View Full Version : Searching for Mattsson ancestors Aland Finland

26-03-08, 01:09
This is my first post, and I'm writing from Kodiak Island Alaska, where it's been snowing most of the day. Spring is coming I hope! My wife Linda's maiden name was MANN. She is Athabascan Indian, Finnish, and Russian heritage. We are searching for information and ancestry on her grandfather.
My wifes grandfather's first name was John, and his surname was probably MATTSSON, but we don't know for sure. John Mattsson was born in Finland, possibly on the island called Aland. His d.o.b. was 1868-1871. His religion was Lutheran and Swedish was his 'mother tongue'. It is uncertain when he left Finland, but immigrated to San Francisco California USA in 1886 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1891. John Mattsson/Mann must have had boxing in his blood because it was said that he was a "bare knuckel boxer" at "Barbery Coast" California. He must have come to Alaska from California on a sailing ship. He was married in Kenai Alaska November 12, 1899 to a Russian/Athabascan Indian Eugenia "Virginia" Myshiakov.
When John Mattsson came from Finland and ended up in San Francisco, he changed his name to John Mann. Can anyone help with Finnish birth records for John Mattsson around 1871? Thankyou so much, Alan & Linda Ross

26-03-08, 11:16

Looking at Hiski (finnish church records on-line) for Åland gives a lot of John (Johan, Johannes) Mattsson for this period. Perhaps someone with access to passenger lists could find anything?


Ingemar Ekman
26-03-08, 18:21
Hello Alan & Linda,
Good to see you at Finlander.
I checked Åland Island´s Emigrantinstitute and their emigrant database at http://www.eminst.net/emidbe.php
Most of the information in this database coming from obituaries from the local newspaper "Åland"
In this database I found 12 Johan Mattsson (or with similar spelling) that referring to the newspaper issued:
23.12 1916.
26.1 1924.
23.7 1927.
22.9 1928.
22.6 1929.
3.9 1938.
21.3 1939.
30.8 1951.
17.4 1956 (from newspaper Norden)
18.1 1964.
28.8 1984
15 sept. 1892 (from a sailor book)
If you click on the surname you will get more information about the emigrant:
For instance Johan Ludvig Mattsson born 1869-1870 died 15.6.1927 in Anacortis WA USA.
I do not find any that died in Alaska, but a few without any information.
Do you know his death date and year?
If you have the death date I could check some other newspapers.

In K-G Olin´s book from 2002 about California (485 pages) I found 3 John Mann:
Hotel owner Fort Bragg died in San Fransisco 1933
From Lappfjärd. He witnesed a autorization in Fort Bragg 1899
Fisherman 34 years old 1905 in San Fransisco
K-G Olin has also published 3 books about Alaska, but I have not these books.

Another book found on SFHS home page is:
Documenting the Legacy of the Alaska Finns from the Russian Period, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Rev.), Pioneer Series, Feb. 1996. Written & researched by Maria Enckell, ed. Gene A. Knapp. Published by the Finnish-American Historical Society of the West, Portland, OR. 82-pp monograph

I have contacted Eva Meyer at the emigrant institute in Mariehamn Åland and she knows very well Maria Enckell.

I looking forward to hear if you have any more details about John Mattsson/Mann


Ingemar Ekman
30-03-08, 21:57
I lent at my library 2 of K-G Olin’s books about Swedish speaking Finns in Alaska, The books are in Swedish. I did not find any John Mann or John Mattson in these two books but the third book with list of names with short information about the persons is out on loan. Maybe someone of the Finlander members has the book “namnlistan” and will be able to check.

At the websites below you will be able to search for names that took out passports from Åland
but there are too many John or Johan Mattsson so it will be difficult to choose your ancestor.


Ingemar Ekman
11-05-08, 11:11
I was last week to Åland Island´s Emigrant institute and they have looked into your query and has found an John Mann born about 1857 in Finland, died 1937 in Kenai Penisula. Alaska. A son Harry Mann was married to Osholkow family with connection to Knagg family. An Eugenia Myshiakow b 22 Dec 1884, dtr to Stepan Myshiakow and Matron Tychinitna, in Kenai. Do you think this is your family?

We are trying to get the book "Finns, Swedes and Norwegians in the Alaska World War I draft registrations, 1917-1918" by Timothy Laitila Vincent, released 1999 but the book is currently unavailable according to www.amazon.com Has any Finlander member information where to find this book?

11-05-08, 13:25
Thought I would post the 1930 Census for John Mann in case it might help in your search. It appears that Ingemar has the correct family.

Best Regards,

1930 United States Federal Census
Name: John Mann
Home in 1930: Kenai, Third Judicial District, Alaska Territory
Age: 63
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1867
Birthplace: Finland
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Virginia
Race: White


Military service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents' birthplace: View Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
John Mann 63
Virginia Mann 44
Harry Mann 15
Reka Mann 8
Allen Mann 4 8/12

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Kenai, Third Judicial District, Alaska Territory; Roll: 2627; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 19; Image: 1034.0.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

13-05-08, 05:52
I've been pondering whether this is the same John Mann in the 1930 Census...could he have been married more than once? Or are these the same spouse? :confused: Here are the 1910 and 1920 Census records.

Best Regards,

1910 United States Federal Census
Name: John Mann
Age in 1910: 50
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1860
Birthplace: Sweden
Relation to Head of House: Head
Father's Birth Place: Sweden
Mother's Birth Place: Sweden
Spouse's Name: Jennie
Home in 1910: Kenai, Division 3, Alaska
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Year of Immigration: 1896
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
John Mann 50
Jennie Mann 25
Madrana Mann 8
Dora Mann 6
Ina Mann 1

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Kenai, Division 3, Alaska; Roll: T624_1750; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 4; Image: 233.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

================================================== ========
Discover Your Family Story1920 United States Federal Census 1920 United States Federal Census
Name: John Maud
[John Mann]
Home in 1920: Kenai, Third Judicial District, Alaska Territory
Age: 52 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1868
Birthplace: Finland
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Inga
Father's Birth Place: Finland
Mother's Birth Place: Finland
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Own
Year of Immigration: 1886
Able to read: Yes
Image: 171
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
John Maud 52
Inga Maud 36
Monnie Maud 17
Doris Maud 15
Junie Maud 13
Henry Maud 5
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Kenai, Third Judicial District, Alaska Territory; Roll: T625_2031; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 171.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

14-05-08, 21:56
Ingemar and Denise,
Yes, you have narrowed the search and from what the Aland Island Emigrant
institute found, this is exactly the John Mann/Mattson we are looking for.
I just received my password back so was able to reply to you. Are you saying that the name they found, John Mann
b. ca 1857 Finland died 1937 Kenai Alaska, that his surname was NOT
Mattsson? Harry Mann is my wifes father. And this Knagg family that you
said is connected to Mann/Oskolkoff - we have a Knagin name in the
genealogy. Could Knagg and Knagin be one in the same? All this is exciting
news. How would we go about finding a present day connection to our
Mann/Mattsson family in Aland Island ? Thankyou so very much for your help.
And Denise, thankyou for the 1930 Alaska Census information (we have seen
before, but just confirms this is the right family. Where do we go from
here? So many things to learn. When did John Mann leave Finland? Did he
leave family in Aland Island? Do family remain there today?? We are leaving Kodiak for about five weeks, and will not online till around June 18. Looking forward to what else you can find. Thanks again soooo much.
Alan in Alaska

15-05-08, 09:06
Denise, This is definitely the same person. John Mann. Maud was a misprint by whoever transcribed it. It's the same family. Inga and Jennie (Eugenia) are the same person. John was only married once. Eugenia Myshiakov was her maiden name. It's Russian. Eugenia may have been baptismal name from the Russian Orthodox Church. Quick reply as I'm leaving town here. I will return! Alan