View Full Version : Mystery photo - by Syrene Forsman

21-09-03, 17:04
The photo and the Story Behind the Photo:

This wedding portrait was taken in Butte Montana, before the family it was given to departed for Ollalla in Washington state some time before 1920._ Selma Back wrote some 50 years later the_title "Finnes wedding" on the paper frame._
?_ What is the name of the young woman seated on the left?
?_ What were the destinies of the "Finnes"_ couple?_ What were their first names, and where in Finland were they born?
The persons Left to Right are ______?________, Henry Back, the Finnes couple, and the Hellunds.
Henrik Oskar Leonard Ericksson was born at Backs hemgård in Jeppo on March 11, 1885.__As a nineteen-year old_he bought a ticket for FMK364_ from Hangö directly to Butte, Montana in 1904._On December 7, 1904, the SS Arcturus carried him to England, and he left Southampton on the American Lines SS St. Louis Dec. 17, 1904._
He married Selma Pettersson from Bäcksbacka in Purmo in 1915._
Selma had also emigrated directly to Butte in 1907 to her sister, Mrs. Louisa (Lovisa?) Sjöblom._She was 22 years old when she arrived in New York, via the SS Olympic on October 1, 1913._ _Selma traveled home three times._ Ellis Island records shows one return in 1914.
Evidently both Henry and Selma were active in the Temperance Lodge for Swedish Finns, each donating to the construction fund for the lodge hall before their wedding.
Mr. Hellund is known to have died early._ K-G Olin's Vad gjorde farfar in Klippiga Bergen? Name List shows one Emil Hellund, born in Nykarleby, Forsby, 25 November 1883, who died April 1, 1923 in a mining accident in Butte._ He and his wife, Anna Sophia, born Oct. 25, 1884 , had one son and one daughter._ After his death, she moved to Rochester, Washington, and remarried a widower, John Arthur Forss of Övermark, born January 6, 1888._ He had two children from his first marriage._ Together they had one daughter.
The Backs settled a small farm near Port Orchard in Washington State, and raised three children there._The family raised strawberries like many of the Scandinavian farmers in the area. _Henry died of "miner's lung"_ or pulmonary tuberculosis, on October 26, 1933, in Poulsbo, Washington at 48._ Eventually Selma sold the farm and followed her children to Seattle across the Sound._

David Bawden
24-02-07, 00:48
:) I have a picture of Selma in Butte at the wedding of her brother, Victor Peterson and Hannah Nylund (my grandparents) in 1909. I met Selma many times as a young boy and recently spent time with her recently deceased daughter, Elizabeth.

The seated lady on the far right looks much like her sister, Louisa. I have a picture of Louisa and her husband Isaic Wilhelm Sjoblom and children at about this time period. She had a very distinctive strong jaw and wore her hair the same way.

My guess on the two individuals on the far left, if the shot was taken in Purmo, would be that it is her brother, Herman Petterson, and seated his wife, Maria Skosberg. I have pictures of both and the match is reasonable.

How do you know so much about my relatives?


David Bawden
24-02-07, 16:54
I reread that post and it mentions it was taken in Butte. Then the individuals on the left are Selma's brother, Victor and his wife Hannah Nylund (from Purmo). Victor, Herman, and his two other brothers, Alfred and Andrew looked so much alike at that age, I couldn't tell them apart from a photo I saw.


24-02-07, 22:41
Dear David,
Elizabeth knew me before I was born! She danced in the Order of Runeberg Dance Team with Lodge #101 in Seattle with my mother, and also my eventual husband's two sisters in the late 30's early 40's. I used to call her Bizabuzz, because Elizabeth didn't come out right for someone just learning to talk. Holger and Elizabeth have been an inspiration to me for my lifetime: nature; the outdoor activities like skiing, camping, and fishing; their parklike properties shared so willingly with friends and family. She always asked that volunteers at SFHS be inclusive, with jobs for everyone! And she always said thank you, even though she was probably twice as productive.

Syrene Forsman

David Bawden
25-02-07, 01:24
Thank you for the message and memories of Elizabeth. Yes, she was as unique as her mother Selma: bright and indominatable to the end. A true Swede/Finn.

David Bawden
29-08-07, 21:40
This photo was taken in the copper mines below Butte Montana probably in the 1930's. Victor Petterson, born 1887 in Bäcksbacka, is the second from the left. He was the brother of Selma Petterson and appears in her wedding picture above. He arrived via Liverpool at New York in Feb 8, 1905. He worked first in a gold mine in Colorado and then joined his sister, Louisa, in Butte. He married his Purmo sweetheart, Hanna Nylund in 1909. She arrived from Forsby, Finland on Sep 12, 1908 and visited her brother Alfred Nylund in Rhinelander, WI before heading for Butte. Victor died in 1944 from lung problems related to mining.

Who might the others be?

David Bawden
03-11-07, 00:53
Hello again Syrene,

I'm trying to follow-up on family records of Elizabeth. In speaking with the executor of her will at her funeral he mentioned family photos and genealogy research would be passed on to family. When I contacted her brother and neice, they mentioned this did not happen and assumed they were given to the Swede-Finn Historical Society. Could you check and see if this happened? I know you have the numerous three ring binders full of cards and articles of her life (There all labeled by year on the spine. I re-labeled them for her when I visited her). Do you have these other records and photos as well?

Thank you for any help or suggestions you might offer. I'd be glad to drive over and search these records myself and digitize them for her immediate family and my own records.

I submitted all of Elizabeth's work on GEDCOM to TALKO with what else I have found on our family. I also made digital copies of her mother's pictures (Selma Peterson-Back) she shared with me and have offerred them to her family should we not find the originals.

Dave Bawden, Victor Peterson's grandson

David Bawden
24-12-10, 17:11
Hi Syrene,

I've been in touch with relatives back in Finland and working on a book that summarizes my research, (thanks to Elizabeth) and photos. My cousin sent me this photo of Selma and her older sister, Louisa. It was taken about the same time as the one you showed me of her wedding in Butte. Thanks to your picture we can identify her correctly.