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This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.

Last time, I discussed the Kivi family, related to my husband’s great-grandmother Mayme. This time, I’d like to talk a little about the Eklund family, relatives of my husband’s great-grandfather Leonard. The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977 and has been an invaluable resource. Ancestry also has a U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 collection, which includes Ironwood’s Luther L. Wright High School, where Leonard attended.

Leonard Eklund's senior picture from the 1927 Hematite

Leonard Eklund’s senior picture from the 1927 yearbook, the Hematite

Leonard’s parents and sister are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood. His father Erick Eliasson Eklund came to the U.S. in 1896 and, in the 1900 census, worked as a mine laborer in Ironwood living with his brother Emil, sister Sofia and her husband Andrew Mattson. On November 23, 1901, Erick and Johanna Sofia Nelson (maiden name also possibly Stenbacka) were married in Ironwood.

Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901

Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901

They had a daughter, Helmi, in 1906 and a son, Leonard in 1910. In 1918, Erick worked as a surface laborer for the Oliver Iron Mining Company. The family lived at 228 E. Ash Street in Ironwood. According to his death certificate, Erick died on January 4, 1929 of pulmonary tuberculosis, which he had been suffering from for three years.

eklund_obit_1929

Erick Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe, Jan. 5, 1929

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eklund1929

Here is a recent photo of the house on E. Ash St. where the Eklund family lived since at least 1918. In 1910, they were living on E. Oak St. Notice the garage, which Johanna received a permit to build in 1941.

228 East Ash Street

228 East Ash Street

 

Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941

Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941

Johanna Eklund died December 29, 1955 at 228 E. Ash, where her daughter Helmi and her husband Warren Ekman were living. The funeral was held Tuesday, January 3, 1956.

Johanna Eklund's Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe

Johanna Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe (Click to enlarge)

Article about Johanna's funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe

Article about Johanna’s funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe

Johanna's gravestone in Riverside Cemetery

Johanna’s gravestone in Riverside Cemetery

helmi

postcard

This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.

The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977. This has been an invaluable resource. Every little activity in the surrounding area (Gogebic County, MI and Iron County, WI) was recorded, including church socials, hospital stays, and visiting relatives. Below is an example of a treasure I found in the Thurs., Feb. 7, 1946 issue. Matt/Matti Kivi is my husband’s great-great grandfather.

Matt Kivi, his son William, his grandson Carl, and his great-grandson Jack

Matt Kivi (seated), his son William (left), his grandson Carl (right), and his great-grandson Jack

Our first stop (after the hotel) was Riverside Cemetery, which is right on the border with Wisconsin, across the Montreal River. A kind person posted a very useful map at Find-A-Grave, which helped immensely in this surprisingly large cemetery, as did the clerk’s office of the city of Ironwood (call them if you want to know where a relative is buried in the cemetery). The first gravestone we located was for Matti Kivi (1873-1950) and his wife Wilhelmina (1874-1943) – maiden name Halvas or possibly Parkari. Their son Arvid M. (1901-1995) is also buried there and has a military gravestone as well. Matt and Wilhelmina are the parents of Mayme Kivi, wife of Leonard Eklund (my husband’s great-grandparents).

Matt and Wilhelmina Kivi tombstone in Riverside Cemetery

Matt and Wilhelmina Kivi tombstone in Riverside Cemetery

Below are articles about the Kivi’s in the Daily Globe, including their obituaries which were on the front page of that day’s edition. Click to enlarge the images.

50th Anniversary, Dec. 24, 1942

50th Anniversary, Dec. 24, 1942

 

Mrs. Kivi's Obituary

Mrs. Kivi’s Obituary, Wed. Dec. 22, 1943

 

Matt Kivi's Obituary, Tues. Dec. 12, 1950

Matt Kivi’s Obituary, Tues. Dec. 12, 1950

Below is a photograph I found at this helpful genealogy site, Skinnar(i) > Kivi Family.

Some of Matt Kivi's family, about 1899 in Ironwood, MI

Some of Matt Kivi’s family, about 1899 in Ironwood, MI

Next time, I’ll discuss the Eklund family we found in Ironwood.

Recently on Ancestry.com, I found the probate record for Nathaniel Belknap that listed a fascinating inventory of his homestead, which leads me to this post.

Nathaniel Belknap was born March 31, 1746 in Plaistow, New Hampshire to Obadiah Belknap and Sarah Mitchell. Nathaniel married Hannah Hutchins on July 11, 1770 in Salem, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Nathaniel Belknap was living in Salem, Rockingham, N.H. in 1776. According to the History of Salem, N.H., written by Edgar Gilbert in 1907, Nathaniel Belknap was a selectman of the town in 1796.

82009960_133953557699

Image from Find-a-Grave

Nathaniel died October 12, 1803 in Salem, N.H.  He is buried in Salem Center Burying Ground.  His estate papers were dated October 14, 1803. His wife Hannah was one of the administrators in charge of taking an inventory of his estate.

belknap_inventory

Beginning of inventory of N. Belknap’s estate, 11/22/1803

 

Sources:

Ancestry.com. New Hampshire, Births and Christenings Index, 1714-1904 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Find-a-Grave image: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=82009960&PIpi=61658763

Ancestry.com. New Hampshire, Wills and Probate Records, 1643-1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: New Hampshire County, District and Probate Courts.

#17 – Jacob Baker

My husband’s great-great grandfather was Jacob Baker (family name originally Becker). Jacob Baker was born May 30, 1865 in Ohio.  His parents Johann George Becker and Elisabeth Kline were born in Germany. They married in Germany in 1853 and their first child, Wilhelmina, was born in Illinois or Ohio in 1854. Eight more children followed after Wilhelmina, including Jacob.

In the 1870 U.S. census, the family (listed as Baker) was living in Richfield, Lucas County, Ohio.  George was 43 and a farmer.  His real estate was valued at $2500 and his personal estate at $500. Elisabeth was 38 and kept house. Their birthplace is listed as Prussia.  Wilhelmina (Mena) was 15 and listed as being born in Ohio.  As was Elizabeth, aged 14.  The next two children Mary (11) and Conrad (9) were listed as being born in Illinois.  The rest of the children, Katherine (7), Jacob (5), and Emma (1) were listed as being born in Ohio.

In the 1880 census, the family was still living in Richfield Township. Their last name was listed as Baker.  The children at home were Conrad (19), Catherine (17), Jacob (15), Emma (11), George (8) and Margrett (5).

Jacob married Bertha Knisel on June 28, 1900 in Lucas County, Ohio when he was 35 and she was 25. They were both living in Toledo at the time.  Jacob was a carpenter and Bertha was a domestic. Click the image below to enlarge their marriage registration.

jbaker_marriage

Jacob and Bertha had a daughter, Emma Maud, on April 6, 1901 in Toledo, Ohio. Their son, Milton Jacob, was born November 14, 1904, also in Toledo.  In the 1910 census, the family was living at 1504 Norwood Avenue in Toledo.  Jacob was a carpenter in building construction. It says he was out of work 9 weeks during 1909. Emma was 9 and Milton was 5 and both attended school.

In 1920, the family was living at 1450 Prospect Avenue.  Sometime between 1910 and 1920, Jacob became the proprietor of his own grocery store.  In the census, Bertha was listed as his partner in the grocery.  Emma, aged 18, was a stenographer at a real estate office, while Milton (15) was still in school.

baker_1920

Click image to see it larger.

In the 1923 Toledo City Directory, the family was still living at 1450 Prospect Avenue. Milton was a driver and Emma was a stenographer at Palmer-Blair Company.  Jacob’s wife Bertha died on July 22, 1923 of breast cancer. She was buried in Toledo Memorial Park. In about 1925, their daughter Emma married Donald G. Miehls.  Donald was a Catholic and Jacob disowned Emma because of her marriage.

On October 29, 1924, Jacob married Amanda Tursan, the widow of Peter Dethlefsen.  He was 58 and she was 51.

baker_dethlefsen

Jacob died December 6, 1929 of stomach cancer and involutional melancholia (depression). When he died, Jacob left everything to his son Milton and nothing to Emma. Milton gave Emma and her husband the grocery story, while he kept the house. Amanda, Jacob’s widow, died in 1948 and was buried with her husband Peter.

eedd00cd-f60f-4966-9b53-b83e33b352b4

Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, Ohio

Image citations:

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZLR-Q2Q : accessed 15 January 2016), Jacob Baker and Bertha Knisel, 28 Jun 1900; citing Lucas, Ohio, United States, reference 597; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 909,007.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDGX-GD9 : accessed 15 January 2016), Bertha Baker in household of Jacob Baker, Toledo Ward 8, Lucas, Ohio, United States; citing sheet 22A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,409.

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2Q35-PRQ : accessed 19 January 2016), Jacob Baker and Amanda Turson Dethlefsen, 29 Oct 1924; citing Lucas, Ohio, United States, reference ; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,167,511.

Today I’d like to discuss the last surviving child of John and Mary Wilson, my grandfather’s brother Stu.  He lived to the age of 98!

stu

Stu was the 9th of 10 children born to John Wilson and Mary Thompson.  He was born in Pittsburgh Township (now Kingston), Ontario on April 21, 1914. In the 1921 Canadian census, Stu is living on the Wilson farm in Pittsburgh Township with his parents, his paternal grandmother, and 7 brothers and sisters.  The oldest son, Hugh, had moved out.  The oldest daughter, Annie Maude, had died at the age of 4 in 1904.

Stu crossed the border at Buffalo, N.Y. on April 26, 1948 in order to reside in the United States. He lists my grandfather, Charles, as his contact in the U.S. At the time, Stu was a machinist living in Toronto.

stu_arrival

His Declaration of Intention for U.S. citizenship is dated March 18, 1949 in Houston, Texas. Stu married Willa Mary Craig (Aunt Mary) on July 30, 1949 (I’m assuming in Canada). On October 18, 1949, his new wife Mary came through Port Huron, Michigan on her way to her husband’s residence in Houston.  Within the next few years, they had a son. By 1952, the Wilson family was living in Flint, Michigan where, according to the city directory, Stu was a machinist at Buick.

This is all I know about Uncle Stu from the documents.  I know they moved to Ottawa, but I’m not sure when.  I remember them coming from Canada to visit my grandparents in the 1980s.

Today is the third anniversary of Uncle Stu’s death. His obituary from The Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 9, 2013 reads as follows:

WILSON, Clarence Stuart (longtime resident Fraser Ave.) Passed away in Ottawa on January 7, 2013. Born April 21, 1914 in Pittsburg Township (Kingston), Stuart was the surviving member of his family of 10 brothers and sisters. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Mary (nee Craig of Tamworth/Kingston) and survived by his son, Gordon, daughter-in-law, Joanne, and grandsons, Mark and Jeff. Stuart lived a long and wonderful life, characterized by a positive attitude, quick wit and concern for others. He will be missed by all who knew him. Thanks to all who have assisted Stuart in various ways over the past few years. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Chris and Astrid whose capacity for caring made such an immense difference in the quality of Stuart’s later life. A private family service will be held. Online condolences can be made at http://www.colefuneralservices.com.

__________

Image citations:

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1480; Roll: 159; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85

Joseph Ralph Smiechowski was my great-grandmother’s (Mae Moore Oakes) second husband. They were married in 1916 in Detroit, Michigan. I have found his last name spelled a few different ways, including Smiechowsky and Smilchowski.

 

jrs_mdo_marriage

Smiechowski / Oakes Marriage Registration, 19 June 1916 (Click image to enlarge)

 

Joseph was born 6 September 1893 in Detroit to Wladyslaw (Walter) Smiechowski and Eva Wolff. He had one brother Edward (born 1895) and two sisters, Amelia (born 1898) and Anna (born 1900). In the 1900 census, the family was living on St. Joseph St. in Detroit.  In the 1910 census, they were living on Theodore Street. Joseph was 16 and employed as a shipping clerk at a tannery. On 19 June 1916, Joseph and my great-grandmother, Mae, were married in Detroit.  One of the witnesses was her brother, Earl Moore.  Mae had a daughter, Helen, who turned four years old on their wedding day. On his World War I draft registration card, dated 1 June 1917, Joseph is described as medium height, stout, with blue eyes and light hair.  He lists his dependents as a “wife and child 5 yrs old.” In various documents, his occupation is listed as decorator or painter.

 

jrs_wwi

 

In the 1920 census, the little family was living on Sheridan Street in Detroit.  My grandmother Helen was listed as Helen Smiechowski, instead of Helen Oakes and as Joseph’s daughter instead of step-daughter.

 

1920 census (Click on image to enlarge)

1920 census (Click on image to enlarge)

 

Mae filed for divorce on 17 December 1924 and the divorce was granted on 11 May 1925. Causes listed were extreme cruelty and non-support. Mae went on to marry her third husband Alfred Johnson in July 1925.

In the 1930 census, Joseph was living with his parents on Pressler Street in Detroit.

I recently found his death certificate on the SeekingMichigan.org site.  Joseph died 21 Sept 1936.  His place of death is listed as Motor Boat Lane, Detroit, Michigan. This road appears to be next to a marina or an inlet of the Detroit River near the Manoogian Mansion.  His cause of death was “asphyxiation by suffocation drowning.” His father Walter is listed as the informant.  His address was 6629 Burns, and I assume Joseph was living there at the time of his death, but the certificate lists his address as unknown. Burns Street was only about 5 or 6 blocks over from Motor Boat Lane. I had no idea when I started looking for his death date, that Mr. Smiechowski had come to such a tragic end.

_________________________________

Image citations:

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3TS-CLW : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph R. Smiechowski and Mae D Moore Oakes, 19 Jun 1916; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, v 6 p 443 rn 131966, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,718.

“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6XQ-4NM : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph Ralph Smiechowski, 1917-1918; citing Detroit City, Michigan, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,675,371.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZW1-7LF : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph Smilchowski, Detroit Ward 17, Wayne, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 20A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,816.

52 Ancestors

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Train_derailment,_1920_(3885506679).jpg

So I didn’t get very far in my “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge before school, work, and life got in the way.  I’m going to continue with it anyway.  I’ve saved all the prompts for all the weeks from Amy’s website and plan to keep on trucking.

(Image of train derailment in NSW Australia from https://commons.wikimedia.org)