View Full Version : Need date of death for Johanna Ranck-d. 1950s Helsinki

30-12-03, 22:11
I'm looking for a date of death and anything else I can find about the following:

Johanna Johansdotter Ranck (also Koll--farm name from 1880-1887 appears on her son's baptismal record)

Father: Johan Johansson Rank (d. Nykarleby in 1867)--have info
Mother: Stina Lisa Johansdotter (d. 1877 in Pedersöre)--have info
Sister: Maria Sofia Johansdotter (b. Aug 8, 1863 Gertruds, Soklot, Nykarleby-- d.???)

Born: Dec. 28, 1865 Gertruds, Soklot, Nykarleby
Age 14--Moved from Pedersöre, May 4 1880 to Helsinki
Age 21--Son Johan August Renhold born August 2, 1887 in Helsinki. Baptised August 6.
Age 70--In 1935, living at Sjömans gt 39 d 8 in Helsinki.
Died ? --She was alive in the early 1950s. My mother remembers that someone in Helsinki sent photos of the funeral and burial place. Those are long gone.

This is all I know. If she married, which looks unlikely, it was probably not in the Church. I would like to know when she died and where she was buried. She had some relatives or friends named Viktor and Mia Nyman. My father thought they were cousins, but I'm not so sure.

I just don't know why a 14 year old girl would go (or be sent) to Helsinki. She had no parents and I don't know what happened to her sister, but her entire extended family were Swedish speaking Finns in the Pedersöre/Nykarleby area for years (going back to Caino-Torp).

So if anyone has any ideas, I am open to anything. I am just really, really stuck.


Gita Wiklund
31-12-03, 11:20
Hi Rikki,

See you´re still struggeling for info on Johanna Ranck. I know how frustrating it is to get stucked like this. I tried to locate her grave for you when I called the service in Helsinki this morning to inquire about where some of my relatives are buried.

Unfortunately the woman I spoked with could not find your Johanna in the computer. She tried with both Ranck and Rank spellings. There were other Rancks though. I suggest you call yourself to check if any name sounds familiar to you.

The number to the office is: +358 (0)9 4778910

This service is for those of lutheran confession. If Johanna had another confession they would not be able to help. Then she would be buried in another part and you will have to call another number.

I wish you luck. Could she be buried in Nykarleby?
Hope that there´s someone else that can give you better help.

31-12-03, 17:48
And a question: What is the service? Is it part of the Church itself or the part that catalogues burials?

I think that after living 75 years in Helsinki, that it's more likely she'd be buried there, though my father said she was from "up north). I really don't know. It seems doubtful that she'd be in Nykarleby.

I could send a request to the Church, but would feel obliged to pay them, even for no info and I want to avoid that if I can. (That has to be my frugal Finnish genes.)

Anyway Happy New Year!!!

Gita Wiklund
31-12-03, 19:11
Hi Rikki,

"The service" is I´m not really sure but I think more like "the part that catalogues burials" than the church itself. But I think there is a connection between the both. The number I mentioned have information about all graves in Helsinki that belong to the lutheran graveyards. I also got the numbers to the services for the ortodox and the catholic parts, there is also a graveyard for judes.

One problem is that if she is buried in a grave together with a person that has another familyname they probably can´t find her in the registry if the other person was buried before her and "is the owner of the grave" so to speak.

I still think you should call the number I mentioned. It´s free of charge service, as long as they can find it in the computer at least. They understand english. Perhaps you´ll recognize one or more of the other first names of the Rancks they have in the computer. It could give a lead to go further with.

Another thing. Maybe there´s noone taking care of the grave anymore. You should ask if Johanna could have been removed from the register and if there is any way to see if so.



31-12-03, 21:10
Gita --

I'll try calling next week. It's possible that she may have been delisted. I'm sure they'll be able to tell me what my possible next next steps would be...I'm pretty sure that there hasn't been anyone to take care of her grave site in at least 30 years. The friends/cousins moved to Stockholm during the 60s.


Gita Wiklund
01-01-04, 13:06

I asked about for how long you can keep a grave site and the woman I spoke to said that you can pay the fee for 25 years at a time. After 25 years if you will you may renew it up to another 25 years and so on.

Karen Norwillo
01-01-04, 17:07
Have a question regarding "keeping a gravesite" What exactly does this mean? What happens to a grave site if and when a family stops paying the fee? I understand this happened with my maternal great-grandfather. Karen

Gita Wiklund
01-01-04, 18:10
As I understand it, but I´m not sure, the site is reclaimed and the stone or whatever there is may be removed. The woman I spoke to said that the grave I was asking about might have been sold, so...I have wondered about this too, about what exactly happens, but I guess I never really dared to ask. If anyone knows for sure, I´d be interested to know as well.

01-01-04, 18:56
When I call, I'll ask. If Johanna died during the 1950s as I expect, then by the time the next 25 years rolled around (in about 1978) anyone who might have signed for it were gone, moved, or dead.

There still must be some record somewhere of her life and death.


Gita Wiklund
01-01-04, 20:17
There still must be some record somewhere of her life and death

I´m sure there must be. If I lived in Helsinki I would go to the central register and try to find it in the microcards for you. It would probably not be that difficult since you know the exact address where she lived in 1935. Unfortunately I´m not in Helsinki, and will not go there for a while yet. But if you haven´t received any help until I go there I promise to look it up for you. I have a few look ups to do for myself. But I will not be able to go before the summer. /Gita

June Pelo
01-01-04, 22:40
I can tell you about our experience with a gravesite in the cemetery for Gamlakarleby. The local newspaper published a list of names on graves that have not been taken care of. One of our distant relatives recognized a Pelo name and wrote to me about this. It was the grave of the family of a cousin who lived in New York. I contacted her about the notice. She called her relatives in Finland and they drove to Gamlakarleby and assured the Church they intended to use the grave plot for future burials - and they made arrangements to have the grave taken care of.

That experience alerted me to the fact that our own family grave in Nedervetil cemetery was no longer being cared for since our closest relative had died. I made arrangements with the church and paid them to care for the grave for 10 years. After I'm gone, someone else will have to make future arrangements.

A relative whose grandfather was buried in Pedersöre cemetery told me that the grave had been re-used because there is a shortage of space and they cannot enlarge the cemetery. Most cemeteries were located near the church and in olden times there was a lot of open land. Now cities and villages have grown and extra land around cemeteries is no longer available.


01-01-04, 22:57
Gita --

What are microcards? Are they located at the central register? Are they something I might muddle through myself?

I'm talking with a friend of mine about going to Mecklenburg, Germany to help her with her research, then to Finland to work on mine. It probably won't be before next fall though.


Gita Wiklund
02-01-04, 00:58
Hi Rikki,

Another member of this forum, Henry, sais in a reply to a question from Gunnel that there are micro cards (photographed records) of church books from the Helsinki area starting from 1880´s and up until 1950´s. They contain births, move in and out of parrish and communionbook. He sais that they are available at the Helsingfors Kyrkliga samfällighet, Centralregistret släktforskning.
and that there are 3 machines available to read these cards.

It means that if you go to Helsinki, you could probably muddle through it yourself. You should ask Henry for more details on where this place is and how to get there, and what information you can find there. I myself am familiar with the swedish system, I used to work in a parrish office and later on in the tax office with registering births, deaths e t c. I know it´s a similar system in Finland but I´m not sure about how it´s organized over there.


02-01-04, 10:56
Hi Rikki!

I suggest you write to the:

Helsingfors Kyrkliga Samfällighet
Tredje Linjen 22 B
FI-00530 Helsinki

You can also phone: +358-9-7092600 for more information

I asked once for an information myself and payed abt. 12 euros

Good luck!


Gita Wiklund
02-01-04, 12:02
Hej Gunnel,

Every time I ask for an information from any archive in Finland I get this mnimum fee of 12 Euro. But added with 10 Euro for postal fees and then the bank takes abot 12 Euro to administer the payment. So the total fee always comes to over 30 Euro. Last time I had a bill like this was when I ordered a few copies from old newspapers from the University of Helsinki. For 4 copies I must pay 34 Euro. I think it´s horrible. Of course I understand that they are entitled to get paid for the service. It´s the added fees that makes it a bit too much.
Another problem is that you never know on beforehand if they find anything, and if what they find is worth the cost. Maybe it could be worth it in Rikkis case, if there´s not so much more for her to find, and if she´s not very determined to go to Finland for other reasons. But for me, it´s not, because I know there is very much waiting for me in these different archives and it would be far too expensive for me to not collect and copy it by myself.
But, as Rikki, I get frustrated of waiting... I think I have to put this research on the shelf for awhile now. It´s starting to drive me nuts. :)

02-01-04, 18:06
Hi Rikki,

Johanna Johansdotter Koll died 2nd March 1951 in Helsinki.

Best regards


02-01-04, 20:11
Henry (bless his heart) found her date of death as March 2, 1951. From there I can write and see what else there might be.

This means I can check to see where she was buried and maybe track down some more info.


Gita Wiklund
02-01-04, 21:37
So it was Johanna Koll, and not Ranck. Let us know how the further investigation goes. Good luck!



02-01-04, 23:44
Will do. Here's the confusion...at least for me.

She signed her mail and postcards "J. Ranck". Her father's name was Johan Johansson Rank. Her father died in 1867. Her mother remarried a guy named Matts Mattson, then she died in 1877. Johanna stayed in Pedersöre until 1880, then she left for Helsinki.

Henry says she was a maid. She may have been sent to Helsinki to work for a reasonably well-to-do family there. Theoretically, there should be some kind of reference to her arriving in Helsinki, right? Would there be any kind of note about where she lived or in whose house???

Evidently, she must have used the name Koll on the church records but sometime between 1887 and 1906, she started using Ranck and did so consistently in all the correspondence I've seen.

So when she died in 1951, Henry gave the name Koll, but I wonder if Koll was a farm name she used, or might it have some other significance.

Someone suggested a researcher, so I sent an email to the 10 Rivers guy. Maybe they can get into the archives and find some documentation. I want to make sure I'm researching the right people!

Thanks for your help!

June Pelo
03-01-04, 00:23
I almost wrote and suggested that you don't concentrate too much on Ranck/Rank - because she could have used a different name. Koll/Kåll appears frequently in Pedersöre data - and I think Vern Lindquist on Finlander has the Koll-Lillkåll name in his family from Pedersöre. And sometimes Koll-Kåll-Storkåll-Lillkåll was changed to Cole in the US.


03-01-04, 01:55
Hello Rikki !
I have see a homesitewww.Nykarlebyvyer.nu where you could find the name with good luck.There are a site of Rudolf Olson with "Gravvårdsinskrifter .Hope it could was a help.Good luck ,
Bert Lindvall

Gita Wiklund
03-01-04, 02:00
So when she died in 1951, Henry gave the name Koll, but I wonder if Koll was a farm name she used, or might it have some other significance

Well, I don´t know what source Henry used for this information.

But I believe that in the mid 1900´s you would have an established family name, according to the legislation, and in official documents that family name would be used and not (solely) a farm name, unless the farm name had been established as the familyname. So, it seems a bit mysterious.

She may have been sent to Helsinki to work for a reasonably well-to-do family there. Theoretically, there should be some kind of reference to her arriving in Helsinki, right? Would there be any kind of note about where she lived or in whose house???

I was thinking too that she could have been sent there to work as a maid, or to go to school. When people came into town there were a note in the paper of the name and where they would stay, hotel or private address. I´m not sure if this was only for visitors or if also to announce those who came to stay permanently. She would also be registered by the church with a reference to the property where she lived.

03-01-04, 04:50
Bert, that link was really interesting. I went through all the names and found a Nils Rank who may (or may not) be connected. The date of birth was Nov 1837 and the church record for Johan Johansson Rank's brother was Nov. 1838. That link is worth visiting again. I saw a lot of familiar names. Thanks!

As far as the Rank, Ranck, or Koll name, I guess I'll have to keep working this. I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can send the Church more money and they'll check to see when Johanna arrived in Helsinki and what family she lived with. She must have been sent to work--I doubt anyone had any money to put her in school.

I'll also do a closer inspection of Vern's ancestors and see if there are any interesting flags.

It's almost like what it must feel like to be adopted. My grandfather took the name "Nyman". Now, it no longer has any significance to me. He could just as easily have picked any name out of a hat. I may have to wait to get to Helsinki to dig deeper into that.

Thanks for all the help!

03-01-04, 05:45
Thanks Bert for the link to those postcards! And that's a great way to use cards, as support for genealogy. I didn't try to get into the Swedish, just roamed around looking at the cards. The only card I'd ever seen around here was for the mainstreet of jeppis - can't recall which it was but it was during the golden age of cards - pre world war one. Hmm, this is certainly off topic.
chuck - who collects postcards:)

03-01-04, 06:48
My mother's mother was best friends with one Ida Rank, who never married and remained a housekeeper until she died. MM died in 1932, leaving several teenagers. Ida visited her while she was ill, and took the children home to Ballard with her to relieve the pressure on MM. The Koll family was active in Ballard, as grocers, and as founding members of the Swedish Finnish Lutheran Church named Emmaus, as was my mm. MM came from Jussilaby in Munsala, farm name Björkbacka, family name Björklund, mm's father's name Erik, so she went by Eriksson in the US.

03-01-04, 07:27
Syrene --

Your email reminded me that I really need to make a trip north to Seattle a priority. As soon as spring comes...;-)