Heikki Heikinpoika Törmänen –
born in 1690 Rovaniemi, died in 1764 Kuusamo

Hannu Hansson Hanni in the village of Rovaniemi in Ostrobothnia, was drafted into the Swedish army. His spouse was mentioned to be in 1675 as Elin Pehrsdaughter – the spouse of the infantryman. Since Hannu was presumed to be dead, Elin got engaged to Matti Matsson, the owner of the Törmänen farm in the same village. Later it was revealed that Hannu Hanni was indeed alive in Sweden. When it also appeared that Elina was expecting Matti’s child, matters were to be discussed at the Ostrobothnia Kemi court in 1679. Elina eventually became Matti Törmänen’s spouse.

Törmänen’s house, like several other houses in the region, went into great debt to the burgher in the early decades of the 17th century. There were a number of reasons why this happened, for example – they had taken out a loan to pay the house taxes during the gap years and they paid for a substitute soldier to join the army to avoid being themselves drafted. After they couldn’t make the debt payment and taxes, they had to give up the house. Despite all the adversities, the family survived the difficult years. Matti Mattsson Törmänen acquired back Törmänen’s old family farm in 1678 and he resettled it successfully. Matti and his wife Elin had five children, who were: Marja – born around 1678, Antti – born in 1685, Matti – born around 1681 (was drafted), Anna – born around 1683 and Beata – born around 1687. Matti died around 1689, which after the widow Elin and her son Pehr Hannusson were listed together on the tax list. This listing reveals that Pehrs father turned out to be Hannu Hannusson Hanni – Elina’s first husband.

Heikki Mattsson become the owner of Halvari farm in the Rovaniemi village in the year 1664. It is not known where he came from, but it has been suggested that he came from the direction of Kemi. Heikki’s wife were Charin Michelsdaughter and they had at least four children, who were: Michel whose wife was Walborg Olofsdaughter, Chirstin, Matti (Matts) and Heikki (Henrik). It seems that Michel died quite soon after marriage and his widow remarried, this time to Michel’s younger brother Matti. The head of the Halvari family, Heikki Mattsson, gave up ownership of the farm, which after he served as a board member of the district court in the 1690s. Heikki’s son Matti took over the Halvar farm after his father, being its owner in the years 1688-1697. There is a notable entry in Halvar’s house in the tax lists in 1688-1691– Matti Henriksson has a younger brother Heikki.

Matti and Walborg Halvar had at least five children: Anna born around 1678, Olof born in 1680, Johan born around 1682 (was drafted), Matti born in 1686 and Abrahamborn around 1688. According to the tax records, after Matti’s death around 1697, the head of Halvari’s farm were Matti’s widow Walborg together with their daughter Anna with his spouse Jöns, who died the following year. The house was hit by hard times for several years and they couldn’t survive paying taxes. The family overcame the difficulties, and the oldest son Olof acquired back the farm in the year 1704 and he became the head of Halvar’s house. He moved over to Tyni’s place somewhere between the years 1714-1723. At that time the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia was going and during that period Finland was occupied by Russian (so called Greather Wrath).

Olof’s youngest brother Abraham became the next master of the Halvari house. After Abraham’s death in 1740, Halvari farm was taken over by another family. Olof died in the year 1727 which after his other brother Matti occupied Tyni’s place and stayed there for few more years. Eventually Matti left Tyni’s place while he founded the Nampajärvi settlement in 1733 on the family’s old allotments, far from the village center of Rovaniemi, on the border of the village of Kemihaara. The Nampajärvi settlement was the first settlement in Rovaniemi established outside the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki (rivers) banks.

The land tax of Törmänen’s house was paid in 1691 by Heikki Henriksson Törmänen, whose spouse was mentioned the following year as Elin Pehrsdaughter. This reveals that Elin’s third spouse was Heikki Henriksson, who apparently came from the nearby Halvari house in the Rovaniemi village. The foster children registered in tax records of the house were Peer and Anna (née Marja), who were the children of the house’s mistress, Elina, from her previous marriages with Hannu Hanni and Matti Törmänen.

Heikki was registered as the head of the Törmänen’s house, and he paid the land taxes during the years 1691-1700. The head of the house changed in 1699, when Peer was entered to the tax list as the host inTörmänen’s house while his stepfather Heikki Törmänen was registered in Maunu’s house. In the following year, Heikki’s entry is “afviken till Lappland “, which means that Heikki had left Rovaniemi and gone to Lapland. His wife Elina Pehrs daughter followed her husband Heikki to Lapland the following year. There are no records of Heikki in Ostrobothnia’s documents after this. (Note: Rovaniemi belonged to Ostrobothnia and Kuusamo belonged to Lapland at the time).

Peer Hannusson was the host inTörmänen’s house until 1715, (sometimes erroneously his stepfather’s patronymic Henrik), when he left the house and occupiedPallar’s house in Kemihaara village. The previous residents of Pallar’s house had faced adversity and became unable to pay taxes, and in addition, the host was drafted into the army, so the family was forced to give up the farm. After Peer left Törmänen’s house, his half-brother Antti – Matti Törmänen’s oldest son – took over the farm. The family of Rovaniemi Törmänen has sprung from his descendants, which also includes branch of the family of Kissaniemi Törmäset at Joukamojärvi, Kuusamo.

Somewhere between years 1721-1731, “mother Elin” was registered again in Peer Pallar’s house in Kemihaara, which reveals that she had returned from Lapland to her eldest child in Rovaniemi. When Elin died in 1731 – at the age of 92 – Peer Törmänen was recorded to be her relative. This information reveals that Per came from Törmänen’s house in Rovaniemi. (Note, the age estimates seem to be off by about ten or more years in Rovaniemi’s oldest parish documents – Elin was probably around 80 years old when she died).

Heikki Heikinpoika (Henrik Henrik’s son) Törmänen COME IN TO LAPLAND – KUUSAMO

In the courts of Sompio in Kemi Lapland in 1708, is mentioned – ”fierdings karlen Hindric Hindricksson Torman”. This means that Heikki had a job as an “quarterman” which helped the rural police chief to gather taxes from citizens among other things. “Heikki Törmänen” is also mentioned as a resident of Haukiniemi house in Poussu village nearby Kuusamolake. The house had been owned by the estate of late vicar Sigfrid Bonelius, for whom Heikki took care of the house for four and a half years in 1719-1724.

Younger Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen resettled the house of Ristilampi- Heiskala, where he received an imission in 1720, having already lived on the farm for three years before that. Eskil Heiskanen – the previous occupant of the place – had to give up the settlement because he was unable to pay the farm’s taxes. Ristilammi’s younger Heikki Törmänen, who was born around 1690 according to the certificates, lived on his new farm until his death, i.e. until 1764. The younger Heikki worked furthermore – at 1720’s – as a “kyytirättäri”, which means that he served as a hauler for public officials during their duty carrying them (probably on reindeer) to different places. He must have been “promoted” to “fierdings karlen” in which position his father the older Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen had been earlier in Kuusamo. The younger Heikki worked as a “quarterman” from the 1730s to the 1750s.


Verified information:

  • In the years 1688-1691 Heikki Henrik’s son was mentioned to be a brother of Halvari houses host Matti Henrik’ son in Rovaniemi village.
  • Between the years 1691-1698, Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen was the host of Törmänen’s house in Rovaniemi village with his wife, Elin Pehrs daughter. They both went to Lapland in 1700 and 1701.
  • Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen (b.1690 d.1764) who lived in Ristilampi-Heiskala in Kuusamo since 1717, had a father whose name was Heikki Törmänen.
  • Between the years 1719-1723, Heikki Törmänen was a resident of the Haukiniemi house in Kuusamo.
  • Elin Pehrs daughter returned to Rovaniemi to her eldest son Pehr Pallar (Törmänen aka Hanni) between the years 1721-1731. Elin died in Pallar’s house in 1731.
  • Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen gave the names Heikki and Elina to his eldest children, which suggests that they received the names of their grandparents in accordance with the customs of the time.


  • “Quarterman” Heikki Henrik’s son Torman and the Heikki Törmänen mentioned as the householder of Haukiniemi in the years 1719-1723 were probably one and the same person, the older Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen, who left Rovaniemi in the year 1699 and went to Lappland (Kuusamo).
  • Rovaniemi-born Sigfrid Bonelius, who served as vicar of Kuusamo between 1702 and 1715, must have known the older Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen from his past in Rovaniemi.
  • The younger Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen (b.1690) who lived in Ristilampi-Heiskala since 1717permanently fits as the son of the older Heikki Henriks son Törmänen.
  • Possibly the death of Elin’s husband Heikki in Kuusamo between 1720-1730 made her return to Rovaniemi to her eldest son Pehr Pallar (Törmänen aka Hanni ).
  • According to direct document sources, Elin Pehrs daughter would have been born around 1635-1639 . According to circumstantial evidence, Elin was probably born 10 years later, closer to year 1650. (It seems that the earliest ages at death in Rovaniemi’s church records are often about 10 years too old)
  • Elin Pehrs daughter, an elderly mother, and Heikki Heikinpoika Henrik’s son Törmänen may have had a child together the younger Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen.

Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen of Kuusamo (b.1690 d.1764) parents must have been according to putted forth documents and assumptions:

FATHER: Heikki Henrik’s son Halvari aka Törmänen probablyborn between 1650-1660 in Rovaniemi and died possibly between 1720-1730 in Kuusamo.

MOTHER: Elina Pehr’s daughter Törmänen (former Hanni) – probably born between 1635-1650 in Rovaniemi and died in 1731 in Rovaniemi.

A paternal DNA test confirmed the kinship to the Rovaniemi Halvari family

Relationship between the Törmänen and Namba families, who originated the Halvari house in Rovaniemi, was checked by using FamilyTree DNA’s direct paternal Big Y-700 test in November 2023.

Heikki Matt’s son Halvari lived in Rovaniemi 1630-1770. Two of his male descendant lines were tested to verify if they are relatives as the above presentation suggests. Tested descendant lines were:

  • Descendants of Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen (1690-1764) of Kuusamo, son of Heikki Henrik’s son Halvar aka Törmänen originally from Rovaniemi
  • Descendant of Matti Henrik’s son Halvari from the Namba family in Rovaniemi area

Both direct male sire lines tested resulted in exactly the same terminal haplo. This means, that the descendants of Heikki Törmänen from Kuusamo and the descendants of the Namba family from Rovaniemi have had a common ancestor – Heikki Matt’s son Halvari who lived in Rovaniemi 1630-1770.

The result of the DNA test confirmed the conclusion based on document sources that the parents of Heikki Henrik’s son Törmänen who was born in Rovaniemi 1690 and died in Kuusamo 1764 were:

FATHER: Heikki Henrik’s son Halvari aka Törmänen probablyborn between 1650-1660 in Rovaniemi and died most likely between 1720-1730 in Kuusamo.

MOTHER: Elina Pehr’s daughter Törmänen (former Hanni) – probably born between 1635-1650 in Rovaniemi and died in 1731 in Rovaniemi.

Notable features of Kuusamo’s genealogy

Kuusamo belonged to Lapland until 1775, after which it was administratively part of Ostrobothnia which capital was Oulu. In the beginning, Rovaniemi did not belong administratively to Lapland, it belonged to Ostrobothnia – it has been a part of the Lapland Province only since the beginning of the 20th century.

Early archival materials about Kuusamo are scarce and difficult to access – most of them are only available at the National Archives’ offices. All the church records of Kuusamo burned in 1730, which is the year the parish history books start there. The earliest of Kuusamo’s parish’s confessional books are from years 1760-73 and 1798-1803.

Erkki Koivisto, the reverend of Salla, once had a long and rewarding day job as a priest, a municipal official and a member of parliament. Koivisto did a tremendous job compiling the families of Eastern Lapland into pedigrees. Koivisto’s genealogy archive was moved to the Oulu Province Archives for public viewing in 1978. The information spread widely and very quickly due to the enthusiasm for genealogy.

Later it has been discovered that Koivisto’s genealogies have numerous assumptions and errors, especially regarding the beginnings of families. Koivisto does not mention where his information comes from. Presumably, Koivisto based his knowledge almost exclusively on church books, which are very fragmentary in the 18th century in Kuusamo. He has not had access to the oldest Lapland tax lists that were in Sweden.

Koivisto must have only deduced the beginnings of the genealogies based on later information.  In the Koivisto genealogies, unfortunately, many families from Kuusamo have wrong ancestors and besides, Koivisto does not know many families from Kuusamo at all. In the early days of Kuusamo genealogy, Koivisto’s genealogies were relied on and thus they were copied directly into genealogies. This means that, many of the oldest genealogies contain incorrect ancestors of the families.

17.4.2024 Riitta Kurkela


  • Ahvenainen, Jorma (1970): Rovaniemi history 2.
  • Enbuske Matti (1996): Harsh times from the 1630s to Greather Wrath – In the book: The history of Rovaniemi until 1721-
  • Ervasti Seppo (1978): Kuusamo history 1.
  • The history of Rovaniemi until 1721: From campfires to the shelter of a smokestack. Jyväskylä 1996.
  • Virrankoski (1973): History of Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland, 17th century
  • Väätti, Ilkka (2021): Rovaniemi settlement history in the years 1520-1660
  • Kuusamo parish’s registers in the 18th century
  • Rovaniemi parish’s registers in the 18th century
  • Kemi Lapmark – Kuusamo court minutes in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Ostrobothnia – Rovaniemen tax registers in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Ostrobothnia – Kemin court minutes in the 17th century
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