On Oct 6, 2011, I posted an article about how my grandmother and her four children traveled from Finland to America. It involved some records research, some detective work with maps, and some speculation about details. I also wrote an article about the details of my grandfather’s journey to America but hadn’t posted it until now. The journeys were separate because my grandfather emigrated from Finland in 1902 and my grandmother followed the next year. The reason for the difference: my grandmother was still pregnant with my Aunt Mary when it came time for Grandpa to leave. Ironically, Aunt Mary was born in Vesanto, in central Finland, on the same day that Grandpa Huuskonen boarded a ship in Hanko, a port in southern Finland, to sail to England for his transatlantic voyage.
Here is my article about Grandpa Huuskonen’s journey
On 26 Sep 1902, Evert Huuskonen, aged 29 years, obtained Passport No. 456/1902 in Kuopio, the capital city of Kuopio Province, to travel from Vesanto, Finland, to the United States of America. His destination was Ashtabula, Ohio. He indicated that he planned to stay for 5 years. His intended companions were his wife Ida maria and four children.
The timing of his planned departure suggests that the summer farming season was over and he had saved up enough money to make the trip.
When it came time to make the final arrangements, Evert bought only a single ticket (the ticket price was 216 Finnish maarka–marks in English) no doubt because Ida Maria was expecting a child within a month or so.
It’s likely Evert left home on the 9 or 10 of October, traveling by train toward Helsinki from Kuopio, or even more likely from Suonenjoki, which is a main stop on the Kuopio-Helsinki rail line, and is only about 54 kilometers (34 miles) from Vesanto. At Hyvinkaa (where the railroad to Hanko branches off from the Kuopio-Helsinki line), he no doubt transferred to a second train bound for the Finnish port of Hanko on the Baltic Sea at the very southern tip of Finland.
As it turned out, Evert departed from Hanko on the same day as his daughter Mary’s birth, 11 Oct 1902. He sailed from Finland on the steam ship Arcturus of the Finland Steamship Co. bound for Hull, England.
Upon his arrival in Hull, he boarded another train for the approximately seven-hour trip as a transmigrant westward across England to the Atlantic seaport of Liverpool. There, he boarded the S.S. Tunisian of the Allan Line on 16 Oct 1902 for the voyage to North America.
The Emigrant Register does not list a destination port for this ship, but the passenger manifest for the S. S. Tunisian is on microfilm among the St Albans District records in the U.S. National Archives in Washington. It sailed from Liverpool, 16 Oct 1902, arriving in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, 25 Oct 1902.
The manifest lists the following particulars for Evert Huuskonen: male; married; age 29; occupation, laborer; able to read and write; nationality, Finnish; final destination, Ashtabula, Ohio. It further indicated he had a ticket to that destination; paid for by himself; he was in possession of at least $20; and he was joining a friend, Vieko Pietihani [?], whose address was Box 115, Ashtabula. Evert was listed in good health on the ship’s manifest.
We can assume that once he arrived in Quebec City, he immediately boarded a train, again as a transmigrant, bound for the United States and Ashtabula, Ohio.