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The Michael Kershners of Flagstaff, ME // EKOLA & WIITALA

Updated January 27, 2006

About Our Family Research


1. Identify Michael Kershner's ancestors in Germany, France and other parts of Europe. Update descendants information.

2. Identify and update ancestors and descendants of Matti & Sofia Ekola.

3. Identify and update ancestors and descendants of Hermann & Katrina Wiitala.


1. Michael Kershner born about 1775 in Alsace Lorraine, was a bodyguard for Napoleon Bonaparte. His wife Mary (last name unknown) is reported to have been born in France. In recognition and in honor of Napoleon, Michael named a child after him. Several other descendents names included Bonaparte as part of their name. Michael brought his family to the New World about 1817, settled and grew in the Flagstaff Plantation and Kingfield areas of Maine.

2. The Ekolas are from Northern Finland, Matias traveled to America when he was just 17 years old and never saw his mother or father again. His sister Senja married her husband, who was from MN,in Finland and emigrated to America.

3. The Wiitala's were from Clarks Island, ME. The town no longer exists and all records were lost when their town burned.

The only Family Reunion held on a regular annual basis is the KERSHNER FAMILY REUNION. The KERSHNER descendents began having annual family reunions in 1936 and have continued, uninterrupted, ever since. They were originally held on Labor Day Weekend but due to our changing society, families moving away and travel considerations, the reunions have been held on the "third Saturday of July" for the past 30 years or so. They are always held in Maine to accommodate the older generation that continues to live there. In recent years they have been primarily held in Poland Springs, ME since the location is based of offers.

All descendents and friends are welcome to the potluck picnic.

Games for the children and a "blind auction" are held after the business meeting. Each attendee brings an item to be sold at the auction. Proceeds from the auction pay for the soda and other nominal costs of the gathering.

All monies remaining after expenses are added to the Kershner Scholarship Fund. Cash donatons to the fund are also encouraged and gratefully accepted. The currently modest scholarship fund was started in the late 1980's to early 1990's and assists in paying for college books. Applications are reviewed and awarded each year at the reunion.

Anyone interested in attending the reunion can obtain Reunion location and directions as well as local accommodation information by e-mailing or

All inquiries are welcome and encouraged whether they are about the family tree or the reunion.

Editors Notes:
Rolfe Douglas "Doug" Bradbury is researching BRADBURY genealogy as it relates to Montelle Bradbury. See Montelle & Isabelle [Kershner] Bradbury in the Kershner Tree. Doug may be contacted at

Norma Isabelle [Ekola] Racine is maintaining EKOLA and WIITALA genealogy. Additions, corrections and inquiries should be e-mailed to

Lois [Coughlin] Bradbury maintains the KERSHNER genealogy, Norma Racine is her backup. Lois may be contacted at

July 16, 2001

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