1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 25, 2017 10:51 AM by Research Services at the National Archives

    Henry Laurel, New York in the early 1920's


      I'm looking for any information concerning my ancestor Henry Laurel (real name Heikki Laurila) and his life in New York.


      Laurel was born in Torneo, Finland in 1878. He moved to United States, Minnesota, first time with his family in 1903. The Family moved back to Finland after a couple of years. Laurel then came back to United States alone, in 1907, again to Minnesota. in 1918 Laurel lived in Ashland, Wisconsin.


      The year 1920 census tells that Laurel lived in Jersey City as a boarder to a woman named Ina K. Merilä. Laurel was said to be widowed. It's in my suspicion that at this time (circa 1920) Laurel started a new family.


      What I'm mainly interested in, is this other family. I know for sure that he had a wife or a ladyfriend and they had a child or children together. I believe, that the time period with this family is dated somewhere between the years 1918 and 1925. I also know that the family lived somewhere in New York, or in New York State near New York.


      Laurel was widely known about his habit with alcohol. It is said that he left his family in New York in 1925 and went first to Virginia. Laurel died in Parnassus, New Kensington, Pennsylvania July 1925.


      I'm grateful for any information about my ancestor, his life in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York or anywhere, where there might be traces of him.


      If you have any information or just tips or rumours concerning Henry Laurel or his family, please contact me via private messaging or replying on this post!


      And if there are descendants of Henry Laurel: we've been looking for you nearly thirty years now! I really hope I find you!

        • Re: Henry Laurel, New York in the early 1920's
          Research Services at the National Archives Tracker

          It looks like you’ve uncovered quite a bit of information on him already!


          I don’t see any naturalization paperwork for him in New York but you may want to see if there is a marriage record. Pre-1949 marriage records are with the Municipal Archive. The index to New York State marriages that are more than 50 years old are available on microfiche on-site in a select number of New York State libraries, including the National Archives reference room at One Bowling Green in Manhattan. The City of Rochester has put its own marriage index online through 1940;  FamilySearch has many counties' marriage records freely available in the roughly 1908-1935 time period. These records were collected directly from county courthouses instead of the New York State Library.


          You may also want to try birth records which are located in the New York City or New York State Department of Health. The city birth records may also be with the Municipal Archives.