Finnish Americans on Sugar Island

This page relates to the larger project ”Human Migration and Network Analysis: Developing New Research Methods for the Study of Human Migration and Social Change” that I’ve been part of for four years. Although the project formally came to an end last fall, we are in the process of sharing some of our findings and a few publications are yet to come out as well.

Below is a simplified model of the Sugar Island “political network” from 1917 to 1939. The individual ”nodes” (circles that represent the people and the groups) become clearer when you zoom in either with the tool on the right or with you mouse wheel. You can also drag the entire model on your screen for better viewability.

The office holders and compositions of committees are derived from Sugar Island township records, held at the Chippewa County Historical Society in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Names in the visualization appear as they were in the census records (in the event of differences between the census years, the most common spelling was selected). The colors are based on ”communities”: people and groups that have a lot of links amongst each other are grouped and colored together. You can change the color scheme and the size of the nodes by clicking the little arrow on the left.

Different options for sizing the nodes include in-degree (positions with the largest number of holders become largest) and out-degree (individuals with most memberships become largest). Through the same little arrow, you can also search for individuals or positions.

These models have been created with Gephi, converted with NoCode Functions, and shared through VosViewer.

A more extensive explanation of the graph (as well as plenty of other stories from Sugar Island!) can be found in Finns in the Sugar Island Networks.