Genealogy, United States

Destination: Amerikka

 

by

Claire Lindell

Amidst the many tombstones in a shady corner of Edgewood Cemetery in Ashtabula, Ohio is a very simple thick slab of granite, about the size of one of those washboards our mothers and grandmothers used to hand wash items before washing machines were invented. Inscribed on this granite in very large letters, as simple as the stone itself is the word  “AITI”. which means mother in Finnish. It is the resting place of my great grandmother1, Susanna Karhu (Klemola) who had immigrated to the United States in 1896.

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Susanna was born in Waara, Finland in 1854. In their home country in 1876 at the age of  twenty-two Sanna married Johan Karhu. Over time they raised a family of eight children.

In 1893 Johan seized the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. He left his family in Finland and made his way to Ashtabula, Ohio, a port city on Lake Erie, where he worked on the docks and lived in the area of Ashtabula Harbor. At that time the port was thriving with constant activity. Large flat boats and barges loaded with coal and iron ore were sailing up and down the Great Lakes. These were prosperous times. New immigrants were eager to earn a decent wage.

Once settled, Johan sent for his family. In 1896 Susanna ( Sanna), at the age of forty-two along with her three youngest children, Ida, Jaako, and Lisa set sail by way of Hanko, Finland.2. They boarded the S.S. Cunard ship ‘Lucania’ in Liverpool, England en route to America. Ellis Island was their port of destination in America arriving  there on the 30th of May 1896,  and continuing on  to Ohio.

Very little is known about Sanna. We do know that her two oldest children chose to remain  in Finland. It must have been heart wrenching to know that she would be leaving behind these children and  two of her babies’ graves.

She was a housewife and at the time of her death August 18th 1929. She was 75 years old and among the oldest of the Finnish residents of Ashtabula Harbor having lived there over 30 years. Johan died in 1948. Where he is buried is still a mystery?

GGR-Gram-GGR-Jake-Vic Karhu

Sanna, Ida Susanna, Johan, Jaako and Lisa. Photograph taken several years

after arriving in the United States. Ida, my grandmother appears to be about fifteen or sixteen.

GGR-GR Karhu 50thAn@ Laine Farm

In a photograph taken during a family gathering in 1919 Sanna and Johan

are surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grand children.

 

Sources:

  1. 1. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8PB-TC9 : 8 December 2014), Sanna Karhu, 18 Aug 1929; citing Ashtabula, Ashtabula, Ohio, reference fn 50528; FHL microfilm 1,991,908.
  2. 2. Finnish Institute of Migration
Genealogy

The German Presence in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé Peninsula

This compilation on the German Presence in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé Peninsula is the last of a series on German-speaking immigrants to Quebec. Families that settled along the shores of the St. Lawrence River north-east of Quebec City and in the Gaspé region integrated well into their communities and attended a variety of local Catholic and Protestant churches.

In this compilation, you will find the historic names of the Quebec counties in this area, from their beginnings in the French regime, through the period when Lower Canada was a British colony and into the modern era of the province of Quebec. This document lists the churches these German-speaking families might have attended, and where to find their birth, marriage and death records.

German Presence Lower St. Lawrence & Gaspesia Adj

 

Genealogy

The German Presence in the Lower Laurentians

This compilation looks at the towns and villages in the Lower Laurentian area, north of Montreal, where German-speaking immigrants settled, and lists the churches these people may have frequented. It also lists several books and articles that discuss these people and their communities. There is a list of repositories and addresses at the end of the compilation that will help you find records of births, marriages and deaths.

German Presence – Lower Laurentian Region of Quebecl Mar 19-1

Genealogy, Great Britain, Scotland

The Harvester Scheme and the Empire Settlement Act

By Sandra McHugh

Who would have thought that finding the immigration records of my grandparents would have led to me to learn about two British government initiatives designed to promote immigration in the 1920s?  I was looking in the Library and Archives Canada web site and found digitized records of Form 30 that recorded the entry of every immigrant between July 1921 and December 1924.1  I was thrilled to find the form that my grandfather, George Thomas Deakin, signed in August 1923, and the one that my grandmother, Grace Graham Hunter, signed in February 1924.

My grandfather’s form indicated that he came to Canada as part of the Harvester Scheme.  In 1923, Canada had a bumper wheat crop and North America could not provide the labour needed to harvest the crop.  Under the Harvester Scheme, the two major Canadian railway companies entered into an agreement with the British government to transport 12,000 workers out west where they would earn $4.00 per day plus board.  This was considered a successful scheme as 11,871 migrants went out west to work, the harvest was successfully completed, and 80% of the harvesters stayed and were considered “successfully assimilated.”2

My grandmother’s passage was paid by the Empire Settlement Act.  This Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1922 and its purpose was to provide an incentive for migrants to settle in the colonies.  Canada badly needed farm labourers and domestic workers.  At that time, the Canadian government favoured immigrants from Great Britain as a means of ensuring the predominance of British values.  In the early 1920s, it was difficult for Canada to attract immigrants from Great Britain as Britain was enjoying a period of prosperity right after World War I.  Another reason was the prohibitive cost of transatlantic transportation.  Even passage in third class would have been expensive for a farm labourer or a domestic worker.3

My grandmother came to Canada to enter into domestic service as a cook and her destination in Montreal was the government hostel.  Hostels were located in major urban areas across Canada.  These hostels were partially funded by the provinces and immigrants from Great Britain were allowed free dormitory accommodation for 24 hours after their arrival.  Young ladies were looked after by the Superintendent of the hostel and referred to a church worker.  They were also referred to Employment Services of Canada who would find them employment.4

Sources

1 Library and Archives Canada:  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

2 Foster, John Elgin, 1983, The Developing West:  Essays on Canadian History in Honor of Lewis H. Thomas, University of Alberta

http://www.pier21.ca/research/immigration-history/empire-settlement-act-1922

4 Crawford, Ruth, 1924, “Canada’s Program for Assimilation”, The Rotarian, May 1924, p. 16

Genealogy

The Germans in Quebec – Their Churches

Their Churches from 1759 onward

Among the Germanic people who emigrated to Québec, we find those who fought with the Imperial Army during the British Conquest of 1759 plus those who fought for the British during the wars of the American Revolution and of 1812. An appreciable number of these Germanic soldiers settled into Québec once their tours of duty were concluded. Other German  immigrants who spoke some forms of the German language originated from various principalities, dukedoms, electorates, counties, landgraviates, margraviates of Germany, but also from surrounding kingdoms such as Prussia, Silesia, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, Austria, United Netherlands, Austrian Netherlands, Switzerland, Palatinate, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

Hessian Soldier Illustration Click the following link                The Germans in Québec

Quebec, Research tips

The Europeans in Quebec and Their Churches

The Europeans in Québec                         Lower Canada and Québec

Churches of the Scandinavian, Baltic States, Germanic, Icelandic people in Montréal, Québec City, Lower St. Lawrence, Western Québec, Eastern Townships, Richelieu River Valley – The churches of immigrants from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia. Lithuania, Iceland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria plus those from Eastern European countries – Churches which were organized in Québec from 1621 to 2005. Also included within this document you will find a number of book titles relating to the subject.

Click the link:

The Europeans in Québec

Ontario, Writing

Life Decisions

A simple act followed by a statement can be life-changing. Such was the case for Kaarlo.

Several  years of study at Michigan College of Mines in Houghton, Michigan had prepared Kaarlo, a young Finnish boy from Ashtabula, Ohio  for a career in the mining industry. He had worked as a cook on the ore boats on the Great Lakes and knew he wanted something more fulfilling, much as he loved sailing the lakes.

In 1928 he graduated with a degree in Mining  Engineering. There was a job waiting for him at  Royal Tiger Gold Mines in Breckenridge, Colorado. He packed his Model T Ford and set out for the west with high hopes and dreams of creating a good life, doing something he truly enjoyed.

It wasn’t long after arriving at the mines that he found the owner-manager tampering with the assays (the device used to measure gold). Once the owner realized that the young man was aware of his actions, he ordered him to be “out of town by sundown!”.  Kaarlo didn’t back down and stated that he would leave as soon as he could get his car on a railroad car to carry it  over the mountains.

Dreams of working in the gold mines were crushed. Being young and a go-getter,  he immediately contacted the College to see if they knew of any openings for newly graduated engineers. They responded that there were openings in Canada in the nickel mines in Copper Cliff, Ontario.  It was time to head north.

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                                    The Big Nickel in CopperCliff, Ontario,  now part of Greater Sudbury

Kaarlo Victor Lindell crossed in to Canada on the 31st of January 1929 at Bridgeburg, Ontario1 with hopes and dreams of a rewarding career and a new challenge. He found a room in a boarding house and began working for the  International Nickel  Company(INCO) and never looked back. He spoke Finnish and soon made friends with his coworkers, among them many Finns. His employer took advantage of his knowledge of Finnish and in 1934 was sent to Northern Finland where he was actively involved in opening a nickel mine in Petsamo. In 1939 that part of Finland was seized by the Russians.

Along the way he met a pert, pretty, vivacious young lady, named Estelle (Esty) and sought her hand. They were married on September 6th 1930 in Sudbury. In the meantime Kaarlo had legally changed his name to Karl and took religious instruction in the Catholic faith having been a Lutheran all his life.

In 1939 with WW11 on the horizon Karl wanted to serve his new country. He became a naturalized citizen on the 8th of August 19392, however, with four children and a fifth on the way,  (me) his services were needed in the nickel  industry. He remained at work for INCO. Nickel production was crucial for ammunition during the war years.

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Royal Tiger Gold Mines thrived from 1918 and into the 1930s, however, it declared bankruptcy in 1938 and in 1973 the town and all the buildings in it were torched to keep the “hippies” from squatting.

Northern Ontario, on the other hand has over time developed  and prospered.

It is interesting to speculate how Kaarlo’s life might have been, especially  if he had stayed in Colorado?

 

I would not be here to tell the story!

 

Quebec, Scotland

Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Québec

Oatmeal and the Catechism Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Québec Margaret Bennett
QFHS # HG-153.99 B65
345 pages

Oatmeal and the Catechism is the story of emigrants from the Outer Hebrides to Québec in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Most were crofting families from Lewis who had suffered the severe effects of the potato famine of 1846-51. As a solution to the increase pressure on landlords and government relief bodies, they were offered free passage to Lower Canada and given land grants in the Eastern Townships and more precisely within Compton County. To this day place-names such as Stornoway, Tosta, Ness and Dell in Canada testify to the strong links these communities kept with their homeland.

An article in The Clansmen News of 1970, based on local interviews and entitled ‘The Scottish Highlands of Quebec: Gaidhealatachd Chuibeic’, states:

At the time of the first Great War there were approximately two thousand five hundred Gaels in Marsboro (Marston) alone. We were talking with a man who was born in Milan, who told us that he did not know that there was any other language in the world but Gaelic until he was seven years old.

In Compton county, in the Eastern Townships of Québec in the years of 1851 to 1891, the language distribution in the following towns and villages could convincingly be reconstructed as follows:

> Marsboro – Gaelic (c. 75%), French (c. 20%), English (c. 5%)
­> Milan – Gaelic (c. 95%), French (c. 5%), English (c. 0%)
> Scotstown – Gaelic (c. 50%), French (c. 25%), English (c. 25%)
> Springhill – Gaelic (c. 50%), French (c. 25%), English (c. 25%)
> Stornoway – Gaelic (c. 95%), French (c. 3%), English (c. 2%)
> Red Mountain – Gaelic (c. 75%), French (20%), English (c. 5%)

…. a grasp of the history and folk culture of Gaels from the Outer Hebrides who settled this comparatively small area of Canada will contribute to a better understanding of the Eastern Townships and of Québec.
Margaret Bennett
Winner of the 1999 CLIO Award of the Canadian Historical Association

Posted by Jacques Gagné for Genealogy Ensemble

Africa, Canadian Province, United States

The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the U.S.A and Canada

The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the United States, South Africa and Canada
Author: G. Elmore Reaman
QFHS #UEL-REF HG 010.01 R4 1972
Total pages: 318
From page 137 to page 205, this section of the book address the Protestant families in Nouvelle France (New France)
Being a book owned by the United Empire Loyalist’ Association of Canada, it cannot be taken out of the library.

The following is an excerpt from this superb book by G. Elmore Reaman.

It is a generally accepted point of view in Canada that Frenchmen have always been Roman Catholics and that Protestantism has had little or no reliationship with France. It has been further accepted that there was no connection between Protestant French and the exploration of Canada by the French. A careful study of both of these points of view will show that they are untenable. It may come as a surprise to learn that historians of this period state on good authority that, if it hadn’t been for the business enterprise of Huguenots in France and their desire to found a colony where they could remain loyal to the King of France and yet enjoy freedom of worship, it is doubtful if there would be many French in Canada today. Furthermore, it is quite possible that had the French allowed Huguenots to migrate to Canada in the seventeenth century, England would have stood a slim chance of conquering Canada.

Such information does exist in authentic sources, but few persons in Europe or America—and that includes Canada—have any knowledge of it. French Roman Catholics have naturally advanced their point of view and Protestants have never thought it worth while to investigate it. Huguenot Societies in France, England, and the United States are not aware that from 1534 until 1633 Canada was practically Huguenot controlled nor do they know that many of the earliest settlers in Upper Canada (Ontario) were descendants of émigrés from France, some of whom first went to the British Isles, then to the United States, and finally to Ontario.
G. Elmore Reaman

G. Elmore Reaman (1889-1969) was born in Concord, Ontario, he received his education at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Cornell University.

Dr. Reaman’s materials are found at the University of Waterloo Archives.

Posted by Jacques Gagné for Genealogy Ensemble