(I tried to email the address you gave but received a failure-to-tranmist message.) Delighted to hear from you! I’m discovering more relatives than I could have imagined I have. I’ve also heard from Darlene Johnson whom you probably know. She is the great-granddaughter of one of Leena and Juho’s sisters, Maria.
I’m glad to have the detail about the Pakkala farm and to know that it is once again in family hands (do you know how it was reacquired after having been lost?). I hope to visit Finland soon -- something I’ve never done -- and would love to visit the farm.
The family biography I’m writing, which revolves around my mother, is quite extensive now at circa 46 pages, including contemporary historical detail to establish context and an examination of Finnish-American life in the early 20th century. Your information adds a valuable detail, and I suspect you have a lot more information that would help fill out my knowledge of our common ancestors.
My mother lost touch with the Nisulas after Leena died, but she remembered several Nisula uncles and once counted 43 first cousins and “quite a few second cousins.” The Nisula who made the most vivid impression was one of her mother’s sisters. “Tilda, we called her,” my mother once wrote. “I believe it was Mathilda. Wick was her married name. They shared the camp lot at Wyman’s Pond in Westminster with us. She sucked her thumb all her life.”
I have many questions, Dave. Here’s one. My understanding is that Leena was the next-to-youngest of 12 children. But Matti Nisula’s 1916 obituary in the Gardner newspaper lists only seven children: “John, William, Andrew, Oscar, Mary, Matilda and Lena Pakkala.” Might the other five have died? My mother was the youngest of six children, only three of whom lived past infancy.
Another question I would like to have answered is when did Matti, Maria, and their children emigrate from Finland? My understanding is that they came over in 1893 when Leena was seven. Do you have any other details?
If you have any tips about how to conduct genealogical research, especially over the Internet, I’d appreciate that, too. I’m on a learning curve here.
Let’s keep in touch, Dave. I’m the embodiment of the saying that the older we get, the more we are interested in history and biography -- very natural, because we have so much more of it ourselves.