View Full Version : New member

28-03-06, 17:28
My grandparents all came from Finland but I am told some may have Swedish background too and maybe even some German.

My father's name was spelled many ways including: Haribakka, Harabakka, Heribacka. I have recently found some people with the name Harapakka and wonder if that's another spelling variation. I have been told my grandfather's name was Mattson in Finland but can't veryify this.

If anyone can help, me here are my grandparents:

Matti Haribakka (Heribacka, Harabakka, possibly Mattson)
b. 10-4-1873
Purmo, Finland

Lydia Wisti (Visti)
b. 17-6-1876
Kortesjarvi, Finland

Married: 16-4-1898 in Fitchburg, MA

They also lived in Republic, Negaunee, Rumely, Michigan

Mother's parents:

Antti Hurtig (changed to Andrew Nelson in the U.S.) Also used Nielson for a short time.
b. 24-3-1873
Kemi, Finland

Jenni Starkman
b. 2-8-1878
Tornio, Finland

Married: 25-8-1896 in Tower, MN

They also resided in Hancock, Ishpeming, and Diorite, Michigan

Thanks for any advice or help you can give me and I look forward to getting to know you all better.


June Pelo
29-03-06, 02:40
The Harabacka name was found in Kaustinen, Vetel and Kronoby. I checked Hiski for Harabacka in Purmo, but didn't find anyone. Perhaps somone on Finlander has Purmo data? On IGI there was a Matts Leander Karlsson Harabacka, b. 11 Dec 1876 in Kaustinen, and a Matti Viljam Mattsson Harabacka, b. 27 Nov 1882 in Vetil. Also found Matts Leander Mattsson Harabacka, b. 25 Sep 1876 on Harabacka farm in Kronoby to Matts Jakobsson and Greta Jakobsdotter.

I looked for Lydia Wisti but the only person with that name on IGI was from Germany. I didn't find the name in Kortesjärvi. I found Lydia Alexandra, b. 17 Jun 1876 in Ikaalinen parish on Hätävara farm, born to Johaan Mickelsson and Ida Willman. There was also Anna Lydia Harabacka, b. 7 Oct 1876 in Kaustinen to Abram Johansson Harabacka and Josefina.

There is a Craig Wisti who has his family data online. I don't have the URL but you can find it on google by typing Craig Wisti in the search box.


29-03-06, 03:23
Thank you so much, June, for your fast response and such good information. I have looked for years and never found that! I will see if some of it matches my family but I am sure it does. The part about the Harabacka farm was especially exciting since I remember my father saying our name was after a farm in Finland. I am so excited!! Thank you so much. I will write more later again.


PS. I checked and I don't think these are my family, with the exception of the Harabacka farm lead. My grandfather is Matti Emil Harabakka and his father's name is Antti and mother is Hanna. He was born in Purmo on April 10, 1873. He had a twin sister named Lillian and at least 3 brothers, Herman, Andrew and John. Herman took the name Anderson in the U.S., Andrew took Hautimaki but returned to Finland and continued to use Hautimaki. John used Haribakka but died a few years after coming to the states. The twin sister died when she was about 20 years old during childbirth.

June, could you tell me more about this Harabacka farm? And how do I look on this IGI and Hiski stuff? I'm sorry but it is all new to me.


Jaska Sarell
29-03-06, 11:50
Hi Terri,
HisKi (http://www.genealogia.fi/hiski?en) database has Purmo marriages until 1894. There's three potential marriages between Anders and Johanna (often shortened as Hanna) in 1868 to 1870 (the fourth in 1871 does not apply, I know that one). One interesting possibility is one that concerns farm named Härjebacka (sounds close to Heribacka).
Anyway I can have a look at birth records on my next visit to the National Archives in Helsinki. They have Purmo birth records available until 1875. Unfortunately the communion books extend only to 1867 - later books could tell more about the family in question.
Do you know the birthdates of the sibblings?

BTW. Kortesjärvi seems to be even worse represented in the NA :mad:

:) Jaska
(whose great grandfather was born in Purmo)

29-03-06, 18:26
Hi Jaska,

Thank you for your willingness to help me and I would very much appreciate it if you could look into the archives in Helsinki on my behalf.

I have information on two if my grandfather's siblings. the first is for Herman, it is March 23, 1880 in Purmo. He took the last name Anderson in the U.S. Herman married his wife in the U.S. but she also was born in Purmo. Her name is Anna Lean Mattson b. April 15, 1888. Herman and Anna came to the U.S. around 1904 or 1905.

The other sibling's year of birth that I know of is John, who was born in 1883.

My grandfather's parents died around 1886, I believe in Purmo, rman lived with several famillies in Purmo. My grandfather was about 13 when his parents died so he may have been on his own. My grandfather came to the U.S. I think my grandfather was on his own by then, since he was born in 1873. I know he was already in the U.S. by 1898 as he married my grandmother in April 1898 in Fitchburg, Mass. then. I have not been able to find the immigration records for him, but did find one record in 1910 for a Matti Harapakka who said he had made 2 other trips here but not as early as I think my grandfather first came, so I don't know if this is the correct Matti in 1910.

Here it is more organized:

Parents were Antti and Hanna. Both had died by1886 because Heman had told his decendents that he was orphaned when he was 6 years old.

Matti Emil b. 10 April 1873 Purmo d. 25 Aug. 1947 Michigan

A twin sister, Lillian 10 April 1873 (but I'm not 100% sure it was a twin. She died in1894 in Finland around 20 years of age.

Herman b. 23 March 1880 d. Feb. 1961 in Michigan

Andrew's birth and death dates unknown but he used name of Hautimaki in the U.S and Finland when he went back. When he returned to Finland, about 1915, he went to Nokia. He had at least one son, Toivo, who lived in Tampere and he died around 75 years of age. Toivo Hautimaki b. abt. 1922 in Finland d. 29 or 30 Aug. 1997 (possibly Tampere)

John b. 1883 d. 1 Dec. 1912 in Michigan

I will also continue to look through records as I find them, but as you can see, I'm not very familiar with Finnish names and ways. I no longer live in Michigan and don't have family around here. The family I do have in Michigan, they aren't for the most part, knowledgeable either. Most have passed away of the ones who did have answers.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

June Pelo
29-03-06, 20:34

I'll send you a PM (private message) giving details on how to use these websites.


Jaska Sarell
31-03-06, 21:42
Hi Terri,

Sorry, no results in Purmo birth records - looked through years 1870 to 1875 :mad:
As the Purmo films in NA don't go any further, I couldn't check the younger siblings.

While I had few spare minutes, I looked for your ancestors in Kemi, though "not my territory".
Antti (Anders) Hurtig's parents were:
Nils Abramsson Hurtig, b. 22 May 1842 in Liedakkala village of Kemi, and
Maria Andersdotter Huovinen, b. 20 May 1841 in Ii.
She moved from Ii to Kemi on 3 Jan 1862, and they were married in 2 Dec 1867 according to communion book note.

Tornio microfiche file was used by some other reseacher :eek:

:) Jaska

01-04-06, 00:33
Thank you for looking for me. I wonder if maybe my father's family didn't come from Purmo. Is Pori the same as Purmo? Someone said they thought it was Pori but I assumed they were the same place.

Now should I look in Ili for more info on Hurtig and Huovinen?

Please keep me in mind the next time you get access to Tonio micofiche.


Jaska Sarell
01-04-06, 11:01
Pori is quite a different place (a city in western coast), while Purmo is a neighboring parish of Kortesjärvi in Ostrobothnian inland.
It is possible that the family lived in Purmo, but some of the children have been born elsewhere. Many times the records show the later place of living as birth place :confused:
Maybe you should contact Purmo parish registry and ask if the younger siblings' birth can be found there.
> Purmo församling
> Kontaktuppgifter
I don't know, but they might look the possibility for free. Then you can order a proper report of the relevant family for a fee (charge is a little over 20 euros an hour).
Finlander community may be able to link the earlier generations to whatever common ancestors.

For Hurtig it's Kemi you need to search, but for Huovinen it's Ii (funny name, with two i-letters only - in Swedish Ijo or Ijå).

Little by little...

:) Jaska

01-04-06, 17:15

I believe that the name Harabacka is the same as Härjebacka. We have more changes in names of places in Ostrobothnia. "Hara-" comes from the word "hare" (=rabbit) and in some dialects it was spelled "Häre". In Pedersöre we have a place called "Härön" which was called "Harören" (Rabbit's Island) long ago.
Härjebacka is a place in Purmo near the border of Kortesjärvi. This could explain the other name "Hautamäki" which is a finnish name. Purmo has always been a swedish speaking area and Kortesjärvi is a finnish speaking area.

I took a look at Hiski and I believe that this is the couple Antti and Hanna you are looking for:

Vigsel: 19.7.1868
By Gård: Härjebacka
Man: B.S.Ukrl. Anders Danielsson
Hustru: Bdr. Johanna Mattsdr
By Gård: Slip

Vigsel means marriage date
B.S. means "Bondesonen" = Son of a farmer
Ukrl. means "Ungkarlen" = Young, single man
Bdr. means "Bondedottern" = Daughter of a farmer

This means that Anders Danielsson was from Härjebacka and Johanna Mattsdotter from Slip, which is another farm in Purmo. Hiski has two girls from Slip named Johanna from this time. The first was born in 1848 and the second one in 1850. Both of them were married, but I can't decide which one was married to Anders Danielsson.

I also tried to find Anders Danielsson's possible birthdate and I found one birth that could match:

Birth date: 14.4.1845
Baptisted: 20.4.1845
Farm: Wilobacka
Father: B.m. Daniel Mattsson
Mother: Cajsa Greta Henr:dr
Mother's age: 27
Children's name: Anders

The farm Wilobacka is close to Härjebacka.
B.m. means "Bondemågen" which indicates that Daniel Mattsson has been born on another farm but moved to his wife's farm Wilobacka after his marriage to Cajsa Greta.

Christian Dahlin

02-04-06, 00:02
Thank you both, Christian and Jaska, for your help. Jaska, I looked at the site you directed me too and it was all in Finnish and I couldn't find an English option. but I email someone there and will also write a letter to the parish at the address given.

Chrisitan, It was all so interesting and you explained it very well to me too. Thank you for that. It is very hard to understand Finnish ways of changing names. This site has been so helpful to me already, I wish I had found it years ago!

One thing I wonder about now, though, is Cajsa Greta Henr:dr. What does that mean and how do I go about finding out more? Is there any way I could find out details about my ancestors lives in Finland, other than they were farmers? I want to learn as much as possible about them all.

My brother was so interested in our ancestors too, but he died two years ago. He was so happy to hear I was doing geneaolgy and I sent him the information I had at the time. Then I didn't do anymore until now and I found this site.


02-04-06, 03:43
I have thought of many questions and hope one of you or someone else can help me.

I am using the Family Tree Maker and when I list these new people, how do I put their names. Such as, my great-grandparents Antti and Hanna? Do I list them as Anders and Johanna? Is Anders's last name Danielsson, or is it Mattsson because his father was Daniel Mattsson. Why is he listed as Anders anyway, I thought his name was Antti.

On Hanna, I guess we don't know yet which girl she is, but Johanna is her real name?

If a person is always identified as someone's "son or dotter" such as Mattsson, how do you ever figure out what the last name is? Didn't they really have last names? And why would they change their name just because they worked on a particular farm?

The spellings can be so many ways, that it seems they really don't care about spelling so much as the phonetic sounds, is this correct?

On the farms, do I put them in the notes or do I put them down along side of the cities? Such as Harjabacka farm, Puromo, Finland.

My grandfather only spoke Finnish so I guess that is because he came from Purmo. My grandmother spoke Finn and Swedish and is from Kortesjarvi. Perhaps that is why my mother said there is Swedish in my family, or could they have really come from Sweden at some point?

I wonder if the Hautimaki boy took that name because he was raised by a Hautimaki family after his parents died. Maybe a Hautimaki farm? I have heard he was raised by several different families after the parents deaths.

Well, I won't ask anymore questions now because this is getting very long and I don't want to impose too much.


02-04-06, 07:35
Hello Terri!

Henr:dr. means Henriksdotter. Her father's name was Henrik.

Antti is the finnish name for Anders. If the family was bi-language they could use both names.

I can understand your troubles about the finnish family names. This "problem" has been presented on this forum before, but I think I can try to explain it to you also.

Until 1920 the use of family names was not so common in Finland, at least not among farmers. They mostly used the name of the farm as family names, because they also owned the farms and did not only work there. If they were only working at the farm, they were called "dräng" (farm hand) or "piga" (house keeper). If a man moved from one farm to another, especially when he married a daughter in another family and this way took over her father's farm (he was a "måg" or "bondemåg") he also changed his farm name. Such farm names are Härjebacka, Wilobacka, Slip, Stenvatten. Sometimes a family could move between several farms during their lives and therefore also change farm names several times.

But they also used the patronymic to explain more exactly their identity. If a man from Härjebacka farm named Henric (Hinric) had a daughter named Cajsa Lena, her name was:

Cajsa Lena Henricsdotter Härjebacka

If the same man had a son named Matts, is name was:

Matts Henricsson Härjebacka.

In the next generation the patronymic changed of course, so you should not use the patronymic as family names if they had farm names. Sometimes it is not so easy to define the farm names, because Hiski does not always mention it. Sometimes you have to know the history of the village to decide a farm name.

In 1920 this way of using family names changed and after that every family had to choose a family name that should follow through generations.

Terri, I spent some hours yesterday trying to trace your ancestors and their families. If you want this information, please give your e-mail address to me as a personal message.


Jaska Sarell
02-04-06, 09:53
Originally posted by Terri
I looked at the site you directed me too and it was all in Finnish and I couldn't find an English option. but I email someone there and will also write a letter to the parish at the address given.
Actually the site is in Swedish only :confused:
The first one "...sekreterare" is the clerk you should contact, if using email. Snail mail doesn't really need personal recipient's name.

:) Jaska