Finnish Newspaper Features My Visit to Finland

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This morning, I received an email from Cousin Matti in Finland with a digital image of the report in the Savo regional newspaper about my visit to Finland during the last week in June.

The headline translates into “Enjoying a Visit to My Grandparents’ Birthplace.”

I wrote a basic article and sent it to Matti a couple weeks ago and he fine-tuned it and added photos, then submitted it to the newspaper, which is distributed in Vesanto, the village from which my paternal grandparents immigrated at the beginning of the 20th century.

The group photo shows me with several cousins at one of the visits planned for me by Cousin Matti.

If you are curious about the books I am posing with, here are some details: During a quick visit to a bookstore in Helskinki with Matti’s wife Paula, I purchased a copy of Väinö Linna (Unknown Soldiers) in Finnish for my brother Walfrid and a copy in English for myself. The book follows the fortunes of Finnish soldiers during World War II. It is one of Finland’s best-loved books. (NOTE: Walfrid does read Finnish, hence the Finnish language version for him.)

I will be working with Google Translate to convert the Finnish to English. Watch this space.

Finding “Gold” in a 4th Cousin+ DNA Match

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The other day, a new AncestryDNA match came to my attention. It was with Riikka and was at the fourth to sixth cousin level. AncestryDNA rated the result as “Confidence: High.” In fact, the little bar used to illustrate the degree of confidence was almost completely green. Looking into the match, I saw that it was “44 centimorgans shared across 5 DNA segments.”

That’s not very much shared DNA — but I’ll take it because the match information also indicated that she had a tree. Hooray for that!

When I opened her match information, I saw immediately that the first shared surname was Huuskonen, which is the spelling that my paternal grandparents used before coming to America and dropping a “u” out of our family name. The other surnames shared between our trees were familiar to me, including the maiden name of my grandmother: Hytönen.

I used Ancestry.com’s messaging system to contact Riikka as follows:

Hei Riikka,
I am Wallace Huskonen, a cousin from America and we have DNA matches and surname matches. If you are interested, I can invite you to my Huskonen (spelling modified in America) family tree on Ancestry.com. My grandparents came to America in 1902 and 1903 from Vesanto.
Sorry, I don’t write or speak Finnish, but my brother Walfrid does, if you want to share with us.
Wallace Huskonen, Brecksville, Ohio, USA.

I was pleasantly surprised when she responded quickly, with information about her ancestry. It turned out that her mother’s maiden name was Huuskonen, and her family also came from Vesanto. Sadly, her mother passed away two years ago, but Riikka contacted her aunt. A quick response from Aunt Aune indicated that she had heard about my visit to the Vesanto area at the end of June.

So I was hooked. I entered Riikka’s information from her tree into my tree extending her line back a few generations.

Parent Suggestions: A New Feature from Ancestry.com

Then I discovered a new feature offered by Ancestry.com: Parent Suggestions. This is sort of a mega-hint in which Ancestry.com compiles a profile about a possible father or mother. You take a look at it and if you can confirm the suggested relationship, a simple click adds the suggested parent to your tree. Using this feature I was able to add several generations to my line and to Riikka’s line.

Then I found our common ancestor: Johan Pehrson Huuskonen, b 1688, d 1764, Horontaipale, Rautalampi, Kuopio, Finland. (Note that his given names are Swedish as the priests recorded records back then in that language. Later records would be recorded with Finnish given names.) In his profile, Ancestry.com told me that he was my fifth-great grandfather. Counting the generations for Riikka’s line, I learned that he was her sixth-great grandfather. Using a Relationship Chart (see below), I determined that we were sixth cousins, once removed.

This cousin relationship was within the prediction of our match calculated by AncestryDNA.

We have communicated some more using our email addresses rather than through the Ancestry.com messaging system. Riikka reports that she has uploaded her DNA raw data to other websites. I have too, so that gives us further opportunities for discovering other cousin matches in Finland, in the USA, and possibly elsewhere in the world.

On this cousin relationship chart: Our Common Ancestor Johan is placed at the intersection of column 1 and row 1. Along row 1, I placed Me under 5th Great Grandson in Column 8. In column 1, I placed Riikka at Row 9 under 6th Great Grandaughter. The intersection of Colum 8 down and Row 9 across shows our degree of cousinship: Ssixth Cousin Once Removed.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Common Ancestor
(Johan)
Son or Daughter Grandson or Daughter Great Grandson or Daughter 2nd Great Grandson or Daughter 3rd Great Grandson or Daughter 4th Great Grandson or Daughter 5th Great Grandson or Daughter
(Me)
2 Son or Daughter Siblings (Brother or Sister) Nephew or Niece Grand Nephew or Niece Great Grand Nephew or Niece 2nd Great Grand Nephew or Niece 3rd Great Grand Nephew or Niece 4th Great Grand Nephew or Niece
3 Grandson or Daughter Nephew or Niece First Cousin First Cousin Once Removed First Cousin Twice Removed First Cousin Three Times Removed First Cousin Four Times Removed First Cousin Five Times Removed
4 Great Grandson or Daughter Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Once Removed Second Cousin Second Cousin Once Removed Second Cousin Twice Removed Second Cousin Three Times Removed Second Cousin Four Times Removed
5 2nd Great Grandson or Daughter Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Twice Removed Second Cousin Once Removed Third Cousin Third Cousin Once Removed Third Cousin Twice Removed Third Cousin Three Times Removed
6 3rd Great Grandson or Daughter 2nd Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Three Times Removed Second Cousin Twice Removed Third Cousin Once Removed Fourth Cousin Fourth Cousin Once Removed Fourth Cousin Twice Removed
7 4th Great Grandson or Daughter 3rd Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Four Times Removed Second Cousin Three Times Removed Third Cousin Twice Removed Fourth Cousin Once Removed Fifth Cousin Fifth Cousin Once Removed
8 5th Great Grandson or Daughter 4th Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Five Times Removed Second Cousin Four Times Removed Third Cousin Three Times Removed Fourth Cousin Twice Removed Fifth Cousin Once Removed Sixth Cousin
9 6th Great Grandson or Daughter
(Riikka)
5th Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Six Times Removed Second Cousin Five Times Removed Third Cousin Four Times Removed Fourth Cousin Three Times Removed Fifth Cousin Twice Removed Sixth Cousin Once Removed
10 7th Great Grandson or Daughter 6th Great Grand Nephew or Niece First Cousin Seven Times Removed Second Cousin Six Times Removed Third Cousin Five Times Removed Fourth Cousin Four Times Removed Fifth Cousin Three Times Removed Sixth Cousin Twice Removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smallest Restaurant in World Is Where? In Finland!

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My friend Amy sent an email to me recently with an interesting subject: “The Smallest Restaurant in the World.” It turns out that this restaurant — which seats only two people — is in Finland. Amy found this bit of trivia on a website named Atlas Obscura at https://www.atlasobscura.com.

I went to the website to read its article on this tiny restaurant and view the photos. I am copying the short article  for your convenience (I’m sure Atlas Obscura won’t mind the publicity):

Though you may not think it to look at it, this small yellow wooden cabin down by the water is actually a restaurant named Kuappi. A sign out front proudly declares it as the smallest restaurant in the world.

A few restaurants around the world claim to be the world’s smallest, but this tiny establishment in Iisalmi, Finland, is a Guinness World Record holder, and unique among contenders for being the only one in a self-contained building. The dining room takes up less than half of the cabin’s 86 square feet (8 square meters), and can only fit two guests.

The entire restaurant consists of a tiny kitchen, table, two chairs, bathroom, and a small terrace that (weather permitting) can sit another two guests. Despite the small size, there’s still a full bar, but in order to fit it in the cabin all the alcohol is kept in mini-bottles.

Because of the restaurant’s very limited space, you’ll need to reserve a table in advance. But once you get there you can be sure that the one and only table in Kuappi is yours.

Know Before You Go
Restaurant Kuappi is located in the town of Iisalmi, Finland. You will find it down by the water just a few blocks away from the main street and the shopping center. Make sure to make a reservation in advance.

Here are four of the photos from the website:

 

 

 

 

 

It would have been fun to visit Kauppi during my recent visit to Finland, but sadly it was not on my jam-packed itinerary.

If you want to see the web page and view larger versions of the photos, go here.

FamilySearch.org Emails Me with Hints for Relatives

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Today (06 Aug 2018) I opened an email sent to my Gmail account yesterday by FamilySearch.org. It advised me that I had records for ancestors or relatives to possibly attach to my FamilySearch Family Tree (I am referring here to only my little section of FamilySearch’s Family Tree).

There were several records listed for a variety of extended family members, including 22 records for Finnish relatives on my father’s side. Among these, there was one from Finland for my great grandfather Otto; other records from Finland were for other distant relatives. There were American records as well, including ones for my grandfather Evert, my aunt Edith, and my uncle Hugh. On my mother’s side, there a variety of records among the 18 for close and distant relatives.

The email provided these instructions about how to review and attach a record hint after you click on Find Your Relative’s Hints:

Compare the information on the record (left) against the information already known about the person in the tree (right).

If information like names, dates, places, and relationships match up, state the reason that this record belongs to the person then click attach record.

I followed the instructions to the letter and checked out each of the record “hints.” They all passed my scrutiny and so I added them to the appropriate relatives on my little section of the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org.

Note: In March 2013 Family Tree was added to the familysearch.org site. It is available to any registered user. As a user views a family in their tree, he or she may see hints of historical documents related to that family. Family Tree has replaced new.familysearch.org. When I created my account four or five years ago, I wondered why FamilySearch.org required me to enter an email address. Now I know why.

Thanks, FamilySearch!

Do You Know the Origin of “Cut and Paste”?

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This post doesn’t have much to do with Collecting Ancestors, but it does have to do with my own history and I want to record it here for other folks to read, especially younger ones.

On Facebook today, I saw a post asking viewers if they had ever used an upright mechanical typewriter. I learned how to type on a mechanical typewriter in 7th or 8th grade in Andover, Ohio. Then I used such typewriters every day when I started my trade magazine journalism career Penton Publishing (later Penton Media) in 1960.

The other day, I talked about “cut and paste” with a 30-something as she was entering info into her iPad. She was familiar with the term as it is used in computing today, but she had no idea where it came from.

Of course, I then had to explain that back in the day (throughout the 1960s and early 1970s) we moved our typewritten copy around in a manuscript (or document in today’s terminology) by cutting it with long-bladed scissors. I still have my scissors from Penton Media (I put my name on them so they wouldn’t “walk away”).

After we cut our manuscript (document) into strips of copy, we rearranged them for typesetting using rubber cement to paste them onto new sheets of paper. Anybody remember rubber cement?

 

Distant Cousin was LDS Pioneer

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This morning (22 Jul 2018), I received an email from FamilySearch that I had a Pioneer Relative.

When I clicked on the provided link I learned that this ancestor was Jacob Gibson, born 01 Jan 1814 in West Fallowfield Twp, Chester Co., Pennsylvania.

I immediately searched to see if I had him listed in my Huskonen-Dingman-Van Court-Scheppelman family tree on Ancestry.com. I did, but with very little detail and only three little green leaves indicating hints.

I clicked through to Jacob on FamilySearch and used the info I found there to add to my family tree that his mother was Jane Elizabeth Brush, 1781-1855. Immediately the hints grew to 18. Also, Ancestry calculated that Jacob was my 1st cousin 4x removed.

I haven’t reviewed and checked all the hints on Ancestry.com yet, but one piece of information provided there indicates that he was baptized by the Church of Latter Day Saints in Philadelphia on 14 Sep 1846. On FamilySearch, there is data showing that he migrated to Utah in 1850, hence the LDS Pioneer Relative designation.

More quick facts: he was one of 10 children; he had four wives, three of whom died during his lifetime, with the fourth marriage possibly ending in divorce. Jacob Gibson died on 1 May 1882 in Salt Lake City and was buried there.

There is much more to review and analyze, between FamilySearch and Ancestry.com. I haven’t even looked to see what might be reported on MyHeritage.com. I can say this: Jacob Gibson, my first cousin 4x removed,  lived a very interesting life.

Workshop: Getting Help with Your Genealogy Research

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I have been doing genealogical research for over 20 years now (Wow! Has it really been that long?). Along the way, I sought and received information about blood relatives — and collateral relatives — from other researchers both in America and abroad.

On Saturday, Sept 8, 2018, I plan to share some of my experiences in a workshop at the Western Reserve Historical Society. I will cover hiring a research firm for a project, working with individual researchers here and abroad, using social media, asking questions of new-found cousins, and more. I will show examples of what was provided to me and how it enhanced the history of my family.

I intend to lead a hands-on session in the library to introduce attendees to some online resources for seeking help with a research question.

The workshop will be held in the Hassler Room at WRHS’s Cleveland History Center, 0825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, from noon to 3 pm. There is a fee of $15 to cover the cost of handouts.

To register, go here, or email: foxreinhardt@usa.net

Hope to see you there.

More News about DNA for Genealogy

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Earlier today, I posted a notice about an all-day DNA seminar featuring CeCe Moore at the Akron Summit County Public Library. Go here to read that posting: https://wp.me/p41k3R-rJ

This afternoon I learned that the DNA test provider Living DNA is hooking up with the genealogy database provider Find My Past. It makes sense because both are based in Great Britain and the combination will make an attractive offering, especially for genealogists researching ancestors in Great Britain and Ireland.

Here is the announcement yesterday from Find My Past:

  • The two leading British companies are creating a new DNA experience focused on uncovering British & Irish roots
  • New service will be launched in Fall 2018
  • Living DNA tests now available at Findmypast

Leading British and Irish family history website, Findmypast, has today announced a new partnership with the providers of the world’s most advanced DNA test, Living DNA.

Together, the two British companies are creating a new DNA experience that is designed to help customers explore their British and Irish roots. This new experience will combine cutting-edge science with traditional family history research methods, allowing families to discover more about their past and present.

Living DNA’s tests provide a unique breakdown of ethnic identities associated with 21 regions across Britain and Ireland by analyzing unique combinations of linked DNA. This proprietary method delivers a level of detail that is currently unmatched by any other test available on the market.

You can read the full article at http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=41625

One comment from my personal experience: I make three attempts to test with Living DNA, carefully following the instructions to the letter. All three attempts failed and Living DNA informed me that some test subjects simply could not be tested successfully. At the same time, I have tested successfully with Ancestry DNA, MyHeritage DNA, and Family Tree DNA.

FREE DNA Seminar at Akron Public Library on Saturday, July 28, 2018

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There is a wonderful opportunity to learn about DNA for genealogy coming up next Saturday, July 28, at the Akron Summit County Public Library. And the price is right — it’s FREE! The event will be held in the main auditorium of the library at 60 South High Street, Akron, Ohio 44326. Parking will be available in the garage next door and it also is free.

Here are the program details on the program “DNA and Genetic Genealogy” featuring CeCe Moore.

The Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society are pleased to present this program featuring CeCe Moore. CeCe is an independent professional genetic genealogist and media consultant who is considered an innovator in the use of DNA for genealogy and unknown parentage research. She has been the genetic genealogy expert and scriptwriter for the PBS Television documentary series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. since 2013. She is the founder of The DNA Detectives, the co-founder of the Institute for Genetic Genealogy and, as a leading educator in her field, she is an instructor for a number of courses and conferences throughout North America.

CeCe collaborates regularly with ABC’s 20/20, showcasing her cutting-edge work reuniting individuals of unknown parentage with biological relatives through genetic genealogy. She has also appeared as a genetic genealogy expert on CBS This Morning, Nightline, Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Sunday Today with Willie Geist, The Doctors and Finding Your Roots.

Here is the Program Schedule:

9:30 – 9:45 Introductions

9:45 – 10:45 The Power of DNA: Genetic Genealogy Basics
Understanding the basics of the four types of DNA and three types of genetic genealogy tests is essential to successfully applying genetic genealogy to furthering your research. Explore the power of DNA to discover more about genealogy and extend family tree branches. This presentation helps to lay the foundation for genealogists interested in adding genetic genealogy to their skill set.

10:45 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:15 Who Am I: Exploring Ethnicity Estimates
Addressing the question of “Who am I?” through DNA testing that provides ethnicity percentages is becoming a popular research tool for genealogists and even a pastime for the general public. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this aspect of DNA testing and the reasons behind them. Attendees will learn how to better interpret and analyze these results and what they can and cannot tell you about your family tree.

12:15 – 1:30 Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:30 I Have My Results, Now What?
Receiving your DNA results can be overwhelming and leave you wondering what to do next. We will discuss how to navigate the sites, interpret the results from the three major companies, understand key genetic genealogy terms and the steps to determining the relationships with your DNA cousins.

2:30 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 4:00 Breaking Through Genealogical Brick Walls with DNA
Genetic genealogy has tremendous potential for resolving age-old genealogical questions and extending our pedigrees. Learn how to use your DNA results to enhance your documentary research. We will explore the most successful techniques for identifying your lost ancestors.

The program will take place in the Main Library Auditorium on the High Street Level of the Main Library. Again, parking is free in the High-Market Parking Deck.

To register or for more information, contact the Special Collections Division at 330-643-9030 speccollections@akronlibrary.org.

I plan to be there. Say hello if you are there also.

 

She Was Listed in Outstanding Young Women of America 1971

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The other day I did some more cleaning and organizing of “things” around the house. I came across the book Outstanding Young Women of America, 1971. I had forgotten about this volume and the entry for Mary Jane (MJ), my late wife.

Here is how the publishing organization describes the volume:

“The Outstanding Young Women of America Award Program, now in its sixth year, is dedicated to recognizing and encouraging America’s most distinguished young women between the ages of 21 and 35 who give their time and efforts for the betterment of community, country, and profession. The young women who participate in the program are nominated for this honor by women’s organizations and college alumni associations. They represent the best of America’s conscientious young people.”

Here is the entry for MJ, found on page 333.

Huskonen, Mary Jane Van Court: Brecksville, Ohio; Homemaker, Instructor: b: Dec 12, 1938; m: Wallace Dingman; C: Karen Lynn, Kurt Wallace; d: Clyde and Meta Van Court; d-in-law: Walfrid and Mary Huskonen; ed: Baldwin-Wallace College, BME: 1956-60: career: Piano Instr 1957-60; 1965-; Parma City Schools, Tchr 1960-68; Rec Dir 1962: Redeemer Luth Church, Organist 1959-62; civic: South Suburban Montessori Assn 1970-, Registrar, Bd Mem; Southwest Music Women’s Com 1970-, Hosp Chm 1970-71; Cambridge Village Assn 1964-, Sec 1970; Cleveland Piano Tchr Org, 1966- Corr Sec; Ohio Music Tchr Assn 1966-; Music Tchr Natl Assn, 1966-; Ohio Music Tchr Assn, 1960-65; NEA 1964-69; Ohio Ed Assn, Northeast Ohio Ed Assn 1960-65; Parma Ed Assn, Thoreau Park PTA 1960-65.

As you can see, MJ was a very busy lady in the 1960s and 1970s. She continued many of these activities until she became too ill to participate beginning in 2014.

I remember most of the activities very well. The value of this volume is that it provides not only the activities, but dates and date ranges that I can add to MJ’s timeline

Publication data: Outstanding Young Women of America, 1971, Chicago, IL 60611. 759 pages.