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Finland Military Records
Military records identify individuals who served in the military or who were eligible for service. Most young men in Finland were required to serve in or register for military service at various times. Evidence that an ancestor served may be found in family records, biographies, censuses, probate records, civil registration, or church records.
Finland has had a standing army since the sixteenth century. Military records give information about a soldier’s military career, such as promotions, places served, pensions, and conduct. In addition, these records usually include information about his age, region of birth, residence, enlistment and discharge dates, and physical description. However, many military records in Finland provide very few details about individuals other than officers.
The military records you may find include:
- Muster rolls.
- Lists of officers.
- Pay records.
- Pension records.
- Naval records.
The Family History Library’s main collection of Finnish military records is from the Swedish Era (before 1809), when Finland was part of the Swedish realm. The military records for the periods of Finnish autonomy and independence are available only through the Military Archives of Finland. See Finland Archives and Libraries for the address.
To determine to which company and regiment a soldier in a given parish belonged during the Swedish Era, you can use a map found in the following book:
- Jutikkala, Eino. Suomen historian kartasto: Atlas of Finnish History. Porvoo: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö (WSOY), 1949. (FHL book 948.97 E3j; film 157159) Pages 42–43 contain the map.
For information about the Finnish military and the Finnish regimental muster rolls that were kept during the Swedish period, search the Family History Library Catalog under:
FINLAND - MILITARY RECORDS
In the catalog, the Finnish regiments are listed by their Swedish names. For example, the catalog lists the Viipuri County Infantry Regiment as Sverige Försvarsdepartamentet (Viborgs läns Infanteriregiment).
You can find other military records in the New Collection of Accounts for each county (see Finland Public Records for more information).