I have been corresponding with your daughter Heather about the Indian connection of this family, but the spelling I have found is KnudSEN. In FamilySearch (Mormon records site) I found Otto E.C. Knudsen, BAPTIZED 1834,close enough, right initials, born in Stubberup, Odense, Denmark. Odense is the city. Hans Christian Andersen was from there. His parents were Knud Ottesen and Karen Hansdatter. Read on.
The naming system was that the boys took their father's first name and added "sen" for son. The girls took their father's first name and added "datter," daughter. Otte is the same as Otto in English. So Otto Knudsen is the same as Otte Knudsen, and "Knudsen" means "Knud's son." The Otto Knudsen who came to Nebraska kept Knudsen and passed it on in keeping with naming customs here. His mother's last name, "Hansdatter," meant "Han's daughter."
I have a friend whose parents died young, whose mother was Linda Esther Knudsen, who married Stanley Lapointe. He said his father was Brule Sioux and his mother Santee Sioux. His father received an engineering degree from Marquette University he learned recently. My friend put himself through the U. of Kansas. I suspect Linda E. Knudsen had a brain, too. But don't know if she received an education. Do you know anything about her?
I have learned that Linda's father was Thomas Otto Knudsen, son of Otto E.C. Knudsen and his Indian (Santee Sioux I am very sure) wife Mary. My friend knows little about his family, as both parents died when he was 6 and 7. He was raised in a Catholic boarding school on the Rosebud Sioux reservationin South Dakota. I am trying to learn anything about this family for him.
Found that Otto E.C. was the surveyor for Knox County, Nebraska.
Have learned a lot about the Santee Sioux, who were part of the Dakota Sioux (not Lakota), and were from Minnesota. They were all rounded up and dragged to Nebraska after the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota in 1862. It's a sad story, enough to break your heart, why there WAS an uprising. Otto came to Niobrara four years before the Santee Sioux were moved there. I suspect it was he who surveyed the tract of land designated to be the Santee reservation. Otto's wife Mary had just been through a lot, I am sure, before she met him. How did they converse the first few years?
I will be happy to send you whatever I have found and insights I have had as an anthropologist and researcher of Indian history. I would like in turn to learn whatever you have found about the larger Knudsen tree, especially any siblings of Linda Esther.
Heather said you had a family tree maker site, but I have tried in vain to find it. Please write! Sue477@AOL.com