View Full Version : Link to Finnish Seamen

07-03-04, 02:32

Leif Mether writes about a seamen's archive - it's an old but brief article. The prices for services are still in finnmarks:) but he also says that one can probably get some lookups if a query is posted at
http://www.genealogia.fi. so if you are on the lookout for a Finnish seaman who jumped ship, this might be the answer. I think it could be useful because, as Leif wrote: "...Every seaman had to be registered in a seamen's house. The first seamen's house in Sweden-Finland was founded in
Stockholm 1748. The first one in Finland was Turku 1753 and Helsinki 1759. The system ended in 1937. The idea
was to collect pensions for old seamen and for seamen's widows. At that time there were ship traffic abroad only
from towns with permission to have trade to foreign countries. Also the domestic traffic was restricted. The society
was full of regulations and the registering of seamen was part of that system. ..."


09-03-04, 01:28
According to Maria Enckell, who researched Finns in Alaska during the Russian Alaskan period, the "houses" were like home port union halls, which kept records in three books. The seaman was responsible for bringing in his personal book to be updated when he landed in his home port. The second book was maintained by every captain, and every seaman in his record was appraised at the end of a journey. Then the captain took his record in to the union hall for copying into the main book, which was retained in the union hall.
If a seaman jumped ship, that went into the records in the home port. He was subject to criminal proceedings, because he left his ship shorthanded. Evidently this was a serious problem in California ports during the Californian Gold Rush, because most of the ship's crew might suddenly depart. The Captain was entitled to request assistance in fetching back his crewmen from the Russian embassy in San Francisco, and records in that embassy track those errant seamen as well.

09-03-04, 02:57
Hi Syrene,
Sounds like those books are a great place to find these missing seamen!

Be nice if we had members up in Oulu or whereever else they would have records to do lookups:)