Mr Jakob Alfred Johanson

Mr Jakob Alfred Johanson, 34, was born in Bonäs, Nykarleby, on the Finnish West coast, on 11 June 1877.

He was the son of Johan Jakob Johansson Bonäs, b. 2 February 1850 at Bonäs, and Sanna Lisa (nee Frilund; b. 8 October 1850 at Monå, Finland). His parents had married 4 April 1875 at Nykarleby. His brothers and sisters were Ida Sofia, b. 12 January 1876, Johannes Edvard, b. 23 January 1879, Susanna, b. 11 November 1880, and Anders August, b. 20 August 1882, Johanna Katarina, b. 13 April 1885 (d. 1935 at Helsingfors), Maria, b. 10 November 1886 (d. 1887), Otto Alexander, b. 1 July 1888 (d. 1888), and Hulda Elisabet, b. 11 July 1890 (d. 1891).

In 1896 he emigrated to the USA where he workd as a woodman in Washington state before going to Idaho and Alaska.  In 1902 he was digging for gold at Klondyke and in this endeavour he was evidently successful for he raised enough money to return to Finland and buy back his father's farm.

While in America he met his wife Anna Lovisa (nee Andersson), a widow, They married on 2 December 1901 at Olympia, Washington. The couple had four children; Johan Viktor, b. 10 September 1905 in America, Linnea Susanna, b. 28 February 1907 in America, Anders Alfred, b. 10 March 1909 at Bonäs, and Agnes Maria, b. 15 September 1911 at Bonäs – she died, tragically, 3 April 1912, i. e. two weeks before the death of her father.

In 1907 they returned to Finland and the farm at Sandås, Munsala, near Nykarleby.

However, by 1912 Jakob was not satisfied with what the farm produced so he sold it to his brother Hannes. The idea was to emigrate to California (or Olympia, Washington).

He had left Nykarleby on  28 March 1912

Alfred traveled first and the family would follow later. He travailed via Hangö and held a diary during the trip.

March 30 Left Hangö
31 Sunday   slightly sea sick
Went ashore in Gottland (sic) Slite (a hamlet) at 2 o'clock
April 1 Nice weather, but a bit chilly  came to Copenhagen  can see a steamship or two and a sailing boat in the evening
         2 Windy in the morning but now lovly weatther   The Finns are rather quiet
         3 Calm and quiet and nice weather sunny and hot but time passes slowly  we expect to reach Hull this evening or night  we are 85 passengers on board.

He came to Hull 3 April and stayed the night and travelled to London and Southampton the next day.  He did apparently not care for London;

Left London 6 o'clock happy to get away from there  you get a head ache from watching the mass of people there. Came to Southampton 10 o'clock.

The 8 April he had spent a few days in Southampton, very likely unaware of the death of his youngest daughter, Agnes Maria, and wrote in his diary;

A large amount of Swedes came this evening at 4 o'clock and now there is quite a mess here at the hotel.

He should have gone to America by another ship, but was rebooked on acount of the coal strike. Hence, on April 10, 1912 he boarded the Titanic at Southampton.

During the trip he kept company with the Wiklund brothers Jakob Alfred and Karl Johan and Anna Sjöblom.1 Of those only Anna was saved. Johanson's body was found later recovered (#143).

NO. 143 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE 35 - BROWN HAIR, LIGHT MOUSTACHE

CLOTHING - Grey suit; grey socks; no boots.

EFFECTS - Memo book; calendar; letter [?]; gold watch and chain; two seals; gold chain; locket; key; knife; comb; fountain pen; purse; two pins; coins; $264.00 in notes.

NO MARKS ON BODY OR CLOTHING

PROBABLY THIRD CLASS - NAME - J.F.JOHANSSEN

Jacob Johanson grave
Photo: © Bob Knuckle, Dundas, Canada.

His belongings were returned to his wife in Finland and he was buried in Fairview, Halifax April 24, 1912.

His wife later received £250 in compensation.

After his death, his widow and children assumed the name Nordström. His widow was still alive in 1937, when she moved to Munsala after having lived in the town of Nykarleby.

 

Credits

Peter Engberg, Sweden
Leif Snellman, Finland
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden

Notes

  1. Also Swedish-speaking Finns, on the Titanic; about 1/3 of the Finns on the Titanic were Swedish-speaking.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996) Titanic
Nykarlebyvyer.nu

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew SS Titanic (#143)
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2018) Jakob Alfred Johanson Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #898, updated 21st September 2018 00:15:26 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/jakob-alfred-johanson.html

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