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Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 15.01.2018 14:41
Kirjoittaja KnutTor
I have some questions connected to my family from Finland.

Information about my Finish ancestry:
Most of the information I have is from my grandfathers written story.
Other documentation is stated below.

My great grandfather was : Albert Edvard Bäckström
He was born Feb 12. 1842 Frisans Espoo Uusimaa Finland, died Mar 8. 1887 Helsinki and burried in Espoo
His parents was:
Rusthollar Johan Bäckström, born Des 10 1802 Petas, Kvamby, Espoo, died in Espoo 1852
and Eva Ulrika Malmström, born Des 21 1807 Stor Stubbans.
Documentation: Census 1846 Frisans

The next I know is that he visited Bömlo in Norway 1866.
He was than seaman on a ship that unloaded cargo a few days in Bömlo.
Here he met Brynhilde Johnsdatter Thormodsæter born Jul 31 1849 Finnås, Norway
They kept contact for nine years by mail.
In april 1871 he was Chief Mate on the ship Henric Emanual, and later this year he was captain on the same ship.
Documentation: Ship records in Newspaper
In 1875 he left his ship in London and travelled to Bömlo via Bergen where he married Brynhilde Oct 3 1875.
Albert Edvard Bäckström and his wife sailed overseas together for appr. 2 years.
According to my grandfather his ship was involved in an accident in the English channel in 1877, and
probably after an inquiry/trial, Albert lost his permit as captain in internatinal waters.
He and Brynhilde moved to Finland in 1877 and got 5 children:
John b. 1877 d. 1886 birthplace unknown, burried at Espoo.
Berta and her twin sister Ulrikke b. Jan 15 1879, birthplace unknown (Borgö? Helsinki?)
Arvid Thorstein b. Des 15 1880 birthplace Kirkoby, Tuusula (documented, SSHY)
Alith-Elise b. Sep 16 1883 birthplace Kirkoby, Tuusula (documented, SSHY)
When Albert died i 1887 he was burried in Espoo.
Brynhilde move back to Bergen, Norway with her children
Her daughter Bertha married my grandfather Eivind Sommerfeldt Fossum 1908 in Bergen
and later lived in Oslo and Asker, Norway.

This was a long story, but I hope to get some advice how to find some more answers:

My first interest is to find out where my great grandparents lived
for the period 1877 to 1887, what kind of lives they had and what Albert was doing.
My grandfather say in his story, that he sailed as captain on the inland lakes.
Can that be documented?
I have not found any documentation where they lived the first 3 years
and where my grandmother Bertha was born. (Borgö?, Helsinki?).
Where shall I look for that? How can I get information from Church records not available
at ?
I would also appriciate any additional information related to the information above,
also for the period before Albert became a seaman.

My main interest is to find information about the ship accident in 1877.
I have been in contact with the Heritage & Education Centre, Lloyd’s Register Foundation
and also looked in the without any success so far.
Have anyone a clue, where to look. I am especially interested in the name of the ship,
the inquiry and what happened in the accident?
If it was Henric Emanuel it seems unlikely that I don't find it in

Some other sources I have checked:
where I found this document: ... 22/327.htm
I also looked at
A search for Bäckström gave the following result

Best regards
Knut Torsethaugen
Trondheim, Norway

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 15.01.2018 16:56
Kirjoittaja jani
It's highly likely that the twins were born in Espoo (Esbo). The family moves from Espoo to Tuusula (Tusby) in 1880.

As of now, Espoo records from 1860 onwards haven't been digitized. Hopefully those will be available in the near future, so that you can verify the birth place.

In any case, here's the Tuusula barnbok: ... 1-6/44.htm

And the parents during that time: ... 13/102.htm

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 16.01.2018 09:17
Kirjoittaja Kimpula

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 17.01.2018 00:54
Kirjoittaja OrvokkiT
There is thousands of lakes in Finland, but most of them are very small and shallow. There is only few places were is possible to sail as a ship captain on the inland lakes. Päijänne is one of big lakes. Päijänne is here: ... 25.3791119

I found one news where captain Bäckström and Päijänne is mentioned. Maybe he is the same person what You are looking for. ... str%C3%B6m

The news is written with old Finnish language, so here is a translation. (Not from word to word, but most of the information.) The date of the newspaper is 30.08.1884.

"Shipwreck: There was a very dangerous shipwreck in Päijänne. It happened on last Tuesday. Steam boat Jämsä was on the way to Vesijärvi and it hit a rock under water.

The ship got very bad injuries and water became immediately to come in the ship. When the captain noticed this, he ordered immediately to start the engine again and drive with full power to nearest rock (a little islet). The machinist managed to start the engine and did as captain said, even if the projection room was half full with water. There was very much water in the ship and it sank in about 10 minutes near the islet. All the people, about 30 persons together, reached the lifeboats and the islet before the ship went under water. Only the nose of the ship was in sight.

The brave hero of this happening was the captain, who was very fast, precise and carefull in saving all these people. Also the machinist was very skilful when he managed to use the engine almost under water.

The reason of the shipwreck was that the cox (the steersman) was negligent. He left one inexperienced man alone with the rudder and went away. When he came back, he noticed that the ship was not on the safe route and he turned it suddenly - direct to the rock under water.

The divers are coming to lift the ship. The costs of the accident are remarkable. Not only the damages of the ship but also that the owner looses the best time of the season.”

PS. Sorry for my English, it is not very good and I don't know the exact words of the seafaring.

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 17.01.2018 11:42
Kirjoittaja KnutTor
Thanks a lot to Jani, Kimpula and OrvokkiT for facts and exciting information.
First: The questions connected to birthplace of my grandmother Bertha and her siblings
seems to be solved. Thats help a lot in futher research, more details may be found
when/if church records for Espoo is avaiable for the actual period.
Comment to the document: ... 13/102.htm
Ulrika Natalia is Alberts sister married to Herredhøfting Johan Victor Frostell.

Next: Search in newspaper.
I have done a similar search myself actually, but I am a little surpriced that the death of Albert
is refered to in so many papers. Does that mean that he was a known person? (ref. next point)
Another interesting detail from the newspaper from 1873 is the lost "flyttingsbetyg".
If I got it right he have plans to be married and needed this "betyg" as a documentation.
He therefore had to assure that nobody have any objections to a marriage
As we know he married 2 years later.
The "betyg" was from 1858, probably the year he started his seamanship?

Last: Very dangerous shipwreck in Päijänne.
Exciting story, and thanks a lot for the translation (in clear english).
Some comments:
In 1884 the family lived at Tuusula at least 100 km from Päijänne, but as you say,
if he sailed as a captain inland, it is not many alternatives.
I beleive that Bäckström is a rather common name, but the chance that it is another
captain Bäckström on inland waterways in this period should be rather unlikely?
Maybe this accident is found in other newspapers as well, so the forename could be found
or other information that link Albert to this accident?
I have tried, but my finish is very bad (ie equal zero) so any help would be appriciated.

Best regards Knut

I found many details about the shipwreck here: ... j%C3%A4nne
and short messages in other newspapers as well but non of them refere the captains name so far.

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 17.01.2018 14:27
Kirjoittaja Kimpula
Here is "Albert Edw. Bäckström från Esbo". ... str%C3%B6m

Perhaps you should search for "Albert Bäckström" also?

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 31.01.2018 12:10
Kirjoittaja KnutTor
Hi again.
I still have some question about Albert Bäckström, and hope to get some help.
According to Ship lists from Lloyds and newspapers a captain Backstrom (no forename) was on the ship Ilmatar (Russian, Finnish? bark) (build in Boston, Nova Scotia 1855)
In 1876 the ship sailed from Pensacola March 9 to Hull. They grounded on Roar Sand, Dungeness May 18 and was towed to Sheerness, Grimsby June 3.
This was a dramatic event described in detail in several newspapers both English and Finnish.
The newspapers also tells that the captains wife (Brynhilde?) was rescued first, a strong indication that the captain was Albert.
See: ... rm=Ilmatar
I have very good reasons to beleive that Albert took his wife with him onboard after they married in october 1875.
To be sure, a form of crew would be nice.
I have been in contact with Lloyds in London and British Maritime Archive, but they have limited information about crew lists for foreign vessels.
My question is: Do it exist crew list for Finnish vessel for this period, and where can I in that case get them?
In my contact with Lloyds they refere to records from "Sömannshus", can anyone tell if this is relevant and where to look?
I am also interrested in crew lists for other vessels he (probably) was captain on for the period 1871 to 1877,
so information where to find such information will be very welcommed.

Best regards Knut

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 31.01.2018 16:36
Kirjoittaja KnutTor
Additional question.
I am also interested in Crew list for a ship called Evogina for the period Sep 1877 to Oct 1879.
According to ship list i Finish newspapers the captain is Bäckström.

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 06.02.2018 08:29
Kirjoittaja tuulacu
Trying to get some more details for you here

- Ilmatar must have been under Russian "rule" as Finland then was part of Russia.

- in your earlier question you were asking why AEB took a paper when he sailed out. Maybe he had already met Brynhilde or otherwise was prepared to get married while out and about?

- AEB was probably somehow wellknown, that is why his death was noted in so many newspapers

- there is a lot of information gathered in this Portti article on Seafare ... asiakirjat
but it is really tough to try to translate it into English so do try your google translator...

- the most important part of that above is probably Merimieshuone/Sjömannshus which is explained here: "Merityöntekijät

Yksittäisten merimiesten elämästä kertovia lähteitä löytyy satunnaisesti esimerkiksi raastuvanoikeuksien ja maistraattien arkistoista 1600-luvulta lähtien. Niissä on tietoja muun muassa riidoista, rikoksista ja laivaoloista. Suomen sukututkimusseuran merimiestietokantaan on talletettu merimiesmatrikkeleihin ja merimiesluetteloihin kirjattuja henkilöitä 1700-luvun puolivälistä alkaen. Hakuja voi tehdä nimien, syntymäaikojen tai merimieshuoneiden perusteella. "
= Sea workers You can find some sources telling about the lives of individual seamen from the archives of law courts and magistrates from the 17th century. They may have information on quarrels, crimes and ship circumstances. In the seamen database of Suomen sukututkimusseura there are persons included in seamen lists from half way of the 18th century. You can search by name, birth time and seamen's "house" (merimieshuone/sjömannshus).

But this database is open only to members of SSS. I did a search for you, and it says that AEB was a member of Helsingin merimieshuone from 1862 to 1872 (at least?) and that the source of this information is in Bc13:795, Bc13:879 and in Bc14:795. These papers are not digitized.

Helsingin merimieshuone papers are kept in Helsinki City Archive.
- so it is most probable you have to come and dig up these papers in Helsinki...
- they are very helpful in this archive, I can assure
- here are the lists I got when searching infomation on merimieshuone in their database Sinetti: ... rch.action

Hope you have opportunity to come and see them some time. Another place worth visiting is of course National archives, and a third one Brages pressarkiv which has all kind of information on Swedish speaking Finns.

Tuula K

Tuula K

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 06.02.2018 11:11
Kirjoittaja KnutTor
Dear Tuulacu
Thanks a lot for all information, really something to study in order to find more information.

Some comments to your post:
(a) - Ilmatar must have been under Russian "rule" as Finland then was part of Russia.
That means I have to learn more about Finlands history for this period

(b) - Maybe he had already met Brynhilde or otherwise was prepared to get married while out and about?
He met Brynhilde in Norway (Bömlo) in 1866 and they married after he have sailed for 9 years

(c) - there is a lot of information gathered in this Portti article on Seafare
Looks interesting and it seems that google translator works OK.

(d) Sjömannshus
I have already send a request to the Helsinki City Archive

Thanks again for all interested information, hints and links, and it looks like I have to start planning a trip to Finland! :D
Best regards

Re: Relatives in Finland

Lähetetty: 23.04.2018 08:33
Kirjoittaja jani
Knut, the Espoo records are now online.

Espoo 1868-1877 p. 159 ... 5&pnum=163

Espoo 1878-1887 p. 145 ... 4&pnum=150

Espoo births 14 OCT 1877 (Johan Edvard) ... 9&pnum=182

Espoo births 15 JAN 1879 (the twins) ... 9&pnum=194

Note that all children are noted as having been born and baptized i Tuusula, even though the family "officially" lived in Espoo.