View Full Version : Gunnar Back, Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer

01-10-03, 21:39
Probably from Övermark. Do any of you have a village of origin for his parents. They may have emigrated to Escanaba Michigan. I plan to feature him as a Swedish Finn who contributed to American culture in the SFHS exhibit for the 2004 FinnFest.

June Pelo
01-10-03, 23:38

I have a Gunnar Andersson Bäck, b. 13 Mar 1909 in Karleby, married 1937 to Saga Lovisa Limnell, b. 1911. Gunnar was the son of Anders Johansson Bäck, b. 1872 in Kronoby, married to Signe Sofia Hagberg. They had 2 children and were divorced. Don't know if this is the Gunnar you are looking for - have no other data on him. I have a note that Hasse Andtbacka has something on this family.


02-10-03, 06:02
Thanks, June! And I can check in the Lassas collection, until I hear from Hasse.

Hasse Andtbacka
02-10-03, 10:09
This Gunnar Andersson Bäck, born 1909 in Knifsund, Öja lived in Helsingfors most of his life.

Hasse A

02-10-03, 17:22
Thanks Hasse,
That saves me a lookup. Still seeking the parents to the famous broadcaster.

02-10-03, 18:57
Gunnar Back was born in Escanaba a son of John s and Vendla/Wendla Back. In the 1930 census father John emigrated in 1899 and wife in 1905.
Other children were Ellen and Ragnar.
In the 1920 census they have Gunnar as Runar
Father was born about 1880 finland 39 in 1920 and Vendla was 32.
Of Finnish descent, Mr. Back was born in Escanaba, Mich. He grew up there, working on its newspapers, the Daily Press and the Daily Mirror, during his school and college years.

03-10-03, 00:42
Dear Alicia,
That's fantastic! Thanks so much.

03-10-03, 01:54
Thanks to Alicia, dates could be used to limit possibilities on Ellisisland.org. and Migration Institute:

One Johannes Bäck received a passport on 16.11.1899 which matches the date he states he arrived in US to census taker. His home parish is Mustasaari/Korsholm. John may have travelled to a cousin in Salt Lake, Utah in 1899, if ellisisland records refer to the correct person.

One Wendla BÄCK left Korsnäs for New York and a sister: Annie Erikson arriving in 1904. Her date of departure from Hangö was 18.05.1904, and 28.05.1904 from England.

It looks as if John and Wendla were married, possibly in Korsnäs, since that might be her home town.

Are there any Korsnäsbo who can check for their names in the church books?

Many thanks!