More on Gift of Family History from Finland

by , under, Biographies, Correspondence, Family History, Family History Research, Family Stories, FamilySearch, Finnish, Huskonen/Huuskonen,

Yesterday, I received the email below from my brother, Walfrid. It was a follow-up to the subject of my post on Aug 8 ( )

Attached is my translation of Kaapro Kustaanpoika Huuskonen.  I had help from Matti [a cousin in Finland and the provider of the subject biography] in translating a couple of places, in particular about the burn off for the turnip patch and Mustalais-Kallu.  Mustalais-Kallu and Korhos-Kalle are the same construction form but in the first Mustalais- is taken from the adjective gypsy and in the second Korhos-is taken from Korhonen.

Here is his translation of the attached biography of Kaapro Kustaanpoika  (aka Gabriel, son of Gustav. calculated him to be my 1st cousin, two times removed). It is an entry similar to those seen in American county histories published in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I have inserted some explanatory material in square brackets [ ]:

Huuskosen Suku I [Huuskonen Family I]
Aarne Huuskonen [the compiler/author]
Published by the Huuskosten Sukuseura r.y. [Huskonen Family Association]
Helsinki 1972
Lindellin Kirjapaino Oy [printing company, still in existance. See: ]

(Pages 89-90)

Kaapro Kustaanpoika Huuskonen, born 11 March 1859 in the then Rautalampi, died 22 April 1950 at Majo [farm name], Vesanto [Rautalampi was the original parish; Vesanto a daughter parish established in the 1880s].  He cared for his large farm with enthusiasm and skill, maintaining his house in good condition, truly still keeping up traditional forms of agriculture.  Every summer he burned off a small patch for turnips, took an interest in cutting leaves and deciduous tree branches for fodder) and had tall manure piles.  Crops were in good condition.  He continued working until his death.  Even as a ninety-year-old he split all the firewood needed for the house.  He hated laziness and indolence.  Servants stayed at Majo for years because the employer paid the hired help well.  Some, who did not marry, were at Majo their entire lives and the farm offered good care in their old age

Kaapro was also clever with his hands; but not, it is said as good as his brother August, Rutkolan [another farm name] head of household, to whom he sometimes went for sharpening his scythes and other things. The farm yard and fields at Majo were in unusually good order.  You did not see farm tools thrown about or machinery outside.  Everything was in its place, it sheds and other storage places.  No wonder Oskar Hämäläinen (professor Albert Hämäläinen’s brother) sang, that “At Majo there is a model house, where the places gleam, the girls are fine, they steal your heart…”

Kaapro particularly liked his daughters.  The relationship with his sons was difficult, which lead to Kalle and Nestori going to America.  That trait of old Huuskonens.  Certainly Kaapro, as a father, demanded hard work from his daughters, but gave money and clothes to them more easily than to his boys.  Fifty years ago when the first womens’ bicycles appeared in Vesanto, the girls of Majo began to want them.  Their mother was of the opinion that they should buy only two although there were four girls, but their father said that if they buy any they would buy one for each.  Certainly, in the village they were amazed when Majo’s girls rode to church in a row and how much money had been spent for them.

In the 1800’s and later Majo engaged in the practice of fishing and so there was good fishing equipment in the household.  Kaapro liked fish very much, in particular smelt was his favorite.  It is true that it was not found in Keitele (lake) but was in Vesijärvi (lake) and they resorted to the help of people from Rutkola.  Kaapro was unusually kind-hearted.  During one winter Mustalais- Kallu (gysy Kallu), or another way of looking at it a tramp or vagrant was supported at Majo for months; as was Korhos-Kalle or Kalle Korhonen.  No one left Majo without help, even if it was a question of money, grain seed, or seed potatoes.  Also, he helped related students.

He read the Bible diligently and always aloud.  Many times he was heard preaching from the field.  The bible was from the middle of the 1800s.  He was not able to write except to sign his name.

Kaapro loved his family and wanted to keep Majo in the family.  When both boys had gone to America, where Kalle died, he wanted Nestori to come back to take the farm for himself.  Nestori finally came and married Olga Ritvanen from Mäkelä, and he received the farm in his name.  Kaapro’s wife was Emma Liimatainen, from Alatalo, Särkisalo.

Kaapro was modest and avoided publicity.  The girls secretly arranged a small celebration for his 75th birthday.  As the guests arrived the man of the hour disappeared and was later found sitting on a rock on the shore of Keitele lake.  He was also headstrong, he stopped smoking as an 80-year-old.

I am now working to reconcile this information with entries in my family tree. I intend to consult MyHeritage and FamilySearch in this effort at locating documentation. I also will consult Finnish websites for this data.


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