Finnish genealogy for Americans

As you might already know, one of my dearest hobbies is genealogy - tracing my ancestors.

One part of my family research has been trying to find out more about those relatives of mine who went to the USA or Canada at the end of the 19th century or at the beginning of the 20th century.

My family comes from the old province of Vaasa in Finland, we might also call it the region of South Ostrobothnia.

I have been very lucky during the past few years. Thanks to my own research in the National Archives and different parish offices in Finland, but also thanks to marvellous internet databases and very helpful people with their e-mails, I have been able to find what happened to my lost relatives.

Maybe it's time to give something back. Help the Finnish Americans to trace their roots in Finland.

So here's five good hints:
1. Do your research first in the USA, find out as much as you can by asking relatives, neighbours. Look the old family bible, there might be something written on it. Or find old photos, old letters.

2. Deepen your research, look for census records (online), draft records, marriage records, death records. Maybe www.ancestry.com databases and www.familysearch.org can help you.

3. Seek for travelling documents. After 1892 most people came through Ellis Island. In Finland, go to the web site of Finnish Institute of Migration ( Siirtolaisuusinstituutti). They have online database on passports and ship records.

4. Look for the Finnish church books online in the web site of Finnish Genealogical Society. The database is called HisKi. We also have a new database in Finland called Digiarkisto. They already have some communion books online. If online doesn't help, write an e-mail to the parish office - they will help you (it might be slow and they charge for their services - however, the price is usually reasonable).

5. ASK for help. For example the Finnish Genealogical Society has a good mailing list in English. It's called Finngen.

Last, but not least I made you a podcast in English about finding your ancestors in Finland.
You can open in here:
* Podcast about genealogy by Riikka


Short interview with Panu

Panu talkingWhat are you doing right now?

Panu: I'm emptying the washing maschine.

Are you going to do something nice this week?

- I'm travelling to Paris tomorrow.

What was the last book you have read?

- The Shadow of the Wind. It's written by a Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It was a mystery novel. The plot was interesting and at times it was funny. The novel told about books and what they mean to different people.


Let's change Eurovision to Easteuropevision

I was just watching the Eurovision song contest, which this year was held here in Helsinki, Finland. (yes, we did won last year with Lordi...).

This year wasn't that great for us. Our Hanna was number 17. Which, I have to admit, wasn't a huge surprise...

Instead, Eurovision song contest this year reminded me of the Intervision song contest (former Eastern bloc answer to Eurovision). The winner was Serbia (1). Then Ukraine (2), Russia (3), Turkey (4) and Bulgaria (5).

Serbia's winner was Marija Šerifović with a song called Molitva.

East European countries voted for other East European countries or Russia. The former republics of Jugoslavia voted for the former republics of Jugoslavia.

Oh well, Scandinavia isn't that neutral to this phenomena (voting for you neighbor) either. Sweden and Iceland gave Finland 12 points (highest score).

Even though Finland didn't win this time (it sure is pretty amazing that we won last year), I think we still won something. We were able to show the rest of the Europe that we can make terrific tv shows with the best visual effects ever !!!!


Euroviisuvoittaja oli siis tänä vuonna Serbia. No, ei ainakaan voitettu vähäpukeisuudella näitä kisoja...

Eli miksi Viro antoi Venäjälle 12 pistettä?


Interviewing could be fun

I have an idea for this blog. I could do some interviews and publish them as posts. Nothing serious, rather something very casual. Friends and family.

I start with a test. So, basically I interview myself.

Interviewer (A): Why are you up so late? It's almost midnight?

Riikka: Well, I was working late and had things to do when I finally got home. I like to have some time to relax before I go to bed. So here I am, writing my blog and surfing virtually.

(A): So, what was the coolest thing you did earlier this week?

Riikka: I went to a wine tasting. Lovely Sauvignon Blancs! I have also eaten a lot of asparagus lately.

(A): What is on your mind?

I think about the seeds I planted and the mini greenhouse I bought. It is just amazing how the seeds have already turned into little plants. The wonders of the nature. This reminds me of getting my clematis back in for the night as it can be frosty. I also think about a stupid and tired joke I made today. They laughed, but I didn't.

(A): This week's tv hints in Finland?

Ooh, I quess it would be the Eurovision song contest held here in Finland next Saturday. We have our Hanna Pakarinen singing a not very special and a sort of melancholy type of song. Nothing like Lordi last year. ( You can download Hanna's song here)

Thursday (20.00 channel YLE1) you can see Antiikkia Antiikkia (Antique Antique) and Wenzel Hagelstam doing evaluations in Helsinki railway station.

Friday (16.30 channel YLE1) you might want to see the programme called Sukupuu (Family tree). This time it tells about the family of Ujainen. A Newspaper publisher family from Southern Ostrobothnia. They are descendants of Könni clock smiths and a Club war hero Jaakko Ilkka.

Sunday (21.00 channel 4) Movie night! There's Mel Gibson trying to find out "What women want". He plays with Helen Hunt.


May day

First of May ( May day) is always a big thing here in Finland. It's called Vappu "Valborg's day". It's a national holiday, nowadays less the workers day it used to be, more the day of picnicing and having fun, drinking champange or sparkling wine.

This year First of May was rather cold. We are having frost at night time. The flowers in my garden don't really enjoy it. Poor them.


They are talking about Estonia and Russia in the evening news. Russia is bullying around. No question against who we have our army.