few years ago when I began the search for my family tree, I was very
to locate the website of The Genealogical Society of Finland. The
contained on their website has made my search so successful. The guidance
support from their Executive Director, Leif Mether, has enabled many
genealogists to further their research.
Leif wrote to me that he and 17 genealogists are traveling to Finnfest 02'
Minnesota. He expressed interest in visiting
Fitchburg. Pasi Kuusiluoma, the Editor in Chief of their scholastic publication,
would be traveling with him. I was delighted to have the opportunity to
Their two day stay began with a visit to the Historical Societies of
and Westminster, hosted by Betsy Hannula, the Executive Director. Betsy
the resources available within the Historical Societies for genealogical research.
The following day began with a tour of Fitchburg. We then visited the
Center at Saima Park. I acquainted them with the history and the current
of the Finnish Center. The contents of our
Museum were of great interest to the visiting genealogists. It was my
to show them the Oskari Tokoi monument, which was sculptured by one of our
time members, Sirkka Hoglund.
Our visit continued to the Forest Hill Cemetery, which was important to Leif
and Pasi. The information contained within the cemetery such as names and
a valuable resource. They took many pictures which will be added to
website to aid them and other genealogists.
ended our tour with a visit to the Raivaaja Publishing Company, where we
with Jonathan Ratila, their Business Manager. Jonathan provided them
history of the Raivaaja and introduced them to their bookstore. Leif and
were particularly interested in the books regarding Finnish Immigrants.
Genealogical Society of Finland has an extensive collection of books
within their bookstore and continues to expand upon it.
was a great pleasure to meet Leif and Pasi. I am very thankful for the
information we exchanged. I wished them well on the rest of their trip.
The Genealogical Society of Finland website is located at
from the visit below. Click on the individual picture to see a
larger version of it.
All photos taken by Maija Mård - used with permission. -
Guercio, Leif Mether and Pasi Kuusiluoma at the front gate
to Saima Park