Finland, Church Census and Pre-Confirmation Books - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Finland, Church Census and Pre-Confirmation Books, 1657-1915
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1657-1915
Language: Swedish, Finnish
Title in the Language: Suomi, Rippikirjat ja lastenkirjat
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives of Finland

Why Should I Look at This Collection?[edit | edit source]

These records were created by the Lutheran priest in each parish. As the Lutheran church was part of the state in Finland, this collection serves as a census for the entire county.

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The parish priest was required by church law of 1686 to annually interview each member of the parish to determine their understanding of the Lutheran catechism. This church census (rippikirjat / kommunionböcker) was recorded in books that generally cover a five-year time period. Significant vital statistical events, such as births, marriages. deaths and moving from the parish were also recorded. Some parishes began keeping these records before the law was passed. Records from parishes in Eastern Finland generally do not record children who have not been confirmed.

Pre-confirmation books (lastenkirjat / barnböcker), also called children’s books and pre-communion books list the names of children who had not yet been confirmed members of the Lutheran church and are eligible to receive communion. After confirmation, which usually took place at age 15, they would be recorded in the communion book. The child's residence and parent's names are generally recorded. These records are generally kept in parishes from eastern Finland. After confirmation, which usually took place at age 15, they would be recorded in the communion book.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Swedish up until about 1865 and Finnish. For help reading these records see the following:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Finland, Church Census and Pre-Confirmation Books, 1657-1915.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

These records generally contain the following information:

Church census

  • Person's name
  • Residence
  • Birth date


  • Child's name
  • Parents' names

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Finland, Church Census and Pre-Confirmation Books Digital Folder Number List.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

You can search the index or view the images. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • The parish where the person lived

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Finland, Church Census and Pre-Confirmation Books Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Check the image the index was taken from to see if there is additional information
  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see the section Citing this Collection for assistance. Save or print a copy of the image
  • Use the information to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined
  • Use the information to locate the individual in church records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the Finland Record Finder to find other records
  • Consider alternate spellings for names. The Swedish and Finnish languages were both used in Finland, and the priest making the record may have used either language
  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches
  • Search the records of nearby parishes

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Finland.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.