View Full Version : affording immigration

05-01-05, 16:46
My Grandfather, age 27 & his new bride boarded a vessel,(SS City of Chicago) in 1892 to immigrate to the US where they settled, raised their family & died. I am having trouble understanding how they could have paid for such a voyage and bought the house where they would live the rest of their days. The census report of 1900 shows the address of the house they bought I was under the impression that travel abroad was rare & only for the very rich. I don't think my relatives were wealthy. Was there some kind of funding for this?

June Pelo
05-01-05, 20:51
I was under the impression that boat tickets weren't very expensive in the 1890s. My father, his mother and sister came to the US in 1909 and the price of their ticket was 292 FIM. I don't know what that equals in USD at the time.. but I do know they didn't have a lot of money - just what my grandmother saved up by doing various jobs around Karleby. And I think the cost of train fair to their destination was included - or am I mistaken? Many Finlanders emigrated to the "golden land" in those days and most of them probably were country people without much money. In some instances, relatives in America sent money to Finland for the ticket fare.


Jaska Sarell
05-01-05, 21:37
According to a simple conversion table I found here (http://personal.inet.fi/koti/jiipee/rahanarvo.html), 292 FIM in 1909 would equal 5707 FIM in 2001, i.e. somewhat below 1000 euro.
The conversion rate is based on the cost of living index.

:) Jaska

06-01-05, 04:05
My mother crossed in 1910 from Hango to New York with three daughters, ages 7, 3, and 9 months aboard the Arcturus from Hango to Hull, by train from Hull to Liverpool and aboard the Lusitania to New York, a six day voyage. Fortunately, the next "stop" was in New Jersey, not far from Ellis Island. The entire fare was $18.00 Hango to New York for the four of them.
My son , just the other day, parked quite close to the New York
waterfront where the cruise ships dock. Parking fee was $40.00 for the day. Mother had the better deal.

06-01-05, 05:37

Just a word of public thanks again to Krister Bjorklund of the
Intitute of Migration, Abo, Finland for the very complete and
informative return e-mail giving me all the details of that voyage
my mother took with her brood at age 27, as a worker's wife
from Munsala, rejoining her carpenter husband, Gustaf, who
had crossed in 1909, little realizig his fellow passengers on that
particular voyage were the Pelo family, as June Pelo and I had
recently discovered through Ellis Island records.

Kaj Granlund
07-01-05, 20:32
The emigrants weren't usually from wealthy families. They borrowed from others (neighbours, siblings) or their tickets were pre-paid by relatives/friends in the USA. And as they got money they paid the money back. Usually people that got a better income knew the siutaition at home in Sweden or Finland wasn't good and wanted to help them to a better life. And boys could pay for the tickets of "his" girl ;)

07-01-05, 23:53
I am very interested in knowing "how" things were in Finnland, as you say. What was the situation? Thanks, Don

Shirley King
08-01-05, 01:56
I wrote a paper or two for my college history classes and much of the information I found useful came from the Swedish Finn Historical Society. Visit their website and read many interesting articles about the history of Finland and why so many had immigrated. Also June Pelo's website is facinating and full of interesting information.
The Finns have a very interesting story!
Shirley King:cool:

08-01-05, 02:26
Hi Shirley,

The well is deep and full of challenges when considering the
legacy called Finland.

One nugget of this legacy is found in the recent and still very
popular "The Lord of The Rings" from the creative genius of
J.R.R. Tolkien who was totally captivated by the Finnish National
Epic known as The Kalevala , the work of an obscure, virtually
unknown Finn.

Millions have seen the film, little realizing the origin of the
subject-matter, from that fascinating land belted by the Arctic

Shirley, start with the Internet and J.R. R. Tolkien but make sure
you have a full pot of coffee.


Shirley King
08-01-05, 03:29
Wow, that's cool! I had heard there was a link bewteen The Lord of the Rings and Finland, but I never really dived into researching it. This may be the perfect weekend to do so, as we here in NE Nevada are supposed to get a massive snowstorm (yipee!) and I may not be able to get out of my driveway!!!!
Thanks for the info!