The collections of the Migration Institute of Finland include much individual-level information that can help in tracking family members who have moved abroad and in finding information about their stages of life. The materials also serve the offspring of emigrants looking for their Finish roots.

A genealogist can make use of the institute’s archive materials, such as the letter collections, photographs, microfilms and individual documents. The institute’s library contains, among other things, registers of the associations and organisations of expatriate Finns, local histories and newspapers of expatriate Finns. In addition, a large amount of genealogy publications and other literature in the field can be found at the library.

The Migrant Register won’t be available

The Migrant Register won’t be available from the beginning of 2020 due to out of date technology.

The data will be available again during autumn of 2020.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

During the reformation some materials in our website are not available.

These materials include e.g. certain pdf-files, the photo-gallery and the Migrant Register.

In case you are unable to find some pdf-material needed,

please contact: info@migrationinstitute.fi.

Any inquiries concerning the photo-gallery may be directed to our

archivist Jarno Heinilä: jarno.heinila@migrationtinstitute.fi

Emigrant register

The Migration Institute of Finland also assists genealogists by keeping the Emigrant register, which includes data on hundreds of thousands of emigrant Finns. The main databases of the register can be accessed via the Internet.

Description of the Emigrant register databases:

Passenger list (318,000 records)

The passenger list includes information on persons who travelled abroad from Finland on board the ships of the Finland Steamship Company, mostly via Hanko. The majority comprises Finnish emigrants, but there are also, for example, Russian Jews who travelled via Finland. The passenger list covers the following time periods:

  • The years 1892–1896, 1899–1914 and 1920–1939, 1940–1960 (since 1949, original sources available on emigrants cover only a small portion of them)
  • The database of the Emigrant register includes all available passenger manifests of the Finland Steamship Company.

Passport list (285,000 records)

  • Local Register Office of Hanko, 1900–1903
  • Häme Province, 1903–1904
  • Local Register Office of Kristinestad, 1890–1891 and 1900–1901
  • Local Register Office of Kokkola, 1899–1902
  • Kuopio Province, emigrants to Russia in 1890–1899 and emigrants heading outside Europe in 1900–1915
  • Mikkeli Province, 1914–1915
  • Oulu Province, 1897–1922
  • Turku and Pori Province, 1889–1912
  • Vaasa Province, 1896–1919
  • Viipuri Province, emigrants to America, 1906–1909

The number of unrecorded records is estimated to exceed 100,000.

Journal and literature references (19,000 records)

The reference database includes data mostly from the following sources:

  • Death notices, obituaries, birthday greetings, interviews, etc. gathered from Finnish-American and Finnish-Australian newspapers published in 1994–1997
  • Obituaries published in Siirtokansan Kalenteri in 1918–1978
  • Obituaries published in Raittiuskansan Kalenteri in 1897–1972
  • Obituaries published in Kirkollinen Kalenteri in 1930–1981
  • List of names in the work “Amerikansuomalaisten Historia II” (1923) by Salomon Ilmonen

Database of Australian Finns (3,800 records)

This database includes data on Finns who lived in Australia before the Second World War. It is based on a card index compiled by the now-retired director of the Migration Institute of Finland Olavi Koivukangas in Australia for his research on Australian Finns. It also includes some data gathered from Finland’s passport and passenger lists.

Database of New Zealand Finns (1,100 records)

This database includes data on Finns who lived in New Zealand. It is based on a card index compiled by the now-retired director of the Migration Institute of Finland Olavi Koivukangas in New Zealand for his research on the topic.

Finnish Russians victims of persecution 1930–1950 (over 8,000 records)

This database includes data on Finns who were persecuted by Stalin in the Soviet Union in 1930–1950. The data is based on book “Olimme joukko vieras vaan” by Eila Lahti-Argutina published by the Migration Institute of Finland in 2001.

Other files available to the Emigrant register

  • Punched card material (approx. 60,000 records) including passport and ticket data received from the Department of History of the University of Turku that was later converted to an IT format.
  • Material collected on Swedish Finns in America from parish registers by Per-Erik Levlin’s genealogist group (approx. 13,600 records in the database).
  • File compiled by Antero Leitzinger on foreigners who applied for Finnish citizenship in 1832–1946 (approx. 16,000 records in the database).
  • Material of the archives of the Foreign Affairs Administration. This database includes data gathered from the archive documents of the Foreign Affairs Administration up to 1950. The material consists mostly of documents on Finns who died abroad (12,000 records).
  • List provided by the Danish Emigration Archives on Finns who travelled to America via Denmark in 1868–1896 (approx. 500 persons in the database).
  • Databasen Emigranten 2001 (Swedish Emigrant Institute, Emigrantregistret, Göteborgs-Emigranten). Includes emigrants who left via Sweden in 1850–1951. (CD-ROM)
  • Parish registers of three Finnish-American parishes from two cities on microfilms (Republic, MI and Hancock, MI)
  • Photocopies of passenger manifests from the Gothenburg police from 1869–1900
  • Addresses of offices and archives in Finland and North America
  • Different name indexes, commemorative publications, local history reviews and other printed sources that contain a large number of personal names. These include, for example, indexes of emigrants from Kuusamo, Karstula, Kälviä and Mikkeli.

Genealogy guides

How to trace your roots in Finland
Elisabeth Uschanov, Krister Björklund & Jouni Korkiasaari (2013)
Materials
The Migration Institute of Finland holds diverse materials related to migration flows, a significant portion of which concern Finns living abroad. Some of the materials are available in a digital…
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Digital materials
The digital materials of the Migration Institute of Finland include: Migrant letters A sample of approximately 300 of the migrant letters sent from North America to Finland….
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Library
The library of the Migration Institute of Finland holds over 8,000 listed publications regarding migration flows and ethnicity. Besides books, the collections include newspapers, periodicals…
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Archives
The archives of the Migration Institute of Finland consist of the Migration Collections and the institute’s own official archives. The Migration Collections mostly include cultural heritage and…
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