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gopherfan81
16-08-11, 08:10
I am trying to find information about my great-grandfather, known in America as John Daniel Smith. He was born in Finland, but it seems as if he must have changed/altered his name after emigrating because this isn't a very Finnish name. Unfortunately, my grandparents passed away before I became really interested in my family history.

He lived in New York Mills, Minnesota, USA. I visited the Minnesota History Center to find his death certificate and obituary from the New York Mills Herald (the local newspaper). His death certificate listed his parents as "unknown." His wife was listed as Oliva Kolpanen, although I think she may have been known as Olivia Anderson (born Michigan 16 Feb 1879). His obituary also did not give the names of his parents, although it did give the following information:

Born - 10 Aug 1869 Hailuoto Finland
Emigrated - 1892
Married - Dec 1896 to Olivia
Brother - One, no name given, Duluth Minnesota
Sisters - Three, no names given, Finland
Death - 29 Oct 1955

In looking through FamilySearch records, one interesting thing I found was a reference to John and Ulivia Smed in the 1900 US Census. I don't know if this is a clue or maybe just a misunderstanding or poor translation. All other records after this time refer to him as John Smith. I would like to discover the true original name and parents of John Daniel Smith.

Jaska Sarell
16-08-11, 10:59
The normal procedure would be to find him in the church records of Hailuoto, but unfortunately this text (http://hiski.genealogia.fi/seurakunnat/srk?CMD=SRK&ID=51&TYPE=HTML&LANG=FI) (in Finnish) tells that the newly built vicarage burnt on 2 August 1901. Almost all (except few of the very oldest) records were destroyed in fire :(
The next possibility would be to go through census records (fi henkikirja, sw mantalslängd), but they are not available online after 1880 (which starts here (http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=595101)). Birth years for adults are given, but underaged children mentioned only by numbers.
Census of 1890 could be useful for finding him...
Sheer luck would be to get in touch with someone who happens to have known those three sisters and story about their emigrated brothers...

:) Jaska (who has no experience of the area)

BessemerFinn
16-08-11, 18:18
1880 Henkikirjat, Ojakylä, Hailuoto

(37) Kaisa Smed, born 1844, two male children (B 2-0)

(0) Alexander Smed, born 1844; wife Lena, born 1845, one male child (B 1-0)

Regards,
Al Puromaki
Poland, OH

Karen Norwillo
16-08-11, 18:22
I searched MNGenweb Otter Tail county and found this. There is a biography of Mr and Mra John Daniel Smith in a book called
New York Mills-75 Years of Progress 1884-1959. There is someone who is willing to do a print-out of the info. Email listed is
or brasel*hotmail.com There is a space between or and brasel. Maybe that will offer some clues. The MN Death Index shows an Anna Olivia Smith 28 Feb 1879, died 1 Jun 1975 in Hennepin county, mmn Anderson. State file 014384 1975, record 32645362.

Karen Norwillo
16-08-11, 23:37
I think the John Smed you found in 1900 is the correct John Smith. Compare the children in 1900 and 1910 and you will see the first two daughters are the same. He must have changed to Smith between those years.

Karen Norwillo
16-08-11, 23:59
It appears there were two Olivia Smith. MN Deaths has your Olivia 16 Feb 1879-15 Jun 1959 Otter Tail Cert #1959 MN-013358.
Both born Feb 1879.

Karen Norwillo
17-08-11, 00:17
Here's the 1880 Census in Otter Tail. Anderson family, father Leander, mother Frederica, Mary, William and Olivia, born MI.So it seems Olivia was an Anderson. Don't know what mother's maiden name was.

Karen Norwillo
17-08-11, 02:53
Here's Leander Andersson's arrival in 1873, destination Hancock, MI. Also found births for first two children in Houghton county, MI, but can't find Olivia. Since they were already in Leaf Lake by 1880, maybe the birth was never registered in MI. Also, 1895 MN Census. William was Andrew William and Mary was Mary F.

gopherfan81
17-08-11, 08:36
I searched MNGenweb Otter Tail county and found this. There is a biography of Mr and Mra John Daniel Smith in a book called
New York Mills-75 Years of Progress 1884-1959. There is someone who is willing to do a print-out of the info. Email listed is
or brasel*hotmail.com There is a space between or and brasel. Maybe that will offer some clues. The MN Death Index shows an Anna Olivia Smith 28 Feb 1879, died 1 Jun 1975 in Hennepin county, mmn Anderson. State file 014384 1975, record 32645362.

Thanks for all of your help! I've sent an e-mail to this person, and I'm hopeful that this book about New York Mills might have some good information.

Karen Norwillo
18-08-11, 03:46
It would appear that Leander Anderson, Olivia's father remarried after Frederica died. His second wife was Maria Kangas who died 3 Aug 1928 at 71. In 1920, Leander and Maria were married 6 years. Says she came to US 1902. There's a Family Tree on Ancestry that incorrectly has her as the mother of the children. Census says he married x2, she 1. This wife died 3 Aug 1928 at 71.

kivinen1
19-08-11, 21:14
I wonder if any siblings in Finland can be gleaned from the digital archives of the Great Petition of 1899.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/dosearch.ka?atun=230588.KA

The thread that discusses this data can be found here: http://finlander.genealogia.fi/showthread.php?6508-The-Great-Petition-in-1899

Jaska Sarell
19-08-11, 22:07
Good suggestion, Ilmari.
Only ten pages for Hailuoto (here (http://digi.narc.fi/digi/hae_ay.ka?ay=75916.KA)).
Page 5 lists Jenni Eriika Smeed (near top), Amanta Eliisapet Smekti and Aleksander Smeeti (bottom), and page 10 has Justus Smeeti (2nd on top). There may be more.
People seem to have written their names themselves (mostly anyway) and spelling of a Swedish type name hasn't been too clear for Finns.

:) Jaska