View Full Version : Sarvela family in Duluth

14-06-06, 22:28
Heikki (Henry) Sarvela, born 30 Oct 1859 and died 21 Feb 1931, was a Lutheran minister in the Duluth area of Minnesota. I believe he came to Duluth from Canada. Anyone on the forum have information on earlier members of this family?


William Dahlin
15-06-06, 06:12
1920 Census Duluth, Minn

Henry Sarvila
Age 60
USA 1887
B. Finland
Minister Finish Lutheran Church

Sophia wife
Age 57
USA 1889
B. Finland

Rev. Henry Sarvela
West Duluth
Pastor Finish Evangelical Lutheran Church
Year 1891-1892
Duluth, Minnesota

Art Fors
15-07-06, 21:57
Hello Allen,

Here is some info I found from Sukupuu Family Tree at: http://medlem.spray.se/lauri/w2/idx501.htm

Looka like Heikki and his wife Serafia came from Jurva, Finland.

Sarvela, Heikki
Gender: Male
Birth : 30 October 1859
Death : 21 February 1931 in Amerikka

Family Sarvela - Alanen
|------Alanen, Juho

Alanen, Serafia

| |-------Hakala, Heikki
|------Rätti, Serafia
|-------Peltokoski, Elisabet

Gender: Female
Birth : 2 August 1862 in Jurva

Sarvela, Herman Ludvig
Gender: Male
Birth : 31 August 1883 in Jurva

Sarvela, Juha Rudolf
Gender: Male
Birth : 18 September 1885 in Jurva

Sarvela, Hilda Elisabet
Gender: Female
Birth : 17 December 1887 in Jurva


Karen Norwillo
15-07-06, 23:56
Found on Finnish Churches in North America-Minnesota:
New York Mills- St Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church, founded Sep.27, 1896, Henry Sarvela, first pastor
Ely Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sarvela, third on list of pastors
Finlaysonin Evankelis Luterilainen Kansallisseurakunta, H. Sarvela, first on list of pastors
Hibbing Finnish American Evang. Lut. Church of Suomi Synod, Heikki Sarvela, 1896
Suomi, 44 members, no building. Founded 1918 by Rev. Henry Sarvela of Duluth at Jaffet Heikkinen farm. Source: 50 Years and More of Suomi, 50th Anniversary Publication.
Found on Hiski, Jurva
21.6.1846 married, Matts Mattsson Alanen and Maria Hermansdotter Sarvela. Unfortunately, data stops at 1850.

Art Fors
16-07-06, 20:04
Hello Allen,

I found the following records at the Genealogical Society of Finland web site.

It appears Jurva Parish is the right place to look for Heikki's ancestors.

Finnish-American Calendars
Indexes compiled by Rev. Les E. Niemi

Articles - Alphabetically According to the Name of the Author

Sarvela, Heikki Duluth Women 1915:154
Sarvela, Heikki Jurva Parish 1928:107
Sarvela, Heikki Kingston MN Church 1916:194
Sarvela, Heikki Lumijoki Parish 1917:81
Sarvela, Heikki Waukegan Church 1908:144


Sarvela, Heikki Pastor Jurva 1932:181


16-07-06, 21:11
Thank you all for your support (Art, Karen, William). I've been able to pinpoint the location of the family in Finland now to Laihia, Sarvijoki, Finland. The website www.sukujutut.fi has been very useful. If you have hints on how to find the path taken when Henry came from Finland to Canada to USA, I would be very interested.

Thank you all again for your wounderful help. Allen

Roberta Stepan
27-09-07, 20:34
Heikki Sarvela was my grandmother's brother. Try this website for contact with the family in Finland and published histories of his ancestors.


Roberta Mattila Stepan

Note: the web page link is not working / Hasse

Roberta Stepan
27-09-07, 20:45
FYI, part of the Sarvela family ended up in British Columbia and Washington State. One Sarvela changed his name to Hjelt.
Roberta Mattila Stepan

27-09-07, 23:22
Found this on Institute of Migration.


Detailed information (Reference records)


Last name: Sarvela
First names: Heikki
Other name: *
Date of birth: 30.10.1859
Place of birth: Jurva
State of birth: VAA
Country of birth: SF
Date of death: 21.02.1931
Place of death: West Duluth
State of death: *
Country of death: USA

References: Kirkollinen kalenteri 1932: 181-185. (Muistosanoja vainajista, kuva).
Remarks: Pso: Serafiina Sarvela ( Alanen). Vih: 20.05.1882 Jurvassa, Suomessa. Lapset: 4 poikaa ja 1 tytär. LS: > Amerikka 1887 > Redwing, MN, USA > West Duluth, USA. Amm: Pastori.

27-09-07, 23:39
Here are more Sarvela's from Jurva Parish on Institute of Migration passports.


Last name First names Passport date Date of birth Home parish Destination
Sarvela Alexander .01.1900 . .1877 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Hulda Aurora 16.11.1899 . .1896 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Jaakko Oskar 07.10.1909 . .1867 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Johan Oskar 17.01.1900 . .1870 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Johanna Lisa 16.11.1899 . .1870 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Juho 29.03.1909 . .1888 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela Väinö 09.04.1902 . .1883 Jurva Amerikka
Sarvela William 16.11.1899 . .1893 Jurva Amerikka

27-09-07, 23:42
From Institute of Migration- Finnish North Americans

Last name First names County/City State Country
Sarvela Alex Sparta Minnesota USA
Sarvela Eliina Rosland British Columbia Canada
Sarvela Emil Coldbrook Massachusetts USA
Sarvela H Little Falls Minnesota USA
Sarvela Henry - Alaska USA
Sarvela Henry - Alaska USA
Sarvela Henry Rosland British Columbia Canada
Sarvela Henry, Mrs - Alaska USA
Sarvela Jacob Kalevala Minnesota USA
Sarvela Johan Virginia City Nevada USA
Sarvela John DeKalb Illinois USA
Sarvela Mary Detroit Michigan USA
Sarvela Mikkel Edward - Alaska USA
Sarvela ? Mary Houghton County Michigan USA
Sarvela? Mary Houghton Michigan USA

27-09-07, 23:46
Last name First names Place of destination State Country Date
Sarvela Aili DeKalb IL USA 02.12.1905
Sarvela Alina Toronto ON CDN 15.07.1903
Sarvela Anna L. Moose Lake MN USA 15.06.1904
Sarvela Arvid Carbondale IL USA 20.02.1909
Sarvela Eino E. Moose Lake MN USA 15.06.1904
Sarvela Fiija Moose Lake MN USA 18.08.1900
Sarvela Fredrik Maynard MA USA 18.11.1899
Sarvela Hanna Maynard MA USA 18.11.1899
Sarvela Hanna Maynard MA USA 22.07.1903
Sarvela Helena Moose Lake MN USA 18.08.1900
Sarvela Herman Sault Ste. Marie MI USA 27.05.1903
Sarvela Hilda Vancouver BC CDN 18.09.1929
Sarvela Hugo Vancouver BC CDN 18.09.1929
Sarvela Hulda Maynard MA USA 18.11.1899
Sarvela Jaakko Ishpeming MI USA 23.07.1893
Sarvela Jaakko Clinton IN USA 12.01.1907
Sarvela Jaakko Cobalt ON CDN 09.10.1909
Sarvela Jaakob A. Moose Lake MN USA 15.06.1904
Sarvela Johan Ironwood MI USA 04.06.1910
Sarvela John Moose Lake MN USA 18.08.1900
Sarvela Juho DeKalb IL USA 26.10.1901
Sarvela Juho Calumet MI USA 31.03.1909
Sarvela Juho Belle Vernon PA USA 14.05.1913
Sarvela Juho New York NY USA 03.02.1923
Sarvela Ludvig San Francisco CA USA 04.05.1904
Sarvela Magnus Quebec PQ CDN 23.08.1902
Sarvela Maria Moose Lake MN USA 18.08.1900
Sarvela Maria Portland ME USA 25.03.1908
Sarvela Maria New York NY USA 17.09.1913
Sarvela Matti Hancock MI USA 27.01.1900
Sarvela Matti New York NY USA 18.01.1908
Sarvela Matti Vancouver BC CDN 23.01.1929
Sarvela Paavo Brisbane QLD AUS 23.12.1927
Sarvela S. Victor Halifax NS CDN 23.03.1910
Sarvela Saima DeKalb IL USA 02.12.1905
Sarvela Serafia DeKalb IL USA 02.12.1905
Sarvela Toivo New York NY USA 18.01.1908
Sarvela Wäinö Waukegan IL USA 16.04.1902
Sarvela Yrjö Oiva New York NY USA 08.01.1937

27-09-07, 23:48
Last name First names Home parish Born in Date Destination
Sarvela Eelis Olavi Jurva 1932-Dec-23 1957 Canada
Sarvela Juho Hermanninpoika Jurva 1899-Nov-30 1924 America
Sarvela Juho Matinpoika Jurva 1901-Aug-06 1922 America
Sarvela Matti Bruuno Jurva 1894-Mar-10 1929 Canada
Sarvela Sanna Jurva 1899-July-30 1917 America
Sarvela Yrjö Hermanninpoika Jurva 1900-June-26 1922 America

27-09-07, 23:56
Passport Information:

First names Serafia
Other names *
Date of birth . .1884
Marital status 1
Religion *
Occupation *
Home parish Laihia
Province VAA
Passport date 16.08.1900
Passport number 2724
Passport valid (year:month) 5:0
Destination Amerikka
Passport issued by VAA
Remarks Ph sisar Leena s. 1875.

Passenger Information:

First names Serafia
Age or age group 26
Port of departure Hanko
Place of destination DeKalb
State of destination IL
Country of destination USA
Price of ticket USD 33
Ship from Finland Urania
Date of departure from Finland 02.12.1905
Ship from England St. Paul
Date of departure from England 09.12.1905
Ocean Line American Line
Port of departure in England *
List and page 47/35
Remarks Mk Saima ja Aili Sarvela.

30-09-07, 03:31

Great information. Thank you so much. How did you find the Institute of Migration?


30-09-07, 05:57
Hi Allen,
The Institute of Migration is here http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/index_e.php

You can see some information for free, but you can join for an annual fee, different packages. The full access package was about $40. in US dollars, and I've found many of my relatives on there, and I've found it to be very useful. If you would like further information on specific people I sent on the previous posts, let me know.

Best Regards,

Roberta Stepan
01-10-07, 02:25
NOTE: I have seen most of the recent information that has been posted here from the immigration website. Not all those Sarvelas posted in this forum belong to the same Sarvela family. Heikki's family is tied to the village of Sarvijoki. Keep in mind that in those days the last name was like an address - if you moved into the village or onto a farm you took that name. If you are truly interested in his heritage and want to save yourself some time eliminating the ones that are not family, I urge you to go to the website I posted earlier. Or contact me and I will exchange information with you.

01-10-07, 03:51
The site you posted to help Allen appears to be ads for television and cellphones. I don't believe it will be of help on his ancestors unless he can call them???? :confused:
Best Regards,


Roberta Stepan
02-10-07, 00:43
I'm sorry the posting somehow gets corrupted. It is correct when I type it, but when I post it or preview it, the middle part gets losts. I am trying again.


The same thing seems to happen. Yet when I clicked on this latest one and enabled pop ups, I do get to the correct website.

If that still doesn't work for you, google Sarvela Family Association Homepage and the webpage should be one of the first if not the first that comes up. Hopefully you will be able to get into it that way.

Again I am sorry for confusing you. Is there a proper way to post website addresses here? Or is it just a quirk that I am encountering?

02-10-07, 01:22
Hi Roberta,
It's working now!!! :D Thank-you. I haven't got a clue why you had problems posting; maybe someone else would know why your link wouldn't post.
Thanks to you, Allen will find his connection.
Best Regards,

Ed Mickelson
02-10-07, 07:42
Greetings,I just would like to say that there is a web site in Finland which pertains the family of Heikki Olavinpoika,who,,by the way,,is also in the Vaasa Province of Finland and it states that if you or a family member come from the Vaasa Province of Finland ,chances that you are related..Just type in the name and look for the phrase Heikki Wanted..It will take you to the site..Look for the name Vilho Puro,,he is the man who has done the geneolgy and may be able to help you..He goes all the way back to mid 1600's..By the way,,my grandfather lived in the same part of Duluth(1903 to about 1916)Let me know if you find it alright...Ed M

02-10-07, 17:23
Are you aware of the registered Family Society: Sarvelan suku ry? You can find it on
Genealogia.fi - Family Societies - S - Sarvelan suku.
I have just got a copy of a book published in 1942, written by K.T.Sarvela as part of the Sarvela family will be included in a book about the Johannesdahl family - Herman Sarvela (1806-1880) was married to Anna Brita Israelsdotter Johannesdahl (1809-1894) from Pörtom.
The Alanen family is also mentioned in the book from 1942, many of the children had "emigrated to America."

Roberta Stepan
02-10-07, 17:57
I have the 1942 book (and 1980). Another book is "in the works" for the whole Sarvela family. Because of shipping costs and rate of exchange the books are not easy to get. The "Sarvelan suku ry" referred to is the website posted and books are available there. I am a 2nd great-granddaughter of Herman Sarvela married to Anna Brita Israelsdotter Johannesdahl. A second Sarvela family in the Duluth/Moose Lake area claims a relationship but the blood tie has never been found.

02-10-07, 18:34
I have Herman Sarvela and Anna Johannesdahl in the tree I'm working on along with 16 children. Does the 1942 or 1980 book have information about their lives as to occupations, likes, dislikes, and hardships of the times? I would like to buy a book for Christmas for my sister-in-law. Are the books in English? Which would you suggest? How difficult is it to acquire one from Finland?

By the way, I taught school in Moose Lake, MN some 40 years ago. Allen

Roberta Stepan
02-10-07, 19:12
The 1980 books in Finnish can be bought through the website I posted. There is no narrative in the 1980 version. There may be a short comment regarding occupation, etc. The 1942 book had a narrative for which I have a translation and there is some interesting information available there on the family. We need to make contact outside this forum to exchange information.

Roberta Stepan
02-10-07, 20:26
There is a book written by Mark Munger of the Duluth area that is called: Suomalaiset: People of the Marsh, a Novel. It is historical fiction written about the Finns in the northeast portion of Minnesota and is based mostly in Duluth. He has done a lot of research and brings the era of the early Finnish emigration to MN alive. It is a very easy to read book and interesting. It talks about all the political turmoil of the time – both in Finland and in Minnesota and how the Finns were involved. He has written some real individuals into the story including Heikki Sarvela, our Pioneer Preacher member of the family (my grandmother’s brother). It is available through the Cloquet River Press.

04-10-07, 17:38
Hi all,
I am the 4th great granddaughter of Herman Sarvela and Anna Brita Israelsdotter Johannesdahl. I don't have alot of info on the lines other then my direct line Mauno Sarvela 1847-1917 & Anna Lissa Strom.
I am also wondering if any has any additional info on Anna Lissa Strom, this is all I have.
1. Anna Lissa Strom, born March 22, 1844 in Finland; died 1930 in Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the daughter of 2. Matti Eliaksenpoika Ström and 3. Beata Matintytär Risku. She married (1) Mauno Sarvela. He was born January 11, 1847 in Sarvijoki, Finland, and died Abt. 1917 in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was the son of Herman (Hermanni) Sarvela and Anna Brita Johnnesdahl.
Generation No. 2

2. Matti Eliaksenpoika Ström, born February 24, 1820; died July 15, 1875 in Jurva, Finland. He married 3. Beata Matintytär Risku.
3. Beata Matintytär Risku, born January 03, 1812 in Laihia, Vaasa, Finland; died November 03, 1871. She was the daughter of 6. Matts Esson Risku and 7. Maria Johnr..

Child of Matti Ström and Beata Risku is:
1 i. Anna Lissa Strom, born March 22, 1844 in Finland; died 1930 in Saskatchewan, Canada; married Mauno Sarvela.

Generation No. 3

6. Matts Esson Risku He married 7. Maria Johnr..
7. Maria Johnr.

Child of Matts Risku and Maria Johnr. is:
3 i. Beata Matintytär Risku, born January 03, 1812 in Laihia, Vaasa, Finland; died November 03, 1871; married Matti Eliaksenpoika Ström.


Roberta Stepan
04-10-07, 19:16
Hey, Tammy. Welcome to the discussion. You are one of the Johnson family, right? I met many of the members of your branch of the Sarvelas at a family reunion outside Banff a few years ago. E-mail me if you want to start a discussion outside this forum. I don't know that I have any answers to what you are looking for, but perhaps I can come up with suggestions. Allan and I have started exchanging information so I am able to help him.

Roberta Stepan
06-10-07, 19:54
Tammy, I checked my database. You have found more information since Marlene sent me the info on your branch of the family. So I don't have any into to give you. I would suggest contacting Kaisa or Leila at the Sarvela website I posted and ask them if they have any additional information. They have checked records for me before, at the library, or whatever needs to be done and are glad to do so.

Roberta Stepan
20-10-07, 18:03
New question, same person. According to the Institute of Migration in Finland, Henrik Sarvela left Finland at the age of 28 along with Johan Sarvela who was 42 on May 20, 1887 arriving in the U.S. through Sudberry, Ontario, Canada. We are trying to determine where Heikki (Henrik or Henry) was ordained. Since the emigration papers did not indicate that he was a reverend, the Sarvela family in Finland indicate that they think he was ordained in the U.S. No records have been found there. I found this reference to my grandmother's brother (Heikki, otherwise known as Henry Sarvela) in an online website at http://www.genealogia.org/emi/art/article85e.htm#14u

"[14] Religious Bodies, 1936, 2:968-983 (1941). The standard work on Finnish immigrant religious institutions is V. Rautanen, Amerikan Suomalainen Kirkko (Hancock, Michigan, 1911). Also useful are K. E. Salonen, Amerikan Suom. Ev. Luth. Kansalliskirkon 25 Vuotis Julkaisu (Ironwood, Michigan, 1923), and A. Kukko, ed., Muistoja 30-Vuotisesta Lähetystyöstä (Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1920). Several pioneer Finnish preachers, among them Williamson and Sarvela, were ordained by Hauge's Synod of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Red Wing. The Finnish Nationalist church maintained a college and theological seminary in Minneapolis and Smithville from 1903 to 1907; the institution was later transformed into the Work People's College." The article is written by: John Ilmari Kolehmainen.

I have contacted the Archivist at the Lutheran Seminary in Red Wing. She was not able to find any record of him there. St. Olaf's College could not find anything whatsoever on Heikki Sarvela. They do have the Redwing Seminary matriculation records and reports and his name does not appear. They suggested that perhaps his obituary would give the information. We have more than one version of his obituary (available through the Duluth Public Library) and it does not include where he was ordained.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to who we might contact now? Or how we can locate the author, John Ilmari Kolehmainen, to find out his source. I have found many references to his books, but no links to him. Thanks, Roberta

21-10-07, 05:35
Hi Roberta and Allen,
Here is the info. from the Institute of Migration on Henry Sarvela that you requested on your p.m.

Best Regards,
Denise :)
Detailed Information (Finnish Americans)
Last name Sarvela
First names Henry
County -
State Alaska
Country USA
Year of Source info -
Additional information see Mikkel Edward Sarvela
Source World War I Draft Registrations 1917-1918


Detailed information (Finnish Americans)
Last name Sarvela
First names Mikkel Edward
County -
State Alaska
Country USA
Year of Source info -
Additional information born 18 March 1873. Citizen: Finland, declared. ides in Chichagof, Alaska. Engineer for Chichagof Mining Co in Chichagof, Alaska. Relative: brother Henry Sarvela in Chichagof, Alaska. Medium height, stout, blue eyes, brown hair. 26 Nov 1918. Sitka Precinct. Sitka Precinct. Entry 328.
Source World War I Draft Registrations 1917-1918

Detailed information (Finnish Americans)
Last name Sarvela
First names Henry
County -
State Alaska
Country USA
Year of Source info -
Additional information born 8 October 1884. Citizen: Finland. ides in Chichagof, Alaska. Mine shift boss for Chichagof Mining Co in Chichagof, Alaska. Relative: wife Mrs Henry Sarvela in Chichagof, Alaska. Tall, medium build, blue eyes, brown hair. 22 Oct 1918. Sitka Precinct. Entry 179.
Source World War I Draft Registrations 1917-1918


Detailed information (Finnish Americans)
Last name Sarvela
First names Henry, Mrs
County -
State Alaska
Country USA
Year of Source info -
Additional information see Henry Sarvela
Source World War I Draft Registrations 1917-1918

21-10-07, 11:26
...Again I am sorry for confusing you. Is there a proper way to post website addresses here? Or is it just a quirk that I am encountering?

Postin long URL, ie. internet addresses should be done using the "Insert link" function if the address contains special characters. Just pasting a long link into a message can result in errors in these cases.

How is this done properly?

When you write a message you have a toolbox of tools on top of the message writing space, ie. in the neighbourhood if the bold, italic, underline etc. buttons Further on you have the "Insert link" button - using this you will get a popup dialogue box asking for the address.

Roberta Stepan
22-10-07, 01:34
Thank you, Denise, for your help. This is not the same Heikki Sarvela, but they are second cousins, so it is info that is pertinent to our database. This Henry and Mikkel are sons of Jaako August Saarela and Anna Lisa Sarvela (the family used the name of Sarvela). The Reverend Heikki Sarvela is the son of Herman Hermanninpoika Sarvela and Maria Ratti, daughter of Thomas. In one of the family histories that I saw, someone had confused the two and merged them. That is why I was curious about the information!!! You have answered one of those many questions that keep us going in our genealogy quests!:D

Roberta Stepan
22-10-07, 01:41
This is the obituary from the Duluth Herald of February 21, 1931.

Roberta Stepan
22-10-07, 21:02
Mary, here are some files I ran across today on my computer that your co-worker might be interested in. I can put him in touch with the author if you would like. Send me a private e-mail if you want the e-mail address for her. I see the Leppala name on the chart.