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13-07-04, 16:53
Hi, my name is Diana and I live in the north east corner of Wisconsin. I have just recently broke down the brick wall of my Swede-Finn family. Unfortunetly my Great Grandparents didn't speak much of thier homelands. My Great Grandfather Gustaf Bodin born in Gideå, immigrated from Sundsvall Sweden in 1893 and my Great Grandmother Maria Forström immigrated from Purmo in 1902. Gustaf came to Minnesota first, but by 1900 he was living in Franklin, Houghton County, MI. Maria's brother Andrew (Anders) Forström was the first of the Forström family to immigrate to the USA in 1892. He settled in Felch, Dickinson County, MI and married Ida Hagman in 1905. Maria's sister Johanna Forström joined thier brother Andrew in 1899 and in 1903 she married Andrew Gustafson. They also settled in Felch, MI. Gustaf and Maria eventually settled in Minnesota. In June my family and I made our first trip to Felch. We enjoyed it so much that we are going back for another visit in August.

13-07-04, 17:57
Hi Diana and welcome to the Finlander Forum!

Where exactly do you live in Wisconsin? I lived in Hurley when I was in high school. Are you anywhere near there?

13-07-04, 18:33
Hi Kevin,
I live in the Maple, Poplar area, 25 miles east of Superior, so Hurley isn't too far away from me.

14-07-04, 00:38
Interesting! My parents had really good friends in Maple. He was the postmaster for many years. Ed & Elna Rantala. My mother also lived a few years in Iron River before moving to Florida. Small world! :)

June Pelo
14-07-04, 18:53
I have a distant relative living in Maple named Janine Seis - I think she works for the post office.


16-07-04, 02:46
Hi June,
I usually go to the Poplar post office, but next time I'll stop in at the Maple post and see if she still works there........Like Kevin said, "it's a small world"

Paul Sundquist
18-07-04, 08:29
Hello Diana,

Always glad to see someone who knows about Felch. I lived there in the early 50s. I was quite young then but do remember some of the people and some of the names. My grandparents came from Finland in the 1890s and settled in Felch. I go back there every few years. I inherited a few lots from my mother's father's farm and hope to build a summer home there some day.

18-07-04, 16:03
Hello Paul,
Do you remember the Blomquist and Forstrom names? My cousin Edith still lives at the Mountain Farm and Dennis lives on Felch Mountain. It's a beautiful area, I can see why you would like to build a home there. Have you had a chance to read the Felch centennial 1878-1978 by B.M. Blomquist? If you haven't, let me know what surnames you have from Felch and I can send you their pages.

Paul Sundquist
18-07-04, 21:33
Of course I remember the names Blomquist and Forstrom. Are Edith and Dennis Blomquist's or Forstrom's? There was a family that lived behind us named Blomquist, they had two boys, the oldest was my age named Johnny. If I remember right, the principal of the Felch School was named Blomquist. He used to tell "true stories that I just made up." I did get a chance to read the book but I don't have a copy of it. Think my sister in Milwaukee has a copy. My parents and sisters went to the 100 year anniversary but I was not able to attend. My mother was a daughter of Eric Johnson and my father's father was John Sundquist. If I remember right, there were two John Sundquist's up there. Other relatives were Esther and Ivar Kasen. Esther was one of my mothers sisters. They were the last of my relatives up there that I know of.

June Pelo
19-07-04, 22:15
There are a couple Finlander members with links to the Kasén name - mostly from Purmo, I think.


Paul Sundquist
20-07-04, 04:34
Ivar and Selim Kasén came from Purmo with their mother, sister and another brother, Arthur, in 1902. Arthur doesn't show up in the 1910 Census but the rest of the family does. Another brother, Victor, was born in 1905. Ivar and Selim both married sisters of my mother. Esther and Ivar had no children while Selim and Mary had four sons and a daughter, she died in her first year. Selim's sons all married and have children. Arthur, the oldest, passed away a few years ago but the others are still living. One in MI, one in WI and one in SD.

20-07-04, 04:37
Hi Paul,
Edith's maiden name is Forstrom, She is the daughter of Andrew and Ida (Häggman) Forstrom. She married Rudolph Blomquist, son of John and Maria (Jacobson) Blomquist. Dennis' Father was Albert Forstrom also the son of Andrew and Ida.
Did you want me to scan the pages for your family and send them to you?

20-07-04, 04:41
Paul, the Blomquist neighbors you spoke about were Rudolph and Edith, Their oldest son is John and the younger son is Norman.

Paul Sundquist
20-07-04, 06:23
Thanks for the info on the Blomquist's. I read an article in the Iron Mountain News some time ago about Norman and his son but haven't heard anything about John. Do you have any idea about where he might be? I would appreciate getting the pages of the book. I will post my email address in a private message to you.

Paul Sundquist
20-07-04, 06:29
Thanks for the info on the Blomquist's. I read an article in the Iron Mountain News some time ago about Norman and his son but haven't heard anything about John. Do you have any idea about where he might be? I would appreciate getting the pages of the book. I will post my email address in a private message to you.

04-12-04, 03:15
I am new here, I grew up in Norway Lake just 5 miles from Felch and still live in Iron Mountain. I can certainly try to help in anyway I can since I live about 8 blocks from the courthouse. My relatives are Lantz, Dixon, Sjostedt, Johansson, Larsdotter and such. And of course the Mattson, Wickman, Blomquist and so on; you name it and I am related to it, lol.

04-12-04, 04:23
Pos Given names Surname Other names Born Parish Em. Church

8h John Blomquist Nov 5 1870 Purmo Pedesöre 1890 211
8w Maria Lovisa f Johnson/Jacobson? Dec 12 1872 Jeppo Nykarleby 1892 211

These two ppl seem to be those named in this thread. I only have the names of Finnish born ppl on the dbase. This information is from the microfilms at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Center here in town.


Paul Sundquist
05-12-04, 05:04
Ah, Norway Lake, remember it well. Used to go swimming there in the early 50s. I also am related to some Mattson's. Andrew Mattson Storvist, b 27/09/1880 in Purmo was brother-in-law of my grandfather, Erick Johnson and I think there were some others. Also related to some Blomquist's. Have been in contact with a second cousin in Finland, Sigvald Blomquist. He sent me a book, Släkten Kronquist i Markby, that was published in 1989 and traces our family from 1615.

15-12-04, 16:23
Originally posted by syrene
Very interesting, since Dick STAAF shares my maiden name. My father was born a STAAF in Övermalax.. Perhaps we're related!

Maybe we are. I don´t have any more information on Staaf for now......but I shall call Dick and ask him about Övermalax. It can take some time, but I let you know what I found out.

// Cina

15-12-04, 18:12
Thank you!

Jim Bailey
15-12-04, 18:59
Hi, All ---

Glad to read all the notes about Felch...

My great-grandparents, Matts Jacobsson Pettil NYLUND and Anna Sofia Mattsdotter GRANHOLM, came from Pedersore/Larsmo and settled in Metropolitan (one mile west of Felch) in 1892, along with their daughter Hilda Sofia Nylund (Neilund) Sandstrom, my grandmother. I still have the passport for Anna Sofia and Hilda Sofia.

I just told a "family story" about them in the note I sent a few moments ago to Sueellenborn under Osterbotten. So, no repeat here.

Another family story was that Matts was the spoiled youngest child of a family who had "a little money" in Finland. Evidently, he didn't like to work except around horses. He was also a big drinker. He had come to America in March 1892 but then failed to write back to the family in Finland. So, in some desperation, the family in Finland put Anna Sofia and daughter Hilda Sofia on a boat and sent them to find Matts in America, which evidently they did.

My great-uncles/aunts Herman, Bertha, Anders, and Irene were born in Metropolitan, but then the family moved to Ashland, WI, about 1898/1899. Thus, although I have tremendous sentimental attachment to Felch/Metropolitan, we have no substantial connections there.

My understanding is that Metropolitan was the "big" town at the start, but later faded as Felch became the center of the area. Metropolitan, I understand, was built on the gently sloping hillside near today's Lutheran Church, and it had its own train station too. But, once the town faded, it was leveled, and now the area is a farm field.

Supposedly, John Sundstrom (who owned the auto service station in Felch on the corner of the state highway) was a relative of my grandmother, but I have found no connection yet. I visited his daughter Ann Sundstrom about 1980, and I assume she is still retired and living in Felch. Now that I am deeply immersed in genealogy, I intend to write to her very soon to inquire on family information.

I recall my grandmother talking about being a young girl in Metropolitan and being able to see the sun glinting off the roofs of the Calumet Mine. So, about 1980, two of us drove down the lonely dirt road, trying to find the mine. We did find what appeared to be a flooded pit on the east side of the road a few miles south of Felch.

Also, during my visit in 1980, I met an elderly lady whose home in Felch was right next to the old state highway. I don't recall her name, but my foggy recollection is that she was Norwegian and that her daughter lived in Milwaukee. The daughter, son-in-law, and kids were there for the Fourth of July. In any case, the elderly lady did not remember Hilda Neilund, but she burst into a big smile when I said Hilda Sandstrom. Yes, yes, she did remember her!!! She used to come back from Ashland and help out with various social events.

I also recall having a few beers in Solberg's bar (shades of my great-grandfather Matts). My companion was Cuban-born, and Mr. Solberg (bless his heart) must have felt the best way to be understood by a foreigner was to talk LOUD. And, man, did he ever speak LOUD!!!!!

I too have the Felch Centenial Book, and I lovingly look through it from time to time, trying to imagine what it was like back in "those days".

All of my family research (about 6,400 names) is available on TALKO, sponsored by this same forum. If you have any connections or corrections, I'd be very pleased to hear from you.

Very cordially,

Jim Bailey
A "UPer" at heart, stranded among the corn fields of mid-Indiana

05-02-05, 07:44
Maria's sister Johanna Forström joined thier brother Andrew in 1899 and in 1903 she married Andrew Gustafson. They also settled in Felch, MI.
found at Swenson 211 = Metropolitan, Zion Lutheran
Code: 62=page, w=wife, then given name, surname, other names, birthdate, from, emi date, church code
62w Johanna Forstrom? Gustafson Jul 21 1875 Finland 1894 211
Her husband was not listed as a member OR his birthplace was omitted.
Somehow I managed to miss this line at the church in Metropolitan. I've only just taken all of the counties and put them into a single spreadsheet and it's made the search simpler. This is a good result. I see other Forstrom names but I will put them here just in case they fit:
found at Swenson S 25-3 = Iron Mountain, First Lutheran
b19=page in book 2, h=husband
b19h Alexander W Forstrom Jun 28 1887 Nykarleby 1907 S 25-3
found at Swenson S 25-2 = Quinnesec, Calvary Lutheran
h Jacob R. Forstrom Sep 18 1884 Nykarleby 1901 25-2
w Emelia Nov 12 1887 Malax 1906 25-2
None were found spelled Forström - oops, an error here.


05-02-05, 15:23
Thank you Chuck,
I was told Johanna immigrated in 1900, but I couldn't find her at Ellis Island. I can't place the other Forstrom's in my family yet. When Johanna came to the US she dropped an R and the ö in her name (Forrström). As far as her husband Andrew Gustafson, I was lucky enough tho find a lot of information on him in the Felch Centennial Book.


05-02-05, 16:43
Hi Diana,
I thought this Johanna was yours. The question mark after Forstrom I believe is mine because I was unsure of the spelling.

I will be back to Swenson next week and I'll check that church again to see if I can find something more on Andrew. It could be that his Finnish origins were not recorded. Without that info, I was forced to leave him off the list. Then again, often enough, it was the wife who became a member and the husband was not. Sometimes a church secretary would write the husband's name above that of the wife in pencil.


11-03-05, 22:56
I have no new information about Andrew.

I also checked Swedish newspapers, in Iron Mountain, Michigan Veckoblad, and Monitor. In Ishpeming, Superior Posten.

I did that to try to find an obit on Ernest Rudolf who died in August 1908. I did not find an obit for him.

If you send me your postal address by private message or email, I can send you the fotocopy and you can then sort things out:)

I also checked reception of members for Andrew but those ended 1923 and he is received in 1931. I looked at Dismissals but that ended in 1929 and funeral pages began in 1912 so not a great thing to see.


Jim Bailey
12-03-05, 18:59
Hi, All ----

I refer to my letter above about Felch, Metropolitan, and John Sundstrom who owned the auto repair/gas station in Felch, MI. I have since written to Ann Sundstrom in Felch about a possible family connection. She sent a nice reply and also forwarded my letter to two nephews who are more involved in genealogy. I am now in touch with Mark Sundstrom of Toledo, Ohio.

Sure enough, we are indeed related to the Sundstroms of Felch ... and probably to other families in Felch/Metropolitan. It turns out my great-grandfather Matts Jacobsson Pettil Nylund, 1864 - 1940, (described above) was the brother of John Sundstrom's father, Jacob Jacobsson Pettil Pellis Sudd (1849-1896). Thus, my grandmother Hilda Mattsdotter Pettil-Nylund-Sandstrom (1885-1959) was the first cousin of old John Sundstrom.

Mark has sent me a great deal of information, and I have returned the favor. We look forward to meeting each other perhaps sometime this summer. It should be easy as we own a lake home only 80 miles from Toledo.

I have always had a sentimental attachment for Felch & Metropolitan. Now, I am delighted to find my family connection consists of more than just the seven-year (1892-1899) stop-over of the Matts Nylunds before they moved on to Ashland, WI.

Very cordially,

Jim Bailey
12-03-05, 19:03
P.S. It turns out that Ann Sundstrom, mentioned just above, is 93 years old. I'm lucky I contacted her before anything untoward happened to her.

The lesson for all of us, I guess, is to act quickly in gathering family information and getting it recorded before important sources disappear.

All the best,

Jim Bailey
01-04-07, 08:12
It looks as if my note of Dec. 3, 2005, was the last communication on this topic. In that note, I mentioned my cousin Ann Sundstrom of Felch, Michigan.

Just this evening, I learned she passed away on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007, in Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain, Michigan. She was 94 years old.

I will be attending the Sandstrom family reunion in Ashland, Wisconsin, this coming summer on Aug. 11, and had planned to visit Ann when I drove across the Upper Peninsula. I regret greatly I will not have that opportunity, and I send my deepest sympathy to the family, in particular Mark Sundstrom of Toledo, Ohio (who is a member here, I believe) and his father, Ann's brother.

26-02-15, 20:24
Alexander Waldemar Forstrom is my great grand father.
It is said that Alexander and his Brothers Raynholt and Emil and their Father Jacob came to the Felch area from NyKarleby Finland. Story goes the Alex went to work on the Carlson Farm where he met my great grandmother Ingeborg Olson who was working as a housekeeper. Emil moved to the east coast Alex moved to Norway then Quinnesec and then to California. Ray lived in Quinnesec until his death. Father Jacob is said to have gone back to Finland to get his wife and found she had thought him dead and remarried to an unknown Aho. It is said that Jacob came back to the U.S. but we find no confirmation of any kind further on him.
I would love to see if there is any kind of connection to the other Forstrom/Forsstrom families. Thanks Donna Revello