Walker, Opp, Furniss, Tinsworth
Mielke, Gustafson, Klint, Baker

By Coleen Mielke   

My paternal grandfather was JAKOB WALKER, born 1873 in Neu Freudenthal, Russia. Our surname was originally spelled WALCKER, but my grandfather's generation dropped the letter "c" after they came to America. I've traced my Walckers back to 1744 in Steinheim, Marbach, Württemberg, Germany. In 1817, they left Germany (due to war and famine) and moved to Neu-Freudenthal, Russia with a promise of free farm land and no military service requirements. In 1885, after 70 years in Russia, the Walcker's came to America, settling in McPherson County, South Dakota. I've traced this Walcker/Walker line back to 1744.

My paternal grandmother was ROSENA OPP, born 1880 in Glückstal, Russia. I've traced my Opp line back to pre-1700 in Rockenhausen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. The Opp's left Germany in 1784 (due to war and famine) and lived in Tscherwenka, Hungary for 21 years before continuing on to Glückstal, Russia. There they lived  for another 80 years before coming to America and settling in McPherson County, South Dakota. I've been able to trace this Opp line back to 1650.


The Jacob and Rosena (Opp) Walker Family  1940
Standing in back: Adolph, Edwin, Iver, Oliver (my dad), Samuel, Tina
Seated in front: Leah, Jacob, Rosena, Pauline

My paternal grandparents never learned to speak English, although I'm told they understood a
few words. They spoke Schwäbisch, a high-German dialect.




My mother, Kathleen Maud (Furness) Walker was a war bride from Cambridge, England. She met my father, Oliver Walker, while he was stationed at Bassingborn, England during World War II. They were married on January 2, 1947 in Cambridge and left for New York on 1/16/1947 aboard American Overseas Airlines. 

My maternal grandfather was Thomas William Furness 1889-1957.
My maternal grandmother was Kate Maud Tinsworth 1892-1960.
I've been able to trace the Furness line back into the 1685.
I've been able to trace the Tinsworth line back to 1560.

My maternal grandparents wedding in 1913  Cambridge, England
Seated center is my grandfather Thomas William Furness
Seated center is my grandmother Kate Maud Tinsworth




In spite of thousands of hours of research, over the last 30+ years, I've never been able to find much information about our Mielke family before 1892. The Mielke's came from Flötenstein, Germany. Today, that area is called Koczala (Miastko) Koszalin, Poland. Early records for that entire area were destroyed by warring armies, making it nearly impossible to find birth/marriage/death Parish records.

The Mielke's immigrated from Germany aboard the ship AMERICA, landing in Baltimore in 1892 with $5
to their name. They first settled in Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota (where Susannah Mielke had family), then later they homesteaded in Slope County, North Dakota  and finally Big Horn County, Montana.



Margaret (Gustafson) Mielke descends from the Klint family. The Klint's came to America from Sweden, in stages. Johannes Peterson Klint and son Peter, came to America, landing at Quebeck in 1869. They worked for two years on the Great Northern Railroad to fund the rest of the families immigration. Johann's wife, Maria (Lundquist) and their younger children came to America in 1871 aboard the ship "Glasgow". Their two oldest daughters arrived two years after that. They all settled in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota.



There is some confusion as to where the Gustafson's were born. Swedish census records say that Frans Johann Gustafsson was born in Församling, Kronoberg, Sweden, however his marriage record says he was born in Väckelsång, Makagard, Hultatorpet, Sweden. His wife, Ida Gustafva Johannisdotter was born in Väckelsång, Prestgard, Thorshögen, Sweden. They came to America in 1879 and settled in the Kandiyohi, Minnesota area. Frans "Frank" Gustafson contracted tuberculosis of the leg and had to have part of the leg removed.
He died in 1906 at the age of 57.



John Clifford Mielke's mother was Susie Lena Baker Mielke.  The BAKER branch of the family is very  interesting. I've traced it back to the mid-1600's on the East Coast of America (originating in England). The Baker's fought in the early King Phillips and Narragansett Wars, they also fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.


*Alaska Genealogy (looking for your roots?) *

A Note about myself:
My husband and I were born in Alaska. I've been researching our family trees for  30+ years.

Because all of my grandparents were born outside of the United States, I did not have the pleasure of being raised near  grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. Maybe that is the reason I feel so compelled to
learn all I can about them; where did they came from? Why did they come to America? 

There are over 10,000  surnames in my genealogy database, however, I've only included
names through approximately 1975 on this web page for privacy reasons.

These pages are dedicated to our parents and  grandparents pioneering spirit,
their strength and sense of adventure.

I've included just a rough outline of each family branch here.
If you have specific questions, let me know.

John & Coleen


The Alaska Flag

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