View Full Version : New Member Researching Wainionpaa & Kantala/Kantola

Eric S
13-07-11, 21:40
Hello Everybody,

The first thing I would like to do is to say thank you to those who have made this forum and related resources available. I only found them about 3 days ago, but I have learned a tremendous amount already and have even been able to locate a record for my great grandfather through one of the links that others have posted here. Just a week ago, I had no idea that these records even existed online, so thank you!

My name is Eric and I am from the state of Maryland in the U.S. I have been researching my family genealogy for several years and always had one set of great grandparents that were empty in my records. I new that they immigrated to the United States from Finland, but that was all. I worked backwards through U.S. census records and found an Oscar and Amalia Wainionpaa who lived in Worcester, Mass and immigrated somewhere around 1902 to the U.S. I was not able to find much additional information except for an excerpt of a marriage record for them from 1903 in Worcester from the LDS site. That record listed their ages and parents names. I tried searching Google for those names and searching on Ancestry.com, but nothing came up, so I was pretty much at a dead end. Then, last weekend, I attended a family wedding and my Aunt that I had not seen for many years handed me a bag full of old pictures and documents. In that bag were pictures of Oscar and Amalia with their kids from the early 1900's as well as a passport for each of them, and a birth record and a "Declaration of Intention" to renounce allegiance to other countries for Oscar. Many of the records were in Swedish / Finnish, so I had no idea what they said but I could make out the names and dates. That is what led me to start searching online again and how I came to the Finlander web site.

With those documents in hand, I tried deciphering the foreign text through Google Translate with limited success. I did note that the passports were issued on November 10, 1902 in Wassa. The passports also indicated that Oscar was born in Laihala and Amalia was born in Jurva. Oscar was listed as the son of Walentin Wainionpaa and Amalia as the daughter of Joseph Kantola.

So far, I have been able to located the birth record of Oscar. I started in Laihala without success, but actually found his birth record for 16 November 1882 in the Jurva records here: http://www.digiarkisto.org/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/syntyneet_1870-1884_uk243/kuvat/114.jpg I am hoping to get some clarification as to the details of that record if anybody would be willing to translate the text.

Amalia was supposedly born on 15 July 1877, but I have not been able to find her as of yet in the records. I was also able to locate a birth record for a Walentin Wainionpaa, born in 1851, here: http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/sivut/HisKi-digiarkisto.php?bid=8457&pnum=186 but I can hardly decipher a word of it.

So in summary, the information I have from the US marriage record is:

Husband: Oscar Wainionpaa - Born 16 November 1882
Father: Walentine Wainionpaa
Mother: Lovisa Nurpari

Wife: Amalia Kantala - Born 15 July 1877
Father: Joseph Kantala
Mother: Mayalisa Bukkila

If anybody is familiar with these individuals I would love to here from you. Thanks in advance for any information or suggestions for further research. I look forward to talking with some of you here on the forums.

Eric S.

Jaska Sarell
13-07-11, 22:53
Welcome to Finlander Forum!

You have done exceptionally well so far!
As to birth records, they list godparents' names after parents. There's not much to translate.
You can follow the communion books (rippikirja) to find more about families.
Oscar's parents are eg. in 1875-1884 here (http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/rippikirja_1875-1884_mko20-38/213.htm), whre father Walentin came from here (http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/rippikirja_1875-1884_mko20-38/13.htm), listing some siblings.
Father Walentin's early family 1857-1864 here (http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/rippikirja_1857-1864_uk242/9.htm). It shows that his father was born in Ilmajoki (Sw. Ilmola) and mother in Kurikka (old writing Kuricka).
Mother Lovisa Nordberg's early family here (http://www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/rippikirja_1857-1864_uk242/92.htm). In another year set her mother's place of birth is marked as Pörtom on 19 Jan 1817 (see HisKi (http://hiski.genealogia.fi/hiski?en+t6072741)).

I am not acquainted with the region, but I'm sure you can follow Amalia's ancestors in the same way.

Happy searching!

:) Jaska

Eric S
14-07-11, 06:22

Thank you so much for the information. It all helps alot. I looked through the Jurva rippikirja records but never found the record you linked with Oscar in it. I notice that the name at the top of the page is Tainus. Did you know to search there based on Oscar's birth record? I looked under the Vainionpää pages but didn't know where else to look.

Regarding the birth record, the one located here: http://www.digiarkisto.org/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/syntyneet_1870-1884_uk243/kuvat/114.jpg

I assume the the 16 / 19 are the day of birth and the day of baptism. It then lists Koskimaki with Tainus listed below it. Are those the locations the parents were born / lived when married / something else? If so, is the first one for the father and the one below it for the mother? There is also the number 29 listed below those places which my understanding is the age of the mother at the birth of the child. Is that correct?

Regarding the actual text I believe I can translate most of it, but there are a couple of words I am not sure of their meanings. I have the following:

Oskar [??] Walentin Walentin's son Wainionpaa and a Lovisa Isak's daughter [??] Matti Kitke and Serafia. Does that look right? What are the words and their translation before the father's name and before Matti? Would Matti and Serafia be the god-parents?

Thanks again for all of the links. I am going to look over them and see how much I can decipher. :)

Regarding the Amalia Kantala line, I was not able to find the actual Kantala name in the rippikirja but I will try to look around a little further. Perhaps it would be spelled differently in the Finnish records.

Eric S.

Eric S
14-07-11, 06:57
Okay, so after my last post I decided to look again at the Jurva birth records and I found an Amalia that was born in 1877, but on May 23rd instead of July 15th. The record can be viewed here: http://www.digiarkisto.org/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/syntyneet_1870-1884_uk243/69.htm

I noticed that it listed Naskali in the location section and since Oscar was found under his location I looked and found one page under Suorttila, Naskali which can be viewed here: http://www.digiarkisto.org/sshy/kirjat/Kirkonkirjat/jurva/rippikirja_1875-1884_mko20-38/531.htm

It just so happens that there is a Kantola family on that page and the father's name appears to be Joseph and the mother's name Maria Lisa, which basically matches the parents' names of my Amalia according to U.S. marriage records. So I wonder if this is the right person and her birth date on U.S. records is incorrect by 2 months.

I also decided to take one of the brothers, Joseph Oskar and do a quick Ancestry.com search and found a Joseph that arrived in 1903 and was going to visit his sister Amalia Kantola in Worcester, Mass, which is where Amalia and Oscar got married in 1903 and lived until they died. Maybe just a coincidence, but I will keep looking for more clues.

Any thoughts?


24-07-11, 13:04
Hi Eric,

I was born in Ostrobothnia so I know some basic facts which I hope can save your time:

1. Both surnames Vainionpää and Kantola are quite common in the region.
2. Jurva was part of Laihia (in Swedish: Laihela) parish until 1863 when it became a separate parish.
3. In HisKi.fi (and elsewhere) the parishes belong nowadays to separate regions: Laihia in Pohjanmaa and Jurva in Etelä-Pohjanmaa region.

Best regards,

Eric S
29-07-11, 03:04

Thanks for the information.

After a couple of weeks of research I have started to understand how the records work for the most part and learned that Jurva split off from Laihia in the 1860's. Curiously, the Jurva records still go way back before that date.

I have found Amalia Kantola and her father Joseph Kantola in the records. Interestingly, Joseph's father went by the surname of Naskali in some of the records. What I haven't quite figured out is why or when the surnames would change. For example, why did Joseph take on the name of Kantola instead of Naskali, like his father? Does that usually happen when one moves, or gets married, or is it based on where they were born? Maybe I will figure that one out after some more research.

Thanks again!

Eric S.

29-07-11, 07:30

Yes, you're right, the surnames often changed because of quite a variety of reasons. In Western Finland I think the main reason was moving to a house and gettimg a surname of that house. Mut there were lots of people without a surname until the surname law was stipulated in 1921.

Attached an article with some basic information.

Best regards