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Eriksson
27-02-05, 20:11
I'm looking for information on my grandfather's uncle Henry Wiitala and his family. I would like to contact Henry's descendants / my relatives in USA, but I have a problem: I don't know any names of Henry Wiitala's grandchildrens or their children. The current family information I got covers only persons who have passed away for a long time ago, so I don't have any names of younger, still living generations.

Here follows all information I know about Henry and his family:

Henry Kaappo (Gabriel) Wiitala
b. March 19th 1875 Alavus, Finland; d. March 21th 1950 Ashtabula, Ohio
Spouse: Waava Adolfiina
b. April 11th 1876 Peraseinajoki, Finland; d. ?
Children:
Erkki Lahja Wiitala, b. August 19th 1896 Alavus, Finland; d. ?
Henry Alfred Wiitala, b. December 17th 1898 Alavus, Finland; d. ?
Anna Lyydia Wiitala, b. June 8th 1901 Alavus, Finland; d. July 27th 1993 Ashtabula, Ohio. Husband: Michael Puchan
Aili Maria Wiitala, b. April 28th 1908 Alavus, Finland; d. ? Husband: John Mahoney. Moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

My greatgreatuncle moved from Alavus, Finland to USA in 1912. First he lived with his family in Michigan, probably in Houghton area, and worked in copper mines. From Michigan they moved to Ashtabula, Ohio in late 1920's.

I don't have any ideas what kind of families Henry's childrens have had. Only information is that Henry Wiitala Sr. had 8 grandchildren and 4 grandgrandchildren at the time he died - this information is mentioned in Henry's obituary from 1950.

If someone could find out the names of Henry's descendants for me, I would be very thankful!

Marko

granskare
27-02-05, 21:20
Marko, you forgot your ggf, Kaappo (Gabriel) Rintala, who lived with John Wiitala in Baltic, MI arriving in Hancock in 1901 and staying for just a few years before returning to Finland.

I am doubtful I can find him in Swenson church records but maybe Kev or Jeanette can work their magic?

Chuck:)

Eriksson
27-02-05, 22:19
I really forgot... My grandfather's father Kaappo/Gabriel Rintala, born 2.23.1873 Alavus moved in November 1901 from Finland and travelled to Hancock, Michigan. Back to Finland he got in 1903 or 1904.

The question is that what he did after arriving to Hancock: did he reside somewhere in Michigan those years, or did he continue trip to somewhere else. Once chance is that he lived at his wife's brother's house in Houghton, but I'm not sure about that. If yes, then he probably worked at the mines. That would be nice to know!

If someone has ideas how to find out Gabriel's history in USA, I'm very thankful again!

Marko





Originally posted by granskare
Marko, you forgot your ggf, Kaappo (Gabriel) Rintala, who lived with John Wiitala in Baltic, MI arriving in Hancock in 1901 and staying for just a few years before returning to Finland.

I am doubtful I can find him in Swenson church records but maybe Kev or Jeanette can work their magic?

Chuck:)

kpaavola
28-02-05, 04:09
Hi Marko,
I saw your posting on Finngen and was going to reply to you there. Glad I checked here first!

I'm attaching an image from the 1930 census in Ashtabula, Ohio. Something's not quite right with some of the data you listed if this image is the correct people (which it seems likely that it is).

This record has Henry A Wiitala, 31, single, living with his mother, Vaava A. and stepfather, John O. Hyvonen. According to this census, it appears John and Waava have been married about 10 years (he was 37 yrs old). The age listed for Waava would relate to her 1st marriage (17 yrs old). I'm curious as you mentioned a death date of 1950 for Henry Gabriel.

I'm researching Wiitalas myself so I know there weren't a whole lot in the US. That's why I think this is your family. My paternal grandmother was a Wiitala, but from Lohtaja. :)

Let me look at some of the other records and see what else I can find.

kpaavola
28-02-05, 04:15
Marko,
I forgot to mention that on the above census record Henry A was working as a laborer at a gas company. The year of immigration for all three people was 1911.

kpaavola
28-02-05, 05:02
I found the following in the Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 1930 census. Not positive it's Aili as the name is listed as Ila, age is off by a year or so and the immigration year is listed as 1909 rather than 1911. It was the only Mahoney I could find that matched. They were married about 1926.

kpaavola
28-02-05, 05:06
No luck finding the others in the census yet. I'll try again tomorrow. I did try to search Wiitala in Michigan in 1920 but nothing that matched.

Concerning Gabriel Rintala: If he was only here for 2 or 3 years, it may be difficult finding any kind of record of him. If you think he worked in a mine, it's possible that there is some type of list of miners, but I don't know if they exist.

I believe Ashtabula has a genealogy society that is very helpful. I don't recall the url of the website but if you go to www.google.com and enter in Ashtabula and genealogy you'll probably find it very easily. Sending them a query might be useful to finding additional information as well as possibly getting in contact with living descendants.

I'll be back if I find anything further and will post here accordingly.

btw, Welcome to the Finlander Forum! :)

Eriksson
28-02-05, 07:40
Hi!

Thanks for information. Vaava and Henry were divorced in some time, don't know when. Maybe even before Henry moved to Ohio? Vaava's name wasn't said in the Henry's obituary in 1950.

Anyway, I also know that in 1930 Henry Wiitala lived with family Barone in Ashtabula: Pargane C Barone, b. 1899, Lillian Barone, b. 1902, children Clarence Barone, b. 1926 and Rose M Barone, b. 1921.

Marko






Originally posted by kpaavola
Hi Marko,
I saw your posting on Finngen and was going to reply to you there. Glad I checked here first!

I'm attaching an image from the 1930 census in Ashtabula, Ohio. Something's not quite right with some of the data you listed if this image is the correct people (which it seems likely that it is).

This record has Henry A Wiitala, 31, single, living with his mother, Vaava A. and stepfather, John O. Hyvonen. According to this census, it appears John and Waava have been married about 10 years (he was 37 yrs old). The age listed for Waava would relate to her 1st marriage (17 yrs old). I'm curious as you mentioned a death date of 1950 for Henry Gabriel.

I'm researching Wiitalas myself so I know there weren't a whole lot in the US. That's why I think this is your family. My paternal grandmother was a Wiitala, but from Lohtaja. :)

Let me look at some of the other records and see what else I can find.

Eriksson
28-02-05, 12:54
I'm not surprised if Ila is the very same person. Aili is Finnish name and maybe Ila was easier to spell or something. Anyway, Aili Wiitala-Mahoney lived in Cleveland in 1950 since her name is mentioned on his father's obituary: "...Mrs. Aili Mahoney of Cleveland...". Don't know when she moved there. But now I noticed that obituary really says Aili, not Ila... :confused:

Marko




Originally posted by kpaavola
I found the following in the Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 1930 census. Not positive it's Aili as the name is listed as Ila, age is off by a year or so and the immigration year is listed as 1909 rather than 1911. It was the only Mahoney I could find that matched. They were married about 1926.

jeanette
28-02-05, 22:32
Hi Marko,
On the Heritage Quest cd Scandinavians in the 1910 US Federal Census I found the following Wiitala. Could your Henry be the one listed in Calumet? There was also a Wiitala living in Ohio then. I have posted all Wiitala and Rintala names from both states. Perhaps you will recognise other names.

WIITALA,ELIJAS,29,M,FIN,HOUGHTON,ADAMSTWP,646,1,19 4,A,MI
WIITALA,HENRY,34,M,FIN,HOUGHTON,CALUMETTWP,646,2,2 10,B,MI
WIITALA,ISAAC,47,M,FIN,HOUGHTON,FRANKLINTWP,647,1, 157,A,MI
WIITALA,MATT,24,M,FIN,MARQUETTE,FORSYTHTWP,662,2,5 7,A,MI
WIITALA,MIKKO,22,M,FIN,MARQUETTE,RICHMONDTWP,662,2 ,220,B,MI
WIITALA,AXEL,25,M,FIN,MARQUETTE,3-WD MARQUETTE,662,1,189, B,MI
WIITALA,GUST,27,M,W,FIN,ONTONAGON,ROCKLANDTWP,667, 2,281,B,MI
WIITALA,JOHN,33,M,W,FIN,ASHTABULA,CONNEAUT,1152,2, 17,B,OH

RINTALA,GUSTAVE,43,M,FINHOUGHTON,PORTAGETWP,647,2, 177,B,MI
RINTALA,HILDA,18,F,FIN,HOUGHTON,ADAMS TWP,646,1,153,A,MI
RINTALA,JOHN,26,M,W,FIN,HOUGHTON,ADAMS TWP,646,1,127,B,MI
RINTALA,SAMUEL,25,M,FIN,GOGEBIC,8-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,186, B,MI
RINTALA,AUGUST,29,M,FIN,GOGEBIC,4-WDIRONWOOD,647,3,134, A,MI
RINTALA,NESTOR,31,M,FIN,GOGEBIC,6-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,168, B,MI
RINTALA,ELLEN,22,F,FIN,GOGEBIC,3-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,116,B, MI
RINTALA,ETHIL,51,F,FIN,GOGEBIC,8-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,189,B, MI
RINTALA,JOHN,24,M,FIN,GOGEBIC,8-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,185,B, MI
RINTALA,SAMUEL,24,M,FIN,GOGEBIC,8-WD IRONWOOD,647,3,206, A,MI
RINTALA,G ERIK,35,M,FIN,ASHTABULA,4WDCONNEAUT,1152,2,110
B, OH
RINTALA,ELISABET,44,F,FIN,ASHTABULA,1-WDASHTABULA,1152,1, 55,B,OH

Jeanette

kpaavola
01-03-05, 01:54
Originally posted by Eriksson
Vaava and Henry were divorced in some time, don't know when. Maybe even before Henry moved to Ohio? Vaava's name wasn't said in the Henry's obituary in 1950.

That makes sense. I don't know why I never really think about divorce in the "old days".

kpaavola
01-03-05, 03:12
Originally posted by Eriksson
Anyway, I also know that in 1930 Henry Wiitala lived with family Barone in Ashtabula: Pargane C Barone, b. 1899, Lillian Barone, b. 1902, children Clarence Barone, b. 1926 and Rose M Barone, b. 1921.

This is an interesting image. Maybe you already know these details. Apparently, Lillian is Henry Wiitala's daughter and is married to Pargane Barone. They have two children together. It seems Lillian, Henry's daughter, was previously married as the first daughter has a different last name and her father is listed as born in "Serbia-Yugo" (Serbia is in the former Yugoslavia).

Henry's immigration year is listed as 1903.

The image is rather poor quality. I tried to adjust it to make it somewhat easier to read. This was found in Ashtabula.

kpaavola
01-03-05, 03:17
And here's the Henry Wiitala from the 1910 census that Jeanette mentioned. Name, age match and the immigration year of 1903 matches what I saw in the 1930 census. There is a brother and sister in law listed as well, along with another wife and children.

You can decide if this is him or not. ;)

jeanette
01-03-05, 07:04
Aili Maria Wiitala, b. April 28th 1908 d.? Husband: John Maloney moved to Cleveland, Ohio

On the SSDI I found
ILA MAHONEY b.28 Apr 1908 d.Nov 1984 44102 (Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH) (none specified) 274-44-7792 Ohio

There were two possibilities for John Mahoney this was the closest match to the 1930 census information.
JOHN MAHONEY b.14 Feb 1907 d. Mar 1976 44140 (Bay Village, Cuyahoga, OH)(none specified) 274-05-2438 Ohio



Anna Lyydia Wiitala, b. June 8th 1901 Alavus, Finland; d. July 27th 1993 Ashtabula, Ohio. Husband: Michael Puchan

LILLIAN A PUCHAN b.08 Jun 1901 d.27 Jul 1993 44004 (Ashtabula, Ashtabula, OH) (none specified) 273-20-2156 Ohio

Also found this site is a partial death index for Ohio 1913-1937
http://www.ohiohistory.org/ar_tools.html

Jeanette

Eriksson
01-03-05, 19:36
Thank you Kevin & Jeanette for the news! Great job. Very interesting information you have found this far.

That's new info if Henry were in USA alone before 1912 when whole family moved. But not impossible, actually I think it's very probable. Also, there was 7 years between his and Vaava's daughters born: I guess Henry was in USA few years since 1903 and got back in 1907 or so. And few years later they all moved away from Finland.

Umm, what's the name and the age of the Barone kids' sister in law? Is it Vieno? Scan is very small and the handwriting isn't best I have seen... ;) Anyway, this was totally new to me too. I guess this means Lillian was married several times and the last (third?) husband he had was Michael Puchan whose name is on Henry's obituary in 1950.

I don't believe that my Henry is same person as in 1910 census. Sounds weird if he had a another wife and couple of kids. I know Henry's siblings and parents and I'm 100% sure that he didn't have a sister in law. It's true, that he had few brothers in US, but no one of them - John, Oscar, Reino - is mentioned on that scan. On the paper the name of the brother isn't any of them. But it's true that there are few similarities between Henrys: that puts to think!

Marko

granskare
01-03-05, 20:01
Concerning Gabriel Rintala: If he was only here for 2 or 3 years, it may be difficult finding any kind of record of him.

Hi Marko,
Well, as Kev said, finding him will be almost a miracle.
Because he stayed in Baltic, perhaps Baltic Mining Company records are at Michigan Tech in Houghton?
http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/guide.aspx
This is the url of Tech's historical stuff

I could not find him or Wiitala, any Wiitala in Ashtabula Ohio but I was pretty much pessimistic about finding them especially when the guy in Ashtabula was buried from a Finnish Congregational Church. Only hope would be to find those church records at the Finnish archives in Hancock, MI.

http://www.genealogia.fi/emi/indexe.htm
Here there is a list of deaths and there are 2 Wiitala ppl - this child's father was named John.
"Register No. 17; WIITALA, YRJO A.; Born: Jul 2, 1911; Place of birth: Michigan; Date of death: May 25, 1912; Time of death: 12 p.m.; Age: 10 m. 23 d.; Cause of death: broncho pneumonia; Attended by signer from: May 9, 1912; Attended by signer to: May 25, 1912; Alive: May 24, 1912; Father: John Wiitala; Birth place of father: Finland; Mother: Maria Lindberg; Birth place of mother: Finland; Sex: male; Color or race: white; Informant: Senia Wiitala. Redridge, Mich.; Other contributory causes: gastoenteritis; Signed: Paul B. Work; Trimountain; Date signed: May 27, 1912; Place of burial: Redridge cemetery; Date of burial: May 28, 1912; Undertaker: Jak. Holmlund; Address of undertaker: Atlantic Mine."

Good luck !
Chuck

kpaavola
01-03-05, 21:20
Hi Marko,
Here are the details of the images for Henry 1910 and the Barone family.

Henry Wiitala
Annie, wife
Elva, daughter, 4
Reion, son, 7 months
Urho Kahila - boarder
George Wiitala - brother (to Henry)
Tyyna (Tyyne?) Taivalmaki - sister in law (to Henry)

Pargane Barone
Lillian, wife
Eleanor Beslich, step daughter, 9 (child from Lillian's previous marriage)
Clarence Barone, son 4y 7m
Rose M, daughter, 8m
Henry Wiitala - father in law (Lillian's father)

Could it be possible that this is the same Henry and he did come to US in 1903 then married this Annie and had a couple of children? They were married about 1905 according to the census. Maybe when his wife found out that's why she divorced him? Just a guess?

I know I've heard other's stories about men who left wives and children in Finland. I've never heard of the wife ultimately following the husband though. But then again, it could be a valid reason they ended up divorcing. Of course this could be the wrong Henry with just similar data about him and the real Henry is in the census but just indexed under a misspelled name.

Things to ponder...

Eriksson
02-03-05, 11:16
Thanks again. You are right that there are many stories about husbands who have new families in "new world" - I even know one story. But I'm still pessimistic that in this case Henry Wiitala would have had wife Annie and kids with her. That wouldn't be impossible, but on the very same page is mentioned that George would be his brother and Tyyne his sister in law: I'm 100% sure he had no such siblings.

Do you have any good advices how to find out are Mr. Clarence Barone or his sister(s) still living somewhere? I would like so much to contact them. I just checked US phonedirectory and there were no Clarence Barones... And Rose is probably married lady and she have had / has different family name which is unknown.

By the way, there is one thing I think is really strange: why there are no markings about Henry's oldest son Erkki Lahja? Henry Alfred, Lillian and Ila have been mentioned. Erkki Lahja was 18 year old at the time the family moved to USA, so maybe he have had own family there quite soon after that.

M

granskare
16-03-05, 19:26
I am posting this image because it was a missing manifest.
I went to Ellis Island to find Gabriel and did find a guy who traveled in 1902 but the image was of the wrong ship so I emailed Ellis Island to ask about finding that manifest.
I got an answer from them with instructions and voila! I found this guy but as I said, he's likely wrong - wrong age in 1902, etc.
I sent the howto to Kevin because he's more of a techy than I.
Chuck:)