3 The Ancestors of William Laitala

Here is what we have for William’s ancestors. This could have errors, but it is a good start for further research.

The Ancestors of William Laitala

Look at all the interesting things going on with the Finnish names!:

  • Laitala was likely a farm name because it ends with -la
  • Soininen changed to Witanen (Soininen might be an old style family surname)
  • There is some Swedish and some Finnish
  • We are going back far enough that we see the old fashioned Juhanpoika or “son of Juhan”

Read more about naming in Finland here:


Summary on what we know about William Laitala’s siblings:

  • Abel (1868-?) was already in MN in 1895! With Manuel Laitala, perhaps a cousin?
  • Johan Henrik (1870-?)
  • Herman (1873-?)
  • Abraim (1874-?)
  • Anna Maria (1876-?)
  • William (1878-1952?)
  • Antti (1879-?) came to brother Matti in 1909
  • Matti (1882-?) He names William as his nearest relative on his WWI draft card. He worked in the mines. (There seem to be more than one Matti Laitala, so we need to sort out.)
  • Alina (1884-?) married Sakri Juntilla in Finland and had daughter Martha. Lived in Chisholm.

Of his older siblings, we think only Abel and Abraim came to Minnesota and the others remained in Finland. We also think there were two younger brothers, Matti and Antti, who also came to Minnesota. And, of course, Alina Laitala Juntilla, the youngest sister, came to Chisholm in 1910 with her daughter to join her husband.


A Finnish Family in Northern Minnesota Copyright © by Jill Holman. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book