Map of Pekka Ellilä’s trip to Norway 5-7 August 2019

After Ellilä Family Meeting on August 3-4, 2019, Pekka Ellilä, the long-term chairman of the board of the association, traveled to northern Norway to meet the descendants of the relatives who had moved there.

Pekka has been a member of the Ellilän Sukuseura ry since its foundation in 1963, ie the entire life of the association.
He has held several leadership positions in the association, as secretary and chairman. In these assignments he has also developed strong personal relationships with many descendants of the Northern Norwegian family and has until now maintained them intensively through numerous meetings and communication tools.

In the following, Pekka himself grasps the pen and tells in his own words and pictures about his journey.

At Alta and Tana (Teno) in northern Norway are living most of the descendants of the brothers Antti (Anders) and Kalle (Karl) Ellilä (Ellila). I have met those people at family meetings, as well as in Kuivaniemi and in Alta.

Thus, Antti (Anders) Ellilä (born 1842 Kuivaniemi, dead August 31, 1908, Alta) was the settler or immigrant who went out to find and create a new kind of life for the couple and planted the Ellilä family roots to the north with great success.

A resident of Alta, 1940 born John Andreas Ellilä, I met in Kuivaniemi and in Alta several times and I am now in contact with letters and telephone. His basic professions have been farming, fishing and slate production in a family-owned quarry. He has given the ranch (50 milking) to his son Ole Andreas Ellila b. 1980. I was very interested in getting to know the new type of ranch he had built in the north. I had previously visited his father’s ranch.

After the family meeting in the early hours of August 5 6 o’clock, cloudy +4 c, I left by car to the north of the Tornio River, Ylitornio, Kolari, Muonio, Enontekiö and Kautokeino. At Enontekiö and Kautokeino I stopped longer. Here and at other stops, I take into account a surprisingly large number of Nordic and Central European motorhomes, including passenger cars, which, for example, had a register in Switzerland. Then there were quite a few foreign tourists at Alta. There is a lively airport and harbor. Hurtigruten’s annual visits, as well as the increasing number of international cruise ship visits, boost the Alta region, at least in August, during the mainland European holiday season.

John’s detached house was found well at 15 o’clock by address. The weather was sunny +12 c. Note the difference in the weather in Kuivaniemi. Immediately eating their way – boiled casserole, potatoes, vegetables, dessert berries and coffee. Discussions about family members there and elsewhere in Norway. In the evening we went to Ole Andrew’s family and of course to their new barn. He introduced the barn from the office room, slightly above the floor level, insulated with large windows, with visibility everywhere, bright lighting. The office desk was full of various display terminals and their controls. He was pleased with the situation and said there were several other rebuilt livestock farms in the Alta River valley.

There are three girls in their family, but when they were on summer vacation, they never saw them indoors at a glance, after all it was sunny and dusky evening.

In the evening, we agreed that tomorrow morning we would take a tour of Alta in their car, and at the same time we would go to the cemeteries to visit the graves of the Ellilä family.

After breakfast on Tuesday, a itinerary was planned, which Mrs. John said she would follow and the host was the guide. The exploration started from the airport then to the harbor and to the center of Alta. Next was the church of Alta and its cemetery. Anders Jakobsen Ellila, the ancestor of Alta’s Elliläs  (stamfader in Norwegian) rests there.

Here we drove to the cemetery currently in use to find and photograph the found graves.

Click on the image for a closer look.

Close the focused image with the check mark in the upper right corner.

Then we went back to them to have coffee. John called and asked if their other children and their families were at home. He decided we would go to Ole Andrew first and then to the late Beate Ellila’s daughter Renate. Her mother lived in Oslo but came here because of her husband’s work. And then we went to Turid Ellila and his family.

When we got there, Ole Andreas was about to take a tank load from the manure to the fields. After his return, we had a coffee conversation. The young girls were out with their friends. After saying goodbye, we moved to Beate Ellilä’s detached house, where only daughter Renate was present. Her father was on a business trip to Alta, but not exactly there. Here, as elsewhere, there were mutual presentations, discussions about families and events of our family society and the future, which looks good, under the leadership of Heikki Ellilä. The last visit was to the family of Turid Ellila. There were both lively young people inside and out. With them, I stated that Ellilä’s Family Association will be 60 years old at the next term meeting, and that completing the multinational genealogy list, officially joining the family, and collecting the membership fee is quite a laborious and time-consuming job. In the United States, and especially in Norway, where there are relatives in almost every major coastal city from Oslo to Denmark, specially designated young active contact points would be needed.

Still in the evening, John’s guest was a familiar middle-aged couple (not yet married), the lady comes from northern Finland and the man from Norway. Mrs. and John speak Finnish in discussions. John said it’s good to be able to practice speaking Finnish nowadays.

My long day, led by friendly relatives, became very eventful with other relatives.

Below is a picture of an Alta bladet newspaper clip from the 1970s by Anton (Andreas) Ellila, with an erroneous account of the origin of Ellilä’s surname.

This history distortion will be corrected in an adjustment article (Origin of Ellilä last name) in the Family History section of the Family Web Site.

In this picture Karl (Kalle) stands on the left and Anton (Andreas) sits on the right.

They have indeed had quite a length difference.

Kalle lived above Tana in Bärlevåg.

According to the records, they were very strong in their body.

If one finds a photograph of the 1967 Alta Family Meeting and compares the white-haired man standing on the right with the old man sitting in the picture, one cannot be mistaken for a father and a son.

On Wednesday, after breakfast and discussions it was already time to leave for Finland at 9 am.

The return trip went well with a few stops. In Suvanto-Ellilä I was at 8 pm and in the sauna at 22 pm. In the evening I sent a photo of Suvanto-Ellilä to John as a thank you for the maintenance and guidance through Turid’s cellphone.

20.01.2020 Pekka Ellilä in the Suvanto-Ellilä district of Kuivaniemi.