View Full Version : Kaarle Kustaa Kaarlenpoika Jernberg

Karen Douglas
11-03-04, 17:43
A few years ago I posted an item about Karl Kustaa Karlenpoikka Jernberg on the Finnish Genealogical Society website. Where he went – and what happened to him - continues to be a history-mystery. So, I thought I would repeat the information once again, to see if anyone has any suggestions as to how I might pursue my quest.

This is what I know:

Karl was born 13 Dec 1872 in Alavus, Finland. According to the Institute of Migration, he applied for a passport to the United States on 20 April 1900, at the age of 28. The passport number was 1284. His profession on passport records indicate he was a “dependent lodger’s son.”

According to church records in Alavus, Karl “traveled the Siberian Railways.”

Family folklore offers other thoughts: Some say Karl was robbed of his passport to the U.S. before he boarded the ship. Others say he traveled to the U. S. with two other men, was robbed of his passport, then changed his name. Yet, others say he became a Russian soldier, or bodyguard, for the Russian railway system. The last letter received by family (unknown location) was in 1907. He was declared dead in 1971

Karen Douglas
12-03-04, 14:48
Yesterday I posted a little bit of information on a Karl Jernberg, who disappeared in 1907. As I mentioned, we have been unable to find a paper trail, except for a passport to America (#1284), which he applied for on 20 April 1900. Did he make the trip to the United States? We don't know. We have been unable to find his name on any passenger lists to Canada or the U.S. Church records indicate he traveled the Siberian Railway, but offer no further information.

In 2001, at the suggestion of The Institute of Migration, I wrote to the Sotamuseo in Helsinki. I enclosed two scanned photographs of Karl Jernber in a military uniform, asking if they could identify the uniform. I have had no reply. Attached herewith is one of the photographs of Karl in the military uniform. Does this look familiar to anyone? Karen

13-03-04, 09:11
Hi Karen,

On the Heritage Quest Scandinavians in the 1910 US Federal Census cd I found three Jernbergs.

JERNBERG Aaron age 13 b. Fin Umatilla Union Pct 1289 2 112 A OR
JERNBERG John 36 Fin Harding, Camp Crook Pct 1481 2 212 A SD

JERNBERG Charles 38 Fin Alger Au Train Twp 634 1 72 B MI

Best wishes,

June Pelo
13-03-04, 22:21
I found some Jernberg names in my database that were sent by a cousin who died some time ago. Don't know if this has any link to the Jernberg being discussed, but here is what she sent me:
Walter Jernberg, d. ca 1972 in Minneapolis, MN, married Vendla Anderson, b. ca 1902. They had two daughters: Bette Mae who married Vern Finson (they lived in MN.); and Marlene who married a Harold Nelson. I assume they all lived in MN. Vendla Anderson's parents lived in Duluth.


13-03-04, 23:51
Here it is:)
Check the beltbuckle. Notice the double eagle? It's got to be Czarist for sure.

Karen Douglas
14-03-04, 00:05
I would like to extend a special word of THANKS - and a BIG HUG - to Chuck Mäki for posting the photo of Karl Jernberg for me! After numerous, frustrating and unsuccessul attempts at posting this photo, I was ready to give up. Posting photos on this site appeared to be a bigger history-mystery to me than Karl Jernberg, and I've been looking for him for more than 10 years! Chuck very graciously tried to walk me through the process, then suggested that I email him Karl's photo, which I did. In less than 3 minutes, he had posted it on Finlander! I should add, I have worked with computers for more than 25 years, but I am a journalist and think in "words," not "computerese," so am especially grateful, and appreciative, of Chuck's help. Thank you, my new-found friend! Karen

Karen Douglas
14-03-04, 00:49
Jeanette and June:

Thank you both - so much - for the information you shared on information relative to the Jernberg name. I have made copies of all the names for my Jernberg file and will pursue. I still find it hard to believe that a man could literally "disappear" without leaving some kind of a paper trail, and perhaps that's what keeps me going in this quest. Thanks, again. Karen

14-03-04, 04:03
Hi Karen,

I tried a search using the photographers name with results at Rötter and Museovirasto in Helsinki, and Museovieras mentions him in an a biography on Thorvald Nyblin in Finnish.
There is also an article at Gen Soc of Finland on
Garvarmästare Savón och hans familj (Genos #68 1997 pgs 183-187,191)which includes a portrait taken by C P Dyrendahl of the daughter Saima also taken in Helsinki.
The photo found at Museovirasto in Helsinki is dated as being taken 1901 by C. P. Dyrendahl.

Here are the sites


14-03-04, 04:22
I was online tonight trying to find a regimental badge similar to that on young Jernberg's chest. I did notice that the Russian government had disbanded the army by 01-02 so the portrait definitely was taken before that time.

Perhaps it was taken as a souvenir of the last of the Finnish army?


Karen Douglas
24-03-04, 18:24
Thanks to all who have responded to me via this forum, and privately, regarding my quest for information on Karl Jernberg. I have just received an email from the Military Museum in Helsinki.

According to the military experts at the museum, Karl is wearing the uniform worn by soldiers of Suomen Kaarti (Finnish Guard) around 1890, when Finland was still under Russia's reign.

So, it appears that Karl would have been about 18 years old when the photo was taken - 11 years before he applied for a passport to the United States.

Although I had hoped for some information that would shed light on Karl's disappearance, one more piece has been added to the puzzle surrounding the mystery of one Karl Jernberg.

With that in mind, I continue my quest...


26-03-04, 06:00
Dear Karen,
I just finished a fascinating book titled Imperial Borderland. It details the politics among power seekers who surrounded the young Tsar Nicholas, and particularly Bobrikov who was appointed Governor General of the Grand Duchy of Finland (1899-1904) He was assassinated by Eugen Schauman.

Bobrikov attempted to make Finland a more integral part of the Russian Empire and eliminate its tendencies to consider itself a separate nation with pretensions to a democratic legal system (the Swedish concept of justice, property rights, etc ).

In the process, he eliminated the Finnish Army, the Finnish Guard, the Dragoons and two Army Cadet schools. Finnish men who belonged to the Army then could enlist in the Russian army. Then they would be sent where ever the troops were most needed in the Empire. One place was in the Ukraine where the peasants attempted a revolution. Another spot was the war against Japan (1904-1905).

Perhaps your relative's destiny can be discovered in the records of the troops sent to fight Japan? The book has a pretty complete listing of unpublished resources such as microfilmed documents archived in Russia, Finland, and Sweden. It's quite a read!

26-03-04, 06:40

This website seems to have early articles in a variety of Swedish Finn newspapers which might be of interest but they only appear to extend as far as the 1850s.

and this just found:
In Finnish but the image shows a similar uniform hat worn by young Jernberg!


Karen Douglas
27-03-04, 00:46
June and Chuck:

Thanks for your posts!

June: The book you mentioned - "Imperial Borderland" - sounds very interesting. I think I would like to read it. Who is the author? Could it be Polvinen?

Chuck: Thanks for the websites. You are right! One image shows a uniform hat that is similar to the one worn by Karl Jernberg.


June Pelo
27-03-04, 01:32

I think it was Syrene who wrote about the book Imperial Borderland.


Karen Douglas
27-03-04, 13:41

I'm sorry! My last post should have been directed to SYRENE and Chuck, not June. I guess I was in too much of a hurry when I wrote that. :(

Syrene: Can you give me the name of the author of "Imperial Borderland?"

Thanks! :)

28-03-04, 19:06
Yes, it's Tuomo Polvinen and translated into English. REally informative.

Karen Douglas
29-03-04, 00:04
Hi Syrene,

I have found a used copy of this book online, placed my order, and look foward to reading it.
Thanks for sharing! :)