Wistful Wednesday : Young Enduring Love

My paternal Great Grandmother (Kaisa) was born in  Muhos, Finland in 1867.  Six years earlier in 1861 my Great Grandfather (August) was born in Ylivieska Finland.  The towns are ninety miles apart.  So it is doubtful that they knew each other in Finland.

August was an only child..although his father had been married twice before to women that already had children.   August came to America in 1877.

Kaisa may have had brothers and sisters..her family history needs some close inspection.   Her parents left her in Finland while they went to America. She was working as a maid and her parents left her two cows to pay for her passage to America.  She was 16 years old.  She apparently sold the cows and came to America in 1883.  Sometime later her parents would return to Finland..but I don’t know why or when.

In August of 1883 two months after getting off the ship Kaisa married August in Michigan..she was 17 and he was 24.  Young love?  He was a miner working in the Copper Mines and a logger.

They had 12 children and adopted a grandchild after their daughter died.

Most of their children were born near Dover Creek Michigan.  In 1903 Mike died  of a burst appendix at the age of 19, in the same year Annie would die of pneumonia after having the mumps at the age of 18..leaving behind a daughter born in 1903 whom my Great Grandparents would raise as their own child. My Grandmother Hilda would become the oldest by default after her older brother and sister died.  In 1906 a baby would die.

August and Kaisa

August and Kaisa unknown year..possibly 1920

In 1906 August and Kaisa would move to Becker County Minnesota. Land was the lure.  Farming must be easier than mining.  They would leave my Grandmother behind, she was 17 and had a very good job working as a housekeeper in a fancy house where the lady of the house would inspect the maids work with a white glove.  My Grandmother had a few suitors in Michigan..she loved Michigan and would return there to visit many times throughout her life.Grandma Hilda (2)

Hilda in 1906, she was 17 years old and lived in Michigan.

In January of 1910 my Grandmother (Hilda) would come to Minnesota she was 21 years old.  She followed her family here, perhaps she missed her family.  Perhaps she got a letter from her Mother asking her to come..who knows?

My Great Grandparents  would suffer more grief.  Olga would die from meningitis the next year (1911). Olga was 13 years old. Two months after Olga’s death baby William was born and died the same day.

In 1918 their son Oscar would die of influenza during WWI.

In 1919 their remaining children would be Hilda (my grandmother), Andrew, Elina, Katie, Pearl ( adopted granddaughter), Mayme and Emil.  My Great Grandparents would live to bury half of their children.  Everyone in the family would treat Aunt Pearl like a real Aunt instead of the grandchild that she was.

Some of my thoughts:  Who would leave a 16 year old behind in Finland to come to America by herself?  Two Months..they knew each other two months or less and they were married..but the marriage lasted 58 years until August’s death in 1941.  Perhaps they grew to love each other after the sparks of young love wore off?  It must have been devastating for my Great Grandparents to endure the deaths of so many of their children.

Family History seems to make me ask more questions..I wonder if the answers are out there someplace.  Should I just be happy with the information I have or are these just pieces of the puzzle?:)

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One Response to Wistful Wednesday : Young Enduring Love

  1. kay syvrud says:

    Family histories are full of joy and grief…both along side each other. My grandparents endured the deaths of 6 of their 11 children. Only five lived to old age.
    It is hard for me to imagine going through such hardships ..I am a wimp when it comes to enduring grief like they did.

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