View Full Version : Joel Westerlund

06-02-09, 01:41
I am searching for information about my great grandfather, Joel Westerlund. this is what I know and believe to be accurate:

Joel was born 7/17/1875. He filed a WWI draft registration card in Alaska in 1918 and was living in Hot Springs, Alaska at the time. He stated he was a naturalized citizen and listed his nearest relative as Christina Westerlund (not sure of first name) in Jeppo, Finland. We'd always been told he was from Finland, so this makes sense.

There was a story someone translated for me (from the internet), that someone from Finland wrote, saying they had found a drawing at Redmond Creek, Alaska, with a ship drawn by Joel. The ship had the name Karl Gustav Nykarleby on it.

Joel married Jesse Justin, an Alaska Native woman, and had 3 daughters around 1920. He was murdered while they were young, I am going to guess that timeframe to be around 1925-1930, but it could be a little earlier or later.

We had been told he had 1 or more siblings that also moved to the US, but the fact that he stated his nearest relative was in Finland, makes me question if that was true or not.

I'd love any help in either telling me how I can try to find information myself or if I'm lucky enough and someone knows of this family, that would be great! Although he was killed before he got to be an old man, he did have 3 children, 9 grandchildren, 17 greatgrandchildren and so far 11 great great grandchildren! 35 of us are still living and really want to know about our Finnish ancestry.
Thanks for your help,

Hasse Andtbacka
06-02-09, 10:03
In Talko database is a Joel Jakobsson Vesterlund, born 17.7.1875 in the Nykarleby area, died 1930 in a fire in Alaska.
Joel was the oldest of 10 children, so there is a big family living in Finland.
The gedcom was delivered by Göran Berglund.

Hasse A

06-02-09, 11:09
I have a feeling that these Westerlunds are from the Kovjoki village. My cousin is married to one that may belong to this family. I'll try to contact them and see what is the outcome.


07-02-09, 04:22
Thank you both so much! Every tiny addition of information gets me one step closer to finding our family.

Margareta L
07-02-09, 17:35
Hello Michelle, unfortunately I am not a relative, but this I have of your family:

Table 1

I Jacob Johansson Westerlund, b. 25.10.1850 Nykarleby lf, Kovjoki, Biggas, d. 8.3.1914 Jeppo.
Han var ambullerande lärare, byskollärare i Kovjoki, senare polis och bonde i Jeppo. Kommunalnämndsordförande i Jeppo 1886-19.3.1893. (village teacher, worked as police/sheriff, farmer.)
Parents: Johan Jakobsson Biggas b.8.8.1823 Nykarleby lf, Kovjoki, d.4.4.1868 Nykarleby and Lisa Johansdotter Kurf b.8.4.1821 Ytterpurmo, Kurf, d.31.10.1852 Nykarleby .
Spouse: 11.10.1874 Nykarleby, Kovjoki Kristina Eriksdotter Westerlund f. Petas, b. 4.11.1854 Nykarleby lf, Kovjoki, d. 14.1.1936 Jeppo. Parents: Erik Jonasson Petas f. Paet, b. 19.8.1803 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, d. 10.7.1871 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, and Caisa Lena Eriksdotter Petas, b. 18.11.1822 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, d. 16.7.1868 Nykarleby, Kovjoki.

Joel Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 17.7.1875 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, Biggas, d. 14.4.1929 Alaska. Betyg till Amerika 22.12.1895. (papers drawn for trip to America)
Wiktor Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 22.9.1877 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, Biggas. 5.3.1897 till Nykarleby (att.nr.14).
Johannes Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 19.11.1880 Nykarleby, Kovjoki.
Hanna Jacobsdotter Sjöblom f. Westerlund, b. 26.7.1883 Nykarleby, Kovjoki. To table 2.
Wilhelm Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 29.3.1886 Jeppo, Stenbacka. To table 3.
Eric Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 18.5.1888 Jeppo, Stenbacka. To table 4.
Emil Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 19.8.1890 Jeppo, Stenbacka, d. 27.12.1966 Nykarleby.
Ingrid Maria Jacobsdotter Westerlund, b. 3.5.1892 Jeppo, Stenbacka. To table 5.
Gustaf Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 7.8.1894 Jeppo, Stenbacka.
Thure Evert Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 30.4.1897 Jeppo, Stenbacka. To table 6.
The family moved to Jeppo 1888. Table 2 (from table 1)
II Hanna Jacobsdotter Sjöblom f. Westerlund, b. 26.7.1883 Nykarleby, Kovjoki, d. 6.1.1951 Jeppo.
Spouse: 5.11.1905 Jeppo Karl William Sjöblom, b. 4.3.1883 Nykarleby lf., d. 7.2.1954 Jeppo. Table 3 (from table 1)
II Wilhelm Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 29.3.1886 Jeppo, Stenbacka.
Spouse: 14.11.1909 Jeppo Hilda Jakobsdotter Westerlund f. Ojala, b. 11.5.1889 Jeppo Table 4 (from table 1)
II Eric Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 18.5.1888 Jeppo, Stenbacka, d. 13.10.1940 Jeppo.
Spouse: 2.2.1913 Nykarleby Amanda Irene Jakobsdotter Westerlund f. Nybonde, b. 29.7.1892 Nykarleby lf, d. 7.7.1984 Jeppo. Table 5 (from table 1)
II Ingrid Maria Jacobsdotter Westerlund, b. 3.5.1892 Jeppo, Stenbacka.
Spouse: 10.3.1912 Jeppo Elias Eliel Eliasson Lindström f. Forss, bds., b. 13.10.1888 Jeppo, Fors, d. 17.8.1948 Table 6 (from table 1)
II Thure Evert Jacobsson Westerlund, b. 30.4.1897 Jeppo, Stenbacka, d. 17.2.1952 Jeppo.
1. Spouse: 29.7.1917 Jeppo Anna Irene Eriksdotter Westerlund f. Fors, b. 24.11.1894 Jeppo, Jungar, Fors, d. 14.1.1921 Jeppo.
2. Spouse: 30.7.1922 Jeppo M E Westerlund f. Rönnlund, b. 24.8.1903, d. 5.9.1994 Jeppo.Margareta

Italics: translation by Hasse

09-02-09, 01:15
I can't thank you enough for the information you posted! I never imagined that I would be able to get this so quickly!

For anyone,
It states that Joel's grandfather was John Jakobsson Biggas. then I noticed that Jacob was born in Kovjoki, Biggas. What does that mean? is Biggas a neighborhood in Kovjoki? And were people's last names simply where they were from?

Also, does anyone know how best to try to find living descendants of Joel's siblings? I would think that at least some of them are still in Jeppo. If you know who I can contact, that would be great.

I have so many different ancestors and always believed that I was mostly English. Now I know that I have 1 great grandfather from Finland and 1 from Sweden, making me 1/4 Swed-Finn! How exciting!


Margareta L
11-02-09, 16:30
Biggas is a farm in Kovjoki and the family name prior to Westerlund was Biggas. Farm names and people’s last names were in most cases the same. I don’t know you have living descendants in Jeppo, but maybe in Nykarleby area. I hope some out there have more information to you.

11-02-09, 18:13

Go to site http://www.levala.org/ and click on the links
Existerande släktböcker

Bärs släkten: del 1 In tab K 84 and tab K 136 you will find children of Erik Westerlund and Amanda Irene Nybonde

Christina Nordback

27-02-09, 06:25

I forwarded an email from a living relative of yours living in the US. I have a feeling that contacting her will provide you with lots of background information and information about living relatives in Finland.