I am helping someone look for information about his grandfather and great uncle. Because they left (abandoned) family back in Finland, we know the family information going back. We are trying to find out what happened to them once they came to the U.S. Here's what I know:
Juho Kustaa Kiviniemi
Born: Lapua, Finland – March 22, 1879
Immigrated: to Hancock, MI in 1905
Lived in: Hackley, WI (Later renamed Phelps, in Vilas County) in 1910, worked for the Phelps-Hackley-Bonnell Company, as part of the lumber industry, and listed them as his employer on his WWI draft card.
Last known whereabouts: a few letters were exchanged with him in 1930 from L’Anse, MI. A final letter was returned to sender, marked “PERSON MOVED” in 1931.
Other names: Ship records show him listed as Johan Kiviniemi, he may have later gone by John.
Vihtori Matias Kiviniemi
Born: Lapua Finland – January 01, 1884
Immigrated: to join his brother in 1910.
Lived in: We don’t have the same records for him as we found for Juho, but we assume he worked in Hackley (Phelps) for at least some time after he arrived, as his ship’s manifest lists Hackley as his destination.
Other Names: His ship records show his name as Matias Viktor Kiviniemi. May have Americanized it to Victor, Matti, or Matt.
I have contacted the Phelps Historical Museum to see about employment records, but the records from the Hackley-Phelps-Bonnell Co. (later called the Christiansen Co.) they have are only now being organized.
I have spoken to the area Lutheran churches to see about membership lists, but nothing was found to match these men.
I have searched the death records for Baraga County, MI (this is where L'Anse is located) and if they were there at some point, they didn't stay around long enough to die there.
As I write this, I am sitting at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, MI and can find no mention of Juho in the area church records, fraternal organization records, political records, etc. here either.
Both of these men had wives and children in Finland who never heard from them again. Their descendants are looking to find their final resting places. Any idea where else I can look?