View Full Version : Searching info about Jannes Ruokoja in the USA

15-03-10, 21:40

I'm trying to find out what Jannes Ruokoja did and where he was in the USA. Jannes was born on Oct 28, 1884 in Kälviä Finland. He immigrated to the USA in 1906 and came back to Finland circa 1910.

At Ellisisland.org, he is "Jonne Ruokoja". Date of arrival is Nov 28, 1906. He was travelling with his friend, Mr Maunula, and brother-in-law Leander Etelämäki whose name seems to be stroken through. Their destination was Carbonado, WA, and there his brother-in-law Otto Halminen.

That's all I (we) know. I notice though at Ancestry.com that there is listed a James Ruokoja (UK incoming passenger list) who could be the same person since Jannes and James might look the same written by handwriting.

Could anyone check for me where he might have been and what he did during those 2-3 years in the USA, please? Any kind of hints are welcome.


15-03-10, 23:49
There is listed a death in the Astoria, Oregon area of a man who's mother's maiden name was Maria Ruokoja:

SUNNELL, KALEB -- Born Dec. 26, 1866, Kalvia, Finland. Died Feb. 5, 1939, Astoria, Ore. Husband of Mary Loviisa. Farmer. Father: Erick Sunell (b. Finland). Mother: Maria Ruokoja (b. Finland). Burial at Greenwood Cemetery.

The again, there is Otto Halminen listed in these death certificates:

I believe we've discussed this man on Finlander before, his name is spelled incorrectly as "Holminen"

HOLMINEN, OTTO -- Age 43, born in Finland. Died Apr. 3, 1925, Astoria, Ore. Husband of Hilma. Logging. Burial at Oceanview Cemetery.


So, as is a safe bet for most Finns that came to the west coast, logging at least.

There may be some census data somewhere that lists your Ruokoja as a person living in a boarding house or some such.

But, perhaps this is still the wrong path that we lead you down last time.

16-03-10, 12:52
Thanks, Ilmari.

That Otto is checked and my requests to the archives and cemetary office etc in Astoria are in progress. I'm afraid that Maria Ruokoja doesn't include to my family tree at all.

So logging might have been what Jannes did for living in the States. That could be possible, since Otto was a logger and he could have helped with the start. If Jannes stayed at a boarding house (or in a family?), would he be then listed in the 1900 census? I tried to check those of WA last night, but the links, e.g., to the 1900 census of Pierce County were broken. And at Ancestry.com, the search for the 1900 census of the whole USA didn't return anything. I used different spellings and combinations.

Karen Norwillo
16-03-10, 15:12
If Jannes came in 1906, he wouldn't be found in the 1900 census. Or were you referring to Otto? Jannes might be in the 1910 depending when he returned to Finland.

16-03-10, 21:07

I was referring to Jannes. I have a book about emigrants of Kälviä, and it says that he came back to Finland in 1910. I don't know what month.

Have I understood it correct that if a person went to the States in 1906 and if he came back in 1909, there won't be a trace of him unless I'm very lucky, "blindfolded search", or someone can give me hints to follow? What other sources there could be to check?

I think I have somehow mixed the US census records with the Finnish parish system. :)


Karen Norwillo
17-03-10, 16:56
Unfortunately that's true. Unless he went to a state that might have had a state census inbetween the national census. But those aren't many and most ended in 1905 so it wouldn't help anyway.

09-08-10, 10:36

does the strikethrough in the passenger manifest mean that a person (line 7 Etelämäki Leander) didn't make it thru Ellis Island and was sent back to Finland?

passenger manifest:
http://www.ellisisland.org/EIFile/popup_weif_5a.asp?src=%2Fcgi-bin%2Ftif2gif.exe%3FT%3D\\\\\\IMAGES \\T715-0803\\T715-08030085.TIF%26S%3D.5&pID=102333010720&name=Jonne%26nbsp%3BRuokoja&doa=Nov+28%2C+1906&port=Liverpool&line=0010

Karen Norwillo
09-08-10, 16:35
Various reasons he could be crossed through. He could have been detained for health, waiting for someone, not enough money etc. He is on a 12 Jun 1908 Incoming Passenger List to the UK from New York. Says destination Helsingfors. There are many Etelämäki listings in MI, but no sign of him, but, again, if he reurned to Finland in 1908, he would have "fallen through the cracks" for those two years 1906-1908.

Karen Norwillo
10-08-10, 05:06
Found this man in Family History records (LDS), says born 8 May 1875 in Lohtaja and died 16 Sep 1930 in Kälviä. So he definitely returned to Finland. Was married to Lovisa Eriksdotter 12 Sep 1897 in Kälviä.

10-08-10, 10:40
Ok, thanks, Karen. Mr Etelämäki went and worked in the US three times according to a book about Kälviä immigration, and I became suspicious that this journey in 1906 wasn't quite that what it looks like, just because his name is crossed through.