View Full Version : Gus or Gust Mattson

Karen Mattson
06-12-04, 23:39
I am researching my family origins and my great uncle Gus or Gust Mattson who immigrated to the U. S.A. in 1904 from Nurmo, Finland to Ispeming Michigan, remains a mystery. He worked with my grandfather Matti, in Hancock, Mi. until he disappeared. According to Finnish records, he died in Minnesota with a presumed death date being January 1, 1977. He was born in Nurmo in 1886 and his wife's name was Serafia Saarkoski. I am unable to trace them in Minnesota records that are on line. Is there someone out there who can help me ? Thanks, Karen Mattson Rome Italy

K-G Molander
07-12-04, 03:17
Found following name:

U.S. Social Security Death Index - 2

1. Gust MATTSON - U.S. Social Security Death Index
Birth: 10 Oct 1884 State Where Number was Issued: Minnesota Death: Jul 1973

07-12-04, 03:39
at Swenson S 27-3 = Iron Co, Crystal Falls, Finnish Lutheran (merged with Swedish to form United Lutheran)
Pos Given names Surname Other names Born Parish Em. Church
64h August (Kustaa) Mattson Sillanpää Apr 15 1848 Ylistaro 1889 S 27-3
64w Sanna Serafia Nov 26 1857 Isokyrö 1899 S 27-3
64d Maria Serafia Apr 25 1881 Isokyrö 1899 S 27-3
64s Kustaa Adiel Feb 24 1884 Isokyrö 1899 S 27-3
64w2 Maria Adolfina Kallio Nov 2 1854 Ylikylä Merikarvia unk S 27-3
64s Oskar Arthur Kallio w2's child Apr 30 1897 Ylikylä Merikarvia unk S 27-3
64s Arvo Herman Kallio w2's child Dec 3 1899 Ylikylä Merikarvia unk S 27-3

64 is the page of the membership book while h=husband, w=wife, w2=2ndwife, d=daughter & s=son
This couple & kids & note 2nd wife, they could very well be the people you seek. The database I am using lists only Finnish born ppl so if you believe they could be yours, let me know and I will check the record for additional data such as American born children, where they went next, and what happened to the first wife!
Some more data for this family!
b57mh Herman Bergskår married Apr 11 1905 age 25 years Merikarvia unk S 27-3
b57mw Maria Serafia Mattson married Apr 11 1905 age 28 years Isokyrö unk S 27-3

code: b57 = page 57 of book 2, ministerial acts, marriage lists on the microfilm, m=married, h=husband, w=wife so Maria got married to Herman Bergskår

And welcome to sfhs!

07-12-04, 20:53
Hi Karen,
I've spent some time searching for your Gus and Serafia in the various census records to no avail. Do you suppose they could have used an alternate last name?

Is the death date an actual date or simply where the parish declared him dead?

I noticed you also have an immigration year. I checked Ellis Island but didn't see him there. Did he come through another port?

Also, what's your grandfather's name? Maybe if he can be located in the census in Hancock, a page by page search could locate the brother. Just a thought.

07-12-04, 21:28
Just got an email from Karen telling me these are not her Mattson people but it is quite the coincidence, Gus and Serafia. How often does that happen? Serafia isn't that common a name.

Oh well, :)


Karen Mattson
07-12-04, 21:47
Hi again Chuck and all forum users, I really do appreciate all the interest in my mysterious relative. Yes, it is a coincidence that the names are the same but unfortunately not the right ones. Anyway, it's fun anyway to communicate with all of you. Thanks again from far away Italy! Karen Mattson Rome Italy

07-12-04, 22:30
source: http://ftp.us-census.org/pub/usgenweb/census/mi/marquette/1930/ed41-brief.txt

186B 53 52-41 1B Mattson Gust Head M W 51 Finland

Probably not your Gust here in the 1930 census. Wife isn't Serafia but who knows, maybe another relative?

Karen Mattson
07-12-04, 23:04
In reply to Kevin Paavola's interest in my mysterious relative, here is some other info. My grandfather's name was Matti and the surnames used were Valimaki or Ahlvik. In fact, the brothers immigrated as Matti and Kustaa Ahlvik. They changed their name to Mattson upon arrival in the U. S.A., which I presume was Ishpeming, Michigan. My grandfather and Kustaa then moved to Hancock, Michigan where Kustaa or Gus worked with my grandfather. He left after a family discussion and was never heard from again. It was said that he moved to Minnesota and this was in fact, confirmed in Finnish records which I found in the SukuRaitti database. His death date is a presumed death date and is Jan. 1, 1977. His wife Serafia Saarikoski (Gus was her second husband, again according to the Suku Raitti database) died in 1966 in Minnesota. Thanks, Karen Mattson

08-12-04, 08:11
Hi Karen,
I searched the Heritage Quest cd Scandinavians in the 1910 census hoping to find the brothers or at least one brother.
I found these 2 possibilities.
Only heads of household are listed on the cd so if Gus/Kustaa was living with Matti at this time viewing the census image would reveal this.
You mentioned they travelled as Ahlvik so I went to Ellis Island to find an age for Matti. What I found was
First Name: Kustaa
Last Name: Ahlvig
Ethnicity: Finland, Finnish
Last Place of Residence: Hango
Date of Arrival: December 19, 1904
Age at Arrival: 18y Gender: M Marital Status: S
Ship of Travel: St. Paul
Port of Departure: Southampton
Manifest Line Number: 0026
he went to brother Matti Mattson at 323 Margarethe Str, Ishpeming, MI so it appears that Matti travelled to America before Kustaa.
Have you searched the Minnesota death index for actual death dates? It is searchable by first name only.Here is the url.
Another good site for Minnesota is the Iron Range Research Centre site http://www.ironrangeresearchcenter.org/
they have Alien registartion records 1918 and Naturalisation records some obituaries and cemetery listings.
Best wishes

09-12-04, 07:22
Hi Jeanette,

Your reading of the Ellis Island manifest is correct. Kustaa Ahlvig (Gus Mattson) was according to it going to meet his brother Matti Mattson and not F. Johansson who is on the following row and I mistakingly wrote in a message on the eMIG message board http://www.b2g3.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1101443977&user=storteir .

Out of pedantic curiosity I however ask if it reads 323 Marquette Str, or 323 Margarethe Str. Ishpeming, MI ? Please see the attached image http://sydaby.eget.net/emig/emig/mattson.jpg. Neither Marquette Str. Ishpeming, MI nor Margarethe Str. Ishpeming, MI were found by Google search.


09-12-04, 07:33
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?ovi=1&zoom=9&mapdata=Fha1P5i%2fM%2fVdXWrD7uzfHU5Nq9BPdKDdVuKY%2 fm1USJJTrx8tPpZDhC6NGVW5debj04YTZxIeiCEpDLpSCGFdwb KVLJcR%2f6hwSxsiKDYOHFIVLHf5gq3I6caQ8r%2fuC496kzAT UTuZIyhWAjq48KCVJArULS%2be3XHBPjpKkIAyRxHJNHk8ez4F 66jCt7QbD1x4Ax4wb%2bXwC%2f19SpwL%2fWXF5biracq5oK0m N4h%2fkXZLalAQ%2bpJB4X%2bPB%2bNAh6xTiYFtseimRVqYZa S2E%2beobhoecvlVTtvelU2hM52Rt3iSM0IdmsFSAl9oVvrcOD xANxr9v87S3LBvdoM6MMx7%2bYsAYjCrlkDvuDH7CnVq%2bWHi MuOEa9J0A1B%2fpCLYt4RdK2Lr45RIiLkCEkUMdvRxYDJl3%2f zCEItsNBHgTMyNlqIgCfOHIhS6vNb%2fy6bRCZRV46NDjAaFOJ uhDZs%3d

No Margarethe Street in Ishpeming so it's got to be Marquette Street.

I tried Margarethe at mapquest and got a negative to that. I even tried Margaret Street but another negative.

Nice catch Staffan!

Unfortunately my test click didn't get the map - just the main page of mapquest so why do these ppl do this sort of thing? Beats me but when you get to that place, type in 323 Marquette Street, Ishpeming, MI

09-12-04, 08:10
Hi Staffan,
Thanks for pointing out the error. No wonder forms are completed in printed capital letters today. :)
Marquette street makes much more sense!


09-12-04, 08:24
Does this long URL work?

mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&formtype=address&addtohistory=&location=4jwGSjEt1KU6Zl%2fRec1sR1aDbxX9ygkBDFhfS5M KpO6zhsfYXoXoJafUMoxXt42oiywhO%2bNizdIW5oWOftp21UT UWcYekZgBEF0wh%2fIWnZSbHB3Cpz6%2fftGJfrjAtN9mjsksE hgaTYvUewnKN6KI2Q%3d%3d

You must paste it in your browser's location field and insert www.

It seems that Finlander formats a URL starting with http:// or www. to an active link, abbreviates a long URL and sometimes a long URL gets corrupted.

I am usually not inclined to nitpicking :)


09-12-04, 10:15
In order to get a very long URL address to work it is easier to insert it "behind a link" in the message. Use the "http://" button. At least you have to insert the protocol directive infront of the address, in this case the "http://"

The link (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&formtype=address&addtohistory=&location=4jwGSjEt1KU6Zl%2fRec1sR1aDbxX9ygkBDFhfS5M KpO6zhsfYXoXoJafUMoxXt42oiywhO%2bNizdIW5oWOftp21UT UWcYekZgBEF0wh%2fIWnZSbHB3Cpz6%2fftGJfrjAtN9mjsksE hgaTYvUewnKN6KI2Q%3d%3d) Staffan proposed.

The link never gets shortened in a Finlander message. If the link is preceeded with the proper protocol directive, ie. is a proper link then the forum software will try to turn the url into a clickable link. If it succeeds then the url will appear as if it would be shortened with three dots within the link text tag.

Thus - you have two methods of entering links within a message.

1) direct paste of a link (=> if the link is a long one you will end up having a messier link)
2) use the "http://" button and first insert the link text then paste in the complete link.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&formtype=address&addtohistory=&location=4jwGSjEt1KU6Zl%2fRec1sR1aDbxX9ygkBDFhfS5M KpO6zhsfYXoXoJafUMoxXt42oiywhO%2bNizdIW5oWOftp21UT UWcYekZgBEF0wh%2fIWnZSbHB3Cpz6%2fftGJfrjAtN9mjsksE hgaTYvUewnKN6KI2Q%3d%3d

09-12-04, 10:52

Your link does not work. It enfolds as "...mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&formtype=address&addtohistory=&%20%20location=4jwGSjEt1KU6Zl%2fRec1sR1aDbxX9ygkBD Fhf[/url]<br%20/>S5M" , which is not the same as the address I ended up with and which is right if one carefully pastes it by hand. :confused:

Otherwise I see the point with using the "http:// " button.

Let us see if we get it correct with the "http:// " button.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&formtype=address&addtohistory=&location=4jwGSjEt1KU6Zl%2fRec1sR1aDbxX9ygkBDFhfS5M KpO6zhsfYXoXoJafUMoxXt42oiywhO%2bNizdIW5oWOftp21UT UWcYekZgBEF0wh%2fIWnZSbHB3Cpz6%2fftGJfrjAtN9mjsksE hgaTYvUewnKN6KI2Q%3d%3d

Nope. :confused:

09-12-04, 20:22
Probably a management decision by somebody with an MBA degree to make things difficult for the world.


12-12-04, 00:41
At the Genealogical Society of Finland I found an
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Hancock Directory 1916-1917 which lists
Mattson Matthew (Sena; Ruona & Mattson), res 306 Quincy.

If this is your Gus Mattson living with Matti & his family a check of the 1920 & 1930 census' will help you establish when Gus left MI to go to MN.


Karen Mattson
13-12-04, 21:00
Dear fellow Finlanders, Thanks for all your help and interest. Yes, Jeanette, the Matt Mattson that you referred to is my grandfather as I know that his partners were Senna and Ruona. Does anyone have the census indexes for the years 1910, 1920, and 1930, as the answer to the whereabouts of Gus lies there. Finngen has helped me out in the past, but not with Gus. Thanks, again, Karen

Karen Norwillo
13-12-04, 22:04
Karen, I checked the 1910 and 1920 census for Hancock, Houghton, MI and found Matti and family on both on Scott St. If Matti was a bottler of soft drinks, then I have the correct one. There was only one other listed for Hancock and he was a farmer. On the 1910 census, there is a boarder living with the family named August Johnson, age 22, single ,Finland, He works in the bottling works. On the 1920 census, Matti's family has grown to 6 children. I found an August Mattson , 31, single, emigration looks like 1904, a bottler in a pop factory. As you probably know, in Michigan soda is called pop. August (Gust) is living in the home of a Hilma ?Wirtanen, sp? If you can give me your Gus's full name, I will search the 1930 census for you. There are many August and Gus Mattson's listed. Karen

Karen Mattson
13-12-04, 23:38
Thanks Karen for the info. Yes, my grandfather was a soft drink bottler or "pop" bottler. I am very familiar with this term as my father became a "pop" bottler too after his father died. It is interesting to find Gus listed as August is the translation of his listed name. His name in Finnish was Yrjo (George) Aukusti Ahlvik which they changed to Mattson. So Kustaa,Gus and Gust are all variations. I think in the 1930 census you should find him in Minnesota. I have always thought he was in St. Louis County but I could never prove it. By the way, the immigration year is correct, 1904. Thanks, Karen Mattson

14-12-04, 04:28
Even with these new details, I still can't seem to find him in Minnesota. I even tried using last name Johnson and nothing obvious showed up.

I'll keep checking though. Maybe something will show up.

14-12-04, 04:34
That's a big big county and many churches/towns so if anybody has more, that would help because Duluth on its own had 11 Swedish churches and then there are the 19 other Swedish churches in the county:)


14-12-04, 04:38
Hey Chuck,
The only town off the top of my head is my mother's birthplace of Ely, MN. But I guess we'll have to wait until morning comes to Rome and Karen wakes up before we'll get some more details.

Karen, let us know all the details and we'll be happy to help you sleuth! :)

15-12-04, 05:58

Let's hope Karen will have a town or maybe township to help us narrow the search.
My favorite in St Louis County is:

It's where I found a family from Finland had changed their surname to something totally unexpected. Only because we knew the birthdate of a child were we able to learn that news so from that time on, I've been a stickler for copies of original documentation.

Karen Mattson
15-12-04, 16:05
Ciao to all, I'll use my Italian in my greetings to my fellow Finlanders this afternoon. I'm really giving everyone alot of work to do right? Gus seems to have really disappeared without leaving any traces. Many years ago, I visited a friend at her parents' summer cottage on a small lake near Hibbing, maybe?' Minnesota is the state of a thousand lakes, I know, but I can't remember the name of the lake nor the town near it. Anyway, there were some old Finnish ladies visiting my friend's grandmother and they said they had met Gus and his wife. I presume that they lived nearby. This was in 1970 or so. Gus's presumed wife is listed in Finnish records as Serafia Saarikoski born in Nurmo on May 6, 1882 and died in Minnesota on July 2, 1966. Her marriage to Gus was her second marriage but her first husband's name was not listed. Another name to try is one of the various last names my family has used: Valimaki or Walimaki I don't remember if these Finnish ladies knew him as Mattson or if they knew him by another last name and also knew his original name. What can I say? He sure has done a good job of hiding himself. My grandfather died in 1924 so the family argument happened between the years of 1920 and 1924. It was something which my father who was born in 1911 remembered very vividly, although never talked about it in detail. Another point to mention: The lake and the Finnish ladies were about four hours from Rochester Minn. where I was working at the time and there was big Finnish population in this city. Thanks as usual for your interest. I am really impressed with everyone's kind help. Karen

15-12-04, 16:22
Originally posted by Karen Mattson
Thanks as usual for your interest. I am really impressed with everyone's kind help. Karen

Some of us may just be gluttons for punishment. I certainly like the challenge of finding these missing individuals, as long as they're someone else's! :)

I have my own to find but it seems that my own ancestors that are hiding in the books somewhere provide a high level of angst in trying to locate them.

Anyway, I consider it just a puzzle that needs solving and I'm all for that!

Back to the census records....


15-12-04, 17:50
I've found aunts, uncles and old family friends sometimes have information of value. Sometimes a photograph jogs a memory. Of course, way off in Rome it's hard for you to make these contacts. Is there a relative who lives closer to your family who could make some visits or phone calls?
Good luck! This is a prodigious task it seems.

15-12-04, 17:51
Oh! And why not post a query in the Finnish American Reporter? There are an awful lot of Finnish Americans who read that from cover to cover, and they have a page devoted to family searches.

15-12-04, 19:40
I saw her letter in the recent issue and I emailed her about this place so we've got to come thru for her:)

16-12-04, 18:17
Well, I think I may have found Serafia Saarikoski in the 1930 census. The age is right but since we don't know any more details, I'm not 100% certain this is her but it sure looks promising.

It doesn't have Gus with her but it tells me that they might have married after 1930 which explains why we can't find them together in the 1930 census.

In the 1930 census, found in Hibbing Village, St Louis County, MN is:

Anfina Koski, 48, D (divorced?), imm 1900
son Wayne, 23
son Arthur, 25
d-in-law Hilma, 23
grandson Roy, 3 1/2
grandson Raymond, 3 1/2

I went back to Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and tried to find Gus under Mattson, Maki, Johnson, Walimaki, & Valimaki using exact match and Soundex but couldn't find anything definitive.

It might be worthwhile to check MN Genweb and see if there's anything useful (resource-wise) there. Maybe some volunteers who could do lookups for a marriage.

I'll poke around some more and see if anything turns up.