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Taxation, Court, and Military Records


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These articles were copied from an archive site after the original David Saari's site went off line. Mr Saari responded: Please feel free to use this materian in whatever way mat be of help to other family historians

In the following electronic mail message, Mr. P. T. Kuusiluoma, General Manager of the Radix genealogical search service, describes how taxation, court, and military records are used in Finnish family history research. The message is posted here with the permission of the author. [Note]

Subj: Family Research in Finland 2
Date: 97-08-11 04:17:10 EDT
From: pt.kuusiluoma@xxxxx.xx (Sukututkimustoimisto Radix Ky)
To: dssaari@xxxxxxxx.xxx (David Saari)


Dear Sir,

I thank you for your e-mail message and your interest in the services of our agency. You mentioned in your message that you might periodically need assistance in your family research. Since our agency is able to provide research in all source material concerning Finnish genealogy, please, let me briefly tell you about some main sources.

As you know, Dr. Saari (I have read your “Beginner’s Guide”), family lines often can be continued backwards from the 1700s (when church records usually end) as far as to the 1540s. The most important source materials at this point are several different series of taxation records. Another type of source material for continuing the genealogy after church records is court records which usually start in the beginning of the 17th century. When going backwards in family lines the highest standard family research uses taxation records and court records side by side to support each other and to give the most valid results possible.

Court records (local district courts, magistrate courts and courts of appeal) are very important sources for genealogy as well as biographical and farm-historical research of the 18th, 19th and 20th century. There are basically two kinds of series of court records in local district courts and magistrate courts: records of ordinary cases (crimes, disputes, opinions of the assize public, etc.) and records of announcement cases (confirming different kinds of documents like deeds of purchase, leases, wills, inventories of deceased person’s estate, divisions of inheritance, etc.). A criminal case of a forefather usually is easy to trace because church records often contain short allusions to crimes and from court records it is then usually possible to find a very detailed handling of the case.

Military records also are very interesting series of source materials for Finnish genealogy. Their significance is that they consist of data about ordinary soldiers, for example description of a man and his participation in military activities.

Church, taxation, court and military records are the most important sources in Finnish genealogy. Their importance is in their accuracy and continuity: once started they were kept a long time without harmful omissions (except the Russian occupation between 1713-22) and they became all the time more detailed by their content. Finnish genealogy has of course several other series of sources that may expose interesting pieces of information about ancestors or even vital links in family lines. Those sources are for example large archives of provincial governments, archives of Seaman Houses (seamen of the merchant fleet) and archives of the Chapter, to mention a few.

As far as looking for living relatives is concerned, this is the type of family research we do most often for our North American clients. You just have to decide whose descendants (for example descendants of your grandfather’s siblings) you want us to follow and we are able to make a complete family search for them. We also can obtain addresses of your living relatives from the National Address Service. In this type of research we use as source material church records (on microfilms and microfiche) up to the 1960s and after that order data from the database of the Population Register Center. In the 1960s and 1970s a few hundred thousand Finns emigrated to Sweden but we are able to get the needed data from Swedish sources as well.

In Radix we charge according to hours spent on the research work. Our basic charge is US$ 17 per hour. For sources of the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s (others than church records) we charge US$ 19 per hour. Besides the research work we invoice costs which may be as follows: an address from the National Address Service FIM 15 = US$ 3 each, data of a person (including his/her spouse and children) from the Population Register Center FIM 12 = US$ 2.50 each, exchange of a foreign Bank Check FIM 60 = US$ 12 each, and postage. There is not usually any traveling costs since most of the research work takes place in the Provincial Archives of Turku.

If you have any more questions concerning our services or the Finnish genealogy, I will answer to them with pleasure.

P.T. Kuusiluoma

This information is provided as a service to Finnish family historians and is not an endorsement of the services provided by the Radix agency. You may be able to obtain similar services from other professional genealogists.

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