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Websites for online research of Finnish ancestors
Posted by: Paivi T (ID *****8198) Date: March 13, 2006 at 22:06:02
  of 10991

Seems like a good time for a slightly updated list... :-D

Below are some starting points for online research of Finnish ancestry.

* The website of David S. Saari: members.aol.com/DSSaari. Contains, among lots of useful info, a "Beginner's Guide to Finnish Family History Research" and a fine tutorial on Finnish surnames and farm names.

* The Genealogical Society of Finland, www.genealogia.fi. *The* place to start. Masses and masses of valuable information on research of Finnish families, lists of family researchers and researched families (by name, location, etc.), and a searchable online database of info from old parish records called HisKi (short for Historian Kirjat, History Books). HisKi is an ongoing project and far from complete but already a source of lots of good info. Note that HisKi is umlaut-sensitive! -- The Society also hosts an excellent mailing list called Finngen where family researchers from all over the world discuss, and search for their Finnish roots.

* Finland's Family History Association, http://www.digiarkisto.org/sshy/index_eng.htm. An ongoing project where volunteers scan church records and put them online for everyone to study free-of-charge. The records include births & christenings, marriages, deaths & burials, communion books, and so on. Constantly updated with new material. English user interface available.

* The Surname Navigator, http://www.surnamenavigator.org/
Type in the desired surname, and the Navigator searches several international online resources in one click. Finland has two selections in the Navigator: 1) Finland 1 (the default), that draws on several international websites, and
2) Finland 2 that searches HisKI, showing results in English. For the international search, it's a good idea to omit umlauts (e.g., to use a instead of ä) to get more hits, while for the HisKi search, umlauts can be used -- and should, where they appear in a name, as HisKi is umlaut-sensitive.

* The Finnish Institute of Migration, www.migrationinstitute.fi. Lots of information on emigrants and migration, and a free-of-charge look-up facility drawing on passport and passenger records, yielding names and dates. Gives more detailed info after payable registeration.

* http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/emi_intro.htm, excellent information on emigration, and other useful information, and a mailing list.

* The Finlander Forum, http://finlander.eget.net. Focus on Swede-Finn roots (Swedish-speaking Finnish families). Heaps of valuable info and excellent, friendly, helpful discussion forums on a wide range of genealogical and cultural subject areas.

* Historismi.net, http://www.saunalahti.fi/hirvela/. Lots of information, and very useful tools for family researchers, including terminology lists with English translations and explanations. And discussion forums.

* The Karelian Database, http://personal.inet.fi/palvelu/karjala-tk/index3.htm
English descriptions of resources such as communion books, etc. Information the ceded Karealian areas and parishes, and so on.

* The digital archives of the Finnish National Archives, http://digi.narc.fi/digi/

* The Population Register Centre of Finland, www.vaestorekisterikeskus.fi. Among other things, access to statistics on Finnish first names and surnames. The two most useful resources are "Name Service" and "Family Name Chart". -- Unfortunately, the latter seems to be on a prolonged maintenance break, with no info on when it will be available again. -- "Name Service" displays stats on numbers of people with queried first names; or surnames (present/former, living/dead, men/women, in Finland/abroad). "Family Name Chart" displays a top-three list of localities with most people born in a given time period, for a queried surname.

* The website of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Finland, www.evl.fi. Among other things, contact information for individual parishes via Yhteystiedot > Seurakunnat.

* Most Finnish cities, towns and even smaller localities host their own websites. Their addresses are formed in a fairly standardised fashion: www.nameoftown.fi, e.g., www.tampere.fi. Note that umlauts are not used in these addresses; e.g. the address of the website of Järvenpää must be typed in the form www.jarvenpaa.fi. Also, note that some of these websites are in Finnish only.

* An online map of Finland, with a very useful lookup facility and an English user interface: kansalaisen.karttapaikka.fi

* Virtual Finland, http://virtual.finland.fi. Facts on Finland, both historical and present-day.

Most of these links have been mentioned more or less often in replies to queries into Finnish roots. Thus, new family researchers might also learn a lot from replies to earlier queries.

Happy hunting,

Päivi T


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