Monday, September 24, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #41

This challenge will test your ability to read a few words of an incomprehensible foreign language and decipher patronymics. It concerns my great-grandfather, Toivo Tamlander, a Finnish immigrant.

On what date did his parents marry?

Extra credit: What was the first name of his mother's maternal grandfather?

It may help you to know that Toivo's sister, Saida, also emigrated to the United States.


Way Hard.
Toivo Tamlander may have been born in 1896 in Turku Finland? maybe the son of Nestor Frederick Tamlander?
He immigrated to the US in 1916. His sister Saida arrived in 1907. A nice site is:

But I'm mostly lost. Maybe this will help someone else?


July 16, 1893.

Unfortunately, I have to go to work and can't do the extra credit.


16 July 1893 is the correct date. Toivo was indeed born in the county of Turku ja Pori, and his immigration record gives the name of his home village, or kylä (Alakieri), and his parish (Lappi).

Once you figure out where to look, it shouldn't take long to answer the challenges.


I think I've found the right spot.

wife is listed as: Palveluspiika, nuori tyttö Edla Lovisa Juhontytär Stenroos

I will assume her names is:
Edla Lovisa Juhontytar Stenroos.

The date is 16 July 1893, and the village: Alakeeri.

Is the right answer on the extra credit: Gustof? because Edla Lovisa's mother was Hustra Eva Gustofsdotter?

I think I'm way over my head on this one, but an interesting quest.


Yes! The Swedish patronymic "Gustafsdotter" is pretty easy to decipher—she was the daughter of Gustaf (Kustaa in Finnish).

Edla's name includes a Finnish patronymic: Juhontytär (Juho's daughter). "Palveluspiika, nuori tyttö" simply means that she was a young servant girl.

The "Hustru" attached to Eva's name is Swedish for "wife." Her husband was a "toparen"—a tenant farmer.

These abstracted parish records are essential for Finnish genealogists.


I took a short cut on this because I only had about the time it takes to drink one cup of coffee. I got Nestor's name from Saida's ship record (thanks for the hint) and plugged the first name only into the hiski genealogia database. I then scanned down the matching Nestors to find the right village and surname. Piece of cake. I wasn't sure if the Lapinpit(?) location from the ship record was the right interpretation, but once I was to the marriage record, it was obvious. I also googled on Finnish genealogy to gain some background on researching Finnish records. Now, if I only had a Finnish ancestor!

I'm not sure what is better in the morning, the cup of coffee or these challenges. But, they're both awesome, and better than a crossword puzzle!


Likewise the parish records in Digital Archives of Norway are font of information if you can decipher the handwriting. We found our great great grandfathers confirmation, marriage and emmigration records online.


Doogles, as you probably figured out, "Lapin pit." refers to the parish (pitäjä), Lappi.

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