The Genealogy page of Eric Johnson born in Royal Oak, Michigan

You can read the introduction below, or you can go right to the tree and surname index: Johnson/Albertson Family Tree

Here is what I know so far of my eight Great Grandparents.

Of the four great-Grandparents on the Johnson side, three immigrated from Finland (Suomi) and one from Norway (Nørge). They all settled in Houghton County, Michigan in the Keeweenaw Pennisula a.k.a. Copper Country around the turn of the 20th century. Mining was booming at the time and the men, who immigrated at about age 20, were probably avoiding famine or conscription into the unpopular Russian army. Russia (1809-1917) and Sweden (Middle Ages to 1809) both ruled over Finland for sometime before it won it's independence in 1917. Finland experienced poor crop years in the 1890's that also sent many to America. Our family immigrated about 1895-1910. 1907 was the biggest year for immigration in to the USA. Finland lost 20% of its youth to emigration between 1900-1920. Many came for the promise of arable land, which was lacking in the homeland.  Click the following link for more information on the Finnish Immigration to Michigan.

For some history on copper in the U.P. of Michigan, see Houghton County Historical Museum.

For some history on Finland, look up the epic poem, read the text of The Kalevala, a collection of oral histories from 1607 to the 19th century, edited and published by Elias Lönnrot who toured the country and collected these poems and helped to give Finland it's own national identity. Learn the significance of the Kalevala.

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was a hero of independence and later became Finland's sixth president who served during WWII. But here is our family history.

The Johnson surnames are: Johnson (possibly Nygård before emigrating), Maki, Suihkonen, Peterson (with the farm name Tuvan in Norway whee they lived and worked).

So far I have been able to trace the Johnson side of my family to the arrival of Leander Johnson in Calumet, Houghton Co., Michigan where he became a copper miner. (Which mine? Quincy? Calumet and Hecla?) He immigrated from Finland in 1900, where before his family name was Nygård. He was born about 1882. I have some clues to get to 1825, but I have to learn Finnish first.

He married (when, where?) Matilda Anita Peterson (often called Anita) who immigrated in 1907 from Hopen, Norway on the island of Smøla. She may have lived on the Tuvan family farm. It was common in eastern Finland to add the family farm name on which you lived to the end of one's name. Her parents were Peter (Nilsson Tuvan?) and Beret Isaksdotter. These name use the patryonic naming conventions of Swedish/Finnish culture. Her sister Gertrude (Gjertrud) Anna Peterson Tuvan (1892-1935) immigrated in 1910 to Hurley, WI. on the WI/MI border, not far from Calumet. Leander and Matilda had five children including Leonard.

Oscar Maki was the first to immigrate in 1895. Oscar was a mechanic on the railroad, and later a miner. He was born on April 1, 1879 in Finland (died?) where both his parents were born. He married Sophie Suihkonen (pronounced SOY-Ko-Nen)(when? where?) who was born in Finland on May 18, 1884 (died 1973). Her parents were Charles and Amanda(?). She immigrated in either 1895 or 1906. The women in our family live long lives. They had 11 children including Ruth and Elsie and Oscar, Jr..

More about Smøla, Norway.

On the Johnson side of my familly I've been able to go back to just before the 1880's. As other copper resources were discovered in Wisconsin and elsewhere, combined with technical innovations, demand for labor went down in the mines, causing much labor strife from 1913 through the '40's. Many relatives moved to Detroit where the auto industry was booming and most are still there now.

On the Albertson side, I've gone back to 1415 through colonial America, Ireland, Switzerland, and Germany. The colonial Albertsons were loyalists to the British throne and went to Canada for several generations after 1790 until settling on a farm in Flint, Michigan.

Albertson surnames: Albertson, Liggett, Foster, Lumm. The Liggett name went back to the Buser's and Baron Balthaser Biderb of Switzerland in the 1560's and the Karr's, Reiner's and Wendel's of Württemberg, Germany and the Haffner's of Baden, Germany. I've recently followed the Lumm's and Foster's (mostly) the Lumm's through colonial America (with relative links to Lewis and Clark, Civil War, Declaration of Independence, and maybe Mayflower) all the way back to 1390 in England (Richardson line)! Thank Aaron Johnson and our grandmother Louise's sister, Vivian (Foster) for 20 years of research from before the internet!

The Albertsons and Liggetts were in colonial America in the 1600's-1770's. John Foster, my maternal great-Grandfather was born in Ireland on January 25, 1898 (died?). He immigrated in 1911 and married Ethel Lumm. Lewis Albertson married Easter Arminta "Minta" Liggett, but their son Jerrold (my Grandfather) was mostly raised by his step-father, Frank Bright. They farmed in Flint, Michigan.

There is a lot to look through on these branches and you'll see first cousins marrying, multiple wives of Swiss Barons, sad deaths of children to influenza and women and infants dying in child birth. The census shows that many were farmers. In 1910, the Albertson farm near Flint had an annual income of $89,000! That was a lot in those times. Ten years prior it was valued at only $2,000. Again, the factories of Flint and Detroit lured many off the farm and into the cities.

Many stories.

If anyone can fill me in on marriages, baptisms, births, deaths, residences, work history, photos, full names, cities of origin or immigration contact me at