Since the Digital Archives have been disabled, finding genealogical documents in the National Archives of Finland has become more difficult. The new service Uusi Astia requires using precise search words. Also, many indexes which were available in the Digital Archives are not yet available in the Uusi Astia.

Digihakemisto is a web site that genealogists have created to make searching the Digital Archives easier. The work is ongoing so the site does not yet contain indexes for all archived records. Digihakemisto had to be change when the Digital Archive was disabled because they used the same database. After the changes, Digihakemisto was moved to another server and is now available at

Parish Archives

You can search with Digihakemisto by using same search words you use with Uusi Astia (see my previous post). You can enter the name of the parish Archive; e.g., Iin seurakunnan arkisto or an abbreviated form with asterisks, Iin seurak* ark*. You can also use a quick searches tab Seurakunnat (Parishes) which gives you a list of the parish archives. You can then choose the parish from the list.

Parish archives

Most of the parish archives have been divided into parts. After selecting a parish, you have to select Väestörekisteriarkisto (in case of Swedish speaking parishes Befolkningsregisterarkivet) which means Civil Register Archive:

Iin seurakunnan arkisto. Ii parish.

From the link I VÄESTÖREKISTERI you get a list of the Church books:

Iin Väestörekisteriarkisto. Civil register archive of Ii.

After that, browsing the Church books is similar to searching in the previous version of Digihakemisto.


The censuses of Grand Duchy (1808 -) can be found in Digihakemisto by using the quick searches tab Henkikirjat. You can choose the province of interest from the resulting list:

Digihakemisto henkikirjat, Censuses.

After you click on the province, you will need to click on the Henkikirjat entry.

Oulun läänin henkikirjat 1809-1975. Censuses of the Oulu province from 1809 to 1975.

When you click on the link above, you will get a list of Censuses for the province. The list is by the hundreds that make up the province. Knowing the name of the hundred (Tuomikunta or Kihlakunta) for the parish of interest helps in finding the record.

Oulun läänin henkikirjat. Censuses of the Oulu province

The censuses during the Swedish Empire are in the archive Läänintilit (Province accounts), not Henkikirjat. The Läänintilit archive also contains other records such as Account books and Land records. Some years do not have a separate Census book, rather the Census is included with other records for that year.

The quick searches tab Voudin- ja läänintilit gives a list of the provinces under Swedish rule (… läänin tilejä) and the earlier bailiwicks (… voutikuntien tilejä):

Voudin- ja läänintilit. Account books of the provinces and the bailiwichs.

You should select the province from the list and then click Asiakirjat (documents):

Pohjanmaan läänin tilejä. Documents

The Asiakirjat link contains a list of different kind of records. You will find the Census under the name Henkikirjat. For example, the Census of Pohjanmaa province for the year 1750 is 9378 Henkikirjat (1750-1750). If the year you are looking for does not contain any records by name Henkikirjat, you should try to find the Census in the Läänintilikirja record for that year. Many of the Censuses have an index which will help you locate the parish of interest. Unfortunately, all of the records have not yet been indexed and some indexes are incomplete. In that case you may find an index on one of the first images of the record.

Other Digitized Material

The National Archives of Finland has an enormous amount of digitized materials. Digihakemisto enables finding many other kinds of historical records. In addition to the Parish Archives, Censuses and Province Accounts (Läänintilit), you can access the following records by using the quick searches tabs:

Quick searches tabDocuments
TuomiokirjakortistotRegisters of judgments of some provinces
RaastuvanoikeudetCity Courts
ValtiorikosoikeudetState crime Courts
Suomen asutuksen yleisluettelo SAYThe General List of Finnish Settlements made by author and historian Jalmari Finne
Tilastollisen päätoimiston luettelot kuolleistaLists of deaths from the Statistical Office
Kaatuneiden kantakortitMilitary register of the persons dead in the war
SotapäiväkirjatWar diaries
KELA:n kortistotRegister of the The Social Insurance Institution

All of the records listed above are not yet digitized. If they are not, they will be marked Ei digitoitu (not digitized). Some of the records may have restricted use (käyttörajoitettu) and can be accessed only in the offices of the National Archives of Finland with a use permission. I will write more on the Census in a future article.

English text edited by Barbara Wilson