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Researching Key Swedish Finn Communities


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Syrene Forsman

Over the next several years, SFHS has a goal of researching further the key communities where Swedish Finn families settled in North America. During the peak emigration period (1870- 1930), approximately 390,000 people left Finland for areas throughout the world and, among those who emigrated, 70,000 were Swedish Finns. Although Swedish-speaking citizens averaged 13% of Finland's population during that time, 25% of the emigrants spoke Swedish. Swedish Finns were formidable adventurers with faith in their ability to build a new life abroad.

SFHS would like to archive more detailed information on the 53,000 immigrants who came to North America. Anders Myhrman and others have done extensive work documenting information about many of these key communities (see list, Partial List of Cities & Towns for SFHS Research Project). We would like to extend the data base to further link individual families back to their villages of origin in Finland. "The Swedish Finns of Rochester, Washington" demonstrates the results of this type of research.

SFHS is here to help with the "how-to" part. You probably have stories handed down to you, and can extract even more information by talking with older members of your family and friends. (Bring along a small tape recorder) This material is important and can be archived at SFHS "as is." Be sure to bring your old photos to family gatherings and try to get names, dates, places, or any pertinent information on the back of them.

If you are interested in pursuing such a project in your local community, please contact SFHS, or contact

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