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  • Lily May Larson (1913 - 1992)
    Marriage notice Port Arthur News-Chronicle Ilola, Lily May M 25 Nov 1943 30 Nov 1943 p.5 To John Larson Death notice Chronicle-Journal LARSON, LILY MAY (MRS.) 14/01/1992 16/01/92 P. 22 17/01/92 P. 23 ...
  • Charles Ilola (1887 - 1947)
    Ähtäri syntyneet 1887-1894 (MKO10-12 I C:4) ; SSHY / Viitattu 28.09.2023 Ähtäri rippikirja 1886-1895 (MKO27-43 I Aa:13) Sivu 120 Ähtärin Kylä N:o 14 Ollikain, Puukila ; SSHY / Viitattu 28.09.2023 Äht...
  • Hilma Maria Ilola (1889 - 1983)
    Kankaanpää > syntyneet, 1887-1894 > 83: 1889 SSHY members Kankaanpää > rippikirja, 1883-1892 > 185: Wihteljärvi, Kulhua Myllymaa SSHY members Kankaanpää rippikirja 1883-1892 (AP_I I Aa:22) Sivu 186...
  • Maria Erkkilä (1856 - 1947)
    Jalasjärvi , Syntyneet, 1855-1873 - Kuva 22; SSHY: / Viitattu 27.9.2023 Jalasjärvi , Rippikirja, 1852-1858 - Kuva 235; SSHY: / Viitattu 27.9.2023 Jalasjärvi , Rippikirja, 1875-1884 - Kuva 364; SSHY: ...
  • John Savela (1885 - 1962)
    Oulun läänin henkikirjat - Ou:170 Henkikirja 1905-1905, jakso 1157, sivu 1151: Haapajärvi 26-27; Kansallisarkisto: / Viitattu 3.7.2022 Johan Henrik Savela Rekisteri Passiluettelo Passin päivämäärä 31....

Fort William Finns is a sub-group of the Thunder Bay Finns group. It has been created for research purposes. Finnish immigrants began to arrive in the Thunder Bay area in the mid 1870’s. At that time, the destination was either the City of Fort William, Ontario, Canada or the City of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada until the two cities were amalgamated in 1970 to become the City of Thunder Bay. After amalgamation the active Finnish cultural aspects of the community has shifted to the north side of Thunder Bay formerly the City of Port Arthur. With post-war Finnish immigrants settling primarily on the north side of Thunder Bay coupled with a vanishing Finnish presence on the south side, the history of the Fort William Finns dating back to the 1880’s is a story very few know about.

This project is attempting to identify Finns and Finnish-Canadians who emigrated to Fort William or who were born in Fort William or who lived as a home owner / renter or as a family member in Fort William prior to 1970. The family can have either both parents or only one parent to be of Finnish descent. Fort William Finns might find themselves under one or more categories, namely,

  • Immigrants who came to Fort William and remained
  • Immigrants who came to Fort William until they could find a homestead in the rural Thunder Bay District
  • Immigrants who homesteaded in the rural Thunder Bay District but later moved to the city of Fort William

Individuals who don’t have a documented home in Fort William should not be added to this project. Death in McKellar Hospital or Fort William Sanatorium is alone not enough.

Some of the history of Fort William Finns has already been documented in publications, such as:

  • Project Bay Street Activities of Finnish-Canadians in Thunder Bay before 1915, published in 1989 by the Thunder Bay Finnish-Canadian Historical Society and edited by Marc Metsaranta
  • History of Finnish Business in the Thunder Bay Area, published in 2006 by the Thunder Bay Finnish-Canadian Historical Society and edited by Martti Kajorinne
  • A century of Sport in the Finnish Community of Thunder Bay, co-published in 2013 by Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and the Thunder Bay Finnish-Canadian Historical Society
  • From Finland to Nolalu The Making of Me and You, published in 2020 by Eldon J. Oja