History of the Database

A Geography student at Laurentian University, Ms. Lewella Parker, was interested in doing a project on a local cemetery using the latest computer technology for plotting and identifying the interred. She was referred to our Chair at the time, Arnold Niemiaho, who brought the matter and Ms. Parker to our meeting to talk about her proposal. Our Society financed Ms. Parker for her expenses and Arnold Niemiaho and other members assisted with the research involved in identifying all Finnish persons buried in the selected cemetery which was the Waters Cemetery located near Lively, now part of the Greater City of Sudbury.

Ms. Parker used a plotting computer program, GIS, to locate each burial plot and as much about the person interred as was possible to find. Records from churches, the town office, cemetery, newspapers for obituaries, and any other source available was used to gather information and added to the computer database. When the computerized program was completed, a click of the mouse on a plot located on the map of the whole cemetery, produced all the known information about the person buried in that particular plot. This included a photo of the headstone, name of the person with dates of birth and death, along with a copy of the obituary and other information as researched. Due to the time frames involved when people had been buried and their family status at the time, information available was at times limited. This database proved to be an invaluable source for Genealogical research. Ms. Parker gave talks on her project at various locations upon its completion.

Subsequently, our Society put the information from the Waters Cemetery Project into a book by the same name. In time this led to similar books for three more area cemeteries; namely, Beaver Lake Cemetery, Long Lake Finnish Cemetery, and Nairn Centre Cemetery.

Since 2001, following the work done by Ms. Lewella Parker, the FCHS has been collecting the names of Finnish people buried in the local cemeteries using the previously mentioned resources into a database that now has almost 8,000 entries, some of which date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The database lists the surnames, maiden names, given names, place of burial, date of death, source of information and date of birth or age at death and place of birth. Some of the fields in the database are blank due to a lack of information.

Where a a source of information is shown, additional information, such as obituaries, are available from the FCHS on those listed in the database.

Access the Database

Click on the Gallery link below to access the Albums. There are two albums in the gallery for the Finnish Burials Database. 

They are labeled Download Finnish Burials Database, which is an Excel file and View Finnish Burials Database, which is a PDF file.The Excel file can be sorted and searched, while the PDF file can only be searched.

The data in the downloaded Excel file can be sorted on each of the headings by clicking on the little down arrow beside the title of the column. Alternatively, click on Data and then on Sort and follow the instructions in the Sort menu. It is also searchable by pressing the Control key and the F (for Find) key together (Command key + F (for Find) key for Mac computers) that opens a window to type in your search word.

The PDF file can be searched by pressing the Control key and the F (for Find) key together(Command key + F (for Find) key for Mac computers) and enter the name or a partial name in the search box. Capitalize the first letter of the surname to avoid getting hits on portions of the name that are in lower case.


Then click on the icon "Finnish Burials Database" that you want.

  • "Download Finnish Burials Database"  - Excel File
  • "View Finnish Burials Database" - PDF File

A window with a filmstrip will open with the icon of the file in the filmstrip.

Click on the icon in the filmstrip and a copy will appear above the filmstrip.

Click on the icon above the filmstrip and the file will download to either where you can open it with Excel, or view it as a PDF file depending on which file you downloaded.