View Full Version : Help! Looking for great-grandfather Alexander Johansson Warila

Terry Kenney
31-03-06, 12:09
I'm in my 50s now, but as a child my grandmother told me bits and pieces of her family history--it is so fragmented in my mind.

My grandfather was Alexander Johannson Warila from the town of Kaustby, I believe. Born 24.3.1865 he married Maria Sofia Mattsdotter Skytte and had 4 daughters. My grandmother was the third daughter, Jenny Sofia, born 24.5.1890

Here's the story I was told. The story may be slightly embellished by my grandmother, when I was a teenager, she told my date she sang with Bing Crosby in Carnagie Hall. I know the dates, names and states are correct.

Father, Alexander leaves Finland to work with railroads as a civil engineer. He went with or met a brother and they settled in Montana. He sent money for his wife and 4 daughters to come to America--his wife bought more land in Finland. At age 17, his daughter, Jenny and Jenny's best friend Selma, take off for America to be with Jenny's father in Montana.

The girls run out of money and need to work in New York. Jenny becomes a baby nurse for a wealthy family, by the time she saves money to travel to Montana, her father has died-I believe March 1914, in Montana.

I've been told that I have family in Montana, not sure if they are descendants of Alexander's brother or if Alexander remarried?

I'd love to know more about my great-grandfather. Any suggestions?

Jaska Sarell
31-03-06, 12:59
Hi Terry,

You can find Alexander's birth at HisKi (http://www.genealogia.fi/hiski?en) database.

Birth record (http://www.genealogia.fi/hiski/?en+0183+kastetut+6304)

Parent's marriage (http://www.genealogia.fi/hiski/?en+0183+vihityt+920)

You'll surely find more from other Finlander members. Maria Sofia Skytte (b. 7 Mar 1864 in Terjärv) seems to be in several Talko entries.

At least June can connect you with hundreds of ancestors :D

:) Jaska

Hasse Andtbacka
31-03-06, 13:25
Hello Terry,
as Jaska Sarell already said, Maria Sofia Mattsdr Skytte, b. 7.3.1864, married to Kaustby. After her husband left for America Sofia returned to Terjärv with her girls. She worked in the telephone central, and she bought land and builded a house there!

I don't know anything about Alexander's and his brother's descendants, but in Terjärv you have lots of relatives.

Maria Sofia's brother Emil settled in Superior, I have been in contact with his son Thurie Mattson (82 years young).

You are free to contact me privately:

Terry Kenney
31-03-06, 21:26
As I mentioned, I am at the very beginning of my searches and my skills are limited. Unfortunately, the Swedish language was used to communicate privately between my grandparents and their sons--so we children only learned our prayers and a limited vocabulary of about 20 words.

Hasse Andtbacka, your information confirms what I have found in my father's paperwork. My father's cousin Dorthy,(Brita Dorothea Fridesdotter Nystrom b 19.7.1927) married Vilhelm Alexander Johansson Slotte b 27.5.1921.

In the 1980s my father met Dorthy and Willie, who were visiting in New York. Willie compiled some family information and sent it to my father. It was there that, in Swedish, I read:

"tillbaka till Terjarv efter Alexanders resa till Amerika. Skotte telefoncentralen i Terjarv kyrkby"

that seemed to imply to me something about the telephone company in Terjarv.

I didn't realize that my grandmother grew up in Terjarv--but it makes sense now.

You bet I have relatives in Terjarv! My cousin, Lis Marie Wistbacka Behnke (in California now) keeps telling me I should go to Finland and find my roots. My grandfather was Matts Albert Mattsson Wistbacka b. 31.3.1893

My grandmother was married to Emil Johnsson at the time of my father and uncles births...so my father and uncle are named Johnson. By blood they are Wistbacka. I am sure the story is complicated, and it was long ago. Eventually Jenny and Albert married.

Yes, Jaska Sarell, the HisKi database is great! I have used it to find all the siblings of my great grandfather and obtain some christening and wedding dates. For years after 1875 it is somewhat limited so I am left to find what I can.

No one if my family seems to know what happened to Alexander Warila, who died before age 50 in Montana.

June Pelo
31-03-06, 23:43
I don't have any data about Alexander, but do know someone who has a lot of Varila data and I'll ask her if she has anything about Alexander. As far as Terjärv data, your best bet is to work with Hasse Andtbacka - he has just about everything from Terjärv.

I have Mariana's name in my file, along with her parents, but nothing about her marriage. Hasse would have that.

A lot of the Varila, Kuorikoski data up to 1800 is included in the Caino-Torp book.

I have some of the Wistbacka and Nyström names in my database on Talko.


Jaska Sarell
01-04-06, 00:49
Just in case:
Johan Henrik Johansson Kuorikoski, b. 6 Oct 1822,
Mariana Johansdotter Varila, b. 4 Jan 1829, both in Kaustinen/Kaustby.
Tommy Ånäs seems to have his ancestors in Talko, but not her birth nor any other details.

CB mentions older brothers' marriages:
Johan (15.11.1847) oo Edla Maria Mattsdr Järvilä, b. 20 Sep 1851
Karl (8.9.1850) oo Anna Johansdotter Wirkkala, b. 29 Sep 1853.

Not really my territory, but happened to look today.

:) Jaska

Terry Kenney
01-04-06, 01:25
The information I have is

Mariana Johansdotter Warg-Warila 4.1.1829--14.9.1897
marriage date of 3.7.1846 to
Johan Henrik Johansson Kuorikoski 2.10.1822--2.4.1879

It states:
"Kyrkans sexman. Bosatta pa Varila i Kaustby
Johan 15.11.1847
Carl 8.9.1850
Matts 31.6.1855--10.6.1867
Maja Lisa 16.1.1859--5.7.1863
Henrik Gustaf 10.5.1862--1.1.1884
Alexander 24.3.1865
Anna Lisa 24.3.1869

The paperwork my father had stated:
Johan Michelsson Wirckala-Forsnas-Warg 2.12.1796 fodd i Kaustby. Flyttade 1804 til Kronoby och 21.5.1810 til Warg i Kaustby
Vigd med
Anna Lisa Henricsdotter Kansala 4.3.1798--10.1.1871
Maja 26.12.1819--27.9.1843
Anna 9.8.1821
Michel 14.4.1823-- G 15 a
Lisa Greta 13.12.1826
Mariana 4.1.1829-- G 15
Helena 10.5.1832

Yes, I have records of the older son's marriages. They were 15 to 18 years older than Alexander--so it is logical that he may have traveled with or to meet an older brother Johan/John or Carl.

As I mentioned, I don't understand Swedish. It looks to me as though some of the names were changed along the way. Mariannas birth and records may be listed as Warg.

Oy, I am so lost here that I think I am understanding this!

June Pelo
01-04-06, 03:08

I can send you an ahnentafel for Alexander showing the ancestry of his mother and father. Alexander was my 4th cousin once removed - so I have a lot of names of his ancestors. There's too much data to send via pm - if you send me your e-mail address I'll send it direct to you.

Alexander's great grandfather Henrik Mattsson Kuorikoski was a master church builder. And so was his father - who built the Kaustby church.


Terry Kenney
01-04-06, 03:24
Originally posted by June Pelo

Alexander's great grandfather Henrik Mattsson Kuorikoski was a master church builder. And so was his father - who built the Kaustby church.


I remember my grandmother telling me about family members and building churches...Oh, would I ever enjoy talking to my grandmother today!

Thank you, June, I would appreciate any info you may have.
my email is

Will I need any special downloads to open this file? I am sorry, but I am not familiar with the term 'ahnentafel'

I also have a family tree that is hand drawn...it has leaves and branches of the Warila-Kuorikoski families. It's beautiful. I put it in a special and safe place...I hope to find it soon.

I appreciate all the patience you give me.

June Pelo
01-04-06, 03:57

I just sent you a couple ahnentafels for your Varila and Wistbacka lines.

I calculated that your grandmother Jenny was my 6th cousin and she was also related to Jaska - his 8th cousin twice removed.


Karen Davies
14-04-06, 04:25
These are listed on the Montana death index for the period 1910-1919:

Montana Death Records 1910-1919 – W

WARILA, JOHN* : M : -1 : 19 Feb 1910 : 32-0267 : Contact Office of Vital Statistics, Helena, MT for County

WARILA, HENRY : M : 1 : 23 Jun 1912 : 60-306 : Contact Office of Vital Statistics, Helena, MT for County

WARILA, JOHN* : F : : 21 Apr 1918 : 130-627 : Contact Office of Vital Statistics, Helena, MT for County

WARILA, JOHN H : M : 47 : 3 Dec 1919 : RL 72 :

14-04-06, 05:49
Hi Terry,
Happy Easter!
On the Heritage Quest Index for Scandinavians in the 1910 census I located two Warila listings who may be Alexander and his brother.

Surname:WARLILA Given Name: ALEX
Age: 44 Sex: M Race: WHITE
Birthplace: FINLAND
T624-Roll: 829 Part: 1 Page: 223 Subpage: B
State: MT

Surname:WARILA Given Name: ANDREW V
Age: 48 Sex: M Race: WHITE
Birthplace: FINLAND
T624-Roll: 829 Part: 1 Page: 215 Subpage: A
State: MT
Other Warila type surnames located in Montana in 1910 census
Surname,GivenName,Age,Sex,Race,Birthplace,County,L ocality,T624-Roll,Part,Page,Subpage,State

Otto Andres Warrila b. 1885 married Senja Saana Kontoniemi, b. 1887 Alavus, Finland is mentioned in another thread "Jola Family in Minnesota".

WARILA ANDREW VICTOR 1862 1922 Red Lodge

Andrew V Warila purchased land 24 Feb 1917.


14-04-06, 07:12
Rereading your posting I noticed Andrew Viktor Warila wasn't listed as a brother to Alexander which is unfortunate as I located a posting about him on the Rootsweb Carbon County Message Board. He was born in Kaustinen, Finland February 1, 1862
and married Lydia Westerback (who also came from Finland) in Hanna, Carbon County, Wyoming on November 10, 1899. Later moved to Red Lodge, Carbon County, Montana, and then to Fox--a town 6 miles from Red Lodge.
One son:
Toivo Armas Viktor Warila
Five daughters:
Eine Elsie Lydia Warila Peltola
Anna Eva Leonoora Warila Kulman
Siiri (Cere) Ilma Warila Grundstrom
Laina Eulalia Warila Jacobson
Martha Josefina Warila Turppa Palo
another posting related to the family
Re: Red Lodge High School
... My grandmother Eine Elsie Lydia Warila, graduated from high school there and I have a photo of her class, but there are no names on it. It would be about 1916-18...
Postings were made by Wanda Watkins in 2003

Found at Rootsweb Worldconnect Project
Name: Johan Johanson WARILA
Sex: M
Birth: Kaustinen in Finland (no dates listed)

Father: Johan WARILA

Marriage 1 Maria Mattsdr OJALA ELLER RAUMA b: 6/15/1833 in Kaustinen, Finland
Hilma Elizabeth WARILA b: 9/28/1867 in Vaasa, Finland married
Peter Olaf RAPAKKO b: in Kristian, Norway
they had 12 children in Hockinson, WA between C1889 & 1909.

Terry Kenney
14-04-06, 10:40
Thank you Karen and Jeanette--you seem to be running into the same stumbling block as I do.

I've concluded that there is a link between the HisKi records and the Warilas in Montana--and it is Otto.

Mariana Johansdotter Warg-Warila 4.1.1829--14.9.1897
marriage date of 3.7.1846 to
Johan Henrik Johansson Kuorikoski 2.10.1822--2.4.1879

It states:
"Kyrkans sexman. Bosatta pa Varila i Kaustby
Johan 15.11.1847
Carl 8.9.1850
Matts 31.6.1855--10.6.1867
Maja Lisa 16.1.1859--5.7.1863
Henrik Gustaf 10.5.1862--1.1.1884
Alexander 24.3.1865
Anna Lisa 24.3.1869

Alexander was my great grandfather. He traveled to America with his brother Johan. Castle Garden records show 3 Warilas (Johan, Aleksi, Mat) arrived in America Aug 15, 1890--bound for Montana.

Aleksi's oldest brother has a son, named Juhani Henrik b. 1 October 1872(John H. Warila), married to Ida Sofia. Montana Census supports this in 1910, and indicates that 24 yr Otto Andres lives with John and Sofia Warila and children as "a boarder". Otto arrived thru Ellis Island in 1906, and is the youngest brother of John. So, Uncle Otto lives with the family.

1920 Montana Census indicates that Otto Andres Warila and wife Senia are married and have 2 small children.

Otto is the connector. He has the same birthdate, town and immigration details which connect family records and Hiski info with the Montana records. Therefore, he is the nephew of Alexander (Aleksi) Warila.

I have family papers that indicate that Alexander's
brother Johan b.15.11.1847 later returned to Finland. One record shows a 1888 death date, but that wouldn't jive with the family story. (?)

A possibility might be that Alexander traveled with his nephew to America. In 1890, that would make Aleksi age 25 and his nephew, Juhani Henrik Warila age18. Montana Census states he immigrated in 1890.

I believe Antti Otto/Andre Otto/Otto Andres Warila is the connecting piece that binds the two family groups as one. He was born 12 July 1885 in Kaustinen, Finland, son of Johan Johan Henriksson Warila and Elda Maria Mattsdotter Järvilä. Came to America in 1906 and showed up as a boarder in his brother's home in 1910 Montana Census.

My family paperwork indicates that Alexander (Aleksi) died in Montana in March 1914. I have found nothing to substantiate that. I don't know where he is buried. I am hoping that someone may have access to church records in Finland--perhaps his family notified the church in Finland. I find no Montana records in Carbon County or Yellowstone County.

My great gain this week was finding the correct Red Lodge Montana Warila line.

Many thanks for your thoughtful and time consuming assistance. Happy Easter to all who read these boards!
Terry Kenney

June Pelo
14-04-06, 19:13

Your great grandfather Alexander's brother was Johan Henriksson Kuorikoski-Varila, b. 1847 - he had 2 sons Johan, b. 1872 and Anders Otto, b. 1885 - both emigrated to the US and ended up in MT. Johan married Ida Sofia and Otto married Senja Niemi. Otto married in 1911 in Finlayson, MN and went to Red Lodge, MT ca 1906. I calculated that Otto and your father were first cousins once removed and they have links to names such as Torp, Hyytinen, Caino, Nikula, Löija, Wirkkala, Bastubacka, Hästbacka, etc. I'm putting together something to send to you with all this data.


Terry Kenney
14-04-06, 20:11
And that would make my first cousin twice removed Otto?

Do you think my assumption that Alexander arrived in America with his NEPHEW (not his brother as family story goes) is correct? I base this on the sketchy records found in Castle Garden. Johan, Aleksi and Mat Warila processed through Castle Garden in 1890--and Montana Census stated Johan Warila b. 1872 immigrated in 1890.

If Alexander's wife used the "go to America money" to build a house in Terjarv and move her girls there, it is logical that the Warila family remaining in Kaustinen wouldn't communicate much with them afterwards. The story my grandmother knew might have been unclear as to WHICH Johan went to America with her father. Especially since Alexander was closer in age to his nephew than his brother. (?) Facts seeem to be steering towards this assumption.

15-04-06, 08:31
Perhaps you will find John H and Ida Sophias marriage or his son John H's marriage at CARBON COUNTY, MONTANA, LOOKUPS
Carbon County Marriage Index, 1895-1950's

Amongst the Warila listings at Carbon County Obituaries (1894 through 1948) there are two could be very helpful
WARILA Matt |Red Lodge Picket 7/11/03
WARILA John Henry |Carbon County News 5/12/27 *John H. Jnr see birth details below

WARILA MATTI |21 JAN 1876 |15 JUL 1903 |Red Lodge
WARILA JOHN | 6 SEP 1894 | 5 MAY 1927 |Red Lodge
perhaps you can obtain copies of the obituaries through Melody Kilwine at http://www.raogk.com/montana.htm

WARILA JOHN 20 005 S 020 E 013 160 251101 PA 2892 10/31/1906
You can view the document at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch/

An interesting article about Red Lodge


Otto and Senja Warilas house The Warila Boarding House and Sauna was listed on 1985-10-24
on the National Register of Historic Places. After being torn down the sauna is being rebuilt.
Warila Boarding House and Sauna
20 N. Haggin
Red Lodge, Montana

More sites in Montana


16-04-06, 06:04
Hi Terry,
Otto and his brothers were cousins to your grandmother so yes they are your cousins twice removed. I would also like to suggest that Andrew Viktor is also a relative, a cousin to Alexander. My reading of HisKi is that Anders mother is the younger sister to Johan Henrik Johansson Kuorikoski.

From HisKi Kaustinen Parish
Anders Victor Warila b. 1.2.1862 christened 2.2.1862
father Bond. Anders Johansson Warila
mother Anna Greta 34
Married | Man | Wife
18.6.1854 | Bd.s. Anders Joh.s. Warila | Bd.Dr:u Greta Joh.dr. Kuorikoski
Anna Greta Kuorikoski b. 22.11.1828 christened 24.11.1828
father -Joh. Henr. Kuorikoski
mother Lisa

Johan Henr. Kuorikoski b.6.10.1822 christened 6.10.1822
father -Joh. Henr. Henr.s. Kuorikoski
mother Lisa 20-30

I wasn't able to establish a birth for Anders Johs Warila but there are two possible Anders Warg births f. Joh. that could be him in 1827 and 1831.

If anyone can confirm or rule out this please do.