Finnish Cemeteries

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Cemetery records are not usually used in genealogical research in Finland, because there are death records in the church books of most parishes. About 40 cemeteries have been published in the Year Book of the Genealogical Society of Finland. Most of them are from parishes where church records were destroyed.

Cemeteries in Finland are owned and maintained by parishes, but there are also a few private cemeteries of certain families. There is at least one cemetery in each municipality (city or town), larger municipalities may have several cemeteries, and there may even be cemeteries for people of different denominations or religions (Evangelical Lutheran, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic, etc.). Graves are sometimes destroyed by parish authorities because of economic reasons. Many of the old graves had wooden grave markers, which have disappeared because of natural causes.

Several books have been published about cemeteries, but usually only graves of well-known individuals are presented, or graves with monuments of great artistic value.

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