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June Pelo
13-11-07, 21:45
I'm trying to help someone find his ancestors in Finland. This is all he knows:

My grandfather Jacob (Jaakko) Rokala was born in "Waasa" on Dec. 19 or 26, 1874 (he gave both dates in different documents). He stated he entered the US at Detroit from Canada about 9 March of 1901 in his declaration for citizenship. But in other documents he lists 1900 as the date he entered the US. I have not been able to locate him on Canadian passenger lists.

The Migration Institute lists a (Joh.) Jaakko Rokala obtaining a passport in 1900 (no exact date). There is no record of him sailing from Finland. He is from Alajärvi parish. I suspect this may be my grandfather but am not certain.

Jacob married Mary (Maria) Kivikangas on 23.05.1907 in Calumet Michigan. They moved to Lead, SD in 1910 or 1911 where Jacob worked in the Homestake Mine. Mary died on 26.4.1919. Jacob died after Mary, also in 1919, but the state of SD has no record of his death. As far as I know there were no other relatives in the US, and because my mother was so young at the time she had very little information other than that her parents were born in Finland.

Jacob listed his parents as John and Hannah Rokala.

Has anyone researched the Rokala name? I do not find it listed as a farm name. In his declaration my grandfather listed "Waasa" as his birthplace. Would someone from Alajärvi parish likely put down Waasa rather than Alajärvi as place of birth?

My grandmother Maria Kivikangas I have probably found on the Migration Institute site:

Maria Kivikangas
dob 1884 (this agrees with other information)
parish Evijärvi
departed Finland 18.05.1904
arrived NYC on 5.06.1904 on the Celtic

On the passenger list in NYC it appears that she was traveling with two cousins Matti and Herman Kuivasniemi who were also from Evijärvi, and who were headed to Michigan to join a brother.

Maria listed her parents as Andrew and Minnie Kivikangas. I believe she had a brother Herman who came to the US in 1902, returned to Finland in 1908, then returned to the US that same year. He may have then returned to Finland. He lists his father as Antti Kivikangas from Evijärvi.

Can anyone find anything about these people? I found Rokala names on Talko, but none appear to be linked to this family. HisKi data doesn't extend to 1874.

June

Karen Norwillo
14-11-07, 15:53
June,
Here's Jacob's WWI Draft Reg. in Lead, SD.

June Pelo
14-11-07, 18:47
Karen,

Thank you for that. Bob will be delighted and I'll send it on to him.

June

Karen Norwillo
15-11-07, 16:52
June,
Ancestry gives Mary Rokala's date of death as 4.26.1918, she was only 41, which would have her date of birth around 1877, not 1884. This is from the SD Death Index. Of course, whomever gave the info could be in error. I also found a Seeri Rokala, orphan, in the 1920 Census. Am attaching. Found a 1905 photo of the Homestake Mine which I thought maybe he'd like. It's abit before Jacob's time, but it's interesting. The SDGenWeb project for Lawrence county doesn't offer much, unfortunately. And you can't post queries to their site due to spamming. Shame. Karen

Karen Norwillo
15-11-07, 17:40
I see on the 1902 arrival of Herman Kivikangas that he gives Kortesjärvi as his home. There is a Kivikangas farm listed on Hiski in Kortesjärvi. Unfortunately, their birth records don't cover the time needed.

June Pelo
15-11-07, 21:07
Karen,

Thanks for all that info. and the picture. I'll send it on to Bob. We just found out that Jakob Rokala was actually Johan Jakob, b. 22 Dec 1874 in Kortesjärvi. He dropped the Johan and called himself Jakob. And Jaska has been able to find some clues, so now we're making progress.
June

Karen Norwillo
15-11-07, 22:13
June,
I just noticed a discrepancy btween the WWI Draft from Sept 1918 and the SD Death Index. Seems Mary was still alive in Sept 1918 although the Index says April 1918 as her death???
Was the Seeri I found Bob's mother?
Karen

June Pelo
16-11-07, 20:10
Karen,
Bob says: Mary Kivikangas is listed in the SD records as dying in 1918. I obtained her death certificate, and clearly she died in 1919. I believe I mentioned SD has no record of Jacob's death, but I am fairly certain that he also died in 1919. As soon as I have a little time I will order microfilm from SD Historical Society of the Lead newspaper for 1919 and try to find an obituary for Jacob. I would like to know not only the date of death, but the cause of death.

There is also a listing in the 1910 federal census for a Mathew Rokala in Michigan. That is actually Jacob, and the record includes my mother Sigrid and a younger sister listed as Mary but in reality she was named Ila.

The SD death index has a listing for an Ole Rokala. That turns out to be for Ila, who died as an infant in Lead, SD.

There is also a listing for a Secri Rokala in the 1920 federal census. That is my mother Sigrid, living with the Hastie family in Lead, SD. She was taken in by them but not adopted.

No wonder it's so difficult to find information!
June

Karen Norwillo
16-11-07, 20:24
Yes, That 1920 under Secri Rokala looks like Seeri, but I could imagine the enumerator hearing Sigrid as Secri. Plus the awful handwriting and terrible spelling doesn't help. My error with the age of Mary Rokala, the 41 was the county #, not her age. The images are so faded. Karen

Karen Norwillo
16-11-07, 21:18
I found an 1895 arrival for an Antti Kivikangas and his wife and daughter, both named Maria. I also found another arrival for an Antti Kivikangas later in 1909. Did Mary have a brother Antti. I see Herman's 1902 arrival. Don't know if these are family. Karen

Karen Norwillo
16-11-07, 21:53
Found the 1908 arrival for Herman Kivikangas. He arrived 21 Dec 1908 SS Campania from Liverpool. 21, single, laborer, going to friend Antti Kivi in Beaumont, TX. Says in US before, Butte, MT. Father Antti Kivikangas in Evijärvi. Ellis Island won't let me copy manifest and I couldn't find it on Ancestry. Karen

June Pelo
16-11-07, 22:31
Karen,

Thanks for your findings. I sent them on to Bob and am waiting to hear from him.

June

June Pelo
16-11-07, 22:50
Karen,

Do you have Djupsjö in your family line? Bob has Magdalena Johansdotter Djupsjö, b. 26 Jan 1766, Terjärv, d. 16 Dec 1841, Evijärvi.

June

Karen Norwillo
16-11-07, 23:09
No, haven't come across that name as yet, but I am related to the Kivikangas through Jaakko Kivikangas 1798. I believe Denise is related through the Kivikangas line also.

June Pelo
17-11-07, 20:51
Karen,

Bob just wrote this to me:
Maria had a younger brother Herman, and he did come to the US in 1902. She also had a younger brother Antti, but he was not born until 1901. I do not know if any sibling other than Herman ever came to the US. I also don't know if Herman stayed in this country, or if he returned to Finland for good at some point. My mother never mentioned an uncle or aunt, but I vaguely recall there might have been a cousin in Detroit. I have no idea who that might have been, and she certainly never said anything that I remember about the cousin. I am guessing a cousin would have to have been from Maria's family. I see that Aili Kivikangas (Maria's youngest sister) died in Montreal in 1982. If she had children, one of them may have moved to Detroit.

June