Per Hansa The male protagonist, strong and virile, the natural pioneer.
Beret Per Hansa's wife, who hungers for home and hates the Great Plains.
Ole (or Olamand) Oldest son of the family.
Anna Marie (And-Ongen, the "Duckling") The daughter.
Hans Kristian (Store-Hans, meaning "Big Hans") The second son.
Hans Olsa Friend of Per Hansa and nominal leader of the group.
Sörine Hans Olsa's wife.
Syvert Tönseten One of the settlers, a weak man.
Kjersti Tönseten His wife, a kindly and wise woman.
The Solums (Henry and Sam) Two bachelor brothers who are in the settlement. They are the only ones who are proficient in English.
Peder Victorius Beret and Per Hansa's youngest son.
Tronders and Helgelaendings Names of Norwegian clans.
The Minister Not identified by name, an itinerant minister who moves from settlement to settlement.