View Full Version : Help with understanding a census image, please!

11-11-04, 20:34
Is anyone able to read this handwriting? The image is from US census 1920 Michigan, Chippewa county, ED 29, Pg 4, lines 35-38 at www.ancestry.com.
The first name is Eric Mattson, the wife perhaps Annie. I would be interested in his birthyear and birthplace for Eric and his parents plus the names of the next to persons. The image is so blurry I´m not sure of anything!
Hope inserting the images succeeds, never done this before...

11-11-04, 20:41
I should have guessed! A new try with the image...

11-11-04, 20:48
This is the other half of the image, I´m interested in the three lines shown here.

Karen Norwillo
11-11-04, 21:20
Merja, I agree, the writing is quite difficult to read clearly. It looks to be his wife's name is Annie. The two daughters look like Hattie, age 18 and Melissa, age 14. Both born in Michigan. I can't be sure of those names. There is also a boarder in the home, but I cannot make out her name. She is listed as a widow. On the 1910 and 1930 census, you can again find Eric and Annie. There are no children listed on either census.Don't know where they were in 1910. The 1910 census says they are married 27 years and that she had 3 children, 2 living. His name is spelled Erich Matson on this census. It says he is a general farmer. Immigration years vary from year to year, 1920 says 1893, naturalized in 1898, but the 1930 census looks like 1884. Rudyard, Chippewa county, Michigan looks like a good place to do more searching. Birth year again varies 1865-1867. They are from Finland, speak Finnish. Karen

11-11-04, 22:19
It looks like 52, and the printed page before this one states his age as 52. His wife is older. I believe the image says that they both entered the country in 1893. He's a retired smith.

Karen Norwillo
11-11-04, 22:45
I found in the Rudyard Protestant Cemetery, Anna G Mattson 1862-1943 notation..with Eric
Eric Mattson 1865-1951

12-11-04, 17:16
Hi Merja,
I hope I'm not leading you astray with the following entries I found that seem to fit for Hattie Mattson 18 on 1920 census.

The Dibean Marriage Collection FOR CHIPPEWA COUNTY, MI
MATTSON, Hattie Alfilda KIVELA, Wayne 19 Sep 1921

HATTIE KIVELA 29 Dec 1901 Apr 1978 91206 Last residence (Glendale, Los Angeles, CA) 91205 (Glendale, Los Angeles, CA) 367-20-0442 Issued Michigan

WAYNE KIVELA born Dec 0000 died Aug 1948 (not specified) (none specified) 364-10-4613 Michigan

KIVELA HATTIE A 12/29/1901 No parents names listed Female born MICHIGAN died LOS ANGELES(19) 04/08/1978
367-20-0442 age 76

JOHNSON DOROTHY VERNETTA born 04/17/1925 Mothers Maiden name MATTSON Father KIVELA Female born MICHIGAN LOS ANGELES(19) 04/30/1982 363-28-8925 57

SAIMA A KIVELA 13 Jun 1901 25 Nov 1987 (V)last residence 49780 (Rudyard, Chippewa, MI) (none specified) 380-16-9324 issued Michigan


13-11-04, 16:58
Thanks to everyone who have helped in figuring this out. I´m afraid, however, that this only confirms I´m on a false lead. Again. *sigh*

Best regards,

Merja Syrjämäki

Looking for US records for Erik Mattsson Backa aka Syrjämäki, b. 5th July 1868 in Vörå. Emigrated to the US btw 1894-1897, exact year not apparent in the Finnish church books. No records for him in Institute of Migration files. No shipping records have been found in Sweden either, does not appear in Ellis Island. Rumoured to have married again in the US and to have died 1929.

13-11-04, 21:56
Hi Merja,
Have you seen this information? I found a Erik Maki in Hemitite, Iron County, Michigan in the 1920 census.

Erik Maki, 51, b.Finland, immigration year unknown
Lizzie, wife, 38, b.Finland, imm 1901
Hjalmer, son, 17, b.Michigan
Edward, son, 16, b.Michigan
Bertha, daughter, 14, b.Michigan
Arne, son, 10, b.Michigan
Signe, daughter, 9, b.Michigan
Ellen, daughter, 7, b.Michigan
Aila, daughter, 5, b.Michigan
?, daughter, 1 4/12, b.Michigan

If your Erik was born July, this guy would be the right age. Could Maki be a valid shortening of Syrjämäki?

13-11-04, 22:25
Hi Kevin!
Thanks for the suggestion. I remember having considered this family at some point, then decided that it could not be the right one and forgotten all about them afterwards. When I look at the census now, I really can´t imagine why I had come to that conclusion.
Maki would certainly be a possibility for a shortening of his name. After all, this is what Backa is in Finnish!
Thanks again Kevin! I will certainly think about this again!
Best regards,

13-11-04, 22:35
Hi again, Merja,
Do you have any more details about this family that you could share. Maybe with some more details we might be able to help you find them. Do you know childrens' names, spouse name, etc, etc

Maybe you've mentioned these details before and I just don't recall. I'd be happy to help try. :)

14-11-04, 08:47
Hi again, Kevin!
Unfortunately I have no other information of the family. Erik left his family here in Finland ( wife and several children ) and never came back. I know there have been letters as I have his photograph, I´m trying to attach it here. The photo was taken in America but the photographer´s name is missing. All letters have been burned by his granddaughter, decades ago. Have no idea of the reason.
Erik was pronounced dead in Finland 1919 but there were news later from America that he actually died 1929.
Thanks again,

15-11-04, 08:51
Hi Merja,
I thought the Ellis Island records of the other Syrjamaki travellers
might give you a few leads as to their final destinations and where they had come from. Unfortunately I had trouble trying to view some of the original manifests particularly for the earlier travellers.
One thing was apparent though many of them travelled from Bremen. Some destinations were Ishpeming, MI| Brooklyn, NY|
Eveleth MN and Virginia MN.
On the cd Scandinavians in the 1910 US Federal census these were the closest listings I could find. Note they are Heads of Household or a different surname living at an address.
Unfortunately no Eric amongst them. Back/Backa/Bach are popular names as is Maki. I've heard it is the most common Finnish name in America. Perhaps using the new advanced search at Ellis Island with year of birth, years of travel and ethnicity etc. might help find you a realistic number of names.
Hoping something helps you, if not with Eric perhaps one of your other family members who emigrated to America.