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Boomer
22-02-11, 21:20
Hello, My name is Jim Balmer, I'm from the St. Louis, Missouri area. I retired from the local beer company before the were bought out by Inbev, I have been hunting ancestors for about ten years and am finally going to tackle what is half of my ancestry.

I have been to the Hiski website but not fully understanding the Finnish naming conventions and having no knowledge of the language, I really haven't had much success. I'm hoping to find individuals that will help me understand and translate for me.

I do remember that when I was a small child that my mother would occasionally send and receive correspondence from cousins in Finland.

My grandparents were August Wirtanen and Mini (sp?) Erkila. They both emigrated and settled on Drummond Island, Michigan and married 16 Jan 1913 at Maxton, Drummond Island, Chippewa Co., Michigan.

Mini b. 15 Dec 1876 in Finland d. 18 Nov 1956 at Manistique, Mi. Mini's parents were Mike and Elizabeth Erkila. No other info on Mini.

August b. 24 Jan 1871 at Mikkelin Laani, Finland d. 28 Oct 1938 at Drummond Island, Mi. August's parents were father unkown. mother's name was Alberta.
From a book Islands of the Manitou "August Wirtanen, from Kellososkela, arrived on a boat from the Soo with a group in May 1905".

For those who don't know the Soo is Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan or Ontario depending on which side of the river you are on. Apparently he was in the group headed by Maggie Walz, a political activist of the time.

From the Migration Institute website I found an August that I thought matched my grandfather.

Last name Wirtanen
First names August
Age or age class 31
Port of departure Hanko
Place of destination Sault Ste. Marie
State of destination ON
Country of destination CDN
Price of ticket FIM 251
Ship from Finland Arcturus
Date of departure from Finland 01.03.1902
Ship from England* (means the data was not stated)
Date of departure from England 99.99.9999 (means the data was not stated)
Ocean Line Allan Line
Port of departure in England * (means the data was not stated)
List and page 24/21

This is the sum total I know of either of my grandparents prior to their settling in the U.S. Looking for any information since what I have is next to nothing.

Jim

Tapio Rautio
23-02-11, 20:47
Welcome to the forum Jim!

I´m sure as time goes by, Your hunt will give results.

I tried to work with Your clues, but with no results. Some more hints are needed.

Wirtanen and Erkkilä are very common names in Finland, so that is no help.

Do You know if Mike and Elisabeth emigrated too?

Mini is not a Finnish name, it has to be a version of some other name, I think...?


:)


Tapio

Boomer
24-02-11, 22:47
Tapio,

Thanks for the reply. The news about the common names could have been better but...

As far as I know Mike and Elisabeth did not emigrate. My feelings are that if they had emigrated they would have gone, at least for a while, to Drummond Island to be with family and this would have been part of the family lore.

Hints..... that is going to be a tough one. I pretty much put the sum total of my knowledge in the posting below. Is there a Finnish naming custom? There were 4 children (2 made it to adults). Eldest to youngest: Aili Elizabeth, Veikko, Toivo, and Woitto. I just looked at my notes and I'm sorry but I don't have anything else to add.

Mini?? Minerva maybe. I have no idea where that name may have come from. Perhaps when she was born she was small and they called her mini :-)

Jim

Tapio Rautio
25-02-11, 08:08
Hi Jim!


It could be worth a try to send a query to Tuusula parish, about August Wirtanen moving
abroad around 1902? The Kellokoski records are kept there.

http://www.evl.fi/sertika/perus/tuusulanseurakunta_fi.htm

This is the e-mail adress to use:
tuusula.seurakuntakeskus*evl.fi

Tapio

Boomer
25-02-11, 14:06
Tapio,

Sent an email to the address asking for information.

Is there a naming convention in Finland? I know that the Scots named their firstborn male after the paternal grandfather and the firstborn female after the paternal grandmother, second born male/female was named after the maternal grandparent of the correct gender. Makes it a little easier to run down the parents.

I did find one more piece of info on August that I didn't have before. The Immigration Year is a problem since he was supposed to have come to the island in 1905. What to believe????

United States Census, 1910 for August Wirtanen

Name: August Wirtanen
Birthplace: Finland
Relationship to Head of Household:
Residence: Drummond, Chippewa, Michigan
Marital Status: Single
Race : White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1906
Father's Birthplace: Finland
Mother's Birthplace: Finland
Family Number: 89
Page Number: 5
Household Gender Age
John Wikam M 34y
Leonard Wikam M 19y
August Wirtanen M 40y


Jim

June Pelo
25-02-11, 15:41
In our family, my brother was named after my father's father (Anders) and I am named after my mother's mother (my middle name is Marie - she was Maria).

Karen Norwillo
25-02-11, 16:48
The Mini could be Miina. Many Americanized that name to Minnie.

June Pelo
25-02-11, 17:12
Could have been shortened from Wilhelmina..

Karen Norwillo
25-02-11, 17:21
Jim,
Here are the manifests for August and Miina. Miina Erkkila arrived Nov 1905 to Boston, destination Soo. August crossed over from Canada to US at St Albans, VT Jul 1904. Looks like he landed originally at Halifax. I found them in the 1930 census. Also found their marriage info, do you have copy? Welcome to Finlander.
Karen

Karen Norwillo
25-02-11, 17:38
Jim,
This looks like a possibility for Miina's parents. Isokyrö Marriages 9.4.1875 Bonds Michel Michelsson Erkkilä of Ulvila by and Bondsdr.Elisabeth Mattsdotter Kukila of Orismala village. This is from Hiski. Sorry. I don't think this is the right one. Their first child was born 30 Dec 1876, but her name was Hedvig Mathilda. Don't think we can get Miina out of that.

Boomer
25-02-11, 20:01
Good Morning June and Karen,

Certainly a lot of info to take in... had to go and get a cup of coffee because I think I'll be sitting here for a while looking everything over.

June - I thought that perhaps there might be a formalized naming convention since my mother (Aili ) had the middle name Elizabeth same as her maternal grandmother.

Karen - Thanks for the welcome. Where do you get the info that August crossed to US at St Albans, VT Jul 1904? I don't see anything mentioning that. No, I don't have the marriage info and would very much like a copy. This is like Christmas with a lot of packages....YIPPEEEE!

What is your source for all these documents and information?

Thanks,
Jim

Karen Norwillo
25-02-11, 21:19
Jim
All attached images from Ancestry.com. August's from Border Crossings Canada to US
Miina's from Boston Arrivals 1905 Just looked at August'. He's on line 11.
Here is that image for the marriage. That was on Family Search, Michigan Marriages 1868-1925
film # 2342696, folder # 4209156, image # 347, reference # v1p531rn241
Karen

Boomer
26-02-11, 00:02
Karen,

It looks like I'm going to have to re-think my position on ancestry.com. Up to this point I've rejected pay for ancestor sites since I believe the data should be free, but with the amount of data that you have come up with in such a short time makes me think I should look into getting a subscription. Now I have to figure out how to make it pay.

I don't know how I missed the marriage data on the LDS site. I'm on that site daily.

Thanks for the info.

Jim

Boomer
26-02-11, 02:30
Just noticed... This is where Miina becomes Mini.

Jaska Sarell
26-02-11, 10:12
As June wrote, Miina was a common shortened form of Wilhelmina.
Her name may not have been Erkkilä, but Erikkilä/Eerikkilä, as it was clearly written Erikila in document Karen attached. That is not so common, though appears around the country as well. Both based on first name Erik/Eerik/Erkki.

:) Jaska

Tapio Rautio
26-02-11, 10:29
Jim,

the members section of http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/index.htm
cover Tuusula church records to 1910 and i realized also Kellokoski are included.

Last night i did some searching in Kellokoski communion books and also people moving out from Tuusula,
but no result for August....

Tapio

Boomer
26-02-11, 18:47
Good Morning All,

Got to looking and thinking this morning and I'm thinking that possibly the Kellososkela location could be wrong. Here's my logic: The book that was quoted was written 50 years after the fact by a local author for a local audience. Possibly the facts weren't checked as closely as it might have been. I've looked on Google earth for Mikkelin Laani but the closest I can find is the town of Mikkeli. Would this be the area of August's birth?

On Miina's manifest it said that her prior residence was Wasa.... Am I correct to assume that was the "americanization" of Vaasa?

Just got off the telephone with my sister and she said that she remembered our mother mentioning Vaasa as the location of relatives. She says she has a drawing of a house with the following written on the back... muisto Mummalta ja Paapalta. Can someone translate? I tried the google translator and it said "memorial Mummalta ja Paapalta" which really doesn't make much sense for a drawing of a house.

Thanks,

Jim

Jaska Sarell
26-02-11, 20:21
Muisto Mummalta ja Paapalta. Souvenier/memory from grandma and grandpa.
Somebody may know where words mumma and paappa were used. There are many other variations like mamma, mummo, mummu, mummi, muori etc. for the official sounding isoäiti and pappa, vaari, ukki etc. for isoisä. Often different words are used for differentiation, as we eg. are mummo and pappa for our grandson and the other grandparents are mummi and vaari. My father's grandmothers were called mummu and fammu based on Swedish words mormor and farmor (grandfathers died before they got any grandchildren, maybe they would have been similarly called muffa and faffa, as I have heard used in that area). Anyway some forms are more locally used, many of which I cannot recall. Paappa with double a is something I haven't heard used in my proximity (SW Finland).

:) Jaska

Boomer
26-02-11, 21:13
Jaska,

You brought back a memory that hasn't been around for 55 years or so. Grandmother was called mummu although when I was a child I thought it was moo-moo. Would this give a hint to locality?

Jim

eeva.hakkinen
27-02-11, 11:18
Just some words about your questions.

The naming conventions: Yes, it is still common today to give at least one name that comes from (grand)mother/father or some such near relative to a child. In olden times until mid 1800 it was even more common to give to the three eldest sons the names of father's father, mother's father and the child's father, often in this order. That changed in 1800's when the novelty names (the ones you cannot in the Saint's Calender, like Vilhelmina) came to use.

Mikkelin lääni consists of quite many parishes and there are many challenges in finding August's ancestry, like him being born out of wedlock (probably no siblings) or Virtanen not being a name from that area - actually not a family name at all. Mikkelin lääni is part of Savo, where the people had a family name going from father to children for hundrers of years. In western Finland people changed their surnames at will, often based on the farm they were living in - and most often did not use a surname at all, only the Christian name and patronymic. Virtanen was one of the most popular names taken when the law decreed 1930 that every person must have a surname.

The good news is that you have the date and an approximate place of birth. If they are correct, this problem can eventually be solved. There are very few babtism lists or such on the net for that time frame. I have access to the Land Archive in Mikkeli so if you want, I could check if I can find his birth record and from there something about his mother. Don't hold your breath, thou, will take some time.

Happy hunting & good luck!

Tapio Rautio
27-02-11, 11:49
Hi!

Here we go again.

I did some searching in Isokyrö and the house of Erkkilä, no match there.
However there is a Lisa Jemina Erving born in
Isokyrö 15.12.1876.
Parents: Michael Matsson Erving b. 07.02.1854 Laihia and Lisa Michelsdr Rahikka b. 25.10.1854 also Laihia.




She moves to Vähäkyrö 24.11.1894


On this site she marries Kaarle Juhonpoika Erkkilä in Vähäkyrö 30.12.1897, he dies 25.07.1902.
http://www.vilppula.com/people/p000000o.htm#I108591

I wrote to the Vilppula info adress for more info about what happened to Lisa Jemina, but no more details is
recorded there.

So again the only we to be sure, is to write to the parish of Vähäkyrö to find out what happened to Lisa Jemina.

Here is the adress:
http://www.evl.fi/sertika/perus/vahankyronseurakunta_fi.htm

By the way, the chance of this being the right Mina is 50/50,
either it is, or is not.

:) :)

Tapio

Boomer
27-02-11, 18:14
Good Morning All,

eeva - the naming convention is the same as Scotland's (where I've done the most research outside the U.S.) although they also name the female children after the father's mother, mother's mother and mother.

What does the laani in Mikkelin lääni mean? Is it like our county?

I would deeply appreciate you checking the Land Archive in Mikkeli. Time is no problem... I've been chasing these ancestors for ten years and have found out more about them in a week than in the prior ten years.

Tapio - I'm trying hard to maintain a cool, collected, demeanor....but it's hard. Lisa Jemina Erving seems to be a match. Here's why, When I was a teenager I was talking with my mother about my name. She told me that she and my dad had considered naming me after my grandmothers's maiden names. I would have been Irving (I thought it would be spelled like that)Shepard Balmer. I thanked my mother for changing her mind and promptly forgot about it. I haven't thought of that tidbit of information for 40-50 years. When I looked at your post it immediately brought that conversation back to mind. Looking at her age when she married August on Drummond Island made sense now also.

Her parents.... Mike and Elizabeth = Michael Matsson and Lisa Michelsdr seems to be within the realm of reason

I've sent an email to the parish of Vähäkyrö and am awaiting their answer.

Having a hard time not dancin'

Jim

Boomer
03-03-11, 18:53
Tapio,

Got an answer to my email to to the parish of Vähäkyrö:

Lisa Jemina Erkkilä e Ervig s 15.12.1876 Isokyrö,
She left alone to Vaasa 30.6.1905, after her husband died.

This gives her about 5 months between leaving Vähäkyrö and being on a ship sailing from Liverpool. I've written an email to Vaasan suomalainen seurakunta to see if there are any records there.
About the image showing Jemina and her siblings..... What variety of document is that, I've tried Kiski and FFHA and can't find it. Also I see a cross in the left margin. what does that mean?

Are there other digital archives available other than Kiski and FFHA since I seem to find that anything I want to look up, the record keeping stopped 5 years earlier.

Jim

Tapio Rautio
03-03-11, 19:43
Jim, the document could be called, household examination roll.

The cross means death, the date of death on the right side.

Here is the adress where that picture is from:
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/puu.ka

Scroll down to Isonkyrön seurakunta.

I hope Vaasan seurakunta answer as fast, as Vähäkyrö did. :)

Tapio

eeva.hakkinen
04-03-11, 20:47
Checked today that August was not born in Mikkeli parish. Will check more when I next time get to the aechive.

Boomer
05-03-11, 20:07
Checked today that August was not born in Mikkeli parish. Will check more when I next time get to the aechive.

Eeva,
Thanks for the check. I think that with August it may be a matter of eliminating all the places that he is not from, to find out where he does come from.

Boomer
07-03-11, 19:55
Tried looking up my great-grandparents birth in Laihia. Not too sure I found them. I went to Digitaaliarkisto and used Live Search to translate the name of the archives. Found an archive named "Born and kastettujen lists in 1846-1876" which I thought might be a good bet. Looked through many pages trying to find out what year and month I was looking at (I really appreciate the pastors that put the year on the top of the page) and came up with the following images that I need translated. I'm thinking that they may not be the correct persons because I see "dotters" when I should see "sons" but I can't read Finnish so I'll leave it to the experts. Looking for Michael Matsson Erving b. 7 Feb 1854 and Lisa Michelsdr Rahikka b. 25 Oct 1854. Would someone please translate these for me? Thank you.

Jim

36663665

Tapio Rautio
07-03-11, 20:47
Jim those are the right ones.

The writing is always in swedish in these and older records, finnish is
used after 1880 ca.



On Lisa the tip: Laihia, Village: Kumarla, farm: Kumara

On Mikkel the tip is: Village: Kylänpää, farm : Ipponen

http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/index_eng.htm
choose church records,
Laihia,
Rippikirja, 1852-1858

Then look for those two houses, Ipponen and Kumara.

Tapio

Jaska Sarell
07-03-11, 20:59
These birth records contain only names and titles of parents (here: föräldrar, also Latin parentes used) and witnesses (here: wittnen, sometimes: faddrar = godparents).

:) Jaska

Tapio Rautio
07-03-11, 21:10
Jim, from here on, hiski gets really useful, to find the right farms of births, marriages and deaths
in the originals:
http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/index_eng.htm


:)

Tapio

Boomer
07-03-11, 23:12
Tapio, Jaska


The writing is always in swedish in these and older records, finnish is used after 1880 ca.

Oh great!! Now I've got to be illiterate in two languages instead of one....:)

For Michael:
I think I see the names Lisa Andersdotter W???? ,Thomas Jacobson Miiski, Ekaria Henriksdotter, and Henrik Thomason K????

For Lisa:
I think I see the names Lisa Mattsdotter W???? (although the name beginning with W looks alot like the Lisa W??? in Michael's), and Thomas Henrikson Lukas.

Am I close to being correct? Which would be the parents and which the god-parents?

Also, I go to http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/index_eng.htm and select Church Records, Laihia rippikirja, 1852-1858, and look for the village name or the farm name and I don't see them. Do you have to go page by page to find the farm?

Could you give me a word by word translation of one of the images so I can determine what is standard phrases that the Pastor would use and which is "good stuff". It might help me in deciphering Swedish.

Thanks,

Jim

Tapio Rautio
08-03-11, 07:45
Hello.


Mickel : Föräldrar Torparen Mats Erving och hustru Lisa Andersdotter.
Vittnen: Bdn (Bonden) Thomas Jöransson Mickilä med hu (hustrun)
Maria Henriksdotter och inhyses Henrik Thomasson Kuusisto med hustru
Maria Andersdotter.
Döpt av J.J. Richtman (priest)


Lisa : Föräldrar: Mickel Mickelsson Rahikka och hustru Lisa Mattsdotter.
Vittnen: Bmåg (Bondemåg) Thomas Henriksson Leikas med hustru Susanna
Mickelsdotter (Susanna is Mickels sister) och inhyses Michel Hemming jemte (and)
Bdr (bondedotter. farmers daughter) Susanna Kumara.

Döpt av J.J. Richtman


http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/laihia/rippikirja_1852-1858_uk100-101/404.htm

Ipponen, Michel second up from bottom of the page.



http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/laihia/rippikirja_1852-1858_uk100-101/553.htm

Kumarla by Kumara, Lisa last person down on the page.


:)

Tapio

Boomer
08-03-11, 22:53
All,

I think the question of whether Miina Erkkilä (Grandmom) is the same person as Lisa Jemina Erkkilä who left for the U.S. in 1905 has had an interesting development. My sister says that she has a wedding ring that she couldn't figure who it belonged to. She thought that the initials in the ring were H E in a fancy script. She took a closer look and is sure that the initials are LJ E.

Jim

eeva.hakkinen
17-03-11, 21:41
Eeva,
Thanks for the check. I think that with August it may be a matter of eliminating all the places that he is not from, to find out where he does come from.

Today I went to the archive and checked a few more parishes with no luck. I should be able to get thru elimanation in a few weeks. Where does your information about August's date and place of birth come from?

Boomer
21-03-11, 22:35
Today I went to the archive and checked a few more parishes with no luck. I should be able to get thru elimanation in a few weeks. Where does your information about August's date and place of birth come from?

Sorry I've taken so long to reply but I'm having computer problems. The computer that has my info on it seems to have died. I've got a grandson-in-law that is an I.T. specialist who is going to take a look at it and says if nothing else he can get the data off the hard drive. As to August's birth date and place of birth, I'm not sure since it is on that hard drive. It probably came from some document here in the U.S. since I could never figure out the Finnish documents until I got on this site.

Thank you for your continued searching. It would be really fantastic if there could be a line traced on him.

Boomer
02-04-11, 21:55
Sorry I've taken so long to reply but I'm having computer problems. The computer that has my info on it seems to have died. I've got a grandson-in-law that is an I.T. specialist who is going to take a look at it and says if nothing else he can get the data off the hard drive. As to August's birth date and place of birth, I'm not sure since it is on that hard drive. It probably came from some document here in the U.S. since I could never figure out the Finnish documents until I got on this site.

Thank you for your continued searching. It would be really fantastic if there could be a line traced on him.

Eeva,

I've managed to get the data off the dead computer and now have an answer to your question.

His birthdate and birthplace (January 24, 1871, Mikkelin Lanni) was taken from his obituary (attached). As to where he came from prior to immigrating, Kellososkela came from a book Islands of the Manitou "August Wirtanen, from Kellososkela, arrived on a boat from the Soo with a group in May 1905".

Could be that it is a different August Wirtanen but I find no others in the 1910 census for Michigan.