Genealogy Resources


  1. NEVER place personal information on the Internet about living persons. Finland and Sweden, for example, have laws protecting the privacy of individuals. In some cases, it appears to concern information entered into church books over 100 years ago. That may be updated, but until then family researchers and professional genealogists regard this rule as GOLD PLATED! And it’s a safeguard for your own identity.
  2.  Write down your SOURCES. You are providing evidence of where you have found material. It REALLY helps when you are reviewing what information was where. You will save yourself hours of re-doing your research. Someone asking you for help in finding the same information can be pointed directly to the original source.
  3. Don’t take anyone’s word that a piece of information is true, until you see the primary source. Family myths CAN hold clues to the truth.Even what normally is considered a primary source—facts recorded at the time by someone reliable—can err. (We’re only human.) We have even found errors in church books. They probably occurred when the priest was copying parish members’ information into the next set of books—names change, are misspelled, are Americanized, are transcribed from handwritten records to digital databases by someone who doesn’t know the language. When you can’t find someone, try the first few letters of the name and then an asterisk( *). Maybe that “free” card will open up a hundred wrong possibilities, but the correct one may be in there somewhere.

YES, family research takes time!   But
it’s so engaging! We have a favorite
story shared by one of our SFHS
members. She would much rather
do genealogy than clean house. So
she sets the vacuum cleaner by the
front door. Then when someone calls,
she excuses the state of the house with
“Oh, I was just about to vacuum!”

Remember that SFHS members get
three hours of free genealogy research
every year.

Best Regards and Good Luck
in your search!


Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
å=option + a
Å=shift + option + a
ä=option + u + a
Ä=option + u + shift + a
ö=option + u + o
Ö=option + u +shift + o

OR hold down the “o”  or “a” key and
a whole line up of various versions appear.
Pick  the one you want. and click on it with
your cursor.

PC Keyboard Shortcuts
ALT 134 = å
ALT 143 = Å
ALT 132 = ä
ALT 142 = Ä
ALT 148 = ö
ALT 153 = Ö

OR hold down the “o”  or “a” key and
a whole line up of various versions appear.
Pick  the one you want. and click on it with
your cursor.

How to Add Swedish Language Option
PC—Open “my computer”. Click on Language icon [a blue and green world]. Click Add. Select the language you want to add to your keyboard. Save. It already has English. To select the language you wish to type in, click on the icon. It’s probably “ENG”. After you click on it, Choose SVE. To return to ENG, click again and select it.
Mac—Open the Apple icon, select System Preferences. Click on Language/World icon. Then choose Add, and select your language. Click Save.


This is our knowledge base that is home to hundreds of articles about Swedish Finns and their culture. Anyone knowledgeable on a Swedish Finn subject is welcome to submit articles.

Finlander Forum
2,898 registered members discuss genealogy questions, name searches, and several dozen other topics, such as books, recipes, history etc. A search option allows members to see if their family name is being discussed. Or you can begin a new thread with the name of a topic of your choice. Registration is free of charge. DON’T LOSE YOUR PASSWORD! No charge.

TALKO is the cooperative database of 2,070,050 individuals, established and managed by Hasse Nyård, the SFHS webmaster. It’s accessible by password only. Passwords are sent to those who mail GED coms of their family research for inclusion in the database. 160 family researchers, mainly from the USA, Canada, Finland, and Sweden have contributed their collections.  A GEDcom is Genealogical Data Communication, a method of formatting your family tree data into a text file which can be easily read and converted by any genealogy software program.

Documenting Every Emigrant
Documenting Every Emigrant is a work in progress and is aimed at preserving the record of emigrant names from Finland, particularly Swedish-speaking Finland. Searching the databases is free of charge.


Finland’s Institute on Immigration
Subscription required. The Institute of Migration was founded in 1974, and has its headquarters in Turku.  Its mission is to promote the collection, storage and documentation of research material relating to international and internal migration including immigrants and refugees, to carry out and to promote migration research, to publish research reports, books and articles on migration, to develop co-operation between the universities and special organizations related to migration, both within Finland and abroad, and to maintain and to provide information services about migration.

Subscription required. Offers census, immigration, military, and vital records. SFHS volunteers use it for queries weekly. Members of SFHS receive 3 hours free genealogy research annually. Membership fees pay the annual fee.

HisKI Project
Database of Finland’s Genealogical Society. Volunteers transcribed church records into searchable database. Free of  charge.

Finland’s Family History  Association
Not all parishes are yet loaded into the database, particularly not Swedish-speaking parishes. Free of  charge.

Ellis Island
Free of  charge.

Searching the Passenger Lists in One Step


New Sweden Settlers, 1638-1664
Complete list, updated by Peter Stebbins Craig, that  Swedish American Genealogist published in 1996Free of charge.

Map collections at the Delaware Historical Society Library

Excellent article detailing aspects of Finn farming communities in Sweden,  written in Swedish. Free of charge.

Kven People
Excellent wiki article about Kven ethnicity in Norway, which may predate Vikings. Free of charge.


Order of Runeberg
In the late 1800’s a number of Sick Benefit organizations and Temperance Lodges had formed, and eventually merged into the Order of Runeberg. All but a very few lodges died out by 1990. Their website has some genealogy advice and resources. Free of charge.

Swenson Immigration Research Center
They have the only copy in the world of Sweden’s Emigrant Institute’s CD with images from Lutheran churches across North America, completed in early 1970’s. Contact the center for charges.

Church of Latter Day Saints
A complete overview of Finnish church records.

How to Read Finnish Church Records
The Finnish focus PDF includes images of each type of church record book, with translations of the various columns, such as “birth”, “birth parish” etc. Scroll down until you see the digital image of a page, and the brightly colored translation just above it.


Swedish-speaking Finns
This site is filled with information on Swedish-speaking Finns and their experiences. It also has articles on the history of Finland. Free of Charge.

Ester’s journey from Sideby to Fitchburg

 Ostrobothnian Sea Coast Population
Per Erik Levin on reasons the Ostrobothnian population along the seacoasts emigrated in larger numbers.     


The Legacy of Ida Lillbroända by Arlene Sundquist Empie

Britta’s Journey by Ann Marie Mershon—Girl and family emigrated from Kvevlax 1904   

Finnish Genealogical Research by Timothy Laitila Vincent and Rick Tapio

Your Swedish Roots by Per Clemensson and Kjell Andersson

History of the Finns in Michigan by Armas K. E. Holmio
This resource has been digitized by Google, available to read on internet. See particularly the chapters on Temperance societies and the Kaleva Brotherhood.


Family Group Form (2 pages)
This site has many free forms including family trees, a timeline template, and blank census forms.

Pedigree Chart Form
Larger pedigree charts with more than just 4 generations can be purchased from LDS stores, often called the Deseret Book Center.
Bellevue Deseret Book Center
3080 148 Ave. SE #108
Bellevue, WA 98007
US Stores


 Behind the Name: Finnish Names: The Etymology and History of First Names
Click on individual name. Includes Swedish names used in Finland.

 Behind the Name: Swedish Names: The Etymology and History of First Names
Click on individual name.

 Finland-Swedish Surnames in America
Genealogical Society of Finland

Rootsweb Thread
One of many threads on this subject.


Find an image of your family’s home farm

Enter your parish of interest, to see if that community has developed a Facebook Page.

Search for a parish name. Enter for example Malax, Finland. A Wiki page about the parish will open. It will have a map showing Malax in Finland, the parish’ coat of arms, and lots of other details, like the percentage of Swedish Speakers. Then return to the Google subject line with Malax, Finland. Open “images” from the options. Beautiful pictures! My church, old pictures of emigrants, the park….

Google Earth
A tutorial on how to use

Map of Finland

Map of most of Österbotten



Finnish Map (no English version available)
Fill Karttahaku field with the place name (only larger places indexed) and see what you may get by clicking “Hae kartoista”.


Finland’s Institute of Migration
A very complete guide.

Guide to Searching for Ancestors in the US

June Pelo’s Experiences 
June Pelo shares her tremendous store of experience connecting people
with their roots in Finland.

 More of June’s Articles

101 Ways to Research Your Family Tree for Free
Alternatives to Pay-For-Use Genealogy Sites on the Internet
by Kimberly Powell, Guide

Free Genealogy Sites
Dozens of possible sites to look for material on genealogy research in Finland:


Billion Graves
Search thousands of cemeteries and millions of headstone
records from all over the world.

Find A Grave
Millions of graves and memorials online.

Finnish Graves


Finnish American Heritage Center
The Center houses the largest and oldest Finnish American Collection and Archive. They have church, business, and personal records from not only the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but also many other communities in North America that had Finnish populations.

Canadian/U.S passenger ship lists on Russians

National Archives’ Passenger Lists

LDS FamilySearch 
A great site and free, but you have to register to view the records.

Minnesota Historical Society

Roots Web 

Washington Digital Archives

Camp 59 Survivors—Armie Hill Story, 1976
A blog about POWs of Camp 59.

Camp 59 Survivors—Armie Hill Story, 1987

Free access to the US Census, and usually available online
through local libraries using a library card number.

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
You may also visit in person.

Minnesota Discovery Center
You may also visit in person.

Iron Range Research Center
The Center has some information on the area of Minnesota
that you are interested in. It also has links to many sites that
might be helpful to  you. You may also visit in person.

Rootstech Seminars


Åland Sheriff’s Passport List 1863-1916
The Provincial Archives in Mariehamn, Åland, has the Sheriff’s
Archive of the Åland Islands.

Finland’s Family History Association
Digital images of parish records up to about 1850. In 2004 a group of
Finnish genealogists set up a web-site which allows one to obtain
on-line images of the Finnish Church books. An annual dues payment
is required. A yearly membership is rather inexpensive and encouraged,
as work done to make these records available is all by volunteers. To see
membership fees, just click on the link “Join” in the left pane. You can search Parish records free here.

Finland’s Maritime History
There is a merchant marine database at the web site of the Genealogical Society of Finland.  It appears to be in Finnish only. There were a number of Sailors’ Houses (merimieshuone) were the merchant marines were registered. Follow these steps in the basic search: Merimieshaku (Marine search), Sukunimi (surname), Etunimet (Given names), Syntymävuosi (Year of birth).


Church of Latter Day Saints Genealogy Archive, Finland Collection
Free of charge.

Family History Finland 
This is part of the World Gen Web Project and is free of charge.

Cyndi’s List for Finland/Suomi
Free of charge.

Family History Library
Free of charge.



Nanaimo Family History Society
You can find some basic passenger/immigrant information on the site. Unfortunately, they do not include the manifests. But, it’s free.

Library and National Archives Canada
When you access the main screen, go to the top of the screen where it gives an an option to SEARCH and click it (in same block of options like “contact us, help, whats new” etc.), on the next screen that comes up, there will be a place about one-third down on the page which says ARCHIVES, click on it, and the next screen will have a list of databases. There you will find an IMMIGRATION 1925-1935 database, and PASSENGER LISTS 1865-1922. The passenger lists are not searchable by names, only by knowing the name of the ship, shipping line, date of departure, etc. After getting to the database page you select, press SEARCH. Here is an example of what the passenger list page looks like. Free of charge.

Canada Local Histories Online

US Railroad Retirement Board
Type in the surname and do a search of the “text”, this will search The Railroad Retirement Board Persons working for the Railroads after 1930 Railroad Board In the United States persons who worked for a railroad , and their widows,were paid pensions by the Railroad Retirement Board(RRRB) instead of Social Security. The railroad workers retirement pension system was established before the Social Security system was started, and has continued for many years. It would mean that the death of your person was reported to the Railroad Board, rather than the Social Security Administration (SSA) Both agencies require that they be notified is a pension recipient has died. Free of charge.    
Libraries often offer access to sites such as They have other helpful materials such as Polk City Directories, some from the late 1800’s. Subscription required.