I get my start in genealogy during a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake in 1992. It was during a business trip and the colleague that I was traveling with said that he was visiting the Library in the evening. He agreed to take me along.
While there, I did some checking for my Finnish ancestors in databases on CDs. This was the International Genealogical Index and consisted of transcribed information from records in Finland. This was years before FamilySearch.org was introduced and before the vast digitization effort now being conducted by the LDS Church for their members and the public.
Over the years, I tried to keep up with improvements in access to Finnish records for family history research. It was a hit or miss process.
Recently, I accessed the FamilySearch.org website and checked out the wiki pages on Finland Genealogy. Wow! I was really impressed with the organized approach to explaining what was available and how to access it. There is considerable information available for online researchers. Other types of information are available at the Family History Library.
I have bookmarked the section headlined “Finland Record Selection Table” and plan to work my way through the various data types and sources.
One note: I did visit Finland in 1996 and was able to tour cemeteries in Vesanto and Rautalampi. In Vesanto, I requested family records from a clerk in the parish records office and she was able to complete the request in a couple of hours while I toured the area in my rental car. I paid a small fee for her work, which was nicely typed up. I know now that she consulted microfilms that today form the basis of online databases of Finnish church records.