The Kangas Family: Finnish Immigrants to New Hampshire

William "Willie" Kangas and Elmi Kemppainen pose on 25 December 1896.

William “Willie” Kangas and Elmi Kemppainen pose on 25 December 1896.

Between 1890 and 1920 1,558 immigrants from Finland became New Hampshire residents. This fact is dwarfed by the statistics that show in the same time period that 44,420 of the immigrants were French Canadian, 14,890 were Irish, followed by those of Greek, Russian, Polish, Austrian, Swedish, German, Italian and Lithuanian origin.

Certain towns in New Hampshire seemed to be attractive to the Finnish immigrants, some being New Ipswich, Rindge, and Milford.

One couple peers out at me from their wedding photograph (on the back is inscribed “Mr. & Mrs. Wm Kangas just married 1896.”).  They were captured on film at Desclos Bros in Manchester, New Hampshire.William “Willie” Kangas, son of Andrew & Mary Kangas, was born about 1875 in Finland. He married 25 December 1896 in Manchester NH to Helmi Kemppainen, daughter of Matt and P. Kemppainen. She was born abt 1879 in Finland. On their marriage record he indicated that he was a weaver.  They lived at 451 Hevey Street, and then later 330 Lowell. [Editor’s note: I have found this family named spelled Kangas, Kangus, and Kangos in various census records and primary documents].

It appears that they remained in Manchester, New Hampshire until about 1906, and that he continued to work in the mills.  The records of the city show that their first born child, Arthur William Kangas, died on 18 February 1898 in Manchester at the tender age of 2 months and 2 days of complications from chicken pox, and that he was placed in the city tomb.

The family moved to DeKalb Illinois where I found them in 1910 with three children.  She must have lost a 2nd child, as the census shows she indicated having 5 children and 3 living.  Her brother, Arthur Kemppainen, has immigrated and is living with them.  William is now working as a manager of a pool room.  They state that they were naturalized, and since I did not find this in the Manchester NH records, I will presume this occurred in Illinois.

1910 US Census > IL > DeKalb > De Kalb
Kangas Wm Head M W 34 m1x 14 yrs Fin Fin Fin imm 1892 naturalized manager pool room
Kangas, Helmi wife f W 30 m1x 14 yrs 5 ch 3 living imm 1894 Fin Fin Fin
Kangas, Kauno son M W 11 single NH Fin Fin
Kangas Theodore son M W 2 single IL Fin Fin
Kangas Lilia dau F W 6/12 single IL Fin Fin
Kemppainen Arthur brother/boarder M W 18 single Fin Fin Fin clerk, steel mill
Manninen Selma nurse-roomer F W 28 single Fin Fin Fin nursing

By 1920 the family has moved to California, first to San Francisco and then within 10 years to Los Angeles.  Here William is a Farmer, and then later works as a carpenter, and finally as an auto mechanic.  Three of their children accompany them.  In 1921 they live at 2937 26th Street in San Francisco.

1920 US Census > California > San Francisco > San Francisco
Kangas William Head M W 40 m1x imm 1904 na F F F Farmer
Kangas Helmie wife F W 40 m1x imm 1904 na F F F
Kangas Theodore son M W 12 single IL Fin Fin
Kangas Lilly dau F W 10 single IL Fin Fin
Kangas, Edwin son M W 8 single IL Fin Fin
1921 San Francisco Directory
Kangas Wm (Helmi) lab r 2937 26th
1930 US Census > California > Los Angeles > Los Angeles
Kangus, William Head 54 immigrated 1898 naturalized carpenter, building
Kangus, Helmi wife 51 immigrated 1898 naturalized servant, private family
Kangus, Edward son 18 Illinois
1930 US Census > California > LA > LA
Kangas Theodore Head M W 22 married at age 22 IL Fin Fin auto repair man mechanic
Kangas Helen wife F W 18 married at age 18 Can-Eng C-E CE imm 1898 naturalized

This is the last that I can easily find of the family.  At least one son marries (Theodore).  The  Helmi Kangas who died 19 Feb 1935 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California is possibly the Helmi in the photograph.


Finish Immigrants

Helsinki Time to New Hampshire Time Convertor


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