Wednesday, November 18, 2009

General parish registers

General parish registers are registers maintained by local parishes in Finland. They are the foundation for any genealogist doing genealogical research in Finland. Parishes were forced by law to keep the general parish records in 1668 and this is why some parishes have solid records from that year until today.

In different phases of history these registers have contained slightly varying set of information, but the core has remained the same. Earliest general parish register contain mostly lists of parish member names in their swedish format and possibly some notes about their bible reading skills.

Since the beginning of 18th century the records became more detailed containing also dates of birth, mariages, parish member relocations, illnesses and the time of death. During 19th century records may contain also marks about vaccinations, crimes, military service and basicly any miscellaneous notes that the priest wanted to record.

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