Together they ventured through the American Midwest during a time when it was still raw and untamed.

Their children added life and energy to the homesteads they established. Mary, Laura, Carrie, Grace, and Freddie grew amidst challenges of prairie life that included harsh winters and new beginnings.

The family’s travels took them from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to settlements like De Smet in South Dakota’s Dakota Territory.

Tragedy touched this resilient family with the loss of little Freddie before his second birthday; a sorrowful event not uncommon in those days. Yet their spirit endured as they embraced frontier living alongside relatives like Lansford Whiting Ingalls who shared similar roots tracing back to Richard Warren of Mayflower fame.

Caroline Ingalls filled their homes with love even under tough circumstances while teaching her daughters valuable skills for survival on the plains. Each new home brought its own stories: tales ranging from constructing humble abodes by Plum Creek to facing long winters near Silver Lake which later seeped into history through Laura’s vivid storytelling.

The legacy of these early pioneers shaped generations – a testament to ingenuity harnessing both grit and grace amid boundless landscapes where America’s West was won.

The Wilder Family Connection

Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s marriage to Almanzo Wilder in 1885 brought two pioneering families together. The couple settled into a life of farming and faced their share of hardships, including illness and natural disasters.

Together, they persevered through diphtheria that left Almanzo partially paralyzed for a period and the loss of their farmhouse to fire. Despite such setbacks, Laura and Almanzo moved forward with courage.

Their journey led them to Mansfield, Missouri in 1894 where they purchased Rocky Ridge Farm. They worked tirelessly on the land, transforming it into a productive farmstead where they raised their daughter Rose.

It was here at Rocky Ridge Farm that Laura began penning the stories of her childhood which would grow into the beloved “Little House” series, sharing the rich history of both the Ingalls and Wilder families with generations to come.

Key Historical Events in the Ingalls Family

The Ingalls family’s pioneering journeys and settlements in the American frontier shaped their historical legacy.

Pioneering Journeys and Settlements

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life was a tapestry of pioneering journeys and adventures. Each move the family made brought new challenges and shaped American history.

  • Charles Ingalls led his family through untamed lands in search of a better life, creating the rich backdrop for Laura’s future tales.
  • They first settled in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, where harsh winters and dense forests tested their resilience.
  • In search of fertile farmland, they moved to Kansas, settling on Osage Indian territory near Independence.
  • Their time in Kansas inspired “Little House on the Prairie,” although they left due to unsettled land rights.
  • Returning to Wisconsin briefly, they sought stability before venturing out again, drawn by the Homestead Act’s promise.
  • The family then moved to Plum Creek near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, enduring grasshopper plagues that devastated their crops.
  • Seeking prosperity, they traveled to Burr Oak, Iowa, operating a hotel but facing financial difficulties.
  • The Ingalls moved back to Walnut Grove before finally settling in De Smet, South Dakota (then Dakota Territory), which became their long-term home.
  • In De Smet, Laura met Almanzo Wilder and began her next chapter as they battled droughts and severe winters depicted in “The Long Winter.”

Wilder’s Ancestry by Generation

Wilder’s family lineage presents a rich tapestry of American history, tracing back to old New England families. Below is an illustration of Wilder’s ancestry by generation, outlining the roots and branches that lead to her own immediate family.

GenerationAncestorsNotable Information
Great-GrandparentsOriginating from Colonial New England
GrandparentsLansford Whiting Ingalls and Laura Louise ColbyForebears to the Ingalls family line
ParentsCharles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake QuinerCharles was born in New York; Caroline was born in Wisconsin. Both died in De Smet, SD
Laura Ingalls WilderLaura Elizabeth IngallsKnown for the “Little House” series, chronicling pioneer life
ChildrenRose Wilder LaneOnly surviving child of Laura and Almanzo, became a noted writer

Exploring these ancestral links provides insights into the influences that shaped Wilder’s experiences and writings.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Life and Literary Impact

A rustic log cabin in a picturesque wooded landscape.

Laura Ingalls Wilder married Almanzo Wilder and had two children. She published the “Little House” series, inspiring readers with her vivid portrayal of pioneer life in America.

Marriage to Almanzo Wilder and Their Children

Laura Ingalls Wilder married Almanzo Wilder in DeSmet, Dakota Territory on August 25, 1885. Their daughter Rose was born on December 5, 1886. Sadly, the couple also had a son who passed away shortly after birth.

Almanzo and Laura’s marriage marked a new chapter in her life as she balanced family responsibilities with her literary pursuits. The challenges they faced together and the growth of their family undoubtedly influenced Laura’s storytelling and added depth to her enduring “Little House” series.

Published Works and “Little House” Series Legacy

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s published works, including the “Little House” series, have left an indelible mark on literature. Commencing with her manuscript about her childhood adventures, these books have continued to influence popular culture and inspire readers of all ages.

The enduring impact of Wilder’s literary legacy is evident in the lasting depiction of pioneer life and the American West across various media platforms.

Wilder began writing after receiving an invitation to contribute to the Missouri Ruralist in 1911, eventually leading to a successful career as a columnist and editor. Her remarkable journey has paved the way for an extensive collection of literature that will forever remain timeless classics.

Sharing Family Trees and Research Notes

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family tree has been a subject of fascination for many fans and genealogy enthusiasts. Here are some ways you can connect with Laura’s family heritage:

  1. Research Your Ancestry: Dig into your own family history to see if there are any connections to the Ingalls or Wilder families. Look for names, locations, and dates that might link you to Laura’s lineage.
  2. Online Genealogy Tools: Utilize online platforms like or to create and share your family tree. You may discover shared ancestors, distant relatives, or unexpected connections.
  3. Collaborate with Relatives: Reach out to extended family members to gather additional information about your shared ancestry. Documenting family stories and traditions can provide valuable insights into your familial ties.
  4. Attend Reunions or Gatherings: Participate in family reunions or local historical events related to the Ingalls or Wilder families. These gatherings can be an opportunity to meet distant relatives and exchange research findings.
  5. Visit Historical Sites: Plan a trip to historical sites associated with the Ingalls or Wilder families, such as Walnut Grove, Minnesota, De Smet, South Dakota, or Mansfield, Missouri. Immerse yourself in the rich history of these locations.
  6. DNA Testing: Consider taking a DNA test through companies like 23andMe or AncestryDNA to uncover potential genetic links to the Ingalls or Wilder lineages.

Are You Related to Laura Ingalls Wilder?

To determine if you are related to Laura Ingalls Wilder, trace your family’s roots back to Colonial New England and look for surnames in your tree that you have in common with the ancestors of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Many individuals who share genealogical connections with Laura’s family history have been inspired by her life. If you find mutual surnames or ancestral ties, there is a possibility that you are related to the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Discovering shared surnames or historical links between your family tree and the lineage of Laura Ingalls Wilder can provide an intriguing connection to her enduring legacy. You may uncover familial ties that reflect a shared heritage or ancestral lineages dating back several generations ago.

Are Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Forrester Family Related in Any Way?

Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Forrester family tree bold and beautiful are not related in any way. Laura Ingalls Wilder was an American author known for the “Little House on the Prairie” book series, while the Forrester family is a fictional family from the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”.


Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family tree is a source of inspiration for many who trace their roots to her pioneering spirit. Exploring the lineage links individuals to America’s historic past and fosters a sense of connection through shared ancestry.

Understanding the historical events that shaped Laura’s life enriches our appreciation for her enduring legacy. Delving into the fascinating interweaving of familial ties offers an intriguing journey through time, allowing us to appreciate and cherish our collective heritage.

Family trees bring alive the stories from generations past, enabling us to honor and celebrate our diverse yet interconnected backgrounds.


1. Who was Laura Ingalls Wilder?

Laura Ingalls Wilder was the author of the Little House books, which tell stories about her family’s life on the American frontier.

2. Can you tell me about Laura’s family in the Little House series?

In the Little House series, Laura’s family includes her Pa and Ma, her sisters Mary, Carrie, and Grace Pearl Ingalls, and also mentioned is their little brother Freddy Ingalls who sadly didn’t live long.

3. Did they make a show about Laura’s books?

Yes! The “Little House” series inspired a TV show called “Little House on the Prairie,” starring Melissa Gilbert as Laura and Michael Landon as her Pa.

4. What are some other titles from Laura’s book series?

Other titles from her book collection include “On the Banks of Plum Creek,” “By the Shores of Silver Lake,” “The First Four Years,” and “These Happy Golden Years.”

5. How does Garth Williams connect to the Little House books?

Garth Williams illustrated many of Laura’s stories in The Little house Series with beautiful drawings that bring her tales to life.