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KathyMc
26-08-05, 00:07
I'm so happy to have found this forum! I've been unable to progress in my research on my maternal grandmother, a Swede from Oravais, Finland. A cousin in Sweden (who is researching my Swedish grandfather's side of the family) pointed out that I could be working on the wrong name, and I think he might be right. We were told she was Edna Johanna Westland, born in 1883 in Oravais. My cousin asked if she might have been Edla Johanna Vesterlund, which is a name he's found. That got me poking around the internet, and I found a record on www.ellisisland.org that I think shows her arrival in the US in 1899. In that record, she is called Edla Westerlund, age 18, and was going to Michigan to stay with her sister. That all matches with what we thought, except for the age, which we could easily have gotten wrong. On www.migrationinstitute.fi I found a passport entry for Edla Johanna Westerlund born in 1881. That would match up with the age for the person I found at Ellis Island. I don't have a subscription to view the entire passport entry, and would appreciate it if someone might look it up for me. I would also love to get more information from anyone who knows more about Westerlund/Vesterlund relatives from around Oravais. As far as I know, Edla came to Escanaba MI in 1899 to work as a servant, then moved to Seattle and then to Butte, Montana when the family she worked for moved. She married my grandfather, Hjalmar Anderson in Montana sometime before 1913. Her older sister was Mary (originally Maria, we think), and she married Andrew Lind in Montana. Their 3 children were Carl, Walter and Ilmer. Edla and Mary also had a brother Carl. Their parents were Carl Westerlund? and Maria Thors. I would love to learn more. Thank you in advance!
Kathy
Seattle WA

staffan
26-08-05, 00:50
Welcome to the Finlander Forum,

Edla Johanna Westerlund from Oravais b. 1881 made two trips according to both the passport and passenger records.
The first passport was issued on June 7, 1899 and the second one on August 18, 1904. Each passport was valid for five years. The passport was actually not required by the American authorities by that time but only by the Finnish authorities.

On her first trip she departed Hangö onboard the ASTRAEA on Sept 7, 1899 (Usually emigrants left within one to two weeks after they got their passports but I think it is she. You can compare the date with your Ellis Island info). Her second trip was with the POLARIS from Hangö on Aug 24, 1904 and the ship from England was said to be the MAJESTETIC on August 31, 1904.

Regards,

staffan
26-08-05, 02:46
Well, I checked the Ellis Island archive and the date of arrival June 24, 1899 does not match the date of departure Sept 7, 1899 from Finland. It would not be the first time I have detected obviously wrong dates in the Emigrant Register so I'm a bit inclined to believe that the date of departure from Finland is wrong. If you are very keen to get it more thoroughly investigated, please send a request to the Institute of Migration and ask them to check the original passenger lists. It would do them a favour if they can correct errors in their online database.

KathyMc
26-08-05, 06:05
Thanks for your research help, Steffan. I noticed the same thing when comparing the 2 sources. The Ellis Island record shows a June 24 arrival, so that is more consistent with the passport issue date of June 7 - would she be able to make the trip that quickly? Apparently she would go from Finland to England first, but I'm not well-informed about trip duration. Your mention of a second trip is intriguing. We were not aware that she returned to Finland, but I'll keep investigating.
Kathy

staffan
26-08-05, 17:35
Even if she departed on June 10, 1899 she can have arrived at Ellis Island on June 24, 1899. Please ask the Migration Institute if all of the persons below or at least Edla Johanna Westerlund said to have departured on Sept 7, 1899 instead on account of some confusion (transcription error etc.) have departed in June 1899, presumably June 10 or one week prior to that date. I suggest she departed on June 10, 1899 on the ASTRAEA from Hangö.

Below is the remarkable short list of passengers of Sept 7, 1899 retrieved from the online database and which I suggest is in error as regard to the date - at least regarding Edla Johanna Westerlund:

---------
Search results (Passenger records)

Last name
First names
Place of destination
State
Country
Date
Forsberg
Anders
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Gustafson
Sandra
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Hietala
Matti
Hancock
MI
USA
07.09.1899
Juntonen
Hanna
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Juntonen
Kaisa
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Kylmänen
Perttu
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Leskelä
Sofia
Mills
MN
USA
07.09.1899
Määttä
Johanna
Mills
MN
USA
07.09.1899
Österman
Selma W.
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Rintala
Salomon
Hancock
MI
USA
07.09.1899
Rintala
Samuel
Hancock
MI
USA
07.09.1899
Savonpää
Maria
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Sundvall
Alma
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899
Westerlund
Edla
New York
NY
USA
07.09.1899

KathyMc
26-08-05, 19:15
Okay Staffan - I have e-mailed the genealogist at the Migration Institute, and will let you know what I find out. I have one more question for you: on the records you found, did they include her middle name, Johanna?
Thanks again!
Kathy

staffan
27-08-05, 14:36
She is recorded with the full name Edla Johanna Westerlund in the Finnish records except the passenger record in 1899. I studied a sample of the passengers 07.09.1899 with the help of the Ellis Island archive and they had arrived in Sept-Oct 1899 so it seems that there was a departure of the ASTRAEA on 07.09.1899 with only 14 emigrants.

staffan
27-08-05, 16:57
I crosschecked both the passenger lists of the Finland Steamship Company and the Ellis Island archives regarding passengers from Finland on June 10, 1899 and Finnish passengers arriving on June 24 1899 at Ellis Island but was not able to come to any conclusion. It almost seems that the Finnish passengers arriving on June 24 1899 on the ST. PAUL from Southampton with one possible exception had not sailed on a Finland Steamship Company ship from Hangö. One passenger who departed Finland on June 10 1899 from Hangö arrived at Ellis Island on June 29, 1899. It means that the journey took ca 19 days which I think was quite average by that time but the trip could also be made in two weeks from Finland via England by that time. It is possible that Edla Westerlund of Sept 1899 is a different person and that your Edla Johanna Westerlund sailed on a German or Swedish or Norwegian feeder ship to Southampton from where the ST. PAUL departed on June 17, 1899 and arrived at Ellis Island, New York one week later.

KathyMc
29-08-05, 18:39
You're right, according to the Immigration Institute reply to my inquiry:

"Edla Westerlund you found in our passenger records leaving Hanko on 7 September 1899 is not the correct person. This Edla was Edla Maria Westerlund from Mustasaari, born in 1884 and passport for her was issued on 4 September 1899.

So, the Ellis Island Edla is correct but we do not know how she left Finland. Most likely she traveled first to Sweden and continued the voyage from some Swedish port as most emigrants did in 1890's. We do not have passenger records for those who went to America via Sweden. If you like you can ask the Swedish institute at http://www.swemi.nu/ They do not have records on-line."

Thanks again for your help in "finding" my grandmother. I'm very confident that the Ellis Island record is the right one. Now I'll have to work on finding her parents, and her brother Carl, who stayed in Oravais, apparently.

Kathy

Kaj Granlund
03-09-05, 08:09
might have some addressses for you, please send me your email, (cannot send a private message to you as your postbox abviously is full)