Finnish Heritage Museum 301 High Street
Fairport Harbor, Oh, 44077
Map Here
Museum Hours:
Saturday 10am-3pm
"Genealogy Chapter of Finnish Heritage Museum Museum"
What is happening in the genie pool, by Donna Lesiacsek

The Genies will present a program to the members of the FHM at the April meeting to be held on Monday, April 11,2016 at 7:00 pm. Short presentations will be given on four of the original Finn Hollow houses. Those houses were know as the Hirvi, Humppi, Kupari and Ranttila houses.

For several years, Anne Kalliomaa Pohto has been meeting with people, most Saturdays, to document their Finnish immigrant ancestors and families who came to the United States to start a new life. We now have hundreds of families on file and the list continues to grow. Do we have your file yet? Many have submitted pictures and other items and the Genies meet every month to sort through all these wonderful finds.

If you would like to contact Anne to set up an appointment with her, her email is You may also contact Anne regarding other Genie questions or Genie members Elaine Holson Kangas, or Donna Skytta Lesiacsek, Looking forward to hearing from you.

We recently received a donation of pictures and documents from Janet Kangas Helander of Brantwood, WI.

The Genies meet the third Wednesday of the month at 2:00 pm at the museum. If you are interested in joining us, contact one of the people above.

If you haven't been to the Finnish Heritage Museum yet, Please come for a visit. It's a great place to be and the coffee and nisu/pulla are a treat.

The Genealogy Committee has begun its work by challenging members to research the lives of the original Finns who settled in Fairport in the 1880's. This group of twelve people share one thing in common: they all love the genealogical search and the history that goes along with it.

The original Finns came to Fairport Harbor after the ore docks along Grand River were re-built. This reconstruction provided many jobs that had to be filled. Thus, where there is work, you will find a Finn looking to do that work.

The original Finns we are researching are taken from this article:
"On the eleventh day of September, 1885, a group of twenty-three Finns arrived in Fairport and founded the first permanent Finnish settlement. Among them were Charles Hilston, Pekka Antilla, Jacob Tuoresmaa, Herman Kukilla, Isaac Mattson, Alex Kinnunen, John Ahonpaa, Jacob Pikka, Isaac Ranni, John Forspakka, Kusti Kaura, a certain San-teliin, Mikko Manty, Niilo Katila, John Katila, William Hirvi, Mikko Pohto, Esa Poutto, John Lamu, Matti Riipa, Isaac Alinen, and "Iso Antti Karstulasta." These pioneers shortly erected their simple dwellings along the east slope of the Grand River and within a few years the population of "Finn Hollow"18 had increased considerably. By 1900 the number of foreign-born Finns in Fairport had risen to nearly seven hundred.
Among the early Finnish women in Fairport were Mrs. E. Kinnunen and her sister. The first marriage was that of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Kukilla in 1886."

Source: Ohio Historical Society Scholarly Journal Vol 49 Pg 155.

As of our last meeting, we have actually expanded our research to include three waves of immigration. The first wave starts in 1836 with the incorporation of the village of Fairport and ends with the century, 1900. The second wave begins in 1901 and continues to the beginning of the Depression in 1929/1930. The third and final wave continues the immigration of Finns in 1930 and continues to the present day. Many of the members of the Museum are from the second and third waves.

We are compiling a list of Finns from these immigrants to ultimately be recorded in book form.

If anyone has information regarding any of the people mentioned above, please email us to let us know. Please let us know if any of your forebears were Finnish immigrants and settled in Fairport, if only for a short time. Click here for email. Thank you in advance.

The second project we are working on is where Finns lived in Fairport. If you have an address (house number and street name) and the name of the Finnish family who lived there in during a certain year (19??), please email us that information. Please include the above information. Click here for email. Thank you in advance.

The Genie Group sorts recently acquired materials.
Left to right: Jeff Werronen, Donna Lesiacsek, Pat Spivak, Anne Pohto, and Ken Quiggle.

The group is sorting through artifacts which were donated to FHM by the Estate of Helen Kasari. She was an avid historian and genealogist and had voluminous files of Fairport history. Not only did she have the physical artifacts, but she was noted for her exceptional memory.