How My Branch of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Family Converted to Catholicism

by -
Lindsay Kuniyuki / Public Domain

Edith Florence Ingalls is mentioned only in passing by her nickname, Dolly, in The Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was only a baby in the chapter entitled “Christmas.” But that’s a thrill enough for this great-great-grandchild of hers! But what’s even more amazing is the story of how that branch of the Ingalls family converted to Catholicism, which gave me my Catholic faith.

Edith grew up to marry Heil Nelson Bingham and together they raised 6 children in Oakes, ND. Although not a Catholic family, they chose to send all their daughters to the Catholic school in town. Something must have struck Edith’s husband about the Catholic faith because eventually he converted to the Catholic Church, but Edith resisted. They were married for 38 years before he passed on.

Twenty years after his passing and as her time drew near, Heil appeared to her in a dream telling her, “Edith, you need to make up your mind.” The next morning she requested a priest. The family thought she must mean a minister, but Edith refused to see him and sent him away insisting that she wanted to see a Catholic priest. A priest was fetched and she received her sacraments, passing away the next day.

Edith Ingalls Bingham with her husband and children / Lindsay Kuniyuki

According to my grandmother’s recollection, all of their daughters converted to the Church and married Irish Catholics. Estella Cora Bingham was one of the girls. She married William Mahoney and together they had four children, my grandmother Dorothy being one of them. Dorothy married Anthony Brack in 1948 and together they had 7 children, one of whom died in infancy. The six they raised together are all still practicing Catholics and have passed on this beautiful and rich faith to their combined 12 children, most of whom are likewise passing along the traditions to their combined 21 children. This year alone, my grandmother had two great-grandchildren receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion, and three more received Confirmation.

The upcoming years will see many more Catholics brought into the fullness of the faith, all because Heil and Edith chose a Catholic education for their daughters. They couldn’t have known how that decision would impact their family legacy.

Like so many before and after me, I fell in love with Laura’s stories. She takes her readers, young and old, by the hand and guides us through those exciting, sometimes dangerous, but always fascinating times of the westward expansion of the United States. Imagine my shock, maybe a little horror, but definitely delight, when at 9 years old after reading The Long Winter my mother informed me that this little family whom I had just suffered with through that horrible, starving winter were my cousins. Tears were definitely involved.

Now as an adult I appreciate even more what Laura has given me personally. She has recorded my family’s history. Of course, the stories focus on her immediate family with only a glance at my branch, but the times, trials, and adventures were not Charles’ and Caroline’s alone. Peter and Eliza shared similar experiences, as did so many others of that time. Laura preserved those common experiences for all future generations.

My fascination with her, and with how I’m distantly related, eventually led me to question how my mostly Catholic family hailed from the Protestant Ingalls family. And now I know.

Edith Ingalls Bingham (solid grey coat on the right) with her husband and grown children / Lindsay Kuniyuki

[See also: The Little-Known Story of John Wayne’s Deathbed Conversion to Catholicism]

[See also: The Amazing Deathbed Conversion of Oscar Wilde]

Comments

comments

Lindsay Kuniyuki

Lindsay Brack Kuniyuki earned a degree in history from the University of Arizona and spent time working and volunteering in museums before deciding to homeschool her four children using the Mater Amabilis Catholic Curriculum. Her husband’s Army career has taken the family across then United States giving them many opportunities to travel and explore, a favorite pastime.

86 COMMENTS

  1. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve keep in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve got here, really like what you are stating and the way during which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to learn far more from you. That is actually a tremendous website.

    • of course like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will surely come back again.

    • hey there and thanks for your information ? I’ve definitely picked up anything new from proper here. I did however experience some technical issues the use of this website, since I skilled to reload the website many times prior to I could get it to load properly. I have been puzzling over in case your web hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, however slow loading circumstances occasions will often affect your placement in google and can injury your quality ranking if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you replace this again very soon..

    • I think this is among the such a lot vital information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. But wanna statement on some common things, The site taste is great, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Excellent activity, cheers

    • You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

    • I liked up to you’ll obtain performed proper here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get bought an edginess over that you want be turning in the following. in poor health undoubtedly come further before again as exactly the same nearly a lot frequently inside case you protect this hike.

    • You already know thus significantly with regards to this subject, made me individually imagine it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs great. All the time take care of it up!

    • We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You have done a formidable task and our entire neighborhood shall be grateful to you.

    • It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this publish and if I may I want to recommend you few attention-grabbing issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I want to learn more things about it!

    • Great weblog right here! Additionally your site rather a lot up fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate link for your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    • Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your feeds and even I success you get entry to persistently fast.

    • Excellent blog right here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link in your host? I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    • Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my site so i got here to return the prefer?.I am trying to find things to enhance my website!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

    • It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may just I want to recommend you few fascinating issues or advice. Maybe you can write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to learn even more issues about it!

    • I liked up to you’ll obtain carried out proper here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. ill indubitably come further in the past once more since exactly the same nearly a lot regularly inside of case you protect this hike.

    • Woah this weblog is magnificent i like studying your articles. Stay up the great work! You already know, many individuals are hunting around for this info, you can help them greatly.

    • It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may I wish to suggest you some fascinating things or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating to this article. I want to learn even more things about it!

    • Thanks for another excellent article. The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

    • Magnificent goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have acquired right here, certainly like what you’re stating and the best way wherein you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you. That is actually a great site.

  2. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Very helpful info specifically the closing part :) I take care of such info much. I used to be looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  3. hi!,I like your writing very much! percentage we communicate extra about your article on AOL? I require an expert on this house to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you! Looking forward to look you.

  4. There are certainly terrific modifications on the design of this site, I definitely enjoy it. Mine is relating to garageband windows download and right now there are lots of things to do, I am currently a newbie in website design. Take care!

  5. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually recognize what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my website =). We can have a link change contract between us

  6. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent idea

  7. Hi there, I discovered your blog by way of Google whilst looking for a related matter, your website got here up, it seems to be great. I have bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

  8. I was discussing with a friend of mine around this article and regarding smartphone reviews too. I feel you made some great points in this case, we’re looking forward to find out more material from you.

  9. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your site is magnificent, as neatly as the content!

  10. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful information particularly the final phase :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  11. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually know what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my web site =). We may have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us

  12. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am satisfied to show that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make certain to do not fail to remember this site and provides it a look on a continuing basis.

  13. Terrific post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

  14. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to present something back and help others such as you helped me.

  15. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i’m satisfied to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I so much indubitably will make certain to do not fail to remember this site and provides it a look regularly.

  16. I don’t even know the way I ended up right here, however I thought this post was once great. I do not recognize who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already. Cheers!

  17. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful info particularly the remaining part :) I deal with such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

  18. After research a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I really like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and might be checking again soon. Pls try my web site as properly and let me know what you think.

  19. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  20. I have to express thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a difficulty. Just after looking through the search engines and seeing concepts which were not beneficial, I believed my life was over. Existing without the solutions to the problems you have fixed by means of the short article is a crucial case, and the kind which might have adversely affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across the website. Your primary knowledge and kindness in taking care of all the stuff was excellent. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a solution like this. It’s possible to now look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this reliable and sensible guide. I won’t be reluctant to recommend your blog post to anybody who desires counselling on this topic.

  21. I just wanted to write a quick message in order to thank you for these remarkable hints you are sharing here. My time consuming internet look up has at the end of the day been rewarded with reasonable knowledge to talk about with my good friends. I would declare that many of us website visitors actually are very lucky to exist in a really good website with very many wonderful professionals with great ideas. I feel pretty fortunate to have used the web site and look forward to so many more thrilling moments reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  22. Thank you for the awesome write-up! I really appreciated it.I will make certain to bookmark this site and definitely will return from now on. I would like to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, even write about Arvind Pandit as well, have a wonderful day!

  23. It was great reading this info and I think you are completely right. Let me know in case you’re curious about getapk market download, this is my main competency. I am hoping to see you soon, bye for now!

  24. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  25. You are absolutely right and I understand you. When you want, we could also chat regarding digital marketing, one thing that fascinates me. Your website is truly amazing, best wishes!

  26. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and excellent design.

  27. Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  28. Good day I’m so excited I found out your blog, I basically found you by accident, while I was researching on Digg for injury lawyer. Nonetheless I am here right now and would just enjoy to say thank you for a fantastic post and the overall impressive blog (I likewise adore the theme/design), I do not have sufficient time to go through it completely at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in the RSS feed, so when I have sufficient time I’ll be back to browse a lot more. Please do keep up the great job.

  29. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  30. Hi I am so thrilled I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Bing for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

Leave a Reply