View Full Version : Karl Vilhelm Kankkonen = Charles Wilson?

09-11-09, 17:16

I recently got an article from Daily Astorian (15 Mar 2006) about Karl Vilhelm Kankkonen who moved from Finland to Astoria and founded a shipyard (Wilson Brothers Shipyard) in Astoria together with his brothers. He later changed his name to Charles Wilson.

In my database I have a Charles Wilson from Astoria, b. 19 Dec 1855, to America 1878 and d. 28 Jun 1919. He married one of my relatives, Mary Newman in 1888.

Now to my question. Could anyone verify the birthdate of Karl Vilhelm Kankkonen in Finland and also perhaps his emigration year? I have a strong feeling that he is identical to "my" Charles Wilson.


June Pelo
09-11-09, 19:46

Would you believe there are 2 men named Charles (Carl) Wilson? One of them came from Sweden and married into my family. Then there is Carl Wilhelm Wilhelmsson Kankkonen -Wilson, b. 7 Mar 1861, Karleby, d. 22 Nov 1918, Astoria. He emigrated in 1879 and spent a few years in Mich. before going to Oregon. He changed his name to Charles Wilson. He married 29 Dec 1888 in Oregon to Susanna Beata Olofsdotter Niemelä, b. 8 Dec 1872, Uleåborg, d. 30 Aug 1943, Astoria. They had 15 children. This Carl/Charles was my 4th cousin.

Charles and his brothers Frans Oscar and Matts Frithiof emigrated to Oregon and were known as the Kankkonen Brothers. I submitted an article to Delphi about the Kankkonen Brothers and their canning business. They were also in the shipbuilding business and known as the Wilson Brothers.

There was another Wilson family in Astoria, but not known as Charles and had no connection to the other Wilson family.

09-11-09, 20:08
You may be right, June! The "Charles Wilson" who married Mary Gustafson-Newman (my great-grandfather's sister) was probably a fisherman. I do not have their descendants in my database except one son; Charles William (Bill) Wilson, a musician who worked at the Post Office at Astoria and his son William Irvine Wilson, living in Astoria. In "Egen lyckas smed" Charles Wilson is mentioned as a Finn, not a Swede.

But what do you mean when you said that he married into your family? Mary was from my family as far as I know. Do you have any further information about them?

The letter I got was from a niece of Juretta Louise Nidever, who died last summer in Astoria. Some of the documents were found in here home. Juretta was a photographer and music lover.


June Pelo
09-11-09, 20:42

I meant that I am related to Charles Kankkonen-Wilson through the Kankkonen family. I'm not related to his wife. Charles' father is part of the Friis family, but his mother comes from a Finnish family. If you have the Lars Friis book, you can read about this family on pages 102, 3, 4, etc. with a picture of the family.

I don't have any information about your Charles Wilson and family, and don't see any connection to the above family.

The Charles Wilson from Sweden is also related to me through his wife, but has no connection to Kankkonen. That family was in Ludington, MI.

09-11-09, 21:33
OK June!

I received a more complete family tree from my brother-in-law tonight. You are right, no connection to the other Charles Wilson & Mary Newman.

I know that we both have common relatives, mainly from the Hansten-Bäckman families. Perhaps this is what you meant when you said that you were related to his wife.

But excuse me once more, who was living in Ludington, MI? You live in MI, don't you?


June Pelo
09-11-09, 23:58

There was another Charles (Karl) Wilson who came from Sweden. He lived in Ludington. His daughter married someone from the Pelo family, so that's how I am related. Ludington was a place where many Swede Finns settled when they came from Finland. There were many sawmills where they worked - and many were also fishermen.

Yes, I have many Hanstén connections and I think we calculated how we are related. No, I don't live in Michigan any more - I live in sunny Florida :)

12-11-09, 15:02
In Astoria down by the river under the bridge is a huge stone wall with names of honored people in Astoria, among them Kankkonen and Wilson + many more from Finland especially swede-finns. I did read all the names on the wall when we visited Astoria last May.There was a book about people in Astoria too but i cant remember the name, perhaps your Kankkonen / Wilson are found in that book too.Have to check it out.

12-11-09, 18:20
Hi Christer!

This book sounds interesting, but I have not read it. I do not think I can find it anywhere here in Finland


14-11-09, 14:15
Today i remembered that it was in K-G Olins book Egen lyckas smed that Kankkonen brothers were mentioned and you have of course read all about that.
There was another book too "Columbia river" with some pictures of ships built in Astoria but no names were mentioned but as the Wilson shipyard was the biggest shipbuilding company in northwest Amerika at that time its most possible that they were built by the Kankkonen brothers company


June Pelo
14-11-09, 17:09

Yes, I've read about them in K-G Olin's book. He has lots of interesting articles in that book, along with pictures.

Alice Finnerty
15-11-09, 02:51
Hello Christian - I live close to Ludington - Email me if I can help you. I would be delighted to - Alice

Alice Finnerty
15-11-09, 03:17
Hi Christian - I have a Backman in my family tree too
she is Anna Alina Backman born 9 aug 1891 in Finland
she is the second wife of my uncle Alfred Andersson (Jossgark)
Alfred was born 21 July 1881 (I think in Esse) He came to Wallace Idaho with his first wife and had 2 children. I was told he was a mining engineer.
Im still researching - I have been told that Alfred is buried in New Castle Washington. His first wife is there too. She died of TB and is in an unmarked grave. but Iam not sure what happened to anna Alina. Alfred and Alina had one son together and his name was Gunner (Gunnar)...
Best Regards
ps...I have several pictures I would like to share but I can't seem to get them on here but i know how to send them email. (Hasse knows Im not too brite on that...lol...im still learning on my MAC)

June Pelo
15-11-09, 17:25
Shirley King has some Jossgårk relatives from Esse around that time period - but until Talko is running again there's no way to check her data to see if she has anyone that links to your Alfred

Alice Finnerty
15-11-09, 20:01
Hej June - Shirley is my sister - I have what she has and we gave it all to Bert Lindvall too....He knows more about our family than we do! Christian can contact Bert too - I think I gave him most of my pictures.

June Pelo
15-11-09, 21:00

I know Bert. I'm related to him also, and have exchanged data with him.

I remember deer season in Michigan - seeing all the cars from the north headed south with dead deer strapped to the cars. I never accepted any venison because I didn't like the taste. :(

June Pelo
21-11-09, 23:56
I have recently been contacted by Sally Workman, granddaughter of Charles Wilson (Karl Kankkonen). She wrote this:

Charles Wilson - Karl Kankkonen, was my mother's father...my grandfather. My mother was the 13th child born to them. She was Dorothy Mildred Violet Wilson. I was born and raised in Astoria. Marlene Eskola Taylor is a daughter of one of the Frithiof Kankkonen.