View Full Version : Helena Rusanen

Karen Mattson
15-12-04, 21:33
Can I try another relative? My maternal grandmother was Helena Rusanen born in 1876 in Sotkamo. Thanks to Finngen, I have found that her father was Abraham Reinhold Rusanen, born on Oct. 22, 1848 in Kajanni and her mother was Madlena Korhonen born on Jan. 6, 1849 where? Abraham's father was Thomas Rusanen born 1796?? and his mother was Loviisa Heikkinen whose records I can't find. Any suggestions??

16-12-04, 03:39
I found the following on HisKi in Sotkamo parish. I'm including both just so you see but it looks like the 1st of these is your Madlena.

16.1.1849 19.1.1849 Öfv.Smo No 52 Bn Matts Korhonen Lena Sirviö 25-30 Magdal.

6.1.1849 14.1.1849 Jormas No 21 Bd. Simon Korhonen Beata Lov. Sirviö 15-20 Greta Stina

Greta Stina has the same date as you mentioned but Magdal. is only 10 days off. Magdal is short for Magdalena. Madlena is another shortened version of the name, just as is Lena, Magdalena's mother.

I'd take a closer look at Magdalena, born 16 Jan 1849. :)

16-12-04, 03:51
This looks interesting. Found this in Sotkamo:
22.8.1847 Backst. Enkl. Thomas Rusanen Ea Stina Klemettinen Backst.Alrik Karppanens Ea

Looks like Thomas was a widower and I'd don't recall what Backst. represents.

The bride's name seems to be Stina Klemetsdr who was a widow of Alrik Karppanen (?).

16-12-04, 03:53
There were two other children appearing for Thomas and Lovisa:

Johan Eric b.1852
Malachias b.1855

Interesting that on Abraham's birth record, Thomas is listed as "Bd" -- a farmer, but on both Johan and Malachias he is listed as "Tp" -- Torpare.

It does list page numbers for both children from the church books, pg 160 for Johan, pg 197 for Malachias. It'd certainly be interesting to have a look at the original records.

Let's see what else is there...

16-12-04, 04:07
back in Kajaani:

marriage record-
23.6.1826 Murtom. HBd. Ukrl. Thomas Mattss. Rusanen Pig Elin Olofsdr. Huusko

Then this strange one in Sotkamo:
17.7.1842 Drg. Alric Mattss. Karppanen Pig. Lisa Parviainen

I thought "Alric" was a misspelling on the other record but here is an Alric Karppanen! I'm not positive is Lovisa is an alternate name for Lisa and I don't know where the Stina comes in. More searching may be required.

In Sotkamo: death record for Alric Karppanen in 1845--
28.3.1845 6.4.1845 Ned. Sotk. Backst.sittar. Alrik Karppanen Lungsot 35 1 8

original - PIK: g.

16-12-04, 04:22
I'm assuming you saw this in HisKi:
11.9.1796 16.9.1796 Lehtow. Drg. Matts Rusanen Ingrid Tuowitar Thomas

I think you're going to need to look at the original church records to figure out the Stina/Lisa/Lovisa lady. I looked at some birth records from 1819-1821 and there are a few that could be possible matches. It becomes somewhat of a guessing game when the records aren't so clear.

Do they have Family History Centers there in Rome where you could order the rippikirjat films? That would be your best bet to definitively trace them.

Hope this bit has helped some....:confused:

Karen Mattson
16-12-04, 11:21
Good morning Kevin, Thanks as usual. I agree with you that my Madlena's father was Matts and her mother Lena Sirvio. Abraham's mother Loviisa Heikkinen was written in the Mormon records in the Family Search but I can't find her in Hiski. Another point that might be a confirmation is that my grandmother's middle name was Loviisa. Maybe she was named after her two grandmothers?? By the way, Backst. means a person renting a residence on the farm's land but usually not working on the farm. I can't remember where I got this info from. I've thought about the Mormon Centers here in Rome, but never really looked into it. Have you ever tried writing to the original parishes in Finland? I have read several times on Finngen where people write but it takes a long time for them to answer. Another question: Thanks to the database in Sukuraitti my father's family Mattson (Ahlvik) can be traced to the 1600's and the original name was Lahti. Does this mean that the family took the name of the farms where they lived? This has never been really clear to me. Also it seems to me that this occurred more in the Ostrobothnia region as Rusanen remained the same. Am I right? Thanks, Karen

16-12-04, 14:47
Hi Karen,

Have you checked this site: http://members.aol.com/DSSaari/saarinam.htm ? It explains fairly well about farm names in Finland. In most of my research, my ancestors followed this pattern. I have noticed in some parishes on HisKi that the naming pattern appears more like what we're used to. For example, your Abraham Reinhold birth record in HisKi. It lists his father as Thomas Rusanen and mother as Lovisa Heikkinen. I've always wondered why in some parishes, when the parents are married that the wife's last name is different. I've never really asked the question before but maybe one of our wise members can shed light on that.

I'm sure Lovisa is there in the records, just needs a little elbow grease to find her.

You seem familiar with the Mormon site. If I recall, they have a section on their site that you can check for FHC locations in your area.

I have written to the parishes to get information. I actually emailed them and got a very swift reply. Like literally just days! That is very uncommon. I've tried to write concerning ancestors born in the 1700s but they were less willing to help. It seems they don't like to go beyond the 1800s. Definitely is worth a try.

Karen Mattson
16-12-04, 21:58
Now about this side of my family. I think I can give you the reason why the mother has a different name listed even is she is married. Here in Europe, at least in Italy, and I am presuming in other European countries as well, the woman keeps her maiden name and is required to use it. For example, my husband's last name is Vicinanza and I am required to use Mattson with all the pronunciation problems it can cause not to mention spelling. I am not known as Karen Vicinanza anywhere here in Italy. Thanks for the info on the parishes. Karen

Kaj Granlund
17-12-04, 20:46
Shortly about the names. Usually the farmname was used, If the people were poor, or they earned their living as craftsmen they could have a familyname that didn’t change as they moved. This also can apply to the “backstugusittare” (as they were poor, earning their living with day-to day jobs they could find). In the marriagerecords (if they are properly kept) the maiden name and the male familyname are to be seen for both. If in a baptismrecord the mother appears with another “familyname “ than her husband. Well, then they simply had real familynames (not farmnames) and used them. The demand to have the similar familyname isn’t that old. Today it is possible to use whatever practice you want, the same familynamen, the familyname of the wife, the husband or different familynames. So the rules are a bit different in different countries in Europe.

And about the parishes: It always makes me sad to hear that there have been problems to get parishes to give information from 1700. There can be great difficulties to give this information ( the clergy weren’t always to sturctured in their keeping of the records, books can have been destroyed by fire or wars). But we are obliged to give the information we can give. Some of the younger secretaries might have problems to read the old handwriting used as they are to the computers. But I also know that many of our secretaries are conserned that those who ask for the information will find it too expencive. So a good help might be to give your email and ask them to be in contact as/if they might estimate how many hours the job will take. A very good way is also to ask just for one generation, and as you have got the first one ask for the next. I know that if you ask for all your ancestors from 1870 back as long as possible, they find that to be just too big a job that never will be properly done. But with asking just one or two generations a time it seems reasonable to do the job fast.

17-12-04, 23:20
Hi Kaj,
Thanks for the info on the naming pattern. I've seen the "Backst." abbreviation before but didn't realize they were poor day laborers. That's interesting.

As for requesting information from the parish. I contacted the Liminka parish to ask specific information about a "brick wall" ancestor. I knew his birth year (1786), and the year he first appeared in the parish 1803 (as he moved in from another parish) and his wife and children. I just couldn't find any information to help trace him back. I sent an email to Liminka to ask if they could provide any information about him and provided them with all the details I had about him. Their response was to the effect of "the information you seek is too old" and I'd have to try some other alternative to get the information I seek. As of yet, he still is my major brick wall.

On a happier note, I emailed the same parish to request info on my great grandmother and they sent me the information about that family in a reasonable amount of time. Like you mentioned, it contained information limited to my great grandmother's parent's names and dates of birth and her siblings. But, that was sufficient to carry on the search.

I've heard of others who have waited over 1 year and still no repsonse to their query. Seems each parish is different. :(

Jaska Sarell
18-12-04, 00:14
In my mind many of those old terms like backst. didn't directly mean poverty, compared to eg. torpare (torppari). It was more to do with the kind living. Crofters (torpare) had their house in farmer's land and they cultivated part for their own use paying the rent in weekly work duties. "Cottagers" (backst.) had also their house in farmer's land and perhaps small area to cultivate, but they payed the rent in cash. Their success depended on the work they got and did.

When my mother's father changed his name in 1936, he was titled "mäkitupalainen" in that particular document! His main job was construction works in the summer and forestry supervising in the winter. Most of the barns and cow houses in that village were built in those days by him and later by his sons. The only difference to farm owners (also torpare folks were freed to buy their land after 1920's) was that he didn't own the soil under his house. BTW. that house (I spent many summers there as a child) is still in perfect condition and used as a summer cottage, while the former farm owner's big house is totally collapsed :cool:
Naturally those cottagers were not wealthy compared to farmers, but they could have been comparable to crofters in many ways. Of course, my experience cannot be moved directly to 1800's and to other places.

Just something to think about...

:) Jaska

18-12-04, 04:31
Thanks, Jaska, for the clarification and making the distinction. I learn more and more every day! ;)

Kaj Granlund
18-12-04, 10:33
Jaska is right in that tecnical distinction. But I still think both torpare and backstugusittare were regarded as the poorer part of the community. That is why the crofter boys wanted to marry a farm girl, And if a farmgirl married a boy from of a torpare or a backstugusittare it was not regarded with good eyes. She lowered herself by that marriage. That is also the reason why the children of torpare and backstugusittare more often moved from parish to parish and also emigrated more than those of the farmers. At least here in Esse there was a big difference in that status.

Kevin you are right the practice is different although we have the same guidelines for how to handle this.
Liminka is completely out of my parish history knowledge. So what the too old is meaning I don’t know.
But in general. There is also the possibility that some parish by giving the information “too old” say that the church records in that particular parish do not exist from that time period because the parish was establish as an independent parish later, and the records are kept in what we call the mother parish. But in that case I think it would be a part of good service to inform that you are to turn to another parish to get that actual information. Even a person living in Finland cannot know when and how parishes were splitted into new parishes. As a person moved from one parish he could be marked as moved to NN. But the records of NN- at that time were kept somewhere else.

The work of our secretaries is classified. As our records are a part of the official population register the first things they have to do is to enter weddings, baptisms and funerals, then to check the information coming online (like movals, weddings of parish members in other places) And I have to say there has been a lot of work for the secretaries to correct the false information that has sneaked into the official records. The state records accept about 4 % false information as the parishes have a false information at 1%. And we are the once that usually notice this cause we need the information for our work. In addition to that many of the secretaries are also the secretary of the clergy and the church board at the same time. Those are the tasks to be completed at first. After that the genealogical requests are to be handled.
So that’s why I find it is easier to get a fast answer if you just ask for one or two generations.

Just as an extreme example: I know that we had people asking for “all descendants” of persons living in 1700. You can understand that if it takes years for a team of genealogist to do this then it is almost impossible for one secretary to do this job. We told the person to split his request into parts of one – two generations to get some information. And he continued for many years to ask, but finally got all his information.

And as there is e-mail ask once a month and I suppose they get tired of getting those emails and will send your information ;))

In much training for the secretaries it has been stressed that for the genealogists it is of great importance to have information like profession, notes and even unofficial notes or everything that is written for a person. But yet I know many secretaries write the information just like we write extracts from the baptismal records needed for the officials. That will say containing just dates and names. So there might be a better luck in getting those if you stress that you really do want all information like profession, living places, AND even unofficial notes marked in the communionrecord. (there might be notes like “is said to be married in ..., committed suicide, sickness, disabled, blindness a.s.o.)

Jaska Sarell
18-12-04, 12:32
I have many times wondered about the difference between Ostrobothnia and SW Finland, my main interest areas in genealogy research. While in the SW Finland the majority of country folks are torpare in the early 1800's and one farm could only have one bonde, eg. in Esse one single farm has several bonde families and only later in the 1800's also a few torpare.
Did that regional difference also effect on the social distinction between these groups? Indirectly effecting the bigger urge to emigrate from Ostrobothnia.

:) Jaska

20-12-04, 11:39
...and the discussion about if Limingo/Liminka belongs to Oulu/Uleåborg or what is transferred to a separate thread.

Karen Mattson
20-12-04, 21:52
Hi again, I enjoyed all the discussion about farm names and family names, etc. The note about Liminka was particularly interesting. My grandfather Abraham Karling who was Helena Rusanen's husband worked in the Liminka hayfields. My mother had a painting bought after my grandfather's death from someone visiting in America, titled and here goes my Finnish: Liminkan niitytit(HELP!!) Was it common for someone to work in these fields who was a laborer or is it possible that he lived on the farm where these hayfields were located. I know from Finnish records that he moved from Rantsila to Oulu before leaving for the United States. Thanks again, Karen Mattson

Jaska Sarell
20-12-04, 23:30
Hi Karen,

As I have lived all my life in southern Finland, all I knew about Liminka in the school years (decades ago) was "Limingan niityt", the meadows of Liminka.
As usual also Liminka has its website (http://www.liminka.fi/sivu/fi/). Unfortunately only in Finnish, but you can browse the picture gallery that opens under Liminka-info - select kuvagalleria.
The Bay of Liminka (Liminganlahti) is famous for its birds, see http://www.liminganlahti.net/ .

Happy browsing!

:) Jaska

Kaj Granlund
22-12-04, 17:22
HI Karen
Oh, good You weren't too upset with the discussion. I was afraid you were banging the doors in anger . Suppose that I'm the one that gets angry as people aren't sticking to the subject.