Finding Mumma


Me (left) with Mumma and my cousin, Merry Beth (right)

My grandmother, Sandra Eliina Matalamaki, was born in Teuva, Finland, in 1878. She immigrated to the United States in 1900, where she married my grandfather, John Henry Isaacson–who was also born in Teuva, as Juho Heikki Iissakinpoika, on the Panttila farm.

I really didn’t know Mumma well–she spoke no English, so I couldn’t talk to her–and she died when I was only 9 years old. Pappa had died when my mother was only 7, so I never knew him. And yet I identified myself with my Finnish ancestors and wanted to know more about them.