View Full Version : My Missing Grandfather From Terjärv by Art Fors

21-09-03, 18:56
For the past two years I have tried searching for information about my missing grandfather without much success. When he arrived in America in 1901 he probably changed his name. He may have changed it to: Fors, Forslund, Johansson, Johnson, Langfors, Lang, Longfors or Long. I am hoping the following information and list of names of the people that my grandfather associated with at the time he arrived in America will spark someone's interest and help lead me to his final resting place.
My grandfather, JOHAN JOEL JOHANSSON LÅNGFORS-BYSKATA was born 24 April 1873 in Terjärv and died unknown. He was the son of Johan Johansson Byskata-Näse-Gistö (born 23 August 1841 in Terjärv, died 24 June 1890) and Anna Gustafsdr Byskata (born 25 August 1841 in Evijärvi, died 1 July 1907).
The Institute of Migration records show Joel Byskata leaving Hanko on 8 June 1901 and his final destination listed as New York. According to Ellis Island passenger records Joel Byskata arrived in New York on 23 June 1901 aboard the S.S. City of Rome. On the ship manifest his contact person in New York was listed as Johan Hill with no address given. His traveling companions at the time are listed below and were also from Terjärv.
Name/Age/Marital Status/Contact Person/Address
Matts Wistbacka/35/single/Johan Hill/Not Listed
Alina Wistbacka/30/single/Joel Sandvik/301 W. 151 St. NY
Maria Lillrank/33/married/husband-Lillrank/235 E. 107 St. NY
Elias Lillrank/5/single/father-Lillrank/235 E. 107 St. NY
My grandfather's younger brother, Anders William Johansson Byskata (born February 14 1875 in Terjärv, died unknown) also came to the United Stated in 1901. I have no further records about him other than what is mentioned below. If I find the whereabouts of Anders Byskata this could possibly lead me to my grandfather.
The Institute of Migration shows Anders Byskata leaving Hanko on 16 November 1901 with Selina Forsbacka listed as his traveling companion. Ellis Island records show both Anders Byskata and Selina Forsbacka arriving in New York on 2 December 1901 aboard the S.S. Cymric. The ship manifest shows their contact person in New York was Mr. A. Skog living at 285 W. 147 St. New York. Selina Forsbacka was listed as 22 years old at the time and also from Terjärv.
The only other piece of unconfirmed information I have about my grandfather, as passed on by my father is; Johan Joel Johansson Långfors-Byskata was a religious man and may have trained to become a Lutheran minister at Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan. He may also have lived in Duluth, Minnesota.
My father, Johan Arne Johansson Fors (born 13 September 1900 in Terjärv, died 22 October 1974 in Squamish, B.C., Canada) never really knew his father. He was only 8-1/2 months old when my grandfather left for the US in 1901.
Art Fors
Langley, B.C., Canada

Re: My Missing Grandfather From Terjärv by Henrik Mangs

Gistö-." Byskata " (Långfors), Johan Johansson. Born 23/8 1841 in Hästbacka, Terjärv. Died 24/6 1890. Måg å Byskata.
Father Gistö, Johan Mattsson. Born 11/6 1811 in Hästbacka, Terjärv. Died 24/4 1880. Jordbrukare.
Mother Storbacka, Anna Johans.dr.. Born 21/4 1818 in Småbönders, Terjärv. Died 31/12 1861. Husmor å Gistö.
Married 13/11 1864 in Terjärv to
Byskata, Anna Gustafs.dr.. Born 25/8 1841 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died 1/7 1907. Husmor å hemgården.
Children Byskata , Sofia Johans.dr.. Born 29/10 1865 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died 1/6 1867.
Byskata , Anna Johans.dr.. Born 29/10 1865 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died .....
Byskata , Alina Johans,dr.. Born 29/5 1869 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died .....
Byskata , Johan Joel. Born 24/4 1873 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died .... in Amerika. Married 4/7 1897 in Terjärv to Pölkki, Hilma Maria Elias.dr.. Born 19/5 1873 in Karstula. Died 2/1 1929.
Byskata , Anders William Johansson. Born 14/2 1875 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died .... in Amerika.
Byskata , Karl-Emil Johansson. Born 19/11 1876 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died .....
Byskata , Henrik Gustaf Johansson. Born 19/10 1879 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died 20/12 1899.
Byskata , Amanda Lovisa. Born 27/8 1883 in Kyrkoby, Terjärv. Died 16/7 1905.
Byskata-." Särs " (Långfors), Nils Alfred Johans.s.. Born 12/4 1886 in Terjärv. Died 30/3 1963. Bodde och levde å Särs. Married 1/6 1916 in Terjärv to Ravald, Hilma Selina. Born 31/1 1879 in Hästbacka, Terjärv. Died ..... Bodde och levde å.

Henrik Mangs

Art Fors
16-06-05, 21:42
I recently found new information on my grandfather with his name listed as Johan Joel Fors on a "World War I Draft Registration Card" dated 12 September 1918. I have attached the original copy showing some of the following details.

- Permanent Home Address: Lake Nebagamon, Douglas Co., Wisconsin
- Age: 45
- Date of Birth: 13 July 1873
- Citizen of what Country: Finland
- Present Occupation: Carpenter
- Place of Employment: Lake Nebagamon, Douglas Co., Wisconsin
- Nearest Relative" Hildur Fors (daughter)
- Address of Relative: Terjärv, Finland

June Pelo
17-06-05, 02:41
I have him in my database with a death date of 1 Jan 1960, America. No further info. about him.


Art Fors
17-06-05, 06:57
Hello June,

I also have the same death date for Johan Joel in my database but this is only a date entered in the Terjärv parish records to "close the book on him" so to speak.

17-06-05, 20:40
No luck at Swenson Swedish Immigration Center - no Johan Joel Fors or the other surnames at the lutheran church or the baptist churches in Lake Nebagamon, WI

June Pelo
18-06-05, 02:32

Have you had any contact with Joelle Steele? She has compiled a lot of data about people from Terjärv and she also helps with Terjärv research. She has a book about Steele/Forström families at: http://www.joellesteele.com/Steele-Forstrom.pdf

She is co-editor of the SFHS Quarterly. Her website has pictures of Swede-Finns:

She offers free research to Terjärv descendants:

Maybe she will have something about Johan Joel.


Jim Bailey
18-06-05, 18:33
Hej, Art ----

My data shows your father married to Elna Amanda Leandersdotter Jakobsson (data from TALKO-Andtbacka).

If you are their son, then you and I are related. Elna Amanda was my second cousin, twice removed.

All my research is on TALKO but, since I sent the GEDCOM to Hasse, I have added about 2,000 more names. Must send him an updated version.

In any case, you can follow my research on TALKO, or I'd be glad to share anything I have by direct e-mail.


All the best, cousin ---


Art Fors
20-06-05, 19:10
Thanks Chuck for searching the Swenson Swedish Immigration Center records for me and to June for the new lead. I have already contacted Joelle Steele but she was unable to help.

Jim I will contact you privately about Elna Amanda Leandersdotter Jakobsson. Elna is not my mother.

I just found new info at Ancestry.com that may help with my grandfather's search. The 1910 United States Federal Census lists a John Fors that may fit his profile. Here are some of the details listed below.

Name: John Fors
Home in 1910: Quincy Twp, Houghton, Michigan (30 Apr 1910)
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age in 1910: 36
Estimated birth year: abt 1874
Marital Status: Married
Number of Years Married: 1
Place of Birth: Swede (Finnish)
Place of Birth of Father: Swede (Finnish)
Place of Birth of Mother: Swede (Finnish)
Year of Immigration: 1904
Occupation: Miner
Industry: Copper Mine
Wife's Name: ?Sima
Wife's Age: 34
Son's Name: Fredolf
Son's Age: 9/12

Thanks again for all your help.