Thanks to the cozy, warm, and affectionate portrayal of the Ingalls family across all kinds of media platforms around the world, many people think of Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura, Carrie, Grace, Almanzo, and even Jack the bulldog as part of their family.
However, that raises the question of what version of the Ingalls family people relate to most. The prairie is a little crowded. There is the real-life Ingalls family, the version in the books, the NBC television version, the ABC miniseries version, the version in the musical, and those in the pageants, just to name a few.
Charles Phillip Ingalls or “Pa” (1836-1902)
Charles had a wandering foot in all his various incarnations. In real life, his family had long been farmers, moving several times while he was growing up in search of a better chance. Charles followed this same pattern with his own family after marrying Caroline Quiner, always in search of better financial opportunities, specifically a successful wheat farm. After many moves and attempts, with his family’s help, Charles proved up his homestead, but due to health issues, he retired from farming almost immediately afterward. Together Charles and Caroline built up one final home in De Smet, South Dakota. It’s known in Laura circles as the Third Street House and is where Charles and Caroline spent the rest of their respective lives.
The Little House books simplify and streamline the various moves, leaving out things like Charles’s deal to pre-empt a tree claim in Walnut Grove and then resell it a few days later. They also leave out the family’s financial problems. The books don’t portray the financial assistance the family received from the Minnesota state government during the grasshopper plague emergency and from the Dakota territorial government for Mary’s tuition to the College for the Blind.
On the NBC TV show, Charles and the Ingalls family were a far more permanent part of the community. For the majority of the episodes, they stayed firmly entrenched in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Played without an attempt at Charles’s famous beard, Michael Landon remains the embodiment of Pa for many people around the world.
Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls or “Ma” (1839-1924)
Caroline was raised in a blended family after her father went down in a shipwreck on the Great Lakes, and her mother later remarried. Life was hard during those years, and Caroline expressed a longing for stability. Caroline married Charles Ingalls and, drawn on by his efforts to make a better life for her family, and she was pulled from “pillar to post” as goes the expression her book character uses. Caroline was a strong pioneer woman, willing to do what she had to do to keep the family going. She valued education, having attended an academy “back east” near Milwaukee, and tried to keep the family in fashion as best as she was able.
Book Caroline was pushed farther within the Victorian ideal than real life Caroline. While Ma’s neighborliness, her creativity in desperate times, and education were described in the books, definite limitations were placed on her character to make a starker contrast between Ma’s character and Pa’s, the world of domesticity and the world of the outdoors. While book version Ma was horrified that Laura might go help with haying, the real-life Caroline went into the fields herself to help as a matter of course. While book version Ma objected to Laura working in a hotel in De Smet, Caroline had both her older daughters working with her in the Masters’ Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa.
On the NBC TV series, Karen Grassle portrayed Ma Ingalls. Grassle’s version of Ma was calm and soft-spoken with a small fiery streak absent from the books. Her rivalry with the TV show’s Mrs. Oleson (portrayed by Katherine MacGregor) was a regular feature of the show, especially in the early years (“Really Charles, THAT WOMAN!” – pick your episode). Still, it was Grassle’s calm assurance that made many TV viewers feel that they, too, were safely part of the Ingalls family.
Mary Amelia Ingalls (1865-1928)
Mary was the fair-haired child of the Ingalls family. As the oldest sister, she was studious and enjoyed music and crafts. Her independence and future were sharply curtailed when she lost her sight at age 14. Her blindness greatly impacted the whole family. Laura had to step up and take more responsibility. The family sacrificed to get their share of the money needed to send her to the Iowa School for the Blind (support including money for tuition and books also came from the Dakota territorial government). As it did for many people, the school restored a lot of Mary’s self-confidence. After she graduated, she returned to live with Pa and Ma in De Smet, South Dakota. After Pa’s death, Mary continued to live with Ma in the Third Street house until Ma died. Mary went to stay with Carrie for a long visit, suffered a stroke, and eventually passed away while still in Keystone, South Dakota.
In the books, we saw a sharp contrast between Pa/Laura and Ma/Mary. However, some things Mary did and said in real life, according to Pioneer Girl or the “Missouri Ruralist” stories, were in line with the established character of Laura. They were changed in the books and given to the Laura character, perhaps to accentuate this contrast.
Melissa Sue Anderson played Mary on the TV show from 1974-1981. They delayed the onset of Mary’s blindness for fear it would limit storyline options. Her time at the blind school was extremely truncated, and she met the fictional creation Adam Kendall who served as a teacher at the TV version of the school. Mary and Adam married and taught at the school. They weathered the school burning down, their baby dying in the fire, and finally, Adam regaining his sight and becoming a lawyer before they were moved off of the series. In real life, Mary never married nor taught school.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)
Laura was both a pioneer and an author. She helped her family create a homestead, worked as a seamstress, and taught school before marrying Almanzo James Wilder. They set out to build their own farm. They had several failed attempts before finally making a last fresh start in Mansfield, Missouri. They were able to improve their farm slowly until they had a modestly successful farm of over 200 acres. Laura’s work sharing information to improve farm life led to a semi-regular career writing mostly magazine articles for the Missouri Ruralist. Her own ambitions and her daughter Rose’s prodding led her to write and publish a fictionalized account of her childhood in the Little House books. The process of creating the series and later answering her fan mail would be her big project for the rest of her life.
Laura is the voice of the stories both in real life and in the books. She changed details and events to make a better story and to keep Laura front and center. As an example, Laura told her daughter Rose that in real life, Pa never would have taken her to see the work on the railroad because it was a place where men swore and had no private bathroom facilities. Her description of the railroad work in By the Shores of Sliver Lake was from second-hand reports from Pa and Almanzo. She also moved around events and combined actions of various real people to make the story. For example, the character of Nellie Oleson is a composite of Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Stella Gilbert. The books are a fictionalized account of her life, but definitely ARE the story of her life.
On the TV show, they shift more focus on Pa and add episodes that focused on other families around town. However, Melissa Gilbert’s Laura is still an essential character. She has a much more adventurous life than either real life or book Laura. In the TV show Laura is kidnapped, travels to see the Pacific Ocean, is trapped in an abandoned cabin during a blizzard, thinks she’s discovered a gold mine, pushes Nellie Oleson down the hill in a wheelchair, runs away to the mountains and forms a close connection with a man who may or may not be an angel, among many other adventures.
Caroline Celestia Ingalls Swanzey (1870–1946)
Carrie is the Ingalls family member whose life might be the most surprising to fans. She worked at several jobs before landing a position at the newspaper in De Smet. Carrie found her niche in newspapering and was hired by E.L. Senn, who ran a syndicate of papers in the Dakota Territory. She homesteaded, which she completed by preemption, near Phillip, South Dakota, and married widower David Swanzey. She would spend the rest of her life in Keystone, South Dakota, near Mt. Rushmore.
In the earlier books in the Little House series, Baby Carrie is noted for clapping her hands and banging her cup, but about the time of By the Shores of Silver, Lake Carrie emerges as Laura’s new partner as her blindness limits Mary’s actions. It is Carrie who runs across the frozen lake with Laura, Carrie, who is with Laura when they get lost in the slough before they find Almanzo in his hayfield, and Carrie, who goes with Laura to buy Pa’s Christmas suspenders during The Long Winter. In the final books, Laura’s attention turns away from the family towards jobs, her circle of friends, and of course, Almanzo, while Carrie fades into the background. By the time the series ends, Carrie is still a young teen, and we never really meet her as a grown-up.
On the TV show Carrie, portrayed by twins under the stage names of Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, is best known for falling downhill during the opening credits and the two Carrie-centric episodes, “Little Girl Lost” Season 3, Episode 4 and “The Godsister” Season 5, Episode 15. She fades into the background for the second half of the series.
Grace Pearl Ingalls Dow (1877–1941)
Grace was born ten years after Laura. Grace is still very young when Laura’s attention turned outside the family and was only eight when Laura left the family to get married. In real life, Grace graduated from normal school, taught school, and married local farmer Nat Dow, moving to Manchester, the next town down the railroad from De Smet.
In the books, as Carrie grows up, Grace is born and takes on the role of youngest sister. She is known as Baby Grace. Grace’s two most memorable turns in the books are when she wears the swan down coat with the blue lining that Ma made for her and when she is lost and found in the fairy ring of violets. She never really gets much of a personality in the book series.
Grace, also arrived later in the TV series, played by Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh from 1978-1982. She was an infant or a toddler during her run on the series. The only Grace-centric episode is if you count the one when Caroline obsesses on how she wants this fifth child to be a boy.
Almanzo James Wilder or “Manly” (1857-1949)
The son of a prosperous farmer, Almanzo, wanted to build a successful farm of his own. Born in New York, Almanzo moved with his parents to southeastern Minnesota and then sought his own land further west. While in De Smet, he met and married Laura, and they began work towards their goal. Their first attempts were defeated at every turn. They made one last fresh start in Mansfield, Missouri, and slowly were able to build a modestly successful farm. His stories helped inspire his wife’s books.
In Farmer Boy, Almanzo got his own book. The book explores a different world from Laura’s prairie tales. Farmer Boy is set on a successfully established farm in Upstate New York. It’s known for its detailed descriptions of all the different things he had to eat. Laura erased Almanzo’s oldest sister Laura to prevent confusion with readers. Almanzo doesn’t reappear until The Long Winter starting the slow lead up to his marriage to Laura when they create their own “little gray home in the west,” providing the happy ending of the book series. Unfortunately, that happy ending didn’t happen in real life, and the next few years would be some of the most challenging in the Wilder family’s life until they finally got to their real happy ending in Mansfield, Missouri. Another change was made in the books related to Laura and Almanzo’s age difference. In real life, Almanzo was ten years older than she was, so Laura invented the whole bit about Almanzo not being old enough to file on a homestead when, in fact, he was old enough.
Dean Butler played Almanzo from 1979-1984. Dean has said that it was a role he took seriously to make sure people felt that Laura would be safe with him. They kept the age difference more true to life than it was in the books. Dean was about eight years older than Melissa. On the TV show, Laura knew she wanted Manly from the beginning and he, quite rightly, saw her as still a little girl. Getting him to see her as an adult was a major storyline of the series. The details of the lives of Almanzo and all his relatives were changed a lot for the show. However, most of the storylines were very loosely based on fact. Tragedies like the death of Laura and Almanzo’s son, their house burning down, and Almanzo’s illness (except the wheelchair story) were based on things that happened. However, the entire story about Laura and Almanzo living in a giant white boarding house with a British author were figments of Landon’s imagination.
No matter what version of the Ingalls family you know best, explore this site to learn about the other versions of your favorite family.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally-known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest.
I love the books and show, I think this is a great website. This information is really helpful for me, I’m pretty intrested in this kind of stuff. tell me if any other websites are good.
My daughter has been determined to find a man like Charles Ingalls! Now I have to tell her the truth. That isn’t any man created on this earth, that exists.
I also have been disillusioned by the portrayal of this family. And now realize, that, there isn’t any truth to ANY TV shows. Including reality shows!
I am getting rid of cable, and sticking to the truths that are taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
There are those times that you create that are beautiful and special. Weigh those good things, against the bad things that happen, and make those good things you’ve created weigh more.
What? The show is great and there are many truths within the show and I am sorry that you have yet to discover these types of individuals in real life but they are out there if you are open to them. No one is perfect or fits the perfect stereo type or characterization of the actors in these shows, but look hard enough and you will find the similarities.
I am from another Country and “Little House in the Prairie “ books it was my first books I learned how to reading in English. I became American citizen and I am very proud of myself.
Laura Ingall’s books really helped me understand English.
I love all the TV series and the books.
I grew up in Mitchell, S.D and always loved Little House on the Prairie because I always saw the road sign for their home on our way to Sioux Falls. I watched the show regularly growing up, but even more so now that I have my own children and wish I was home. It’s the only show I can find that instills the values I believe in and was taught. I watch it every night and my kids love it. I understand the variances in story/truth, but overall, it sends a great message for my kids and also shows them the beauty of the prairie that I grew up in. All of my family were farmers, in Alexandria and Mitchell, SD. My mom rode a horse to school and attended a one room schoolhouse – she was born in 1956. They also used an outhouse until she was much older. Nothing was easy, and that was instilled in me from a young age and I am proud and appreciate that so much.
I recently started watching the series on Cozi tv and like so mani others, absolutely love it. And I agree, there is nothing this clean and wholesome on tv. Regardless of whether all the characters are based on real people or not, in the end, all the characters are imbued with a message. The series is currently getting up there in season eight and I noticed the focus on Willy in the 13th episode of the season, “Stone Soup”, highlighted Willie’s goodness rather than his mischievousness. Something that I really enjoyed because Willie has always been one of my favorite characters. I loved that he now worried about Laura and decided to go help her even in opposition to his mom and even put his health at risk. I haven’t watched the rest of the series and I have also heard that there is a re-do of Little House on The Prairie being worked on. I hope that the character of Willie, who has been with the series from the beginning, completes this transformation and we see him as the good young man he really is who always just acted out not out of malice, but , peer pressure(Nellie), attention seeking, and playfulness.
Do any of Laura’s cousin’s have family member living like maybe Great Great Grandchildren?
I’m sure there are several, but I know of one who works at the University where I teach in Fargo. Her ancestor was a brother of Charles.
My great great great aunt was Charles’s grandmother. ????????
We are watching the deluxe remastered editions on Amazon, IMDb TV, excellent. We are retired now and catching all the scenes we missed 40 years ago. It gets better with time. Amen, we love to see the religious Christian words throughout the entire series. God Bless
Just wondering if any of the Ingalls family was ever married to a gentleman with the last name Voelker? In researching my family tree, there is mention of someone being married to someone with that last name but there isn’t much information about it.
I was introduced to Laura and family in early grade school when our teacher read chapters to us. I loved the books because they closely mirrored my family. I lived on an unimproved farm without electricity or running water so many of the things Laura wrote about were familiar to me. My dad was a creative farmer who knew livestock and wildlife. He often fed us by hunting and earned money through trapping. I read the books as a child and also as an adult and gave them to my children. I still read them in the cold dark winters to take me back to those days. I never liked the television show. They departed from the story I knew so well and seemed unnecessarily saccharin-sweet. I have read all the recent publications about the books and Laura but they only enhance the experience of the books since I am now reading with an adult eye.
I feel the same way you do, I never liked the show because I think Laura would not have liked to be portrayed how they portray her, I think she was a modest person and not wanting to draw attention to herself.
I know what you mean. Ma and Mary’s characters were changed s lot in the show too. So much of the books was changed or left out completely. And De Smet South Dakota never received recognition which is where the last five of Laura’s books took place in. The show was just a disappointment in many ways to the real lives of the Ingalls.
We know Mary went blind from illness (probably some form of meningitis) but a third possibility occurs to me: Diabetic Retinopathy. Laura, Carrie and Grace all had complications of this disease.
I started watching Little House on the Prairie when it first aired and I was just a little girl. My two sisters and I watched it religiously. We always pretended it was our family because there were the 3 girls, no brothers, and we were we were about the same ages. My husband only saw glimpses of the show when his sister watched it. Then in 2016 he was in an accident and while at home healing, not finding much to watch on TV, he ended up watching little house. That was it, he was hooked!! So we started watching together and how the memories flooded back!! With a little encouragement, our 18 yr old son began watching it with us, then he was watching it on his own. A package arrived for him, I was surprised when he opened it……he had bought the entire collection!! Needless to say….we all binged watched LHOTP???? together ????
I have been a Little House On The Prairie fan for 45 yrs. I watched it as a kid and still watch today I’ve probably seen every episode a dozen times and I never get tired of watching them I really love the show I am 51 and I’ll watch the show as long as it is aired for the next 20 yrs or until I’m gone I really love the show Michael Landon & Victor French did an amazing job directing the show
I’ve loved the show for many years. I have a logistics question. Does anyone know on average, the distance from Walnut Grove town to the Ingalls house? Always wondered how long their walk home from school was.
Just listened to the plum grove book, it was about 2 1/2 miles
We watched Laura grow up on the series. I am now 80 and watch Little House reruns. The stories are wholesome and sweet.
I have enjoyed LHOP since I was in elementary school! I will soon turn 50. Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert and all the characters on LH did an outstanding job and should be very proud! I bought my granddaughter whom turned 9 last year the LHOP box set for Christmas last year and I bought the set for my 7 year old Niece ! I hope to pass the live I have for the books and shows to them!
I was a 1980’s heavy metalist teenage boy who loved LHOTP books and show. My grandfather gave them to my sister and I read them all and watch the show religiously. All while hiding it from my friends. Now I still watch it and read what I can on the net. Some stories never die.
I am a 78 year old female. I started watching Little House from the very start and find it heartwarming. I cry at almost every episode. Each one of the character’s lifestyle is so unique. When the series originally came out, I did watch it, but now it is different to me. It means so much to me to see the way their lives were lived. They lived very hard lives. I am going to order the books.
I too love little house on the prairie. My husband and I go to the Stergis motorcycle Talley every year and a few years ago I went to the school that Carrie taught at in real life. It was in Keystone, SD. Not far from Mount Rushmore, in the school they had a lady in the gift shop that new many, many interesting stories about the real Ingalls family. It was fantastic.
Yes, the three stooges made me laugh, little house made me cry,my sister and I watched every episode, several more than once, and I can’t help muscling my way through crowds often without someone making me a Charles Inglalls, myself! (Just kidding). — D
I am not a person you would think would love Little House, but my HALLMARK drama and UPS channels record every episode so I can binge watch at night. And to read your pages about the real lifestyles of the characters increased my enjoyment. Now a fan, a 65 yr old unique black woman who loves LHOTP.
I have been obsessed with pioneer life and the Oregon trail since preschool. Yeah, I was that weird kid. I love the arch where Laura meets Almanzo. I watched them a lot later in reruns (I am in my 30’s). I still get school girl flutters!
Hello! Meet your counterpart. I too am a 65 year old unique black woman. I fell in love with the Laura Ingalls Little House Book Series back in elementary school. I found them to be captivating and read them all! Imagine my excitement when Michael Landon brought the books to life on television. I still watch LHOTP!
As a kid, I watched Little House weekly. In elementary school, our class read Little House In The Big Woods. As a child, my girlfriend grew up dressed like Laura Ingalls lol I’ve seen pictures of her and she was adorable. In an ironic coincidence, we share the same age difference as Laura and Almonzo.
I grew up watching little house and now that I’m a mother and grandmother it’s interesting now the way things really were back then especially the way when you got married it was the men that made all the decisions for the households and the wives had no choice but to go along with it. It’s funny how we live a totally different life now than before.
Omg. I love Little House on the Prairie. I still watch the reruns. Ill be 50 in 7 months and still love them. Thanks for sharing
One of my all-time favorites….watch it all the time and have Seasons 1 – 6. Can’t wait to find the rest..
I found this very interesting. Do you know any more information about the real life Mr. Edwards?
Loved this show then- love this show now! I have direct tv and it is on UP TV and it’s wonderful to watch again!!
I am 70 years olds and named my daughter Laura back then!!! Thanks!!
I am 80 years old and no the series by heart but still watch over.and over again…Will never bote of this show. There is no show to compare..
I have been watching this show since i was 7 years old. I used to dress up like Laura, had my own bonnet and everything. I am now 44 and just found out EVERY episode ever is available on Amazon Prime and i have been watching from the beginning. It is such a joy to me as this was such a happy childhood memory. Each time i watch an episode, i follow along with the detailed descriptions given on this website. Thank you so much for your informative information on my hero- Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Love Reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder and watching Little House. Marla
I have watched Little House for as long as I remember. I watch it when I wake up, when I get home from work til I go to bed. Watched every episode thousands of times and know every scene word for word and still love it. Hope it always stays on TV. My favorite show ever.
Me Too! I love the show and would love to visit their home town and the places they lived and die. I hope they will rerun the shows over and over again. Never get tired of watching. Even done research on the family.
Love this series, so nice characters and well done. For general audience.
I never get tired of watching over and over again. ????????
Thank you for taking the time to write this. I so enjoyed watching the shows and reading the books. I still have my original series and was fortunate to purchase a second set at a second hand store. I wanted used copy because I know the original owner took great pride in reading it. These two set will someday be gift to my Granddaughters.
I love this! Being able to connect real faces with names. I’m a huge fan of the show and watch the reruns weekly. They don’t make shows like this anymore.
Ik ook Miranda, ben helemaal idolaat van de serie en kijk iedere avond om 18.30 bij ons.
Ik ben 65 en de serie is voor mij een voorbeeld van hoe ik ben opgevoed, ze maken niets meer wat hierop lijkt, niet dat ik weet tenminste, iedere keer als ik kijk zou ik er zo wel in willen kruipen.
Ik kom uit Holland (Europa) en wens iedereen hier nog veel ultiem kijkplezier.
Prachtige plattelands tv serie wat ik zeer waardeer met vrouw en familie! Beautiful rural TV series which I really appreciate with wife and family!
I grow up with the show. The family are like my family.
I have loved the Little house series for as
Long as I can remember even watching the same show over and over I hope they never remove it from TV but I did purchase the dvd’s I wish I could find some original books Laura wrote ❤️
I love this show l star watching this TV show went l was 14 and l still watching the re run and l am 61 l wish l Can Start from the beginning too the end because l miss so episode. But l love this tv show
You can watch all seasons in full on Amazon Prime video for free. There are limited commercials. I too watched when I was younger and now I’m 68! I still love the series!
All of the episodes are available to watch on Amazon!
I’ve always watched the TV series and recently started watching it again. It made me look further into the series and the real Ingals family. Very interesting research.
Love this show and Laura Ingalls story…
I love watching the re-runs
I remember as a young girl watching the series on TV, feeling so excited that the next show was about to begin. Well to my surprise they are running the entire series again, and I am hopelessly addicted to each and every episode. God, I love this family.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!!
The books are so much better. You have to read them!
I am writing a book about LIW. I love her!!!
I absolutely loved Mrs. Olsen…. she was a pain but made me giggle all the time thru her antics????
i even used to have a crush on albert. ????
i cried when my family finished all 9 seasons. I started watching little house on the prairie when I was in fourth grade, and now I can’t stop. I feel like I grew up with them because I know everything about them. i am definitely going to name one of my children laura or if its a boy Charles.
Br. A man from Finland.
I would love to create a quilt with all this information! I do machine embroidery and it has always been my dream to create something so exquisite! Thank you for all your hard work on this website!
Little House on the Praire has always been a staple in my life for what a solid, strong, Christian family looks like. The show and books are full of light, love, and faith. And I honestly don’t care about all the minor discrepancies; what matters to me is that they were real and changed the world they were in. Live on Ingalls spirit!!
While I know that the adopted children of the television series weren’t based on real life, it’s been my understanding that Charles and Caroline Ingalls did take in some foster children at times – is anything known about these children?
Do you recall where you read that? I have studied the Ingalls family since I was a teenager and in all the secondary sources I’ve read, never once come across any such thing. Rather the reverse; the Ingalls hired out Laura in Burr Oak and Walnut Grove when she was 10 and 11 and the wife of the town’s doctor even offered to take Laura and have her live with them. The Ingalls were too poor, especially in the 1870s, to afford to take in extra children, as far as I know. After Pa died in DeSmet, Ma and Mary took in borders to provide some income and have help around but not foster children.
This is the best show ever. I started watching this with my grandma when I was a little girl, and still watch it today. I love the families and how they all come together to help each other. This show makes me happy and I smile a lot while watching. When watching the show I wish I could step back in time to meet these folks. I have never read the books, but they sound really good. This show never gets old.
Were Charles and Caroline Ingalls still alive when Laura and Almonzo’s son died?
Yes, they were. That happened early in Laura and Almanzo’s 1885 marriage (it was told in The First Four Years) and Pa didn’t die until 1902. Ma often watched Rose while Laura worked for $1 a day, before they left for Mansfield.
My family legend handed down to us was that my paternal greatgrandmother, Mary Ann Smith Hendrickson and her Husband Amariah were neighbors of the Ingalls in Montgomery County,Ks. Mary Ann was a midwife that with assistance of another midwife delivered Cary Ingalls, not having a Doctor in the area, a Dr. TAnn, who was a Veteranarian was summoned to be on hand just in case his medical expertise should be needed. Dr.Tann was black, and in those days Doctors of color did not deliver white babies. He was relegated to remain in the kitchen during the delivery, his payment for his time was a pan of biscuits and pot of coffee. The Hendricksons lived in a tiny log cabin that remained on the property until the 1940s. I have no means of verification other than the handing down of the story, and I realize that as with any oral history the possibility of embellishments exists as well as forgotten facts, however, I have no reason to doubt it’s veracity.D
I remember my third grade teacher reading the Little House books to us. I’ve read the series at least twice in my life. Also, passed on the love of the series to my daughter.
We have visited Mansfield, MO twice, and would love to visit the other places in the book someday.
I am still watching the series everyday. It brings me back to a happier time and place.
Laura Ingalls Wilder is my hero!!
My third grade teacher, Mrs. Ingram, also read the books to us.
I ALWAYS LOVED HISTORY OF ANY KIND. WHAT BETTER HISTORY THAN THIS. THIS WHOLE FAMILY AND FAMILIES LIKE THEIRS’ OPENED THIS LAND TO WHAT IT IS TODAY. THEY TRULY REPRESENTED THAT TIME PERIOD IN OUR COUNTRY. I STARTED WATCHING THE SHOW WHEN IT FIRST AIRED & STILL DO TODAY. FOR ME, IT TEACHES US HOW WE ALL SHOULD BE TODAY, HELPING OTHERS. WHAT A GREAT MESSAGE THIS FAMILY HAS SENT TO ALL OF US ; SAD THING IS THEY DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT THEY LEFT US. THANK YOU SO MUCH
I love little house on the prairie! it Is one of my favorite shows! Only second to The Incredible Doctor Pol. Got to love those veterinary shows!!!
Did any of the children have any children
There are no living direct Charles Ingalls decedents. None of the girls had children, except Laura who had Rose. But Rose did not have any children. There are many Ingalls relatives, like me, but who come from Charles’ siblings.
Hi Clarissa. I’m new to this page and just saw your comment about yourself. How interesting!! Maybe I’m being too nosey but do you mind sharing more about the connection?
Rose had a baby boy, who died.
You are very lucky, do you maybe have objects that connect you to them.
I was intrigued by the fact that you are a descendant of one of Charles Ingalls siblings. I researched and found he was one of eleven children which two others married Quiners also, Peter and Polly. Would you mind telling which sibling is your ancestor and or the lineage to get there?
That is so neat to be a relative of Charles Ingalls! Which of Charles Ingalls’ brother or sister are you descended from?
What ever happened to Almonzo’s sister. Did she marry and have children? Did she meet her niece?
I read in the Bio that Almanzo’s sister was really named “Laura” so in the books, Laura phased her out so people wouldn’t get confused. I Believe that Eliza Jane was Michael Landon’s creation & a good one!!!
Almanzo had more than one sister! Eliza Jane is real AND he had a sister named Laura who just never showed up in the books. Rose actually lived with Almanzo’s sister Eliza, when Rose was a teenager so she could attend a good high school in Louisiana. I don’t know what happened to his sister Laura but she and Eliza Jane both did exist IRL. She was not at all a Landon creation.
No, Eliza Jane was Almanzo’s older sister born in 1850 and on Sept. 6, 1893 she married Thomas Thayer and had one son whom she named Wilder. She became a widow when her son was about because her husband was a good deal older than her
Eliza Jane never married. Rose (Almanzo & Laura’s daughter) went to live with Eliza Jane for her senior year of high school. I seen a photo of Rose in her graduation dress. I don’t remember where I seen it, but it was recently (that I seen the photo, so it probably online somewhere.
Grace’s husband, Nathan Dow, was a widower with children. Carrie also married a man who was a widower with children. Grace’s husband Nathan Dow was one of the men that worked on Mount Rushmore.
the photo of her graduation…
By the way, my husband and I stopped by to see the little house on the prairie on our way to Branson, Missouri a few years ago. What an experience! It amazed us that the log cabin was so small and that 2 adults and 3 children lived in it.
My husband was raised in Mansfield Mo. and we live in Branson (right down the road)
Every year there is a wilder festival. Full of little girls dressed as Laura and little boys in overalls and no shoes. It’s a very fun time and a great way to step back in time. This little town is all centered around Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love it!!!
How Amazing is that?!
I would love to be in your shoes! how do I wish to see that little house. I’m such a fan now that I’m older but when I was younger I made the terrible mistake of returning little house on the prairie complete book set back to Goodwill where my mother in law at that time had bought for me from that store.
Granted I strongly believe that the complete book set…(beat up old yellow cover) would have been so valuable today, I don’t think I would have ever thrown it away like that and cherished forever instead. I was in my early 20’s. I am now 50. I so wish I could turn back time!!! ????
I visited the home and museum a few years ago. I could have stayed ALL day in the museum alone. I’m pretty sure I own every single book by and about LIW. A fan since the age of 12. When I visited the museum, PA’s fiddle was there.
Was there a real dr. Baker?
In the TV series whenever a baby was to be born they called Doc Baker, but also Caroline. Any idea if she was a midwife. I haven’t seen mention so I’m just wondering. Tracing the roots of Advanced Practice nurses and I was thinking if she were one I could mention that.
Sadly, I have not read the books in many years. Currently trying to get my hands on second hand copies and read them!
I was given my first Hardcover set (before the paperback sets came out in the early 1970’s) at 8 yrs old, in 1962. I wore out TWO complete hardcover sets of LIW books. My oldest sister purchased the first hardcover set for me with her first job as a 16 yr old waitress. As a newly married woman in 1974, and living in Germany when my DH was in the US Army near Frankfurt,my oldest sister sent me a complete set of the paperback set. At almost 65 yrs old, I can honestly say that I still love those books.!
I bought a 2nd set at the Half Price Book Store! Some of them have several copies! v Good luck!
No, most women of that era helped each other birth their babies, etc. I doubt very much that Ma was a “midwife” at all.
I think Almonzo just went for Laura’s mother because HE felt better having her there. I think Mary Powers’ mother was a mid-wife who might have in turn sent for the doctor due to Laura being so little. ( she was only 5 feet tall.) and there might be difficulty in the birth. I’m just saying what the story made me think of the events.
I agree 100%! When Calls The Heart is my favorite show!. Wholesome storylines, compelling characters, and Michael Landon Jr. Is involved with its production! What more could a Little House fan ask for?
The real Caroline Ingalls was not a midwife.
Hello, My husband I have been cleanup up our attic in prep for a move next year and I found a water color with the signature of Grace Ingalls 1901. It a really nice landscape of a farm house on a hill with hills and a church steeple in the back ground. Orginal frame. Its very old looking.
My mother in law died years ago, I never met her, she was an antique collector. I have no idea if this is real or not.
Any idea if Grace Ingalls ever painted?
I have not found any reference to Grace being a painter, even as a hobby. But, the timing sure is right.
The only notable mention about Grace in 1901 is her marriage to Nathan Dow.
There are even references to her dabbling in journalism for a time, so you would think if it was known that she painted, that detail would be recorded somewhere.
It sounds like a terrific find, either way.
One more thing, Annette Ewanich…Nathan Dow’s nephew, Harvey Dunn, was a painter of prairie scenes. At the age of about 17 in 1901, his painting talent was recognized by an art instructor at the college he attended (now South Dakota University).
Perhaps you could look through Harvey Dunn paintings to see if any resemble the one you have.
There is a Facebook page called, “Identify My Artwork,” where you can join and post photos of your piece to get help from the group in identifying it.
This is great information. I will definitely check into Facebook page and Nathan Dow.
Would love to know more about the painting-if you find out if she painted or not or what you did with it.
You found something absolutely amazing ! Sounds like a treasure. I don’t know if Grace ever painted but it’s worth looking into and I’m going too
WOW! What’ a find! Hope you get answers! I’m really hoping it’s the real Grace Ingalls.
Oh you have a true gift! Have it framed and share if you can! Thank you!
Are there any living Ingalls people alive today?
The short answer is Laura doesn’t have any descendants. She and Almanzo had Rosa Wilder in 1886. … Laura’s siblings did not have any children of their own. Mary Ingalls came home from college and stayed at home with their mom, Caroline Ingalls, where they ran a boarding house after Charles Ingalls died in 1901.
Rose never had children?
Rose had one child, a son who died at birth.
Findes der flere ingalls? There are several Ingalls.
I truly wish that they could bring back greatest TV show ever Little House on the Prairie. Was so inspiring to me as I was growing up and nothing but love respect. God knows the world isn’t it like that now. I still watch the show today is January 12th 20/20 I’m watching the episode where Albert has leukemia and he dies. To all of you who worked on Little House on the Prairie thank you so much and God bless
Yes my favorite show too!!!! Laura and Almonzo getting together “Sweet Sixteen” is my favorite episode.
I have always loved this series. I can binge watch anytime. The family is awesome. Even through hard times, they still gave praise to God
If you want to see a great series similar to Little House but set in the 1920’s please watch When Calls the Heart on the Hallmark Channel. You will love it!
Even better is “When Hope Calls!!”
Yes, I’ve seen, When comes the heart, various times! It’s awesome also.
I’ve watched that series. Loved it.
I’m watching the series now! Amazon Prime or Imbd! 🙂
I have read the books over and over! I have always loved the Little House on the Prairie! My children also sat down with me to watch it. I will love this forever! I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. Truley a family show.
I am watching that episode right now. We do not know for a fact that he actually dies.
I loved loved this show and just watched the final episode, which in all the years of watching, had never seen. After reading about the real Ingalls family, it’s kinda sad the show wasn’t really a true story. I will still watch , it’s heartwarming to want to believe people were that kind and generous .
Yes there are few Ingalls are still living.
I love it too, but to tell you the true, I love more Little house on the prairie .
no there r not
I am Wallace Ingalls, and there’s many direct bloodline descendants of Laura Ingalls Wilder in America, both Caucasian and African-American, of which, I am one. There was also a second Laura Ingalls, who did what Amelia Earhart was not able to do. The second Laura was an Avatrix who actually was the first woman to fly the globe but her achievement was removed from history when was sent to prison for two years for flying over the whitehouse and throwing anti-war leaflets. At that time period there was no such thing as a peace advocate. She was also accused of being a Communist. I have a page on Facebook called The Little House on Line.
How many years apart were Laura Ingalls & Alamonzo?
When googling the grave site of Charles Fredrick Ingalls it shows he is buried beside little Carrie who died at 9 months of age. Did the Ingalls have 2 daughters named Carrie?
No. Carrie was played by twins as was Grace.
We were at the DeSmet Cemetary in 2019. Charles’ gave is beside Caroline Ingalls, Mother, Caroline Ingalls Swanzey (Carrie), Mary Ingalls and Baby Wilder (the son Laura and Almanzo’s infant son)!
albert never lived so there was not a fire that killed Marry’s baby and Alice garvey
Also mary never married nor had a child. She also never taught school. So that part of the show was made up.
I wish I could visit all the sights
I was just watching season 4 episode 1. I am just so sad. Why? Because Jack dies. Jack was Laura’s dog
Laura was named after her pa’s ma because they could move her feet fast when they were danceing
I very recently got into tracing my family tree and it shows I’m related to the Ingalls four ways; through Charles himself (His dad), Laura’s husband , Carrie’s husband and Caroline’s mother, well five if you count through Caroline’s father who was named Holbrook (i discovered the mother had like two or three husbands).. My family is planning on going to the museum in walnut grove soon.. I’m definitely excited and a huge fan of the series.
Barbara, i am curious to know how you are related to Carrie’s father?
How is it possible to be related to all of them? I’m intrigued to see the lineage.
Laura was named after her Pa’s Ma Laura Colber Ingllas
Where exactly is Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almonzo Wilder buried at? I’ve read it in different sources that their burial plots were in several different places and I just want to clarify it because I would like to visit it one day. Thanks.
They are buried in Mansfield , Mo. along with their daughter Rose . I know this because I was just there visiting .
did the tv show ever explain how the Ingalls went back to Walnut Grove after moving to Winneka? one episode they are at the hotel and the next one they are back in Walnut Grove with Albert. Did I miss something or were some episodes skipped?
If I am thinking of the same plotline as you,in Season 9 Charles takes Albert with him back to Walnut Grove to straighten him out. He was caught with a friend stealing from a store. It was while they were in Walnut Grove it was discovered Albert was robbing stores to feed a morphine addiction. I hope I helped.
Did Charles ingalls make furniture
Yes he did, and he branded it with his initials. Some Of these antique piece is still pop up today and are worth a fortune.
what about charles fredrick Ingalls
He died. He only lived 1 year
Hello Sarah, Have a question, in Farmer Boy, Ms. Wilder’s description of Almanzo’s mother, among other things, were her blue eyes. However, in the last chapter of said book, a heated discussion between Almanzo’s parents a sentence is made in regard to her brown eyes. Could this have been an unintentional slip regarding Ma (Caroline) Ingalls eye color? Her eye color along with Carrie are never mentioned in all the books. Trivial I know. But curious.
Sorry, I meant Almanzo, and Alonzo.
Did the real Laura actually call him Manly or was that just for the show?
Laura referred to her husband as Manly and he called her Bess or Bessie.
Hi sarah . my name is zahra. I am persian . now “litte house ..” is showing in my country ,s chanel. I m very happy for find this website.
I had a book about the Ingalls family about 10-15 years ago.I ended up losing it somewhere between here and there when I moved.It told the story of all the family members starting with when Charles moved from N.Y. to Wis.,Caroline when she taught the first kindergarden in Watertown,Wis,things they did and places they went as kids themselves as well as their move to De Smet,S.D. after they married.It also told when each child(including their son who only lived a short time)was born and what they did while growing up.Can any-one tell me where I can find another copy of this biography?
Colleen, have you ever figured out what the name of that biography was called? I’m very curious as I would LOVE to find it and own a copy myself. Thanks!
I would love to read that as well!
Hi Sarah, My name is Jim Lusk and I am a tour guide at the Wilder home outside of Malone, New York. If you check the census records you will see that Almanzo really did give his age incorrectly to be able to stake his Dakota claim in 1879. The census records for 1860, 1870 and 1875 all indicate that he was actually born in 1859 not 1857. It was only his statements about his age and his grave stone that says 1857 was his birth year. We do not talk about it at the sight or dwell on it because it is not really a big deal. But I wanted to share that with you. Thanks for all you do for the Laura lovers!
Can you tell us about Albert Ingalls on the tv show and Freddie Ingalls in real life?
There was no Albert Ingalls. He was made up for the tv show. Charles and Caroline had a little boy named Charles Frederick after Carrie and before Grace. He died as an infant.
Where can I get these book.
You can find links to purchase the books here: https://littlehouseontheprairie.com/about-us/little-house-on-the-prairie-books/
Amazon sells the Little House book series
did the ingalls really adopt james and cassandra
No, James and Cassandra never existed. They were made up for the TV show.
What an absolutely wonderful time to read this stuff! I discovered The little house on the prairie late 2018 on Hits TV channel, found out my mom was a fan too when she was still a child. I just wanna ask, though. Is Elmer Dobkins on the episode “Election” (season 3) a real person? It probably is one of the most touching episodes! After all, whether he’s a fictional character or not, he sure did leave joy and love in my heart!
Did Charles Ingalls really make furniture?
My favorite show of all time thank you everyone for all the comments
was there really someone in their lives named Jenny? Like the little niece?
You did an outstanding job writing this powerful article focusing in the differences of TV show and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I only wish to add a little insight on “Ma” Ingalls since Laura made her much more “Victorian” than she was in real life.
Michael Landon shows a Caroline who works hard in a hotel while the Ingallses were living in the fictional town of Winoka, Dakota Territory…and the whole story is ALMOST true, since she really did work for a hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa…Laura and Mary helped her making beds, washing dishes and waiting tables…So, the REAL Caroline spirit was closer to “TV Ma” than the Ma Laura protrayed in her books.
Vanesa from buenos Aires, Argentina.
Yes they did adopt hime. He was living under stairs in the busy town of Winoka then when they took blind Mary to a blind school they move there and find Albert. They come back to Walnut Grove to start the town over again and make it the best town ever. It is said that Albert ran away for some reason from his parents and was never seen again by the real parents.
I Thought earlier that y’all said Albert was a made up character.
Did the Ingalls family adopt Albert Quinn in real life?
Did Laura really have an adopted brother named Albert?
Hi, My name is Jim Lusk and I am a long time tour guide at the Almanzo Wilder Homestead in Burke, New York, although I live in Arizona. I return each summer for the volunteer tours that I do. You may be interested to know that Almanzo was actually born in 1859 not 1857. He changed his age to make his
claim in Dakota Territory. All the early New York census will verify this fact. It really doesn’t matter , we still love all the stories, right?
Who are the Ingalls buried in Cuba ny. Aaron T or F Ingalls 1802- 1886, Olive Scott Ingalls 1804-1852, Margaret 1775- 1837, and Mary C Ingalls 1845 – 1851?
Charles Ingalls came from Cuba, NY, so those people are related to him.
I really would like some books to read please and thank you.
This was fascinating – thank you for writing this!
Was the really an adopted sibling named Albert?
If so did he become a doctor or did he die of leukemia?
Albert was a fictional character created for the television series.
Well about abert was he real person
Was there or did they adopt Albert ingalls. Or is that just made up
Albert was a fictional character made up for the television show.
Thank you for sharing this , Sarah. I always enjoy your posts filled with interesting detail!
Are there any books written that describe the daily lives of Pa . Ma, Mary, Carrie and Grace while living inDeSmet?
The last four books are centered around the years they lived in De Smet.
Did Grace Ingalls have children?
She married Nathan Dow but had no children.
What is the Age Range of the TV character Mary during 8 seasons? What is the Age Range of the TV character Laura during 9 seasons?
Why did the TV show basically eliminate the character Mary after her blindness? Why did they not delay the story line of her blindness at least until season 6? How did Melissa Sue Anderson feel about that?
Which of the 9 TV seasons was rated the best by audiences? Who was a more popular TV character, Mr. Edwards or Mr. Garvey?
I am in my 50s, have the DVD series, and currently watching Season 4. Melissa Gilbert’s acting ability really shined in the episode “Be My Friend”. I did not watch the show on TV in the 1970s due to life’s priorities at the time. My big loss. If I had only known better. 🙂
I love watching little house on the preiri. The story is full of inspiration for the family. very good story and I really like it
was there an albert ingalls
no there wasnt an albert ingalls or cassandra or james cooper they were made up, Mary never married or had a child
Caroline’s biography is not quite correct. Caroline’s family fell upon hard times after her father’s death. They became more financially stable when her mother remarried. The blended family did not suffer these hardships together.
I just started watching “Little House on the Prairie” on the Hallmark Drama channel a few weeks ago. I have never read the books. I would like to know if Mr. and Mrs. Oleson, and their children, Nellie and Willie were real people or if they were just created for the TV series. If the Oleson’s were indeed real people, I am interested in when they were all four born and when they passed away. Also, I would be interested to know what Nellie and Willie did later in life career and family wise.
Nellie Oleson and her family are based on three girls that Laura Ingalls shared her childhood with. She combined the three girls into one and created Nellie Oleson. Therefore, Nellie Oleson is a fictional character based on real people.
I would like to know if the other characters in the tv show are based on real people and are there any information about them too?
The TV show departed from the books quite early on. It has them settling permanently in Walnut Grove, which they did not do, so the writers began making up fictional characters and events to fill out the story line. Some of Laura’s friends were based on real people.
I have all seasons of Little House on the Prairie on DVD and I also watch it on TV every day. I love the characters and never tire of it.
I like to watch Little House on the Prairie. I feel something when watching this stories.
I love the Ingalls Family.
LIW books, and the show, were huge parts of my childhood. I read and re-read those books countless times and never grew tired of the escape they provide, the ideas they spawned or the dreams they fed me at night. Great stuff then and now.
Little House is on Cozi tv. I started watching it again. I watched the show as a child. I found this site because I was trying to figure out if Albert was a real person or fictional character. If you watch the show as a historical program, I think it’s on target. This site has been helpful. I appreciate the distinctions between the truth of each person vs the tv version. Thank you!
I am 60 years old and I got “Little House on the Prairie” one Christmas and my mom’s youngest sister got “ On the Banks of Plum Creek.” I read her my book and hers and looked for every book I could find. Over the years I have read each book Laura Ingalls Wilder has written at least twice. My children and grandchildren watched the shows.
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to deliver in university.
I am still watching all the reruns of Little House on the Prairie and loving them! This is the only show that holds my interest from past shows. Such good values shown by the Engells. Nice to watch in today’s horrible times!
I watch little house Monday through Friday with my mom who has cancer. I love show a lot. My daughter who is 11 watches it sometimeseems with me.
Being from SE Kansas – our third grade teacher Mrs. Herrick got us started in the Little House books. I have the whole set which I re-read periodically.. Mrs. Wilder wrote these from a child’s view of a simpler time – made do with what you had – neighbors helping neighbors.
Michael Landon portrayed the books into a series made for a later generation who would understand what it was growing up as a ‘pioneer’. I thank those involved over the years for these wonderful stories that are portrayed to this Kansas born girl. Also like Dorothy says – there’s no place like home !!!
Just wonder if I might be related to any of this Ingalls you know so much about. I would love to hear from you to find out anything I could. I have always been proud of my name. I am 55 years old, and have two brothers. My fathers name was Orville l. Ingalls, his fathers name was Charles Ingalls who I was named after. I live in Hot Springs Ar. I, and my family are from La.
You can try to find out your family tree for free using the link above.
Best of luck!
is there a family tree of mary ingalls as i was wondering if there are any surname young on the tree
I’m 47 years old. I used to watch little house as a child with my brother, in black and white growing up in Argentina. Today we finished the whole series with my kids , 8 years old twins here in USA.
Nothing, and I mean both comes close to the basic teachings and messages that Michael Landon created.
Thank you, where ever you are.
Hi, I am a descendant of Lansford and Laura Ingalls which were the grandparents of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was stated in earlier comments that Laura only had one daughter Rose. Rose only had one child that died in infancy so there are no direct relatives past this. There are number of descendants of Charles and Caroline and the other family members.
It says that Laura really did have a baby boy who died. But do you know why they had no more children. Was it because Almanzo was sick.
Thank you, you just answer the question I wanted to know if they have any living relatives…
My husband bought me all the series of Little House on the Prairie and I still watch them over and over again. They never get old. I love them.
I love Little House on the Prairie but I have never read all Laura Ingalls books. I am going to
make an effort to do just that soon. They lived in most difficult times but had such love for
one another and most importantly had good values and loved and worshiped God. Oh how
the world has changed from that time! Thank you for this website and all the interesting
information about the Ingall & Wilder families.
My great grandmother Cleon Fidelia Mochman’s life followed closely the timeline of Laura. After completing the 8th grade she tested for Teacher, passed and began to teach. She lost her first baby girl to toxic poisoning of potatoe eyes, her husband died in 1919 of the flu, she remarried Jody Harrot, her sister’s stepson, she gave birth at home when the delivering doctor dropped the baby girl at birth, tearing the umbilical cord and the infant died several days later. Jody had epilepsy and finally a medication was found to relieve seizures. Grandma Harrot died in 1965 and Jody lived another 10 years.
What was the town the angles family moved to where Mary and her husband Adam started a blind school and how long did they lived there before they all moved back to Walnut Grove
That didn’t happen in real life.
This really compares the real people to the movie.
My God an amazing, exciting and wonderful experience of watching LHOTP season 1 after almost 40 years. I remember when I was kind in early 80’s Pakistan Television used to broadcast every week Little House in evening and we were so addicted that it was more than impossible to miss any of the episode. Now after almost 40 years I have again watched all 24 episodes, it seems to be a real life situation, I really find my self to be in that period where Ingalls family living. a
The beautiful part of all episodes is that it teaches the family values of English people, the right use of words ( no slang) respect of elders and parents, family team work, taking care of community specially the neighbors, close association with religion, hard work and most importantly the Sunday prayers at Church where father delivers sermon to whole community, that was marvelous. I quote here some line from Episode #12 ( The Award ) where father in a one o one session with Mrs. Ingalls describes that family discipline was based on promises kept for punishment and reward, if there is no consistency in that the child will take it as granted. Golden words by father.
The whole season # 1 is great lesson that English culture in 18th century was truly a role model for other communities which LHOTF has show true reflection. I am still dreaming alas I could have born in that period and living side by side with Ingalls family – Perhapes
Thank you for sharing such valuable info.
I watched little house on prairie when I was a kid and now I’ve been watching with my daughter. I have been looking up stuff on line to see if certain things in the show really happened. Is Albert a fictional character? I thought I read they did adopt some kids, but it seems Albert is fictional and only in show.
Charles and Carolin Ingalls never adopted any children.
Albert and Cassandra and the other boy, whose name escapes me, are purely fictional. They were made up characters for the TV series.
James. A LOT of the show was made up. I wish people wouldn’t refer to it for facts about the family. Read the books, esp the recent biographies, and Laura’s biography, Pioneer Girl. (Just my own opinion)
How did Charles fredrick ingalls die
According to a new biography about Laura, they think he died of diarrhea.
There were many cases of diarrhea at the time of Freddie’s death in the area where the Ingalls family was staying and many infant and child deaths because of it.
Freddie died at the home of Peter and Eliza Ingalls near South Troy, Minnesota.
Charles and Caroline had left Walnut Grove and were moving to Burr Oak, Iowa to help run an hotel there.
They stopped at Peter & Eliza’s home for several months before moving on to Burr Oak.
Little Freddie took sick while at Peter and Eliza’s and as Laura said in Pioneer Girl, “one awful day he stretched out his little body and was dead.”
Et J aimerais que sa soit traduit en français svp merci a la Vence Jacinthe Touchette Tout L’histoire de tout sur histoire des Wilder et Ingalls j aimerais que sa soit traduit en français Jacinthe Touchette Merci a la Vence Jacinthe Touchette
J’aimerais que vous m’envoyer L’histoire de Tout La famille Ingalls L ‘histoire du Père Charles et Caroline Ingalls et Leur fille et bébé Charles Ingalls l’histoire de Marie Laura Carrie Grâce Ingalls De Laura Ingalls Wilder et de sont Marie Almonzo Wilder et Tout sa Famille Almonzo Wilder et Laura Ingalls Wilder et Leur petit Fille. Et comment Leur petit garçon est Décédé et comment sont Décédé tout la famille est décédé
De Laura Ingalls Wilder et La famille de Almonzo Wilder et comment La famille de Charles Ingalls est décède et La Famille de Caroline Quinn Ingalls est décédé prouver vous m’envoyer La vrais histoire des Wilder et Ingalls
I love Little House on the Prairie, and The Waltons. Have seen every episode! Watching it as I write this. ?. Have been to Pepin, Wisconsin, Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and De Smet, South Dakota. Some day will see the other homes.
Hello, I am really enjoying reading all the comments and articles. I loved reading the books, and enjoyed watching the TV series too. I am just curious to know when Laura last saw her parents as they lived so far away from each other. Did she go to their funerals? She seemed to have a very close bond to her father. Thank you
Read the rose years about her daughter. Laura did see pa before he died
I’ve been watching little house in the prairie since I’ve been a Iittle girl, I’ve always wanted to know how they lived in those days, now I know, it must’ve been so hard for everyone living back in them days, but the faith they had in God was amazing, not like now some people have lost faith, l’m guilty of that sometimes, but since I started watching my series, little house on the prairie again my faith has grown so much, I thank God for this show, reminds me that God do exist and he still loves me….
I have the book with the real life pa and ma think called ‘Country”. I believe that too me is an amazing book. The pictures on here is the same one in real life. My grandfather passed away in 98, the last book he read was the Country.
Laura ingalls Wilder is a distant cousin, it’s nice to read new things about her and the rest of the family.
This is a great site! I enjoyed reading it. I’d like to know more however on how they all died. I know it only mentions Mary died of a stroke. It seems they all lived very long lives for that generation!!!
Laura, carrie,and grace all had Diabetes
I believe they all had issues related to
Laura, Carrie and Grace all came down with Type 1 Diabetes and died from complications of that disease. As a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 8, now 50 yrs ago. Thankfully, Frederick Banting and medical student, Charles Best, of the University of Toronto, discovered insulin, to treat the disease, (described by Hippocrates in Ancient Greece), in Canada, in 1922.
I loved Little House on the Prairie growing up and I love it today. I’ve got all the series and I am 44 yrs. I brought my kids up watching it. I wish they made more shows like this now days. My mom was a BIG Little House and Waltons fan. Thank you for sharing yours and their stories.
Just an editorial note; instead of being all swans down, Carrie’s coat was blue with swans down trim on the hood and cuffs, and the blue cloth was what made her blue eyes show so well. To make a whole coat of swans down, even for a child smaller than Carrie (like a pre-walking infant), would take more than one swan’s skin, and it wasn’t usually done, probably for cost reasons, but also because it’s ostentatious, so tasteful Victorians like Ma wore the more available lace panels and luxury cloth choices (like silk, cashmere, etc) to show social status. Fur trim (or swans down) was, and is still now, more common, except among the super-rich who could have, in one book I read, “a swans down muff as big as her body”, which certainly required multiple swan’s skins.
I so wished I had a coat like Carrie’s, when I read the books as a kid.
The swan,s down coat was actually Grace’s.
It was Grace, not Carrie, that wore the swan down trimmed coat
It’s my favorite show. Been since I was a kid. I watch the reruns to this day. I’d love to learn more about the Ingalls family.
Did Caroline and Charles have a still born boy like the ‘Little House in Prairies?
They had a boy, CHARLES FREDRICK INGALLS, he died at age 9 months and Laura did not put it in the books because it was a painful time for the family. Read about it online. Mary was 10, Laura 8, Carrie 5 during the event. Also Mary went blind at age fourteen from an illness called BRAIN FEVER not SCARLET FEVER as in the books (again I found it online), SCARLET FEVER was easier to put into the books, at that time people knew little about sicknesses.
I don’t know if I am blood line of Ingalls, Wilder? How do I fine out about it?
Are there any blood descendants of the Wilders or siblings children. And where are they? Or any relatives at all?
Yes there are.Im one of them
How do I fine out about if I am blood line of the Ingalls and. Wilder family? I have at lease 6 generation in me.
I recently went to DeSmet and went through the homes etc. We also visited the graves. Laura was the only one to have children. Her son died at birth and her daughter Rose never had children.
Rose had a boy but it died at or around his birth. There never has been much said about it except that i think she went to Kansas City (?) around the time of his birth. I read this quite a while ago while reading about Rose.
Interesting – on the Quiner or Ingalls side?
thats amazing I visited De met South Dakota Ingalls home and grave sight and have all the books and read them over and over.
How are you related?
Can you explain? Rose never had children, neither did any of Laura’s siblings. I have always wondered myself. Are you related to one of Laura’s cousins?
I recently read that Rose, Laura’s daughter, was the last in the blood line. She passed away in 1968.
Laura Ingalls Wilder is my great-grandmother’s first cousin. My great great grandfather was the brother of Charles Ingalls. Charles and Caroline have no direct descendants but Charles (I don’t know about Caroline’s family) had several brothers and sisters how had large families. So, yes there are Ingalls still running around in the world.
Wow, I had no idea any relatives existed – very interesting! Peter was the name of the brother, correct? or were there other brothers, didn’t one of them marry Caroline’s sister or was that only in the tv series?
My great-grandmother was Alice Ingalls Whiting. She was the cCousin Alice mentioned in Little House in the Big Woods. She was Caroline’s sister and her husband was Pa’s brother. We are what they call double–cousins.
Pa-Charles Ingalls brother, Peter Ingalls, married Ma’s younger sister, Eliza. Ma’s brother, Henry Quiner, married Pa’s sister, Polly Ingalls.
There were three marriages between the Ingalls and Quiner families.
Rose had 1 child but ,it died same Year it as born…she never had another…
Don’t think Eliza Jane ever had children
Eliza Jane had a son. Wilder Thayer. Wilder was his middle name, I can’t remember his actual first name. Eliza Jane married in middle age to a man with the last name of Thayer.
If anyone is interested, there’s an article online about the Masters Hotel, and how it’s been recently saved from destruction
I come from England and watched Little House on the Prairie when it was on in the 1970s,I really loved the stories and when we got cable tv in the early 2000’s they played the series and I watched them right through again and even saw ones I never saw before right to the end where they said that millions of children and people round the world read and loved her books,which I never realised until then.
There are reruns now on sky and I am watching them again.I really adore the series and wanted to find out more about the Ingall’s family and all the other characters that make this serie’s great.I wonder if the Walton’s is a true story or a fiction.
Hi, The Waltons are real also, but their last name was Hamner. John boy’s actual name is Earl Hamner. I’ve been to the real house which is in VA and it’s much smaller than the one on TV lol
Yes Melissa it is. I too was in VA this March 2017 for the Waltons 45th reunion.
I love the Walton’s too. Last October on our way to North Carolina we were going to go to the Museum, Rockfish, and all those places, and the Hamner home…sadly a hurricane changed our plans…we hope to make it another year on our way to North Carolina!!!
I live in Mankato, Minnesota mentioned in the tv series of Little House…worked in New Ulm, also in Sleepy Eye, MN…not too far from Walnut Grove, MN!!!
we love Little House on the Prairie! Did the Ingalls family adopt Albert Quinn in real lifr@
It is a great show entrtaining & relaxing
Albert was a made up character for the tv show, …just like Adam Mary’s husband …they never existed
That’s something else. I love Little House still.
What about Albert Quinn James and Cassandra cooper and Jenny wilder.
The Waltons are based on the real life of Earl Hamner Jr. Earl’s family really did grow up during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and WWII. True historical events of those time periods were integrated into episodes of The Waltons. Such as the destruction of the Hindenburg airship in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937, and the bombing of Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7th, 1941. Also the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and in later reunion movies the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Each Walton child represents Earl and each of his siblings. They grew up in Shuyler, Virginia, which is Waltons Mountain on the show. Since Earl was a real writer he was represented on the Waltons as John Boy Walton, the writer character on the show. Earl narrated the beginning of each episode of the show. Earl Hamner Jr. died March 24th, 2016.
Does anyone else wonder why Laura’s treasured ragdoll, Charlotte, is never mentioned in the TV series? I just wondered. Obviously, Laura loved her, because she is mentioned frequently throughout the books.
The other day when I left my post, I didn’t realize I had made a mistake. I had my surgery on February 8th 1984 in the afternoon. I was admitted on the afternoon of the 7th, which I didn’t know at the time is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday. Cool huh? I wish I had known that then haha! I have CP. I was just in for another routine surgery that day.
who is laura ingalls wilder’s little brother?
I really loved this article! There were so many differences that I was not aware of. I grew up reading the books and watching the television series. I felt a real kinship to Laura as she was born in 1867 and I was born in 1967. I have since learned that my twin girls born on May 23rd share their birthday with lures sister Grace. I have not yet read Pioneer Girl, but I plan to soon. Thank you so much for this article!
Love this post. I am currently working my way through the TV series and the books (while referencing “Pioneer Girl”). I grew up with both in my life and decided at 46 to relive the adventure. I had to laugh the other day while watching an episode in season 4. Carrie is finally being shown more and has occasional lines. She was tagging along with the big kids, who always seem to run from point A to point B, and as they start running off again, Carrie’s little voice says, “Don’t we ever walk somewhere” (something like that). It was too funny!
wow well it does not matter what is in the book or the show or even what was really happened to me that was very very interesting does anyone else know more about the family
Who was the character Albert based on? Was he Michael Landon’s creation or Laura’s?
I’ve got you covered. Albert was Michael Landon’s creation. Here’s more. https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/where-did-albert-come-from/
I am a cousin of Almanzo Wilder through William Wilder m. Sarah Sawyer > Abel Wilder m. Hannah Green > Cyrus Wilder m. Nancy Irving > Walter E Wilder m. Frances Jane Rice > Raymond F. Beaudry m. Mary Alice Wilder (aka Alice W Beaudry) > Louise Wilder Beaudry m. Ethel Maude Crandall > Alan Reid Beaudry > Jean Gretchen Zernechel…. I would love to learn more about Almanzo’s extended family.
I,ve really enjoyed reading all about both little house famlies. I’m a long time huge fan. Of little house. I grew up with little house books. I’ve now got dvds. I watch them all ,constantley. Thank you. For showing this site. I’ve enjoyed it. Very much. ?
Great read how interesting
I wonder why they made up the whole storyline of Mary getting married. Seems so odd to me. Why not keep true to their life story? Even adding children that die. That being said, love watching and reading history on the Little House on the Prairie series.
Have often wondered the same thing!
In addition to creating an entire false narrative for Mary why did the writers add to the burden of her blindness with the unnecessary deaths of both her (non-existent) children? Literary license aside, the entire family suffered more than their share of tragedies, both in reality and other storylines as well. So why not allow Mary some happiness?
Never read the books but do love to watch the reruns!
I really enjoyed this comparison. I’ve wondered many times about the facts versus fiction. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you
I watch the show daily over and over
I have just finished looking the whole serie of eppisodes, for the third time…..i loved it.Greatings from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Greatings from Dirk Tolsma.
Loved this article. Big fan of Little Houseon the Prairie. So much so that many times I wished I could transport myself to Walnut Grove and stay there forever.
I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I’m a fan of all three families !
Sarah, for me, I love any information about Laura and her family. I’m so thankful to people like you and the readers of this site to help keep the Ingalls family and their values and their story alive. I also enjoy the Rose Years series and would love someone to let us in on how much of that was fictionalized. I would think a great deal. Yet, I still love the series because I get to see and read more about Laura. I cant’s get enough info about her. Thank you!
Enjoyed reading this comparison of real Laura and her family compared to TV Laura. The !little House books were a part of my childhood and U read them over and over. The TV show was my favorite and I still watch the reruns. I would love to visit some of the places Laura,grew up.
I am the biggest fan of the Little House On The prairie tv show. I know all of the characters names and real names. I love taking the trivia questions online. If you ever have a giveaway be sure to think of me. M dream is to someday meet Melissa Gilbert.
Do you know the name of the film that was the journey the family took to get to the prairie
Good job showing the differences between the real family and the fictional one
I read the books until I wore mine out. In elementary school, they were all I ever checked out of the library. Our school librarian was always trying to get me to check out something else. When I was 12, I had hamstring surgery. I went into the hospital the night after the last episode aired kind of depressing huh? I think my little house book collection doubled when I was in the hospital. LOVE the books and the TV series.??
Wonderful read! Thank you.
Good summary of the main differences between real & book family members.
Yes it was a good read.
I always wondered what the real family was like and now I know ??
I enjoyed reading it, I love ❤️ watching that show and now I read the real story enjoyed reading it