Many Finns are not aware of this part of their colonial history. The built log cabins because this is what they had done in Finland for many centuries using what material was available. My father and maternal grandparents came from Finland c. Yes, there are Finns in Idaho! We have a Finnish Heritage museum as a part of Historic Roseberry.
My Dutch ancestor also came on the Kalymar Nyckal in to settle in what now is Manhatten. As families grew they moved to New Jersey.
Your book is welcome! It would be nice to read it. It is important today to find right weather model, surface technique and the material of choice. Your book will be a good cristmas idea this year again! Interesting article! I am surprised no one has mentioned Astoria, Oregon, and Cowlitz County, Washington, as an area where many Finns settled. Fishing, farming, and logging opportunities provided jobs that Finns knew. He sent money back to Finland as he could and the family his wife and 9 children came as small groups they could afford the passage.
My grandfather married a yong woman he had known in Finland after she journeyed to Astoria in search of a better life.
Her sisters and parents Makelas or Makarainens came later. They all ended up in the Kelso area. The men fished, farmed and logged! We are very proud of our Finnish heritage. WE have a grandauther who is 6th generation Washingtonian named Kaija! Finnish sisu is something we have always been proud of. I am from Longview, went to school with the Laulainen kids, spent time at the Finnish Church on Columbia Hights, and swam at Laulainen Beach on the Columbia River daily during the summer. My parents were friends of the Laulainens and enjoyed their company through the many years.
I would like Astoria, OR or anything by the coast. The name Laulainen rings a bell, but my memory is fading. They settled in Alabaster, Iosco County, Michigan. I helped my father tear down the farm buildings as a 9 or 10 year old child. My grand parents never became citizens because they had to read, write and speak English, they were embarrassed about their accent to never applied for citizenship. The name was changed by my Aunt Alma Lillian while in high school, it was not legally done.
My father had it changed legally due to the insistence of my mother. His brother Oscar Edward was already here in Massachusetts. Granduncle Arthur was killed in an accident while working on a bridge construction near Schenectady, New York in Granduncle Victor had a farm near Rudyard, Michigan.
He worked in the USG Co. Their surname was spelled several different ways, Nikander, Nickander and Nicander, which caused some confusion doing family tree work. Thank the people at Find a Grave for finding out about the cause of his death location and burial location…. Sisu and rauhan. My dad always told the story that he was Swedish, their surname was Erickson, but got changed at Ellis Island as there were too many Ericksons. Changed to Long, which is English background.
Also, he said his parents were born in Finland in area now part of Sweden. I have to do more research on that one. My grandparents were both from Finland and emigrated to Thunder Bay, Canada. It was once called Port Arthur. Social media is a wonderful thing. My grandfather Waino Mansikkamaki is harder to find. They were both hard-working people and much of Finnish culture remains with me now.
My grandmother never learned English and I never learned Finnish so unfortunately our dialogue was minimal. I often think of what Album) challenge they faced when they came to Canada. The nice thing for them is that we had a strong Finnish community in our city. The article was very interesting. Thank you very much too? This artical was so nice to read. My grandparents came as children from Finland through Ellis Island and a few through Canada. They all settled in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.
I had heard of the hardships but it was never dwelled on. I understood as an adult it built Sisu. I am proud of the work ethic I was taught. The thankfulness to have a home, job, health and opportunity. I am glad I was taught to cherish the simple things. Cindy Soronen Jorgensen. Great article! Both of my parents moved here with their parents when they were young. We recently met a new to the area neighbor who had asked, what is the deal with all of the finns in the area?
What are their customs etc. Hilarious to try to explain! Apparently Finnish traits run deep as I was told once in a college public speaking course that my nationality probably paid a large part in why I did not gesture much during my presentations! Interesting to see how things have progressed! Thanks for the thumbs up, Seija. Out of interest when you say there is still something of a stigma, how does that manifest itself? Hi Joel!
Its been a while since your comment but im curious. My paternal great grandmothers parents were both born in Finland around and migrated here to Peabody MA. Their sir names were Edward Wilson and Ingrid or Inquid is how its spelt on a sensus but thats a odd name Wilson.
They had two daughters Eleanor and Edith D Wilson. Edith was my great grandmother. I never got to ask her about her parents before she passed. Given that Wilians is similar to Wilson and also possibly english.
I was wondering if you knew any Wilsons or other englishmen in Finland. Enjoyed reading from other Finnish Americans. Have a grandson who married a girl from LappeenrNT. Phone numbers can be obtained on White Pages. If you need their names, please email me and I will give you some. I live in southern California near San Diego. I am a retired high school teacher and am probably related to many of them by marriage. I know many of their names.
I new their parents. They were hard working farm people. He was a Kekkonen originally. My mothers father kept his name which is Peltonen and quite common in the U.
Needless to say our surviving grandparents were thrilled that we were marrying a Finn. It was hard living in Sweden at that time and one could always find work in the timber industry in Finland. So — there are Swedish-Finns and Finnish-Swedes all living together in Finland quite comfortably in this century.
I recently found out we even have a. Norske in the famliy tree! My parents spoke Finnish always to each other when I was young. Loved the article and history, much of which new to me. Have to say, most of the Finns I have met are very reserved and friendly in a confident kind of way. Both sides of my grandparents were born in Finland and shared very different backgrounds but both ended up in the UP of Michigan and eventually met in Detroit after immigrating from the UP to the Mitten of Michigan in the early 20th century.
Raised Lutheran, I cannot relate to the religious bias you speak of and can only imagine the language prejudice you refer to. Finnish is the most difficult language I know of to learn and get that from a US agent assigned to Finland detail.
I was told by a guy who had been doing a tremendous amount of research into the Finns of Minnesota that the major reason that the the Finns were leaders of the labor movements and unions was that the Finnish church required that every one had to be able to read and write. Thank you for sharing that information, I have been wondering why Finns were so active in labor movement. We are related, John Jacob and my maternal grandma were 1st cousins.
John Jacob had a big sister Alma, 2 of her greatgranddaughters are coming to Finland today Sunday August 28, to see the home country of the their family!!! I remember Tuomela family Kauhajoki too. Many of them were my schoolfriends there. My family spend holidays in Manamansalo every summer. Manamansalo is an big island center of Oulujarvi. We have self made log-house there. Next summer we all go visit to America!
He was my grandfathers brother but the family has lost touch over the years. They came over early then to Sweden and settled around Dalarna. My Grandfather came to US from Sweden in We still are Swedish of course but I am very excited to learn of the ancestry going back to Finland.
I was then finally able to find the line going back that far. I loved this article. It made me so nostalgic for family visits to Mummu and Grandpa. Mummu never learned English and Grandpa only knew a few words. My father and his siblings were all born and raised in the Finnish section of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. They learned English in school. Oh how I miss those wonderful times.
I was born in Tampere Finland in 57, migrated as a family to the US in I grew up in Fitchburg, from thru about My recollection of Fitchburg was when it had a bustling finish community. My first job was at the co-op supermarket. I am second generation Finnish. My Dad was first born to his mother Lillian elizabeth Kansas she arrived at ellis island at a young age.
I lived in Kaleva, Michigan. After the Bohemians the Finns were the most radical American immigrant group being one of the founding sections of the early Communist Party. His family and a number of others were blacklisted by the Iron bosses.
Just up in Marquette this weekend met an old Finn at Flanigans he told me about having beers with Black bikers in Chicago back in the 70s. His internationalist laid back attitude is one reason I enjoy visiting da UP. Finns are strong people. I am a Proud Finn. Thanks so much for the interesting article. Lots of Finnish heritage there. I moved to northern California a while back and I thought i found a Finn community.
Still proud to be Finn. Im also from northern California San jose but live up in near Tahoe and placerville in Pollock Pines. Im certainly not percent Finn sadly but i have paternal family that came from Finland before Thats a funny SJSU story btw i LP thats where my grandmother graduated. Also ive been to Michigan because we have family there. Any way just thought this was intersting! She married a first generation Finn and from that pairing came my father and then his family of which I am son.
My father was prosperous enough to afford taking his parents to the homeland in the later part of the 20th century, from all I heard it was a wonderful trip and I wish I could have been along. But what I write about here is from what my dad brought back from that trip. He tried to find some lineage data about our ancestors and was frustrated no end. Wow, how hard it is to follow a lineage with that complication and how many assumptions do we all carry with us?
Wonder how many times acts such as this happened back in the late s and early s. There is some interest about your first story. What happened to them? Wow, how hard it is to follow a lineage with that complication…I say wow too! Do you know something about my story? This was pleasant recall you too, thaks a lot!
Kalle and Aune married in My sister, Elena Rei Tuomisto was born in My father and I visited Finland in to see his family 4 Brothers and 1 sister in Tampere and Orivesi. I just took my sonErik and daughter Jennifer to meet 2nd and third cousins of Tuomisto ,Uusitalo and Kanerva families in June of Helsinki, Tampere and Alajarvi are just beautiful and peaceful, clean. Best water in the world and the Sauna is wonderful. The midnight sun is beautiful. Flew on Iceland Air. Wonderful time visiting with family and meeting many on mothers side Uusitalo.
Mother Aune passed inwhen I was 3. Uncle John Oberg lived in the Bronx, worked as a stevedore on the docks. I would take the subway to the Worlds Fair in We would also travel to Voluntown, Connecticutt to a Finn camp on a lake where I learned to swim when I was We jumped out of the sauna and I doggie paddled to the float out on the lake with my dad swimming next t o me.
My father, Kalle Tuomisto was a Finn carpenter. A monument to the Swedes and Finns that settled in Chester is still there and the Morton Homestead Finnish descendent who signed the Declaration of Independence is on rte and near Chester pike in Norwood, Pa.
Visit Finland when You have the Opportunity. You will love it ……. Roy Tuomisto P. S-Any Finnish clubs in Southern Pa. My son 26 interested in meeting Finns in the area. I grew up on the Iron Range of Minnesota and am from a small rural community, Cherry.
All of my grandparents came from Finland. I count among my dear friends relatives of Gus Hall and Bobby Aro both mentioned here previously. I currently live and work on the central coast of California and would be interested in meeting other Finns in the area.
Thanks for the great article. Ambassador of Finland to Disneyland in Larry Kokkonen, Toronto. Question: If the mining companies were exploiting their workers, why were those same workers writing letters to home telling their friends and families to join them half way around the world?
Answer: They were not being exploited! My grandfather, Charles Suo, was born in Finland. My mother and her siblings all spoke Finnish. I understand his last name was originally Suotaken I believe it means behind the marsh in Finland and was shortened before he came to America. He worked in the Iron Mines in northern Minnesota. The iron mine caved in on him twice. After the second time he quit the mine and opened up a butcher shop near Virginia, Minnesota.
He also owned a rooming house in Virginia, Minnesota where my mother was born. My grandmother contracted tuberculosis and the doctor suggested that they move into the country so they settled near Orr, Minnesota. He took out Album) homestead for the land and farmed, clearing the land with mostly an axe. My grandfather Orr tells the story of riding in a wagon with a Chippewa Indian named Charlie, sitting beside him, They saw a new farm and house had been built and my grandfather asked Charlie.
Who lives there, Charlie, a white man? My grandmother passed away when my mother was six years old. People from Finland were discriminated against and I was told that my ancestry was Scotch, Irish, and English. It did not dawn on me until I was a teenager that having a grandfather born in Finland might slightly change the balance on my ancestry. I remember seeing a National Geographic article on the Laplanders. One of the pictures had somebody in the picture that, to me, looked like my grandfather.
My mother would not acknowledge the resemblance. Several years after my grandmother died of TB my grandfather married again to a woman who spoke only Finnish. I could not talk with her as my Finnish was very limited. Her name was Ida Suo.
Several families traveled to Russia. They sold everything to get the passage to Russia. My mother was Finnish grandparents came from Finland in and to Woodland Washington. Niemi was their name but may have been shortened.
My mom use to tell the story of the Communist meetings that were held in secret in this area and was very anti communist. Also told about people going to Russia and not coming back or managing to make it back with nothing. I was born in Hancock MI. I attended Suomi College now Finlandia U as part of my post secondary studies. I joined the coop wanting my children to have the benefit of being able to swim in their lovely little lake just a short walk away.
I made friends with a few of the local members not finding political issues dominating our everyday affairs. My employment was a federal govt job, and when I had the opportunity to transfer my position to the Houghton MI area, I was happy to return to the UP. There were some requirements. A skilled trade was most important.
There would be free transport via ship. Two large boatloads departed from Duluth. Housing would be free. All basic needs were free. After all, everybody owned everything.
To make the story short, it was worse than disappointing. Not only was work life not as promised and creature comforts non existent, but there was an ever present fear factor. The Sugar Island couple knew they needed to get out and return to Michigan, but it was a strugglesome 7 yrs before that would happen. One summer I worked in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Lots of people of Finnish decent live there, I used what little Finnish I was able to speak and was told I was the first person they had met who spoke Finnish that was not from the Upper Peninsula. My daughter and her husband got me the Pimsleur course for Finnish for a present.
I have been listening to it but it is frustrating trying to find somebody with whom I can speak it. Once in a while at a ham radio convention I meet somebody from Finland. My great-grandparents, John and Susana Pesola, came over from Finland sometime around the turn of the 20th century, and settled in Belt, Montana.
She died inleaving him with several children, who he cared for with the help of one of the eldest daughters until his death in Their second to the youngest daughter, Helmi, bornis my maternal grandmother. I remember spending time visiting them while growing up, as they also lived in Butte. Also brothers, Waino and John, who I believe likely passed on before I was born.
Possibly other siblings as well. Still trying to trace things back. Patti, I believe we are shirt tail cousins. The Pesolas are part of my family line. All of my great grandparents, save one Fannie Pulkkinen, who was the first Finn born of the Embarrass community, moved from Finland and settled in Embarrass MN, a small Finnish township on the Iron Range. My great grandfather moved out to Montana, Red Lodge and another community in Cascade county before returning to Embarrass, where he became the local priest.
The men would sauna first with us boys sitting on the floor in galvanized washtubs while the men attempted to roast each other out. The women would follow when the heat was less oppressive. I feel very lucky to grow up as I did, in the time that I did.
I saw the last of the Finnish ways as they became Americanized. My parents both speak Finnish fluently, but the grandparents were very adamant that they not teach us children Finnish to allow us to completely integrate. I wish as a child I had protested and forced them to teach me.
Now as an adult I struggle to learn what would have been so easy back then! I never knew my grandfather but remember Mummu from visits to the Seattle area when I was small. He was a Lahti and she was a Koskela.
Their children were razed on Bainbridge Island across from Eattle. My mother, Danish and English met in Seattle and married but lived during my sisters and my youth in Kennewick Washington neat her parents, Henry and Nora Paulsen. I know we have many other family ties in America but they have been lost over the years. Sisu Finnboyken. Spent 50 years in Toronto running my businesses and just before retiring 6 years ago, started building a float plane, now finished and my flying Album) almost in my pocket, gonna take my bride of 52 years for a plane ride to the summer cottage where we go in April and out in October.
By keeping busy throughout my life, and a committed walk with my Lord and Saviour through the years, has produced a well balanced life and an assurance about the future. Loved the article and thank you for writing it. All the comments are very interesting. My maternal grandfather Matti Sarvela came to Canada?? He helped bring his widowed daughter Aino Pieti and her 3 children over in I am one of the 3.
When we entered school the teacher changed my name from Kati to Kathy and my sisters name from Marjatta to Marietta. My paternal grandmother was born in Deadwood, South Dakota in Her mother died there giving birth so her father returned to Finland when she was 10 years old. Her maiden name was Autio. My maternal grandparents immigrated at the same time from Hungary. I am very interested in visiting the Koskela log house museum in Wisconsin this summer. I am not claiming any relations in Wisconsin, just find it interesting that I bear the same name.
My mom is from Kannus, Finland and met my father in northern Ontario in Kenneth was supposed to come visit, but he died before his planned visit and we never got to find out any more information regarding those roots.
All 4 of my Grandparents spoke both Finnish and English. Their parents, or Grandparents, all came from Finland. Both were quite entertaining. Both sides of my family were involved in logging, and some of my relatives are still into logging.
Thanks for the article, and all the comments. Thank you so much for sharing this interesting article. They met on the boat, a ship-board romance. They married and eventually homesteaded a rugged piece of property in Babbitt, Minnesota. Our story is a testimony to the determination our Finnish family had to not only survive as immigrants, but to succeed and become productive members of the American society.
Great read for all ages. Please study what the word racism means before using it wrong and so loosely. How about no. Your definition of race is applied as a pseudoscientific grouping, based on physical similarities within groups. In this case black or white.
Sorry to say, but you are quite clearly a racist, as you attempt to downplay racial discrimination against white people. He was born He left behind His wife and children. Regards Jaana Yli-Saari. A very interesting article. My mother was adopted, born in to a Finnish mother. Janis King Our family in Finland has owned land for centuries in place called Luomajoki northern Finland, very close to river Tornio between Sweden and Finland!
There might be a slight chance that we are relatives! When Jacobsson was convicted, branded, and exiled to hard labor in Barbados he becomes one of the few examples of documented white slavery in colonial America. The article is a bit overwrought for wont of sensationalism attached to race.
Simply being clannish does not equate with minorities associated with putative characteristics such as skin color. Both the Irish and the Italians faced the same suspicions and discrimination. Stammeler Siukku Y. They kept the weak side and said their opinions, took people as people, did not haggle, and did not rely on stereotypes. They had come to Finland Hobo [Novo]. Thank you for a great article. It cleared up a mystery that puzzled me 75 years. I attended a one room school near Cook, MN for 1st and 2nd grade, with 2 outhouses and a well.
The School was closed and I went to school in Cook for 3rd grade. A 5th grade Swedish boy picked on myself and a neighbor another Finn. He never bothered us again. I am 2nd generation American. Still trying to get back on the Johnson side as the name changed a few times. Grandmothers maiden names were Palojarvi and Kemppainen and Nyman that I know of. I know that they lived in Quincy, Massachusetts after they married and my grandfather owned an auto body shop, LP.
My grandmother was born in in Maine, but I think some of her siblings were born in Finland. I think my grandfather immigrated here himself. My mother, Linda J. Koski Howell was born in Anyway, I was just curious because I live in Indiana now and had no idea there was a big population of Finns in the UP!
Thanks for sharing the information in your article! Second generation Finnish-American. Paternal Grandfather Parviainen nee Kuusijarvi from Pudasjarvi, immigrated Maternal Grandmother Karvonen, not sure of Finnish point of origin, immigrated in Maternal Grandfather Kuitunen from Kangasniemi immigrated in Maternal Grandmother, Wattunen from Reisjarvi. I am a 4th generation Finnish immigrant.
I was born in Iron River, MI. I have just started doing research on my family, but am having trouble because it seems that their last names were spelled differently with every census report and other records. How do I go about researching the families from those that stayed behind in Finland?
I am a second generation American of all German extraction. But my second husband was half Finnish. We do have lots of Finns up in the iron range, and International Falls up by the Canadian border produces some of the best hockey players, predominantly Finnish. And the midwest does boast a lot of Finnish people in the midwest. Mainly because of the forestry in those 2 states.
Quite a few in the state of Oregon too. I would like to see articles about that. It has news about Finns in Finland and Finnish Americans both. I have many friends of the Finnish and Estonian persuasion. And never a harder working people! I enjoyed this article. My first Album) is Finnish; I speak nothing else with my parents, my brother, and with anyone else whom I know understands the language.
Juho Kesti Ylikesti born His younger brother Kaarle Kesti Ylikesti was born in They were both born in Ikaalinen, Finland. Your email address will not be published.
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