Types of Finnish Records

April 15, 2019  - by 

Over the years, millions of Finnish records have been indexed and entered into databases on FamilySearch.org. You can use these indexed records to find information on your ancestors’ birth, marriage, or death information, as well as information on where and when your ancestors lived! 

To start, on the FamilySearch.org home page, click Search. On the Research by Location map, click the area of Europe, and then, in the pop-up list, select Finland. In the Indexed Historical Records section of the new page, click Show All 8 collections. If you search these collections and still don’t find what you are looking for, then you might want to check a database created by the Genealogical Society of Finland called the HisKi project to search additional indexed parish records. 

Search Finnish Parish Records 

 Prior to about 1880, parish records in Finland were written in Swedish. Parish priests kept many types of records to account for the people living in the parish. The ones we search the most are the following.

  • Birth and Christening Records: A record of all births and christenings in the parish. These records typically include the following information:  
    • The name of the child 
    • Parents’ names 
    • Parents’ residence  
    • The names of the godparents 
  • Engagement and Marriage Records: A record of each couple that was engaged or married in the parish. These records typically include the following information: 
    • The names of the groom and the bride
    • The day of public announcement (banns) of the wedding 
    • The day of the wedding 
    • Potentially other information, such as the character references for the groom and bride.  
  • Death and Burial Records: A record of all deaths and burials in the parish, which typically include the following information:  
    • The name of the deceased 
    • The date of death 
    • The date of burial 
    • Place of residence 
    • Age at time of death 
    • Usually, a cause of death
  • Move-In and Move-Out Records: A record of every person who moved into or out of the parish. These records typically include the following information:  
    • The name of the people who moved 
    • Where they came from or where they were going to 
    • The date of the move (or at least when the priest was notified) 
  • Communion Records: A record of all the people in the parish who partook of the communion. These records typically included the following information:  
    • Age or date of birth for each person 
    • Moving information  
    • Other important notes  
  • Preconfirmation Records: These records are of children who were preparing for confirmation or who had not partaken of communion. Generally, the children were younger than 14 or 15 years old. After partaking communion, the registration of the child was moved to the regular communion books. 
two finnish men read on a hill.

The preconfirmation books from the period 1657–1915 have been indexed into a searchable database with over 33 million entries. You can access this database on either MyHeritage.org or FamilySearch.org.

Want to save time? Search these great databases before you browse any record collections. You can learn more about the church records of Finland on the Finland Church Records page in the FamilySearch Wiki.  https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/finnish-ancestors/

Finding Your Finnish Ancestors

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