The Ancestors of Jennifer Granholm

by William Addams Reitwiesner

The following material on the immediate ancestry of Jennifer Granholm should not be considered either exhaustive or definitive, but rather as a first draft.

John Blythe Dobson contributed to this report.

William Addams Reitwiesner

Ancestry of Jennifer Granholm
1 Jennifer Granholm, b. Vancouver, B. C., Canada, 5 Feb. 1959, emigrated with her parents to US in 1962, naturalized ... [early 1980s], Governor of Michigan 2003-current
m. ... 23 May 1986
Daniel Mulhern, b. ... , son of ... Mulhern and of ... .

three children (Kathryn, Cecelia, Jack)
2 Victor Ivar Granholm, b. Penny, B. C., ...
3 Shirley Alfreda Dowden, b. ...
4 ... Granholm, b. ... , d. ...
5 Judith ... , b. ... , d. ... [survived her husband]
6 ... Dowden, b. ... , d. ...
7 ... , b. ... , d. ...


1 -- For the quotations below see the interview with Jennifer Granholm at

2 -- According to his daughter, "He was born in Penny, British Columbia, to a Norwegian immigrant mother and a Swedish immigrant father.... Granholm is Swedish. It means, roughly, 'peninsula of trees' -- or, an isthmus of land surrounded by water...." The Wikipedia article on Jennifer Granholm at states: "She has some Finnish and Swedish ancestors who were born in the Swedish-speaking part of Finland (the name 'Granholm' in Swedish means 'spruce islet')."

4 -- According to his granddaughter, "Dad's father was killed when Dad was three.... Some say he killed himself to enable his wife, Judith, to receive a widow's pension, since they were so dirt poor. They lived in a cabin with no running water and Dad worked at a sawmill until he graduated from high school." If the 1927 marriage record cited below in fact relates to this man, then he probably died in the early 1930s, but no B.C. death registration has been found for a Hugo Granholm.

This marriage index entry, found at the British Columbia Archives at, may possibly relate to nos. 4 and 5:
Groom Name:     Hugo Granholm
Bride Name:     Judith O.H. Solstad
Event Date:     26 March 1927
Event Place:    Prince George

Reg. Number:    1927-09-329924
B.C. Archives Microfilm Number:  B13754
GSU Microfilm Number: 2074507


See above.

William Addams Reitwiesner