View Full Version : Malakias Laukka

23-01-04, 07:04
Chuck, the next time you go to Swenson, could you check on this fellow? This message appeared on Finngen. Anyone not seeing it there that might know something, please reply and I'll get back in touch with Libby. (There are some possibilities on the Migration Institute but she already saw them and she just wasn't for sure it's the same person.)

"To all of you who have responded, asking for more info, here's what I know:

I'm told, by family members, that Malakias' surname wasn't originally Laukka. He was sent to work at an early age by a step parent and worked for the Laukka family so he took their name. (From "early age," I'm assuming he changed his name before - or when - he left Finland.)

From his death cert, he was born in 1869 and died in 1932. Death cert says his father was Matt Laukka, but it doesn't say who provided the info, so I don't know how accurate that is. The death cert is not a xerox copy, but a "typed-in" form, indicating they transcribed it from a ledger perhaps. (I'm not sure this is completely accurate - perhaps since it was typed, "Matt" provided the information. He did name his third son Matt.)

One Matts Laukka immigrated, Ellis Island, arrived April 03, 1899, on the ship New York, 25 years old, but the age is all wrong.

The 1910 census says he immigrated in 1889. He lived in Marquette County, MI, around Negaunee. In 1900, he was in the town of Negaunee. By 1910, he was on a farm in the county. (Family lore has it that all the children were born on the farm, meaning he moved there ~1900 since the oldest son was born in 1901.) There were 11 children and I've pretty well pinned them down. From what I can tell, everyone in the family has accepted the answer that he changed his name and doesn't know anything

He married ~1900. (The 1900 census says he'd been married less than a year.) I've written for the marriage cert. They were both Lutheran.

His wife was Margareeta (1876-1963). Her death cert info was provided by a son, Andrew, and says her father's name was Kestinen. I'm told she immigrated and worked for a family to pay her passage, perhaps in the Detroit area. She came over ~ 1899. One of her daughters, now dead, said she came through Ellis Island, but I haven't been able to verify this or find much about her family either. Her mother married twice, so I don't know if Kestinen was her natural father or her step-father's name.

The Marquette County MI Naturalization Records are on-line and I have scoured them, looking even for a first name and have not found anything even close. No Malakias'. I'm thinking even if he changed his surname, he would keep his given name.

For Laukkas, the State of Michigan Index of Naturalization for Marquette Co. applications only list Henry Laukka; Abel Laukkanen; Oskar Laukkanen; and Wilho Laukkanen - not even close. (http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17449_18635_20684-55704--,00.html).

Not all counties are indexed, but looking at adjoining counties, I can't find anything.

The census says he became a US citizen in 1892 or 93 (can't read the census). Since it was before 1906, the process was different than it is today and the records are not as detailed.

I'm told application for naturalizatiom could be made at a county court or a federal court. There was a federal court in Marquette, but I haven't had any luck finding anyone who will admit to having those records. Neither have I had any luck determining if the on-line immigration records for Marquette Co are only county records, or whether they include records from the federal court there.

From 1824 to 1906, minor aliens who had lived in the United States 5 years before their 23rd birthday could file both their declarations and petitions at the same time. He may fall into this category (barely).

At the time he immigrated, Finland was under Swedish rule and army training was mandatory at 19 years. (I'm guessing that, and the offer of a job, might why he immigrated when he did - for what that's worth!)

Malakias was a conscripted miner (iron mines). The mining company provided passage for a certain period of work, but I have been unable so far to find out which mines recruited in Finland for the Negaunee area in the early 1890s, thinking perhaps I might find mining company records.

My husband's other grandfather was also from Finland and came as a miner, but he came in 1909. I have his records. They say he came in through Canada. If Malakias came this way, that doesn't help me since the St. Alban's List only begins in 1895.

I live in Alabama. My side of the family is from north Florida. They were all "just folks" (no one special), but I've had pretty good luck
tracing them back to ~1800. As I understand it, the key to my next step in tracing Malakias is to find out which parish/town he came from so I can check church records in Finland.

(This is my husband's family. The state of Michigan will only send copies of death certs to heirs, but I have written for the one for my husband's mother, hoping for a clue.)

Thank you all for taking an interest. I'm sure there are "rocks" I haven't turned over yet, but am beginning to run out of places to think to look.

I apologize for taking "list space" with this long posting, but several folks have indicated that with additional information, someone might have an idea.

Thank you again,

Sorry for the long message.....

23-01-04, 08:17
Hi Kevin,
This guy, Matt Laukka is a Finnish speaking guy if I read that name correctly. I don't see anything suggesting his wife was a Swedish speaking woman.
You being a former Mqt county boy will know that Ishpeming had 3 apostolic factions and 1 Suomi Synod church, Negaunee had 2 apostolic groups and 1 Suomi Synod church, Princeton/Gwinn had a Suomi Synod church [depending on what around Negaunee encompasses] and a bit west Winthrop/National Mind had a Suomi Synod church. For that, we really need a member who is in Hancock or Houghton :)
The Swedes had 2 churches each in Ishpeming and Negaunee. I will check to see if a funeral was provided but it is a long shot - I like a long shot:)

24-01-04, 00:08
Bethany Lutheran Negaunee,
Mission Covenant Negaunee
Evangelical Covenant Ishpeming
Bethany Lutheran Ishpeming.

No Laukka listed as a member in these churches.
BL in Negaunee did not have any m/acts on the reel so unable to confirm anything about a funeral here.
MC in Negaunee did not show him on their funerals list.
EC in Ishpeming, their jordfäst [burial] list dates only to 1915.
BL in Ishpeming m/acts only thru 1926 and the closest name I found was Lokken so I checked it out but nothing there.
Be very nice is we had somebody in Hancock to check at the Finn center there.

24-01-04, 02:31
this person might try posting a query in the Finnish American Reporter.

24-01-04, 03:25
Thanks, Chuck, for giving it the "once over". I've been exchanging emails with Libby privately the last few days and we have found a few more clues.

Before that though, she said in an email something about this Malakias' wife being Lutheran in Negaunee and something about being a "Laestadians". Does anyone know what this is? She thought it was a branch of the Lutherna Church but I've never heard of it before.

She mentioned Malakias' wife, Margareeta. Turns out I think I found her on Migration Institute site on the Passenger List. Name was Reeta Kestilä, age 21, travelling Mar 25, 1899. It says she was from Oulu. Libby mentioned a family member said she was "born Kestilassa (Oulunlanissa)". I found a Kestilä village in Temmes which looked promising.

Then she emailed me saying she found Reeta on Ellis Island, under name Reeta Kesti, arriving in April. Age seems to fit. It lists her as being from "Frantsilassa". Checking Hiski, I found variations of Frantsilä in Sievi and a few others but also Temmes.

I told Libby we must be getting closer to tracking her down. I suggested ordering a film for Temmes. Still no luck on Malakias but suggested to keep looking around.

If any of this new information strikes a bell with anyone, please let me know. Don't know why I've become obsessed with helping Libby find these people but here I am. :)

Thanks again for any input. (Syrene, I will forward your suggestion as well).

24-01-04, 05:29
Hi Kevin,
Laestadians have a nice newer church in Ishpeming right now. I have never visited it but I have seen it as I drove by.
Now we need somebody from Marquette County to visit that church and see if they have their old records.
This website is a brief description of this set of groups.
And another which gives a more indepth description of the beginnings. Both websites seem to agree on the people holding strong beliefs. This may account for the tendency to split into many groups.
Not much help in finding Matti but it's a part of Finnish life yet today.
Hmm, my dad's father was a member of the Apostolic church in Republic so I guess that makes me related to this group:)

24-01-04, 07:04
Wondering if Midge Waters is reading the Forum still. If you are, would you mind checking the Neguanee Church for me (her?).


24-01-04, 10:02
Originally posted by kpaavola
... she said in an email something about this Malakias' wife being Lutheran in Negaunee and something about being a "Laestadians". Does anyone know what this is? She thought it was a branch of the Lutherna Church ...

The Laestadians are a movement within the Lutheran Chrurch. It is particularly strong in norhtern Finland, in the vicinity of Uleåborg and in Larsmo and in Karleby.

The movement was founden by Lars Levi Laestadius (b. 1800 in Arjeplog, Sweden, d. 1861 in Pajala, Sweden).

He was a son of a farmer. At first he was known as a botanist. He was an expert on the flora of Lapland. He became a priest in 1825 and lived in Karesuando, where he got his calling.

He is famous for his prophetical sermons. Leastadius must have been very carismatic. He preach against sinful life and alcohol, but also about forgiveness. There are many opinions about the movement, but at least he is said to have sobered up the people in Lapland.

His followers today keep much to themselves in their religious life. They have their own halls where they come together on Sundays. They preferr marriages within the movement. They believe litterally that man shall fill the earth, therefore they have big families. Most of them do not approve of television and a couple of decades ago even radio was considered to be devilish.

I do not have the figures, but the movement is not very big. On the other hand it is very influential in the parishes where it exists. It would for example be very hard for a woman priest to function or even get work in such a congregation.


24-01-04, 17:31
Thanks for the information, Sune. I forwarded your message to Libby. Seems like another indication they came from the Oulu area. Another good lead!

Thanks again!

M. Waters
01-02-04, 23:03
Hi, Kevin, Chuck, and all....Midge checking in, and I tried to call the Laestadian Church in Ishpeming....no answer. I will try again, and if possible, ask permission to see their records, if they go back far enough. Also, I looked at their website in the local paper, and left a message there...I fear that the website is a national one, so I asked to be informed of a local phone, e-mail or snail-mail address, so that I can reach them here. The website I reached was http://www.laestadianlutheran.org. I'll keep trying... Midge.

June Pelo
02-02-04, 00:03
There is an article about Lars Levi Laestadius by Juha Pentikäinen in "Exploring Ostrobothnia", edited by Börje Vähämäki, Vol 2, No. 2, 1998. And there is another article in the book about Religious movements in Ostrobothnia.

I noticed a picture of the home of a Laestadian preacher Kaleb Wuollet in New York Mills, MN. Also a drawing of Juhani Raattamaa, Laestadius' disciple and another of Lars Laestadius..


02-02-04, 00:10
In the event that Midge is unable to turn up any records, the possibility exists that Matti was perhaps a member of a Negaunee Apostolic Lutheran Church or had funeral services conducted by one of their ministers. There apparently were 3 in Negaunee according to the Finnish gen website.

M. Waters
02-02-04, 01:03
Okay....I'll ask around among the Apostolics, and also see if I can find the obit. If I do, I'll follow up with the pastor who officiated, and the funeral home, which often has additiional information. I'll keep looking for rocks to look under! Midge.

02-02-04, 01:14
Thanks, Midge. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Welcome back, too! Hope your navigating around the forum ok. If you're having problems, let me know and I'll be happy to help you out! :)

M. Waters
03-02-04, 17:56
Hi, Laukka-seekers......I think I have located (by phone) the obits of several family members at the Longyear Historical library (great obit file), but not Matt's. I will get copies on Thursday.

Also, I checked the local churches, and found that Malakias and "Kreeta" and some of the children are listed in an old church book at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Negaunee, and when I get it all together, I can mail or scan the information to the original seeker. Would prefer to send it by snail mail.

I could speak to the pastor who held some of the funerals. Also, the funeral home, to see what history they have. I could also look for the cemetery information with the city clerk, but there will be no digging through the snow for photos of the gravestone! (until May, anyway).

More later. Midge.

03-02-04, 18:57
Hi Midge, that's great news! When I get home later tonight I'll email Libby (the person seeking Malakias) and let her know you might have found something.

When you're ready, let me know and I'll either give you my mailing address or ask Libby for hers.

Thanks again for your kindness! :)

M. Waters
03-02-04, 22:32
Hi....I got the obit printouts today, since I got to Marquette sooner than I thought I would. If I can have Libby's address, I will put this stuff in the mail tomorrow, and she can always ask me more questions after she gets all her data sorted out. There are descendants still living around here... I could call them if she wants me to.

03-02-04, 22:46
Thanks, Midge. I'll email her tonight and go from there! :)

04-02-04, 05:40
Hi Midge,
I emailed you through the Forum but not sure how it works so here's Libby's response from my email:

"This is awesome!
Please forward her my e-mail.
BTW - I know some of the grandchildren may live in the Marquette/Negaunee area, but so far, I've struck out on anyone knowing anything much about Malakias and "Kreeta's" origins, so that's probably a dead end. I do have photos of the gravestones. (Thanks, anyway, but I wouldn't want someone to go to that trouble when I have them.)

As for the pastor who held some of the funerals - one of their grandsons, Tom Wickstrom, is a Lutheran minister (retired, in Florida now). If he's the minister listed for the funerals, I've talked to him. He's the one who told me about the Laestidians, but didn't have any specific details about Malakias and Margareeta's parents or origins.

(This is wonderful! How can I ever thank you? I'm in N. Alabama and have roots in S. GA/N. FL if I can EVER help anyone up there look for someone who might have wandered this far south.)

Libby "

Her email is: tjarv%40hiwaay.net.remove

08-02-04, 23:25
Thanks to you wonderful people, I received my copies in the mail of the Immanuel Church Book and obituaries from the historical society that show Malakias was born 10 March 1869 in Karstula and Margareeta 14 Dec. 1876, in Kestila, Oulun Laani, Finland. Her obituary also noted she was survived by "several nieces in Finland and this country" telling me that others from her family migrated too. Both sources are invaluable. Thank you all again for your interest and help. You are truly amazing.

M. Waters
09-02-04, 01:48
Hi, Libby, etc.....I am glad you found so much new information, but I'm like a dog with a bone, and wanted to tell you that if you do not feel like calling the local Laukka family yourself, I could do that for you. Then you would know if they were family or not. Or I could send you their snail mail address, and you could write when you are ready.

But tell me quick, since I am driving with my husband to California soon, and will be gone a few weeks. I'm tickled pink about this trip, too, since I will get to visit face to face (instead of on e-mail) with four cousins (2nd, 3rd, and 5th) recently discovered! One from my Swedish side, two from Swede-Finn background, and another of my husband's, who is Cornish. Midge.

09-02-04, 03:12
Midge - Thanks so much for your kind offer on contacting local folks, but of the 11 children, there were only four sons. Of the four sons, only one had sons himself to carry on the Laukka name I am in contact with them. Have a great trip!

09-02-04, 03:12
This is so cool! Thanks, Midge, for digging up this info for Libby! It was very kind of you to offer to help.

Libby, I just checked HisKi and the birth records end at 1860 so Malakias won't be found there but I did find this which could be his parents. You'd need to order the Karstula films from the LDS to check it out.

"Born Christened Village Father Mother Child
16.1.1858 7.2.1858 Kimingi bd: Henrik Laukka Maja Andersdr 43. Anton"

For Kestila, I don't see a separate parish listed on HisKi but found the village located in Temmes. I think I saw that before. Still looks like a good place to start. Not that this has anything to do with Margareta, but rather just so you can see:

"Born Christened Village Farm Father Mother Child

27.4.1847 29.4.1847 Kestilä Tp. Isaac Paakkonen Magdalena 35-40 Catharina "

Oddly enough, I'm the 3rd great grandson of this Isaac Paakkonen. :)

Good luck on your search and let me know if you need help ordering the films, etc....