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Announcements and news 2004


Wills of the Rich and Famous

Ancient Mothers: Possible, but not Likely

The Web site of the Institute of Migration has been updated

First Finnish Millennium Technology Prize awarded to Web inventor

Genealogy Today: INS records fill gaps in family history

Old Scam Now Targeting Genealogists

Google Genealogy News

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google

How Al Qaeda uses the Internet

No displays of emotion, please, we're Finnish

Sorting e-mail friends from foes

Floridian Finns Have Left Birch Trees Behind In Favor of Palms

J.L.Runeberg 200 years

Losing names in translation

Finland's wartime handovers must be examined

FinnFest USA 2004

Research produces genealogical books

Family histories important, fascinating links to the past

New articles on this site

Institute of Migration


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Wills of the Rich and Famous


March 2nd was my 70 th birthday and so I hereby give my last will and testament. For my boys I leave the whole Province of Vaasa except places of Vilumaki (Coldhill), Nalkamaki (Hungerhill) and Kuolemankorpi (Deathbackwoods)*, since my boys have nothing to do with these places. If I will survive with government food rations, so my old age funds, (Vilumake, Nalkmake and Kuolemankorpi ) can be given to Hitler in Germany. While there is no gold in Finland at the moment, Hitler steals all the churchbells. But if those three places would make Hitler happy perhaps he would leave the churchbells alone.

* (no such places in Vaasa) Elias Korpi (brother of Matti Korri) Connaut Station, Ontario

Posted by Alicia Koski-Marshall

Wills of the Rich and Famous

You can find wills of some renowned people on a number of websites. Some include transcriptions and digital images of the actual wills. Wills online of several who died during the 20th century include Diana, Princess of Wales; John F. Kennedy, Jr.; Elvis Presley, and famous American baseball players -- Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat; and Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper.

At Britain's National Archives are the wills of more than 100 famous people, dated from 1553 through 1858. They include such well-known figures as Jane Austen, Sir Francis Drake, John Donne, and Sir Francis Bacon. Through the website's DocumentsOnline feature, you can search for and download any of these wills for a fee. William Shakespeare's will can be downloaded free of charge, but you must pay a fee for the others.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 7, No. 19, 12 May 2004.

Ancient Mothers: Possible, but not Likely

By Gregg Bonner of Michigan

I have noticed that many people who publish genealogical material do not bother to test whether the information is plausible. This is usually due to a lack of event-date association. When precise dates are not known people often neglect to enter any date information at all.

However, if the author had entered even the broadest of possible date ranges for the events in question, then he would recognize that the sequence as a whole is not plausible for ANY set of particular dates he might pose as a possibility. Once the date ranges were given, it would become clear that to make the line possible, one person would have to live to be well over 100, or else another person would have to be a grandfather at age 25, or else some other equally unlikely occasion would need occur.

The problem with many such pedigrees is that they are maintained under the argument that they are possible, and no effort is made to see that they are also plausible. One of the greatest classes of offenders is the "ancient mother" syndrome.

Women really do not give birth to children in their 50s, excepting extraordinarily rare instances. To illustrate my point, I take data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 1998 Natality Statistics. These figures show that among the nearly four million live births in the United States in 1998, only about 160 of them were to women aged 50 and above. This represents approximately 0.004% of live child births.

The oldest age category given is age 54, for which there were six live births. To make the point more vivid, compare to the five live births to mothers aged 10. Continuing the theme, there were 19 live child births to mothers aged 53, compared to 23 born to mothers aged 11. In sum, the total of live births to mothers aged 50 or more is LESS than the number of live births to mothers aged 12 or younger. Please note also that these data include all manner of modern fertility treatments that would not have been available to our ancestors.

I have had many people tell me that it is relatively common for women to have children in their mid-50s, only to proceed to point out several cases from their own database. These, however, are not cases of bona fide live child births to women aged 50 and greater -- these are rather simply errors. In a database of 25,000 persons, you can expect a grand total of approximately one person to have been born to a mother aged 50 or more.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 7, No. 18, 5 May 2004.

The Web site of the Institute of Migration has been updated

The emigrant register Internet databases

"The emigrant databases are free to search for names. The registration fee, 10 euros a year, gives access to the rest of the information. Payment can be made through our Web Store or as bank transfer.

Limited search (free)

Full search (paid service for registered users)

Payment and registration

What do I get for the user fee? Registered customers can search for information in the following databases:

- Passenger lists (318 000 records)

- Passport records (166 000 records)

- References to books and newspapers (19 000 records)

- Register of Australian Finns (3 800 records)

- Register of New Zealand Finns (1100 records)

The user fee includes use of the databases and personal assistance with further searches but not searches made by the staff of the Institute."

Berners-Lee Wins Inaugural Millennium Technology Prize

World Wide Web Inventor Receives One Million Euros Prize from Finnish Technology Award Foundation

15th April 2004

Tim Berners-Lee home page

First Finnish Millennium Technology Prize awarded to Web inventor

By MANS HULDEN The Associated Press 4/15/04 11:13 AM

..." ESPOO, Finland (AP) -- The scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded the first Millennium Technology Prize.

The award, which includes a cash prize of 1 million euros ($1.2 million), was established in 2002 "for an innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values, and encourages sustainable economic development."

Berners-Lee is recognized as the creator of the World Wide Web while working for the CERN Laboratory in the early 1990s, the European center for nuclear research near Geneva, Switzerland. "...

Genealogy Today: INS records fill gaps in family history

Thursday, April 8, 2004 CONNIE LENZEN for The Columbian

..."In 2002, INS was placed under the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). This agency maintains the naturalization certificate files, known as C-Files. These are all U.S. naturalizations conducted after Sept. 27, 1906, from all states and territories and from all courts federal, state, and local.

BCIS has an index to the C-Files. The files are available for family historians under the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act. "...

Old Scam Now Targeting Genealogists

By Ed Criscuolo

For 20 years or more, long before the Internet as we know it, there was a scam going on by mail known as the "Nigerian Scam" (also known as a "4-1-9" or "Advance Fee Fraud" scheme). Nowadays, it is done via e- mail over the Internet. Typically, messages from Nigeria (or Sierra Leone, or the Ivory Coast, or almost any other foreign nation) are sent to addresses taken from large mailing lists. They go something like this:

A wealthy foreigner needs your help moving millions of dollars from his homeland to yours and will reward you with a hefty percentage of this fortune if you agree to assist him.

In another variation:

A church or religious organization is contacted by a wealthy foreigner who says he desires nothing more than to leave his considerable fortune to that particular group.

Now there is a new variation, specifically targeting genealogists. In it, the scammer claims to have the same surname as you, and wants you to pose as his uncle (or other family member) in order to assist in claiming/releasing/transferring a large sum of money left by his late family, which he will share . . .

Clearly this has been designed to prey on our usual eagerness to help out anyone with the same surname. After all, they might really be family.

Should you agree to participate in this international bail-out, something will go wrong. Paperwork will be delayed. Questions will be asked. Officials will need to be bribed. Money from you, an insignificant sum, really, in light of the windfall about to land in your lap, will be required to get things back on track. You pay, you wait for the transfer . . . and all you'll get in return are more excuses about why the funds are being held up and assurances that everything can be straightened out if you'll just send a bit more cash to help the process along. Once your bank account has been sucked dry or you start making threats, you'll never hear from these scammers again. As for the money you've thrown at this -- it's gone forever. Information on this scam can be found at the 419 Coalition Website:

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 7, No. 14, 7 April 2004.

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google: This free site will help you use Googleğ to search for your genealogy. It will create different Google searches using tips or "tricks" that will improve your search results.


Hamas' Sweden-based Web site shut down

Jerusalem Post Mar. 18, 2004 16:44

Terrororganisation har hemsida i Sverige

Hamaspropaganda på finsk-svensk server

Terrororganisationen Hamas har i minst ett år haft en hemsida på det finsk-svenska bolaget TeliaSoneras server. Webbplatsen hyllar självmordsbombare och innehåller antisemitiska budskap.

Hufvudstadsbladet Fredag 19.3.2004

How Al Qaeda uses the Internet

ABC News online Friday, March 19, 2004

..."Thomas Hegghammer, who researches Islamist websites at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, last year found a 42-page document detailing how terrorist attacks timed for the Spanish elections could damage the Western coalition in Iraq."

No displays of emotion, please, we're Finnish

Lizette Alvarez NYT Thursday, March 11, 2004

"HELSINKI Turo Herala is the first to admit that his mission to teach Finns how to get angry and make a scene, or even how to feel joy and happiness, is in all likelihood bound for failure."

Sorting e-mail friends from foes

Identifying networks of mutual friends helps filter out spam.

Nature Science Update 19 February 2004

FinnFest 2004 February 11-15 Lake Worth, Florida

Floridian Finns Have Left Birch Trees Behind In Favor of Palms

New World Finn Online - A Quarterly Journal Exploring Finnish Culture New World Finn is a twenty-eight page non-academic newsprint tabloid about Finns and Finnish emigrants. It is published in the middle of North America and mailed to subscribers. These online pages are a supplement to the mailed tabloid

Among the online articles: Dr. Heikki Ylikangas - Retired and Respected Finnish Historian Is Much In Demand Now conducting investigation of deportation of Jews to Nazi Germany By Harri Siitonen


J.L.Runeberg - 200 years since the birth of Finland's national poet

Websites about Runeberg:

JL.Runeberg  in Finnish and Swedish, marvellous illustrations

Johan Ludvig Runeberg



Losing names in translation
by Karen Frisch

The Family Tree Magazine (GA), February/March 2004.

"Many genealogists who trace their family history find themselves with the additional burden of losing their name in translation.
Mark Dennen believed that his surname was rare when he began exploring his family history. Knowing it was Irish in origin, he began his search among the records of Ireland. He was surprised to discover that Dennen was a derivative of O'Doineannaigh and that there were many who descended from that surname. Rather than having few who shared his origins, the opposite turned out to be the case. From Dennen to Dennehy to Denenshe, there were many who had similar names, and all were related. Whether slightly or dramatically, names often changed when families emigrated to America. In order to Americanize themselves, some immigrants Anglicized their name by translating it literally. Thus Rousseau became Brooks, and so on. "

Professor Ylikangas: Finland's wartime handovers must be examined

Wiesenthal Center welcomes call for full investigation of the Finnish World War II deportations to Nazi Germany and urges Finnish Government to appoint historical comission to do so. January 16, 2004

Government Information Unit Press release 8/2004 16 January 2004
The report and its English summary
pdf-file 932 kb

Elina Sana wins Tieto-Finlandia prize for book on wartime expulsions Helsingin Sanomat International Edition - Friday 9.1.2004

Revelations Make Finns Review War Extraditions
The St.Petersburg Times - Friday, December 5, 2003

Wiesenthal Centre wants more information on Finnish wartime deportations Helsingin Sanomat International Edition - Wednesday 19.11.2003

Wartime refugees made pawns in cruel diplomatic game
Elina Sana book describes history of refugees extradited from Finland to Nazi Germany.
Helsingin Sanomat International Edition - Tuesday 18.11.2003

More than just eight deportations to Nazi Germany
Helsingin Sanomat International Edition - Tuesday 4.11.2003

"Professor Heikki Ylikangas recommends that the handover of civilian and military prisoners from Finland to Germany and the Soviet Union be examined. Ylikangas submitted his report, addressed to the Prime Minister's Office, to Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Friday, 16 January. The report was compiled as a response to the letter by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the President of Finland."

..."Despite massive destruction of sources, a sufficient basis for more extensive research does exist. The statement mentions that in general one or perhaps two research projects would be justified. The first of these would take three years to complete and would attempt to explain the handover of civilian and military prisoners to Germany and the Soviet Union (immediately after the war), decision-making at different levels, the legality of the procedure, and - if possible - the deaths in prison camps in Finland and, in the case of Finnish prisoners, in the Soviet Union, too. Finnish soldiers listed as missing should also be included in the study. A second, separate project would involve a joint effort with Russian researchers and would concentrate on the fate of the Ingrians after they had been returned to the Soviet Union.

It would be essential for at least the first of the projects suggested to build up a file based on electronic identity cards that would be published on the Internet and properly updated. There is no other way to obtain accurate numbers or reliable comparisons between different sources of information (lists of names). Only in this way could a thorough and accurate response be made to the request by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the President of Finland, which is the reason for the compilation of this report. "

FinnFest USA 2004 - Lake Worth-Lantana area, Feb 11-15, 2004

Homesite of FinnFest 2004

Research produces genealogical books

By Greg Jerrett, Staff writer

Daily Nonpareil (IA), December 31, 2003.

"Family histories can be long and complicated.

No one knows that better than Marsha Pilger who recently published a 1,763 page, two volume publication detailing the family history of the French Huguenots, Jacques and Lydia (Williams) Cozart who immigrated to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1662.

Called "Cozad Connections," the book took more than 40 years of research to complete and is the combined effort of Janice (Keeling) Cozad of California, Betty (Cozad) Trout of Minnesota and Pilger's co-author, Marilyn Cozad of Henderson, Nev."

Family histories important, fascinating links to the past

By MARY JOHNS EagleHerald staff writer

EagleHerald (WI), December 31, 2003.

"As some people put it, "If you don't know where you come from, how will you know where you are going?" Genealogy, the study of one's lineage, is thriving as a hobby, driven in part by the variety of Internet resources -- from family histories to ship's passenger lists -- that were unavailable a few years back. "

New articles on this site C. Arthur Appelö and Carlton Appelo: The contributions of two Swedish-Finns to Deep River, Washington and America by Sandra Johnson Witt


Local history and genealogy - a site in progress.Immigrants database

Institute of Migration Passport Register updated

30 000 new records added which means that the passport register now contains about 158 000 persons.

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