View Full Version : Sibelius and Other Famous Finns

22-07-04, 22:03
Hopefully someone out there can enlighten me regarding other famous Finns. Jean Sebelius, I guess we all know about, but if you want to know more, just type "Sebelius" into Google search and all you have ever wanted to know, but have been afraid to ask........comes up. Quite a few interesting websites there. Personally, I love his music and always have, so if anyone has anything to add to the websites about the man himelf, I would be interested to hear. Another famous Finn (sorry, many apologies to all Patriotic Finns and I am sure I am committing a serious sin here in admitting I have forgotten his name) was an athlete (runner?) with a name starting with Pa..... Was it Paavi, Paarvi, Parvi? I have tried all those names on a Google search, but nothing has been forthcoming. All I can remember was that he had something to do with the Helsinki Olympic Games - or am I even way off beam there??

I am sure that Finland/Sweden has many other famous folk that they would like to share with the rest of us. Even if they are only famous within Finland, don`t keep them to yourselves. Over to you....... Hopefully, a very Loooong thread coming up here!!

:) :o :D ;) :eek: :confused:

22-07-04, 22:42
Gwenda, maybe you're referring to Paavo Nurmi. There is an annual event that occurs in Hurley, Wisconsin honoring him. It's the Paavo Nurmi Marathon which is a 26.2 mile cross country running marathon. If I'm not mistaken, it usually took place early August.

I've searched Google before and know there's a website dedicated to this marathon.

22-07-04, 22:52
Thanks Kevin

It seems like I tried every combination except the right one, but then I am going back a few years to when I was in Helsinki (too many years to be honest). I thought that the Paavi, Parvi, Pavo, Paavo..... person I am thinking about had something to do with the Helsinki Olympics though, but probably your Marathon idea is closer to the mark. Lots of senior moments creeping in these days

23-07-04, 03:41
No, I think you're right. If I recall Paavo's claim to fame was his success in the Olympics. Because he was a national hero of sorts and the area I lived had such a large Finnish immigrant population, they named the marathon in his honor. One in the same, I do believe.

Just went to google. Here's a link and a snippet from the site:

The marathon's namesake, Paavo Nurmi, was the winner of nine Olympic Gold Medals, the greatest Finnish runner in that nation's history. The name reflects the predominantly Finnish heritage of the region.

23-07-04, 07:28
You might want to check out the (growing) list of links to "famous" (http://delphi.eget.net/index.php?refs=Famous%20Finns%20and%20Swede-Finns%20-%20links) people in the Delphi collection.

This list will eventually replace the "old" list that can be found on the SFHS pages (http://sfhs.eget.net/contributions.html)

23-07-04, 21:23
Thank you to both Hasse and Kevin for pointing me to the websites. I have touched briefly on them today and was surprised to see so many famous Finns. Hopefully I will get back to them on the weekend, because I did find them really interesting. Thank you again

June Pelo
23-07-04, 21:26
I believe Paavo Nurmi was called the Flying Finn. When I was young my father talked about him all the time so the name has stuck in my memory.


23-07-04, 21:42
Dear June

Well, no way would I doubt you anyway, but as soon as I read your message about the "Flying Finn" things fell right into place. Thanks once again for your input.

25-07-04, 16:54
Thank you again Hasse and Kevin

I have now read those links more thoroughly and was particularly interested in the Morton link. Somewhere along the line (via my Swedish/Finn grandfather) I have a Morton (Morten?) connection, supposedly of Scottish extraction. Although I have not been able to find anything about my Mortens on any of the Scottish genealogy websites, so cannot of course claim any relationship to this "Famous Finn" Morton, it did grab my interest.

25-07-04, 20:56
Paavo Nurmi's connection to the Olympic Games in Helsingfors 1952 is that he brought the the torch to the stadium and lit the Olympic fire.

And then to Morton: John Morton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had Finnish roots. His great grandfather came to America 1654. You often get information that he was of Swedish descendancy, and that is also sort of correct because Finland was a part of Sweden at that time.

I believe forum member K-G Olin sets the records straight in in his book "Våra första Amerikafarare".


June Pelo
26-07-04, 20:52
Found this on the Internet about John Morton:


Founding Father


John Morton was a native of Ridley, in the county of Chester, now Delaware. His father was the son of Mr. Martti Marttinen from Rautalampi, Finland, and Ms. Justiina "Justis" Juustinen from Savo, Finland, who were among the first Finnish
emigrants locating themselves on the banks of the Delaware in 1641. The colony of New Sweden had been established there in 1638 by a small group of
Finns and Swedes. Morton's father, after whom he was called, died a few months previously to his birth. His mother was some time after married to an Englishman, who possessed a more than ordinary education, and who, with great kindness, on young Morton's becoming of the proper age, superintended
and directed his education at home. Here his active mind rapidly expanded, and gave promise of the important part which he was destined to act in the subsequent history of his country. About the year 1764, he was commissioned as a justice of the peace, and was sent as a delegate to the general assembly of Pennsylvania. Of this body he was for many years an active and distinguished member, and for some time the speaker of the house of representatives. The following year he was appointed by the house of representatives of
Pennsylvania to attend the general congress at New-York. The object and proceedings of this congress are too well known to need a recital in this place.
In 1766, Mr. Morton was appointed sheriff of the county in which he lived, an office which he continued to hold for the three following years, and the duties of which he discharged with great satisfaction to the public. Some time after, he
was elevated to a seat on the bench in the superior court of Pennsylvania. Of the memorable congress of 1774 he was a member, and continued to represent the state of Pennsylvania in the national assembly, through the memorable
session of that body which gave birth to the declaration of American Independence. On the occurrence of the momentous subject of independence, in the continental congress, Mr. Morton unexpectedly found himself placed in a
delicate and trying situation. Previously to the 4th of July, the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania had voted in opposition to that measure. Great doubts were therefore entertained by the other members of congress, how the
Pennsylvania and Delaware delegations would act. Much was obviously depending upon them, for it was justly apprehended, that should these two states decline to accede to the measure, the result might prove most unfortunate. Happily, the votes of both these states were, at length, secured in favor of independence. But, as the delegation from Pennsylvania were equally divided, it fell to Mr. Morton to give his casting vote. The responsibility which he thus assumed was great, and even fearful, should the measure be attended by disastrous results. Mr. Morton, however, was a man of firmness and decision, and, in the spirit of true patriotism, he enrolled his vote in favor of the liberty of his country. Considering his novel and solemn situation, he deserves to be
remembered with peculiar respect, by the free and independent yeomanry of America.
In the following year, Morton assisted in organizing a system of confederation, and was chairman of the committee of the whole, at the time it was finally agreed to, on the 15th of November, 1777. During the same year, he was
seized with an inflammatory fever, which, after a few days, ended his mortal existence, in the 54th year of his age. Mr. Morton was a professor of religion, and a truly excellent man. To the poor he was ever kind; and to an affectionate
family, consisting of a wife, three sons, and five daughters, he was an affectionate husband and father. His only enemies were those who would not
forgive him because of his vote in favor of independence. During his last sickness, and even on the verge of the eternal world, he remembered them, and requested those who stood round him, to tell them, that the hour would yet come, when it would be acknowledged, that his vote in favor of American independence was the most illustrious act of his life.