View Full Version : New from Washington State. Family roots hard to find.

30-10-13, 17:13
My name is Marsha Hart. Both sets of my maternal great-grandparents came to the USA from Finland in the mid-1800's. Very little information was passed on to future generations, as they didn't talk much about their lives in Finland/Sweden. Some family surnames were changed when they came to the US and it has been impossible to find any history on them.

I know I will never be able to travel to Finland to do the research myself, though it would be wonderful if I could.

One great-grandfather's name was Erik Albinus or Albinus Erik. His last name was said to have been Sodergren (Sodergran?) possibly born in Lansi-Suomen Laani or Kosko Finland in 1879. His wife was Anna Grano, possibly born in Tjarlax in 1877. He changed their last name to Hermans when they came to the US. It was said that Hermans was an early family name. Could it have been the name of the parish or a farm where they lived?

My other great-grandfather's name was Eli Wayrynen (or could it have been Vayrynen?), born 1882 in Finland. My great-grandmother's name was Saara Margaret Makarainen, born 1891. Her family changed their last name to Makela.

It is interesting that both families found their way from Finland to the State of Washington in the USA. I think the shipping and lumber industry must have brought them here. What a journey it must have been back then!

30-10-13, 19:42
Welcome to the Finlander Forum!

In the parish of Närpes in the southern Ostrobotnia there is a village called Tjärlax. Among the farms of that village you can find 2. Södergran, 5. Herrmans and 6. Granö. Thus is seems like a good starting point to assume that Erik Albinus and Anna were both born in that particular village. Since the church records of that period are not yet online, I myself can not give you any more specific info; let us hope that somebody who has access to those records will give you a helping hand!

Best regards
Göran Kuhlberg

June Pelo
30-10-13, 21:47
I found this family tree online that has an Eeli Vävrynen, b. 1882, in Puolanka, but he died 1882.

And there's a Kaisa Mäkäräinen here who has a sister Saara:

There's a Mäkäräinen family from Puolanka that went to Washington State.. took name Mäkelä:
http://www.geni.com/people/Jack-Jaakko-Makela-Makarainen/6000000002196659437 he's the father of the above Saara.

31-10-13, 00:15
June -
The information you found on the Makarainen family was posted by a cousin, so I was aware of it. The family tree you found with Eeli Vavrynen looks as if it may be of some help to me. I will also use the "Vavrynen" spelling to do more of my searches with. Thank you so much.

31-10-13, 00:21
Goran -

I am so excited to get the information you have shared with me! It is such wonderful news! Do you know if those records will be online in the near future?

Thank you!

June Pelo
31-10-13, 02:05

If you do any searching in records in Finland, be sure to use umlauts in Vävrynen and Mäkäräinen, or you may not find anything.

June Pelo
31-10-13, 14:44

Your Anna was Anna Elisabet Karl-Johansdotter Granö, b. 24 Aug 1877, Kalax, Närpes, to Karl Johan Andersson Granö, b. 13 Oct 1842, Tjärlax, Närpes, d. 1903 in Tjärlax, and his wife Anna Lisa Gabrielsdotter Långgård, b. 23 Jun 1846. If you'll send me your e-mail address via private message, I can give you a few more details.

31-10-13, 16:45
I always wondered about using the umlauts. Thank you for the help.

24-11-13, 19:25
Is it Vävrynen - or Väyrynen?

24-11-13, 19:52
Is it Vävrynen - or Väyrynen?

Väyrynen is the correct spelling!


25-11-13, 03:59
Thank you for the verification of the spelling.