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 Finnish 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.

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 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 (FÅA / SHO), 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 1920–1960 (since 1949, original sources available on emigrants cover only a small portion of them)
  • The database of the Emigrant register includes all preserved passenger manifests of the Finland Steamship Company.

Passport list (299,000 records)

The passport list database is based on the passport lists of provincial governments and city registries from the late 19th century to 1920. The following areas and time periods are covered in the database:

  • 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, 1889–1920
  • Vaasa Province, 1890–1920
  • Viipuri Province, emigrants to America, 1906–1909

There are still about 100 000 records to be entered to the passport list.

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 from the book “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 former director of the Migration Institute of Finland professor Olavi Koivukangas in Australia for his research on Australian Finns. It also includes some data gathered from Finnish 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 former director of the Migration Institute of Finland professor 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.

Martyrology of Ingrian Finns (over 6,000 records)

This list contains personal data on Finns who died in the persecutions carried out by Soviet leader Stalin in the 1930s. The main sources for the martyrology compiled by Tyyne Martikainen (Lic.Sc., M.Soc.Sc.) are Russian matrices, interviews with relatives of the victims, and a list of Russian Finns collected by the journalist Eila Lahti-Argutina, which itself is also available through the Emigrant Register.

Forest Finns in Sweden (over 1,500 records)

A database compiled by professor Veijo Saloheimo of Finnish-origin slash-and-burn farmers who lived in Sweden in the 16th and 17th centuries. The database contains information on more than 1,500 “forest Finns”.

Naturalizations in Finland 1832-1946 (14,000 records)

This database contains information on persons who were granted citizenship of the Grand Duchy of Finland and later the Republic of Finland between 1832 and 1946. The database has been compiled by D.Soc.Sc. Antero Leitzinger from Finnish archival sources (National Archives) and newspapers.

Other files of the Emigrant register (not available on-line)

  • Data on Finnish immigrants from 1869–1900 recorded from copies of the Gothenburg passenger lists
  • 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).
  • 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)
  • 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, and Kälviä.

Genealogy guides

How to trace your roots in Finland
Elisabeth Uschanov, Krister Björklund & Jouni Korkiasaari (2013)
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…
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The archives of the Migration Institute of Finland consist of the Migration Collections and the institute’s own organizational archives. The Migration Collections mostly include cultural…
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Digital materials
Please send all requests and inquiries regarding the digital materials to the following addresses: Archivist: Office:…
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The library of the Migration Institute of Finland holds over 10,000 listed publications regarding migration flows and ethnicity. Besides books, the collections include newspapers, periodicals…
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