|Date: 12/08/2000 10:15:51 AM Eastern
From: Bengt.Ossfeldt@uab.ericsson.se (Bengt Ossfeldt)
With reference to mails last month, I would appreciate very much if you could post my message. Please find attached two files containing front and back of postcard dated February 7, 1914, Fitchburg, Mass.
Matti Ylioja, of Finnish birth, sent his photograph and address to his sister living in Sweden. Matti was my grandmother's brother, or my father's uncle.
Could it possibly be the same Matti Ylioja (1887-1926) that is listed in the Lockwood Cemetery (Part Four) page at the Tri-Counties Genealogy & History Sites?
Can anyone give a hint? If you know about Matti Ylioja, or some other person of the Finnish community in the Tri-County area, please wright to me.
Today four generations later the Ylioja family tree still exists in Australia! Best regards from the greatgrandchildren of Matti Ylioja in Brisbane!
Very truly ,
son of Johan Ensio Vilho Ylioja of Finland.
It is very exciting to hear that you represent the Ylioja family tree "down under" in Brisbane, Australia, as a descendant of Matti Ylioja. Can you verify that your great grandfather lived in USA in the 1920ies? I have found trace of another Matti who lived in Haapavesi, Lapland, Finland in the 17th century, but I don´t have his exact date of birth. At least I think these may be two persons with the same given name, and probably related.
Please note my new e-mail address: Bengt.Ossfeldt@telia.com
Thanks for your Contact Bengt! Hälsningar
från Arto i Australien! Well, my Swedish
is a bit elementary, but it's a surprise
to receive feedback on our familytree all
the way to America.... As you mentioned, Bengt,
Matti Ylioja in Haapavesi is one of the early
Great GrandFathers from the 1700's but the
name was repeated in the 1920's from my memory
of my initial family research in the late
1970's church archives back in Finland. Apparently a
fire in the Haapavesi Church Archives in the 1700's
caused all earlier records to be lost.....but
the earliest one from my memory detailed the
Family starting from a Larger Estate as
workers on the land and by the name
Wirtanen, but who decided to start using
the name of the property/cottage: Yletoja, (meaning>
Upper ditch= Översta Diken?) and thereby later (in
something like 1780) forming it into Ylioja
(Overditch) which was more becoming and easier
to write. My Father still back in Finland
remembers the story of his grandfather Matti,
who helped out the local police with
an escaping shoplifter (who was a rather stocky
built fellow). As the policeman was giving
chace to the robber he noticed Matti
on the porch of his house and
passing by shouted to him "Hey, Matti hold
up the rascal....."
To which Matti responded with a 2 foot piece of birch wood and gave the robber a real hiding on the backside.....and the poor fellow was ready to be relieved by being taken away into custody by the policeman. If we find the original exerpts of the archives that I obtained in 1979, we could verify the birthdates etc. of Matti Ylioja and piece them together, and see whether they align with Matti Ylioja in USA.
My Father still lives in Finland, at Nokia (next to Tampere) and is interested in establishing the links between Ida Oikari and Matti Ylioja as well as his own Father, who was of the travelling sort.....
Best Regards, Bengt, Hälsningar och de bästa fortsättningar, Arto/Artie.
PS. My new Address: email@example.com
Subj: Matti Ylioja continu
Date: 09/01/2003 9:04:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Bengt.Ossfeldt@telia.com (Bengt.Ossfeldt)
Reply-to: Bengt.Ossfeldt@telia.com (Bengt.Ossfeldt)
I remember Grandma telling the background and interpretation of Ylioja, so we certainly have a connection there. I recently experienced that one have also spelled "Jyletoja", which happens to give a hit on Altavista showing a GPS map file with degrees North and East. This lead me to the Finnish library in Stockholm last week where a detailed map showed a village or estate named "Jyletojanpera" a few miles west of Pulkilla church. I visited the vicar's office there two months ago, without knowing how close I was....
Pulkilla is the parish just north of Haapavesi and I now have the family record of Erik (Erkki) Ylioja 1812-1881. His wife Anna Kaisa gave birth to nine children of which six died before age of 5. Their first boarn was Matts (Matti) 1851-1923 whose family then raised eight children, including Grandma Ida who moved to Sweden and Matti who went to America. The wife/mother was Maria 1858-1947 and last summer I found her grave at Oulainen west of Haapavesi. I think Matts had a taylor shop at the town of Oulainen (urbanisation started!).
Research Report - Bengt.Ossfeldt@telia.com
MATTI YLIOJA 1879 - 1926. This line among many other in the Altavista search results caught my eyes, and my heart jumped a little. Could this be my Finnish grandmother's brother who she had mentioned about when I was a boy, and whose postcard from America I had taken care of? The link led to a large genealogy site and a story starting in year 2000, spanning over the whole world, and that came to final conclusion spring 2009.
Joyce Tice of Tioga Co, PA, operates this genealogy site, and she was kind publishing a copy of Matti's postcard as well as my message with a call for contacts via e-mail. This was around year 2000. A couple of years later a gentleman in Brisbane, Australia, had a search hit on the page, and answered my call. We soon clarified that we are second cousins, Arto Ylioja and I. Years of e-mail correspondence have passed since then. In 2006 I made the long journey to meet Arto, his wife Oivi and daughter Sara, in Brisbane, where we had talks on family history, and made day trips to famous places along the coast. We even had a webcam meeting with Arto's parents in Finland. Arto's father Johan is a young cousin of my father.
Joyce offered me substantial support during my visit. First she drove me to Lockwood where we soon found the grave in the beautiful small cemetery. The stone was there, shadowed by a lilac (syren in Swedish). I think the widow (see below) planted it with love and to remind of home. The day was concluded with lunch at Joyce's place and a tour through her private local museum. Very interesting for me.
The following days we visited libraries at Binghamton, Owego, and Elmira to check micro filmed newspapers from 1925 to see if there was an obituary or other note that could be referred to Matti Ylioja. Fascinating to read, but no hit. The definite answer was found with Chenango Town Clerk: Matti's death certificate. He died of tuberculosis August 28, 1925, at the sanatorium, only 38 years of age. The document names his parents in Finland, and his wife Hilja Roiha Ylioja, who we did not know of before. The funeral was held a few days later at Lockwood. Matti had worked as a farmer, workman or tenant, not registered as owner of property. I found Hilja's name in files at Owego Town Clerk Office, and she had moved to Brooklyn, NY. Joyce Tice found in 1930 census files that Hilja worked as servant for an old woman there.
In my possession is a hand-written letter in Finnish, dated at Oulainen, 1946. With this as the only clue I have in fact managed to trace another of my father's younger cousins in Finland, and to find graves of ancestors and relatives. I am not Finnish speaking, and Swedish or English don't always help, but body language is universal, and so is a friendly smile. This is however another fascinating story.
I just got a mail from a lady that has noticed my report on the Lockwood
page. She lives in mid Finland not far from where Arto's
father lives. She mentions names that I recall from graves in Finland which I have photos on. I have to look back at my notes and church book copies to understand clearly what she states on connection with Matti.
I am back in town for a week to fix things around the house and will go to the places south again this afternoon.
Hilja Ylioja lived on a farm at Dean Creek, Lockwood, in the 40ies, married to John Walker. Not only Hilja lived in Brooklyn, NY. Also Matti lived and worked there at the time his lung disease developed. Joyce, can you plese check on theese facts in the census files you have access to?! The Walker couple is not buried at Lockwood as I can see.
Matti was married in Finland. When he left by the fall 1913 he had a
son and a doughter (who died young) and his wife was pregnant. Then
there was a break in the connection, you know men and letter writing...
This boy Mattias receives a 6 pages letter from Hilja dated May 30, 1946. He is then 22. Hilja tells how she takes care of Matti's grave,
and what an ambitious and hard working man Matti was in Brooklyn. He made inventions applicable in the textile industri, but the big
company stole the ideas. It seems like he was an engineer (as my grandmother said), rather than a farmer (as the DC states).
Mattias died 1970 and has two doughters of which Eija Ylioja-Larkila
contacted me. She has sent copies of this letter and papers on how
they had to work with the authorities to get Matti oficially declared dead. My blind sw-finnish neighbour has helped me interpret the letter. I
read line by line and she translated. We were both so fascinated that we could not stop reading until the end.
I wish my favourite author John Steinbeck or Swedish Wilhelm Moberg had written a big novel on this story.
Mr Matias Ylioja !
This writing has delayed for so long but now since it’s
the day for setting flowers on grave sights, we also
took a flower onto Matti’s grave.
Always been seeing to it that the grave would not totally disappear, been in the hope (faith) that you too are somewhere here in America
and your steps will some day lead to your Father’s earlier lodging place. That is why I was surprised to read from the paper your announcement….
the very last times that we chatted with Matti he told of his arrangement to send his wife over to Finland and bring you (plural, curtious) over
here because of him already believing that he would not be getting better anymore, otherwise he was longing so much to see you, it could
be noticed from all he did and said, everything being somehow linked to you, his son.
We didn’t get to know Matti for so very long, but only for the time he stayed here and he was already sickly when he arrived and lived…
the doctor at this house gave directives not to work in factories, so he started raising chicken but could not keep that up (for too long either
/…missing text from bottom page…/)
Over here at Brooklyn Matti stayed on his own except for the last summer when his wife was here as Matti was very ill. We Finns around this area have an unfadable (immortal) memory of Matti as he instructed us how to form a Finnish Co-operative store that would oversee our advantage and help get better value prices for our produce (on the market), he was the one who initiated it all and now we have a Co-operative business with a turnover of a quarter million dollars and even over each year. Also he advised the people with poorer soils to just grow chicken and these actually are very productive
over here, while many are keeping 5000 to 6000 chicken currently. Whilst in Brooklyn he was a diligent office clerk (manager?) in that
sort of an Association, wanting to help the situation of (many)Finns in this foreign land, while often staying up late in music and song rehearsals and at the same time managing his day job for which he of course succumbed to a bad cold and pneumonia (lung infection) ie. water (fluid) on the lungs, and even then not allowing himself enough rest which brought about such sad consequences, so we say that Matti didn’t live for himself only, but sacrificed a lot in behalf of others.
I’ll tell about another thing, even…
though he perhaps has himself written to you about it already. Matti invented somekind of a new machinepart which helped and sped up the use of this machine many times over, and he acquired a patent for his invention from the Government and Matti would have got it sold for a large sum if not things happened so sadly that when he sent it to be presented for manufacturing the company which was interested in it copied it with small changes and the license was never sold as intended since Matti alone couldn’t pursue the case against this large company in court. He always said he would invent another device (one day) and then be able to organize things better…but so did the planned works of our deceased Matti
remain unaccomplished. if Matti would have been allowed to remain healthy he would have had a good rich life for himself as well as yourself, as he so fervently wished. Now I’m finishing. Try to make clear of this as it is hard to convey (interpret) the life of such a lively(energetic) and talented man that Matti was. The sort of a bad write that I myself am as I haven’t got around writing a great deal. So even that small amount I’ve started to forget, but if you so desire, I will be pleased to write further on, and seems that I’m doing a small favour to Matti as well, many greetings from my Husband and myself,
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 09 DEC 2000
By Joyce M. Tice
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