They Chose Minnesota



June Drenning Holmquist; ed.


Why did emigrants leave their homelands and move to Minnesota? Where in the state did they settle? What did they do, and how did they organize? How did they maintain their ethnicity? These are just a few of many deep questions addressed in this massive document making the subtitle, “A Survey of the State’s Ethnic Groups”, almost a misnomer. This is not “survey”, as in quick scan or exit poll. This is an 8 1/2″ X 11″, 614-page tome with photos, illustrations, and charts covering 60 ethnic groups that settled in Minnesota. This is by far the largest and most expensive book carried by Rural Route Bookstore, and if it weren’t worth the price, we wouldn’t carry it. The various scholarly contributors read like a Who’s Who of ethnic studies.

When published, the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press wrote, “If you are a descendant of Icelanders or Lebanese, Greeks or Japanese, you will find interesting material in this book about your forebears and how it was when they settled in Minnesota.” And yes, all five Scandinavian groups are covered in detail in this “must have” book for historian or genealogist.