I just received word via email that notice of my recent posts about Cousin Matti sending Kaapro Huuskonen’s biography to me, and how he and my brother Walfrid translated it into English, has been circulated to other Huuskonen (original spelling of surname) cousins.
For their benefit, in case they take a look at this blog, I thought I might write a bit about my interest in my Finnish ancestry and include some links to earlier posts about my grandparents.
In 1995, I traveled to Salt Lake City for a business conference on steelmaking. After the day’s activities were over, a colleague said he was going to visit the Family History Library (now called FamilySearch Library — see photo) to do some family research. Having nothing better to do for the evening, I went along.
While I was looking at databases on CDs for people with my surname, I heard an announcement over the public address system that there would be a short seminar on Finnish Genealogy Research starting in a few minutes. I told my colleague that I had to take advantage of this opportunity.
The instructor was able to convince me that even though I didn’t read or speak Finnish I could still research about my ancestors. She provided a list of key Finnish words and their English translations that would be essential to understanding Finnish records.
The first thing I did when I returned home was to contact my brother Walfrid in Oklahoma. Ironically, while I was being exposed to the idea of researching Finnish ancestry in Salt Lake City, he was in Portland, Oregon, attending FinnFest 1995. He said that he had obtained passport and passenger ticket information for our grandparents and their travel to America.
FinnFest USA is an annual gathering of people of Finnish ancestry at various sites around America. My brother and I arranged to attend FinnFest 1996 together in Marquette, Michigan. We picked up a little more information about genealogical research, and we were exposed to many aspects of Finnish culture.
Subsequently, we attended FinnFest 2007 in Ashtabula, Ohio (and had a mini family reunion) and I attended FinnFest 2013 in Houghton, Michigan. I presented talks at the 2007 and 2013 events describing how I had collected more information about my Finnish Ancestry.
In October 2011, I started the blog, www.collectingancestors.com. Given that my motherdescended from immigrants to America during the colonial period, part of the blog content deals with that part of my genealogy and family history. But many of the posts cover what I have learned about my Finnish ancestry. Here are some examples:
These can be read like chapters in a book about my grandparents. Eventually, I want to add material about their parents and other relatives in Finland.