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Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

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Dodge Center, MN
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Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

We are traveling to Denmark on business, but will go to Sweden and Finland to find our family roots. Due to time, we will focus upon my mother's family - in Kauhajoki and maybe Lohtaja.

I am looking for reasonable accomodations. I found a steal of a deal in Tampere (250/week from www.getravelop.com - our whole family can stay ther3 4-5 in a condo) at the Holiday Club.

BUT - we want to see if we can find old famliy records, short-tail relatives, graves, etc. So -- if we took the inexpensive lodging, we'd have to travel 167 km and 349 km. How much, realistically, could this cost with rental cars (we have found a large range). Can we take public transportation? Is a rail-pass worth it?

If we stay in the smaller towns, we still need to pay for the transportation and then the lodging seems expensive.

Are there home rooms/apartments we can rent?

I realize we need to do the research and am trying to do so. Any ideas?

Tampere
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508 posts
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1. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

Public transport options to Kauhajoki and Lohtaja are scarce. You definitely need a car to see around. The prices of the rental cars you better find in the net yourself.

In case you want to stay in one place instead of changing places where to accommodate I think you should look at the options at the coast line cities like Vaasa, Pietarsaari or Kokkola. From there you will have reasonable driving distance to Kauhajoki and Lohtaja.

250€/week is a real deal for the accommodation, do not expect to get anything similar normally. Prepare for 500-1000€/week depending on the type of accommodation. Look at the travel information pages of the cities, e.g. www.vaasa.fi, there you find different options for the accommodation.

Where are you flying to?

Dodge Center, MN
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2. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

We are coming into CPH in Denmark --- but as for what next, that will depend upon what my mother and father find (he is a Swede :) so we are pausing the actual logistical choices until we know where to look for family -- I thank you for your ideas - especially with cottages/cabins/rooms -- maybe even later tenting areas. We will look into the links for housing - the condo might be "out" even though it is cheap, it is in the wrong place for looking for our ancestors. I think I will rent a car via Icelandair (about the least expensive) out of Helsinki or maybe find something via Vassa.

We will ask you again once we know for sure the names of the towns.

Thank you so much!!! This is a trip of a lifetime for all of us, especially for my parents who are now Senior Citizens and have saved for many years to do this!!! :)

Lori

Tampere
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508 posts
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3. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

You can also fly to Vaasa (Norwegian, Blue1, Finnair) from CPH, over Stockholm or Helsinki. I would look at the flight options and then rent a car from Vaasa.

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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4. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

I have been haunted for a coulpe of days by the idea that you will drive all the way to Kauhajoki and then start to search random cemeteries... I so much hope that your parents could find what they are looking for. I wish I knew more on the subject of genealogy, but here are some links I gathered for you with what I know...

So:

I think there is genealogy research that you could do even before your trip. Southern Ostrobotnia region seems to have an active assiciation on the field Eteläpohjalaiset juuret (roots in S.O.) www.etelapohjalaiset-juuret.fi/yhdistys.html

This link leads to the contact intformation of the board members. I don't have clue if mr Lehtiö knows English, but contacting him might be useful. He should know what sources you could contact.

Another way would be to contaact the local parish in Kauhajoki. They shold have records of buried persons. kauhajoenseurakunta.fi/index.php/yhteystiedo…

The publicist seems to be Ms Jennika Hannusaari . The e-mails are firstname.lastname@evl.fi

Oulu, Finland
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for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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5. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

You may start you research through the Genealogical Society of Finland. They have some free online resources: www.genealogia.fi/index.php…

Dodge Center, MN
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6. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

Hello all -- thank you so much for your help! After digging more, finding some older postcards, and finding a 3rd cousin to help, we have found more information. We are now coming from Sweden (we found my Dad's family -- and even a live 4th cousin! :) to Vaasa (your advice above is great!!) via the bus then ferry.

QUESTION: Any advice on that Ferry? Can we walk on/off and rent a car nearby in Vaasa?

Next, we'll rent a car in Vassa and drive to Kokkola! We found records tied to Lohtaja Parish which we now see as tied Kokkola (both sides -- a Tainio side and our "Colby" side was shortened -- Kolppanen is our true name was listed in a church parish in Marinkainen which is close to Lohtaja, according to my cousin.

We are so excited! MrsHelsinki, you are SO right, our researching here will produce more results. We also are so thrilled just to see the town, and our expectations are realistic as to finding graves, but...we are getting closer!

SO -- MY NEXT NEW QUESTION :)

What advice do you have for renting a camping cottage or cabin in Kokkola or Lohtaja? I have found so many links to search sites -- it becomes a bit overwhelming! I am thinking Finland is like my beloved northern Minnesota, so many cabins :)

I think this is the place we will take -- but any thoughts on other cottages/cabins?

http://www.kokkola-camping.fi/

We want clean and affordable -- pretty simple (even outhouses are ok, again, I am from Northern MN :). Affordable is key :) OK -- cheap, haha!

BUT when I research, I am thinking, our main goal is to meet people not see places, does that make sense? At a campground, while it won't be the real-deal cottage life, we'll meet a variety of people, the workers/owners who are from the area I'd assume, and still be w/in walking distance to explore -- and near the Gulf to see amazing sites!

We will have my parents (75 and 72) myself and husband (45 and 47) and sometimes our son w/his backpack life (19 -- he has a tent/sleeping bag and even can sleep on the floor -- he is so easy going! :).

Then we might travel north to see Lohtaja, I found this lovely site, but can not read it (I will try Google Crome: http://www.sautinkari.net/)

I found this for fun (SAND DUNES!): www.supertravelnet.com/list/kalajoki/english

Any other ideas for cottages? Are there "state parks" or province-level parks w/cottages?

I wanted to try National Parks, but it seems pretty remote to do so.

Thanks for all the help~

Lori

Dodge Center, MN
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7. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

Also - my father plays old-time Polka music (and my son plays the guitar) -- any open jams up in this region? :)

Additionally, when I say meeting people not seeing places, I am not discounting how beautiful it will be, especially on the Gulf area! Any suggestions on how to fill the time w/places is very much appreciated. We will be there around Aug. 16 about 5 or 6 days. We'll probably stay in Kokkola for the majority of the time.

I'd LOVE to head north to Oulu too! -- zam72 any inexpensive cottage rentals there? We are using cottages/cabins so we can cook and relax outside, yet not need to camp fully (can stay warm/dry on mattresses!) :)

THANKS!

Lori

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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8. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

Great to hear from you!

Kalajoki sure is a remarkable place, see further info http://www.kalajokimatkailu.fi/en/home.html

Dodge Center, MN
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9. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

Thanks Mrs. Helsinki! :) We are now thinking we might want to venture up north to Lapland on the 18-20 of Aug. Any suggestions?

Our son could fly from Oulu to Helsinki on the 20th (50.00 USD less than Kokkola!).

Also - any suggestions for a very cheap (and safe) place in Heilsinki for a 19 year old son w/ a big backpack? :) He flies back to the US on the 21st of Aug. at 15:59 -- so he'd have about 24 hrs in Helsinki (and 1 night).

Lori

Tampere
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508 posts
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10. Re: Finding Family Roots in Kauhajoki and Lohtaja

I would second the proposal to stay at Kalajoki - it's really beautiful with the sandy beaches. So even though you are primarily seeing people why not to have lovely place to stay as a bonus. :) Still it's just an hour's drive fron Kalajoki to Kokkola and half of that to Lohtaja. There are lots of cottages to rent in Kalajoki, see:

http://www.kalajokimatkailu.fi/en/home.html

and as the peak season ends on August 12th (schools start in most places on 13th!) you will have lower prices. :)

Haven't taken that ferry to Vaasa but I guess it's pretty basic. You can just walk in and out. But you'd better to book the car rental in advance, there won't be cars available in the harbour without a booking.