Among the first question confronted by a non-Finnish speaking genealogist is: what sources are available for the genealogical research in Finland? I'll present different sources here briefly and treat them in-depth later in separate articles.
The most important source is church records ("rippikirjat" and "historiakirjat"). These records were maintained by parishes and they contain information about births, marriages and deaths. These records are available since the end of 17th century.
Another important source is population records ("henkikirjat") and land property and real estate records ("maakirjat"). These are documents which have been created for taxation purposes. They contain, for example, tax lists and lists of the land and estate property under tax. First fand property records exist from the year 1540.
Court records ("tuomiokirjat") are an important source. These records contain both criminal records and real estate trades confirmed by the local court rooms.
Estate inventory deeds ("perukirjat") contain a listing of a dead persons property. They are available starting from the end of the 17th century.
Military records ("sotilasasiakirjat") can be a useful source if there are military persons in the family. There exists different military records depending on which era of history is under research.
Last but not least are many private archives and collections. These may be maintained by various associations and families.
As said, I will treat these different records later in separate articles. I hope this post gives an overview on what sources are available to begin the genealogical search of your ancestries in Finland.