After Ole Martin Johnson married Malla Larson in 1886, my great grandmother began to diligently record the birth of her children inside the family Bible.
Ole and Malla Johnson with Carl, Ruben, and Frank, their three youngest children, in about 1907, Fosston, Polk County, MN.
Using a numbering system that began with no.1 for her husband and no.2 for herself, over the course of 19 years and the birth of 10 children, Malla wrote:
"1. Husband: Ole M. Johnson, born August 6, 1860; 2. Wife: Malla Johnson, born April 20, 1868; 3. First son: Bennett Johnson, born August 18th, 1887; 4. Another son: Earnest Johnson, born January 23th, 1888; 5. First daughter: Korah Johnson, born July 15th, 1891; 6. Another daughter, Thea Johnson, born April 28th, 1893."
On the second page, Malla did not use a number for her son, Odin, and then repeated the use of no.6 with her actual 6th child, Mabel.
"Odin Johnson, born October 11, 1885; 6. Mabel Johnson, born February 10, 1898; 7. Orel Johnson (born January 15, 1900; 8. Rubin Johnson, born September 19, 1901; 9. Carl Johnson, born February 26, 1904; 10. Frank Johnson, born November 2, 1906."
I delight in noticing that while Malla's handwriting was neat and precise in the beginning, over the years (in direct correlation with the number of children she had), it becomes increasingly less neat and skewed!