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Surnames/tags: Finland Suomi Finnish_Roots
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From Wikipedia: Republic of Finland; Finnish: Suomi, Suomen tasavalta; Swedish: Finland, Republiken Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland. At the end of 2014, 5.5 million people were living in Finland, with the majority concentrated in its southern regions.

In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Politically, it is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities and an autonomous region, the Åland Islands (making Finland a federacy). About one million residents live in the Greater Helsinki area (consisting of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa) and a third of the country's GDP is produced there. Other larger cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti, and Kuopio.

From the 12th century until 1809, Finland was a part of Sweden. It then became an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution 1917. This prompted the Finnish Declaration of Independence 6 Dec 1917, which was followed by a civil war where the pro-Bolshevik "Reds" were defeated by the pro-conservative "Whites" with support from the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a monarchy in the country, Finland became a republic 17 Jul 1919.

Genealogical research tripwires
Although the peasants and common people used Finnish as their primary language, Swedish was used by clergy and priests even when Finland was under Russian rule. The Finnish names were translated into Swedish when entered into church books, not always the same way by different priests. Names like Juha, Juho and Johannes could all be inscribed as Johan while names like Johanna and Hanna, Per and Pehr as well as the letter h often added to the end of names such as Susanna and Susannah, would be spellings of the same name.
Finland also surrendered vast areas to Russia after the second world war and cities like the district capital Viipuri comes back as a small village in southern Finland when searching for "Viipuri Finland" in modern maps.


Municipalities of Finland in 2016 by language:

Beige: unilingually Finnish
Dark blue: unilingually Swedish
Turquoise: bilingual, majority language Finnish, minority language Swedish
Light blue: bilingual, majority language Swedish, minority language Finnish
Wine: majority language Finnish and a Sami language as a minority language

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Between 1634 and 2009, Finland was administered as several provinces Finnish: Suomen läänit, Swedish: Finlands län.

Lääni 1775–1812 1812–1831 1831–1918 1918–1938 1938–1945 1945–1960 1960–1997
Petsamo (1920–)
Savo ja Karjala
Turku ja Pori
Uusimaa ja Häme

Historic Provinces

The historical provinces (Finnish: historialliset maakunnat, singular historiallinen maakunta, Swedish: historiska landskap) of Finland are a legacy of the country's joint history with Sweden. The provinces ceased to be administrative entities in 1634.

English (Finnish, Swedish)

Finland Proper (Varsinais-Suomi, Egentliga Finland)
Karelia (Karjala, Karelen)
Laponia (Lappi, Lappland)
Ostrobothnia (Pohjanmaa, Österbotten)
Satakunta (Satakunta, Satakunda)
Savonia (Savo, Savolax)
Tavastia (Häme, Tavastland)
Uusimaa (Uusimaa, Nyland)
Åland (Ahvenanmaa, Åland)

Modern Finland consists of 19 regions called maakunta (landskapsförbund)

Ahvenanmaa -- Åland Islands -- Åland
Etelä-Karjala -- South Karelia -- Södra Karelen
Etelä-Pohjanmaa -- Southern Ostrobothnia -- Södra Österbotten
Etelä-Savo -- Southern Savonia -- Södra Savolax
Kainuu -- Kainuu -- Kajanaland
Kanta-Häme -- Tavastia Proper -- Egentliga Tavastland
Keski-Pohjanmaa -- Central Ostrobothnia -- Mellersta Österbotten
Keski-Suomi -- Central Finland -- Mellersta Finland
Kymenlaakso -- Kymenlaakso -- Kymmenedalen
Lappi -- Lapland -- Lappland
Päijät-Häme -- Päijänne Tavastia -- Päijänne-Tavastland
Pirkanmaa -- Pirkanmaa -- Birkaland
Pohjanmaa -- Ostrobothnia -- Österbotten
Pohjois-Karjala -- North Karelia -- Norra Karelen
Pohjois-Pohjanmaa -- Northern Ostrobothnia -- Norra Österbotten
Pohjois-Savo -- Northern Savonia -- Norra Savolax
Satakunta -- Satakunta -- Satakunta
Uusimaa -- Uusimaa -- Nyland
Varsinais-Suomi -- Finland Proper -- Egentliga Finland

Åland Islands -- Ahvenanmaa
Central Finland -- Keski-Suomi
Central Ostrobothnia -- Keski-Pohjanmaa
Finland Proper -- Varsinais-Suomi
Kainuu -- Kainuu
Kymenlaakso -- Kymenlaakso
Lapland -- Lappi
Northern Ostrobothnia -- Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
North Karelia -- Pohjois-Karjala
Northern Savonia -- Pohjois-Savo
Ostrobothnia -- Pohjanmaa
Päijänne Tavastia -- Päijät-Häme
South Karelia -- Etelä-Karjala
Southern Savonia -- Etelä-Savo
Southern Ostrobothnia -- Etelä-Pohjanmaa
Pirkanmaa -- Pirkanmaa
Satakunta -- Satakunta
Tavastia Proper -- Kanta-Häme
Uusimaa -- Uusimaa

Regions -- Alue

In 2010, six Regional State Administrative Agencies were created, and the regions were included in the Agencies. See Wikipedia.


Comments: 2

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My step-grandfather, Charles Laukkonen, told me his parents' names, and that they came from Finland but I never had a way to search information on his family (as I can't read Finnish!). I know a little about his mother's side but nothing at all about his father's side. A place to go for help would be great!
posted by Chryse Laukkonen
My Finnish relatives, starting with my great grandparents who were 1st generation immigrants to the US are my biggest brick wall. I would love to help and get help. Thank you for starting this!
posted by Sheryl Moore