Family book of Ryynanen, Part III North Finland


The family society Ryynanen is creating a family book in several volumes. Volume I North Savonia and Volume II North Carelia have been published in 2012, and in Summer 2014, the goal is to publish Volume III, the family tree of North Finland.


Two meetings


There will be two similar meetings about the book project, the one at Kemi, South Lapland, Hotel Cumulus on 28th Sept. 2013 from 10 am to 2 pm, and the other in Helsinki, House of Science and Letters, Kirkkokatu 6, on 12th Oct 2013 from 10 am to 2 pm. Please enroll latest one week before (contact details below).


Ryynanens in North Finland


In North Finland, there are two houses of Ryynanens, the one from the end of the 16th century in Tervola, not far from Rovaniemi and the other from the 18th century in Karunki, not far from the town of Tornio. From   these, originate several family branches that are not all relatives to each others.

Also in Northern Ostrobothnia at the end of the 16th century, there existed a house named Ryynanen on the shore of Oulu River but those family branches were extinguished by the beginning of the 19th century.

The ultimate goal is to collect the family members into the book as comprehensively as possible.




Only as recently as in the 1920ís it became compulsory in Finland for everyone to have a surname, although there were not many people who did not have one. The same law determined that the surname could only be changed by a written application. In the 19th century and before, rural people and workers had often a patronym that was formed from the fatherís first name, for example Johansson (Johanís son) and Johansdotter (Johanís daughter). Often for peasants, the priests and civil servants wrote the name of the farm or cottage as a surname into documents. When a farmer moved from one farm to another, he and his family got a new surname. The surname did not descend from the father to the children but rather from the house dweller to the next dweller. However, there was a notable exception: as early as the 16th century and probably earlier, people in Eastern Finland had family names that were inherited from the father to the children.

During the centuries, the two farms called Ryynanen in Tervola and in Karunki got new owners, son-in-laws and families. The surname of the new owners was to become Ryynanen and often only remained until the owner or his descendants moved away. The goal of the family book III is to determine from old documents, which were the original surnames of each family branch of Ryynanens in North Finland.

In the Finnish National Archive itís possible to retrieve information from old church records, but no newer than about one hundred years old. It is only possible to get information about people born after the year 1900 from the families themselves. This information is being collected in special forms for the family book.


Content of the book


We especially hope to get photos, documents, memories and other material from family members to be published in the book. It is our hope to get information and material for the third volume not later than in January 2014, as text writing, pagination and printing all take time.

The book will also contain a limited history of the area. The language of the book will be in Finnish, however most of the genealogical part of the book will be easy to read in spite of the language.


Contact persons


Genealogy for the Volume III is studied by Helena Ryynanen, Address: Kelohongantie 14 E 27, 02120 Espoo, Finland, Email: helena.ryynanen (at) Please send her your and your familyīs information on the forms that you can find on the internet site You can also print a form, fill it in and send by mail. Other material, e.g. remembrances, documents, photos etc can be sent either to Helena or to the coordinator of North Finlandís family book project, Mr Seppo Gumse, Itapuolentie 3915, 95300 Tervola, Finland, Email: seppoilmari.gumse (at)

Thank you for your cooperation!