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Auvinen Family Tree

Updated September 3, 2002

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This is the family tree for Oscar Auvinen (1883-1957), who moved from Finland to Minneapolis with his father, Mikko (1855-1917), in 1892 as a 9-year old boy. The Auvinen family has been traced back to Anton Auvinen, born in 1726. Anton is probably the name a Sweedish priest gave for the Finnish "Antii".

For the next 2 centuries the Auvinen family lived in the Village of Puhos, in the Kitee parish of North Karelia, just 10 miles or so from the current Russian border. Puhos is on a narrow neck of land with lakes on 2 sides. Puhos has a small industrial area with a sawmill and had boat-building in the 1800's.

After 2 centuries with the family in the same house, in 1852 at 40 years old, Jacob Auvinen (1812-1857) moved to the nearby Saynejarvi village, married, and had sons Mikko (Michel) and Henrik. Jacob died when Mikko was 2 years old. When Mikko was 20 years old, his mother, Maria Rossi, died, and Mikko moved to Sortavala on the north shore of the large Lake Ladoga. Henrik moved to St. Petersburg the same year at age 18. Lake Ladoga was the frozen lake that the Russians drove convoy trucks across during the seige of St. Petersburg in WW2.

There is a reference to a Mikko Auvinen as a founder of the Minneapolis Laestadian Lutheran Church. Oscar became a general manager at the Day Company in Minneapolis.

In the 1800's, Finland was part of Russia. Later Finland lost WW-2 and Sortavala became part of Russia, while Kitee remained in Finland. Kitee is pronounced KIT-tay.

The earliest known record of the Auvinen's is a list of Families that paid tax to the Sherrif of Savonlinna in 1571. There were 6 Auvinen families in Juva, to the West of Savonlinna, and 7 more families in Sääminki, which is the district around the castle at Savonlinna. The current mayor of Savonlinna is an Auvinen. Savonlinna is surrounded by lakes and has a pretty castle, Olavinlinna Castle, which was built in 1475. The main street in Savonlinna has a hill called "Auvinen Hill" to this day.

The Auvinen's may originally have come from about 40 miles east of Savonlinna, near Sulkava. There is a town called "Auvila" that still has an Auvinen family. The -la ending means "place of", such as place of the Auvinen's.

The Auvinen's may have been Lutherns living under the king of Sweeden at Sulkava, more towards central Finland, when the Sweeds conquered more land from Russia in 1617. The King wanted his subjects to move into the newly conquered land and so offered financial incentives that caused some of the Auvinen's to move east 50 km into what is now Savonlinna. Our branch of the Auvinen's later moved another 70 km to the East to Puhos/Kitee.

Auvinen is an uncommon name in the US, with only 41 or so listings in the US phone books, and 52 in the Social Security Death Index. Many hundreds of Auvinens are listed in the Finnish passport, migration, and parrish records. These records are only partially online now. Kitee is not yet online.

Auivnen is pronounced "Aw'-veh-nin" here in the US, but is pronounced Ow'-veh-nin" in Finland. The difference in the first sylable is similar to Aw-Shucks vs. Ouch !

Even in Finland Auvinen is not one of the top names. The -nen ending is common for Karelian names, perhaps meaning being a male descendent (like 'son) but this is not certain.

Karelians are a separate people from the true Finns and the Laplanders. The land has many lakes, many more than in Minnesota, and is said to have more shoreline per area than anywhere in the world. The Karelians lived in groups and used a slash and burn farming technique, frequently having to move on to new land.

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