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The term genealogy is used in this article and in the FamilySearch Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information gathered by individuals, researchers, societies, or archives. These records may include pedigree charts, compiled information on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These records can be excellent sources of information that can save you valuable time. Because they are compiled from other sources, you must carefully evaluate them for accuracy. For help with Finnish-American Genealogy, click here.
Major Collections and Databases
The Family History Library has several sources that contain previous research or that can lead you to others who are interested in sharing family information. These sources include:
International Genealogical Index. This index provides names and vital information for millions of deceased persons who lived in Finland, mostly before 1900. This valuable research tool lists birth, christening, or marriage dates. The index for Finland includes names extracted from parish registers by volunteers and names submitted by other researchers.
The International Genealogical Index is available on microfiche and on compact disc as part of FamilySearch™. If you are using the microfiche, you need to know which county to search. If you are using the compact disc, however, the computer will search the entire country for any name. The International Genealogical Index includes Finnish counties since 1960. Because Finland created new counties in 1945 and 1960 some names may appear twice—once in the pre-war county and, if resubmitted, once in the new county.
Because of patronymic naming customs, the International Genealogical Index indexes Finnish records under both given names and surnames. On the compact disc edition, you can search for either a given name or a surname. On the microfiche edition, the surname fiche have black-on-white labels. The given name fiche have black-on-orange labels.
When using the Surname Search, it is best to search all the surnames a person was known by, such as the patronymic name, farm name, or family name. The counties of western Finland are generally designated as patronymic countries, which means that the each person is given a surname derived from the father’s given name. The counties of eastern Finland are generally designated as fixed-surname counties. It is important to note that persons listed in the International Genealogical Index in an eastern county with a patronymic surname may have been incorrectly assigned the father’s patronymic surname by the computer rather than their own patronymic name. (See Finland Names, Personal for more information about Finnish names.)
Ancestral File. This file, part of FamilySearch™, contains family history information linked in family groups and pedigrees that have been contributed since 1979. As of 1992 the file contains the names of millions of persons, including thousands of Finnish families. Ancestral File can print pedigree charts, family group records, and individual summary sheets for people in the file.
Family Group Records Collection. More than eight million family group record forms have been microfilmed in the Family Group Records Collection. This includes many Finnish families. There are two major sections: the Archive Section and the Patrons Section. The film numbers for both sections are listed in the Author/Title Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
FAMILY GROUP RECORDS COLLECTION
Family Histories and Newsletters
Some Finnish families have produced histories or newsletters that may include genealogical information, biographies, photographs, and other excellent information. These histories or newsletters usually include several generations of the family.
The Family History Library has some published Finnish family histories and newsletters. These are listed in the Surname Search of the FamilySearch Catalog and in the Locality Search of the catalog under the place where the family was most prominent. Not every name found in a family history will be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog; only the major surnames discussed in the history are included in the catalog.
One fairly comprehensive family genealogy is:
- Kojonen, Eero. Sursillin suku: Genealogia Sursilliana (The Sursill Family Genealogy). Helsinki: Weilin and Göös, 1971. (FHL book 929.24897 Su 78a; film 1224709 item 8;)
Many Finnish family histories are listed in:
- Sivén, Gunnar. Suomalainen sukuhakemisto: Genealogiskt repertorium för Finland (Genealogical Reporatorim for Finland). Helsinki: Frenckellin Kirjapaino, 1943. (FHL book 948.97 B4s, v.15;)
Mether, Leif. Sukuhakemisto: Släktregister: Family Index. Helsinki: Suomen Sukututkimusseura, 1992. (FHL book 948.97 D23me;)
The Family History Library has many books on the genealogies of prominent Finnish families. One of these is:
- Bergholm, Axel. Sukukirja: Suomen aatelittomia sukuja (Genealogies of Finnish Non-Noble Families). 2 vols. Helsinki: Otava, 1984. (FHL book 948.97 D2su;) The 1901 edition is on FHL films 396357–8
Family Registers [Perheluettelot/Familjeregister]
The Family History Library has two collections on microform that register Finnish families.
One of the collections is on microfilm and was compiled by Erkki Koivisto, a minister. It includes the following parishes:
Kemi, Lappi, 1610–1908. (FHL film 1259704 items 2–3;)
Kemijärvi, Lappi, 1565–1957. (FHL films 1259703–4 item 1;
Kuusamo, Oulu, 1659–1907. (FHL film 1259704 item 4, 1259705 items 1–3;)
Posio, Lappi, 1665–1854. (FHL film 1259705 item 4, 1259706 item 1;)
Savukoski, Lappi (including Sodankylä and Pelkosenniemi), 1640–1876 (FHL film 1259706 item 2;)
Tervola, Lappi,1612–1866 (FHL film 1259706 items 3–4;) la, Lappi, 1620–1968 (FHL film 1259701;)
This collection uses a numbering system that allows you to easily follow families for several generations. To find out which years each film covers, see the FamilySearch Catalog, in which family registers are referred to as Perheluettelot.
The other collection of family registers, titled Henkilökortit, is on microfiche and was compiled by O. V. Kankaanranta. This collection lists family groups alphabetically and includes information from about 1610 to the early 1900s for the following parishes in Vaasa County:
Halsua (FHL fiche 6060446, 2567–75;)
Kaustinen (FHL fiche 6060446, 2576–91;)
Veteli (FHL fiche 6060446, 2592–2600, 2614–2627.)
Perho (FHL fiche 6060446, 2601–13;)
For the alphabetical breakdown on each fiche of Henkilökortit, see the FamilySearch Catalog.
Various historical books, including genealogies, have been published by two societies in Finland:
Suomen Sukututkimusseura: Genealogiska Samfundet i Finland (Genealogical Society of Finland)
Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland (Swedish Literature Society in Finland)
See Finland Societies for more information about these two societies.
To find genealogical collections and family histories listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog, look under:
FINLAND, [COUNTY]- GENEALOGY
FINLAND, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- GENEALOGY
If you find your surname in any of the sources described in this section, determine whether the entry actually pertains to your family. All persons with the same surname are not necessarily related. Often, you will have to do some original research before you can connect your ancestry to families listed in these sources.
- This page was last modified on 25 July 2014, at 18:18.
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