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In Finland, the use of patronyms instead of family names was very common well into the 19th century. Patronymics were composed as in Swedish language or other Scandinavian languages: the father's name and the suffix -n for genitive plus the word poika for sons, tytär for daughters. For example: Paavali Olavinpoika to be read in English as "Paavali, Olavi's son" and Brita Matintytär to be read in English as "Brita, Matti's daughter".


All documents were written only in Swedish those days. Also, the names were in Swedish. For example: Paavali Olavinpoika to be read in Swedish “Påhl Olofsson” and Brita Matintytär to be read in Swedish “Brita Mattsdotter”.


The Kankaanpää Parish was founded as a part of the Ikaalinen Parish in 1756. Successively, the Kankaanpää Parish had its chapel in 1759 and later that year its position as an independent parish.





The roots of our family Leppäsläiset are from Ikaalinen in Northern Satakunta. In  the village of Kilvakkala, there was a farm named Vänni.  The earliest document found about Vänni is in the first land register of year 1540 where the name of the master of Vänni is Olavi Vänni.


1. Olavi Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1540-1555


2. Paavali Olavinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1555-1607


3. Olavi Paavalinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1607-1634


4. Paavali Olavinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1634-1669

Died 1673

Spouse: Anna Bertilintytär, born about 1590


5. Eskeli Paavalinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1669-1682

Died December 10, 1694

Spouse: Valpuri, died April 11, 1697


6. Antti Eskilinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1682-1709

Spouse: Brita Matintytär


7. Matti Antinpoika Vänni

Master of Vänni during the years 1709-1734


Matti Antinpoika Vänni was born around 1678 in Ikaalinen. He died November 25, 1741 when he was over 60 years old. Matti Antinpoika married Marketta Klemetintytär Hiitti on April 4, 1700. She was born  in 1679, in Parkano and died on August 9, 1752 in Ikaalinen. Matti Antinpoika died on November, 25, 1741.


The information on the children of their family is not perfect because the records of the Parish register of the period of Great Hate are defective in many places. But at least 4 children were born in the family:


Paavali, b. January 21, 1710, d. September 19, 1790

Yrjö, b. February 28, 1713

Anna, b. December 20, 1715                   



8. Paavali Matinpoika Vänni


After Matti Antinpoika Paavali Matinpoika, his eldest son, became the master of Vänni in 1734. He was born January 21, 1710 and died September 19, 1790. He married Valpuri Tuomaantytär Hyssä, who was born April 20, 1711 and died July 8, 1767.


9 children were born to them:


Antti, b. November 5, 1736, d. March 12, 1789

Yrjö, b. March 3, 1739

Liisa, b. November 14, 1741

Maria, b. June 11, 1744, d. 1749

Simo, October 1, 1746, d. November 6, 1831 in Kankaanpää

Matti, b. August 30, 1748, d. September 25, 1748

Heikki, b. 30.12.1749, k. lapsena

Maria, b. May 28, 1753

Valpuri, b. May 28, 1753


Records of Ikaalinen Parish when Paavali Vänni ran the farm:

1748-1751; 1751-1757; 1758-1763


As the eldest son, Antti Paavalinpoika continued as the next master but after he died at the age of 52 years, the second eldest son, Yrjö Paavalinpoika succeeded him. In those days in Finland, the eldest son became the master and inherited the entire estate.


9. Simo Paavalinpoika Kangasniemi


Simo Paavalinpoika Vänni was born in Ikaalinen on October 13, 1746 and died in Kankaanpää on November 6, 1831. As the third eldest son, Simo Paavalinpoika had no possibility of becoming the master of Vänni so he had to find work somewhere else. In the beginning, Simo worked as a farm hand at several farms in Kankaanpää. When he was there, he married Valpuri Mikontytär Paasto from Ikaalinen (b. November 1, 1­751, d. November 5, 1813) on April 12, 1773..


Simo continued as a farm hand in Kankaanpää and after a few years he settled down in Vihteljärvi village in Kankaanpää. Simo Paavalinpoika is very important because he is the first ancestor of the branch of our family in Kankaanpää. In those days, Kankaanpää was a part of the Parish of Ikaalinen. Kankaanpää became a Parish of its own in the year 1841.


Simo and Valpuri had seven children and only one of them was a son. The line of ancestors continues from him.


Maria, b. January 10, 1774

Liisa, b. September 3, 1779

Valpuri, b. September 3, 1779

Kreetta, b. January 25, 1782

Kaisa, b. September 16, 1784

Matti, b. December 15, 1787, d. December 13, 1855

Juliaana, b. October 17, 1793


Records of Kankaanpää Parish at the time of Simo Paavalinpoika:

1770-1775; 1793-1798; 1799-1804; 1805-1810


10. Matti Simonpoika Kangasniemi


Matti Simonpoika Kangasniemi was born December 15, 1787 and died December 13, 1855 in Kankaanpää.

By Matti Simonpoika (Manasse’s grandfather) we have found the earliest document of the  shoemakers of our family so far. According to the church records, at 17 years old Matti went to Venesjärvi (a village of Kankaanpää) to learn the occupation of shoemaker. After that, he worked as a farm hand at several farms.


Matti Simonpoika married Maria Juhontytär Koipela from Ikaalinen (b. 15.3.1783, d. 5.3.1863) on 9.6.1811.


The young couple built a croft of their own called Kangasniemi. Also, Matti’s father Simo moved there and lived there until 85 years of age.


Matti and Maria had 7 children:


Matti, b. June 23, 1811

Juho, b. 1815, d. February 13, 1867

Israel, b. January 7, 1817

Jeremias, b. April 5, 1819

Sakarias, b. February 1, 1821

Anna Maija, b. April 14, 1823

Jaakko, b. April 5, 1826, d. November 16, 1836


Records of Kankaanpää Parish at the time of Matti Simopoika:

1812-1817; 1818-1824; 1824-1830; 1831-1837;

1838-1844; 1845-1851; 1852-1858


The eldest child, Matti, continued as a crofter in Kangasniemi after his father.  Israel moved to Lavia. Jeremias and Sakarias were tenant farmers in Vihteljärvi.


11. Juho Matinpoika Lepistö


Juho Matinpoika married Maria Juhontytär on 5.6.1836, who came from a croft named Lepistö in the village of Vihteljärvi. They settled down in the tenant farm of Lepistö.


Juho and Maria had 11 children, 8 sons and 3 daughters:

(place of birth and death is Kankaanpää if not otherwise mentioned)


1. Matti Lepistö, b. July 2, 1836, d. December 15, ­1868. Tenant farmer in Lepistö, shoemaker. Spouse: Kaisa Tuomaantytär, b. September 18, ­1836. They had 3 children. Matti Lepistö died at the age of 32 years. After that, Kaisa married Juha Matinpoika from Kankaanpää.


2. Iisak Lepistö, b. January 20, 1837, d. as a young child.


3. Juha Salomäki, b. September 6, 1838, d. September 2, 1892. Tenant farmer, shoemaker. The first spouse (m. May 20, 1861) Maija Stina Mi­konty­tär, b. July 1, 1834, d. April 6, 1868. Three children were born to them and all of them died in the course of a week with their mother during the great years of famine. The second spouse, Karo­liina Iisakintytär, b.September 14, 1849. 9 children.


4. Iisak Lepistö, b. December 18, 1840, d. September 2, ­1851.


5. Albertina Lepistö, b. March 9, 1843, d. May 31, 19­11. Spouse Malakias Mäenpää, b. August 20, 1841, d. November 18, 1914. They lived in Vihteljärvi and had 5 children.


6. Ananias Marjamäki, b. June 3, 1846,  d. March 27, 19­13. Shoemaker, tenant farmer in Vihteljärvi. Spouse Johanna Vilhelmiina Juhan­tytär Kahila, b. December 23, 1­843, d. March 5, 1924. 5 children.


7. Nikoteemus Ahola (former Lindfors), b. September 5, 1848, d. July 21, 1936 in Suodenniemi. Shoemaker, tenant farmer in Suodenniemi. Spouse Sera­fia Juhantytär, b. March 15, 1853, d. October 20, 1915 in Suodenniemi. 9 children.


8. Malakias Lindfors, b. November 1, 1850, d. April 27, 1906. Shoemaker, tenant farmer in Vihteljärvi. Spouse Matilda Eliaantytär, b. September 7, 1851, d. April 29, ­1934. 1 child.


9. Severiina Lepistö, b. March 8, 1853, died at the age of 24 years April 20, 1877. Worked as a maid.


10. Manasse Leppimäki, b. July 31, 1856, d. December 29, 1­919. Shoemaker, tenant farmer in Vihteljärvi. Spouse (married February 11, 1877) Marjaana Antin­ty­tär, b. August 20, ­1854, d. July 25, 1941. 10 children.


11. Wilhelmiina Lepistö, b. October 10, 1859, d. May 28, ­1862.


Records of Kankaanpää Parish at the time of Juho Matinpoika:

1838-1844; 1845-1851; 1852-1858;  1859-1865; 1866-1872


12. Manasse Leppimäki


Manasse Juhonpoika, the youngest of the brothers was born in the summer 1856 which   means that it was 140 years from his birth this summer. When he was 10 years old, Finland suffered from famine (so called ”The Great Finnish Famine” during the years 1866-88). Within two months, he lost both his parents from typhoid fever. At about 20 years old, he met his wife-to-be Marjaana Antintytär.


Marjaana came from Venesjärvi village. Her father Antti Matinpoika worked as a farm hand at several farms, mainly in Siikainen for 20 years without a break. After he returned to Kankaanpää Venesjärvi, he worked at Mattila farm owned by his cousin. There he met Anna Kaisa Gabrielintytär, a maid 20 years his junio. He married her in 1854. On August 20, 1854 they had a daughter who was named Marjaana and remained the only child of the family. During the years of famine, Marjaana lost first her father to typoid fever and after a year her mother as well. So 13-year-old Marjaana was left all on her own.


Marjaana worked as a maid at some tenant farms and farms. When she worked at Sikala farm in Vihteljärvi, she met the shoemaker of the village, Manasse Juhonpoika. They had their banns called in the beginning of 1877. Manasse and Marjaana got married in 1877. In the beginning, they lived 8 years in Lepistö croft and then moved to Leppimäki which they had built by themselves and which was a croft of Puuska farm. 10 children were born to them, 9 sons and 1 daughter. Like the former generation, all the sons learned the occupation of shoemaker.


Manasse died at the age of  63 years, on the day before New Year’s Eve in 1919 but Marjaana lived as a widow for 21 years. Marjaana died at Midsummer in 1941 and she was nearly 87 years old.



(place of birth and death is Kankaanpää if not otherwise mentioned)


1) Frans Oskari Mäkelä, b. March 6, 1877, d. August 8, 196. Shoemaker, farmer in Vihteljärvi.

Spouse: Pauliina Mäkelä (née Koskela), b. June 2, 1874, d. March  3, 1951. 9 children. Oskari’s photo.


2) Juho Ernesti Leppänen, b. September 26, 1878, d. November 17, 1881.


3) Iivari Leppänen, b. May 8, 1881, d. July 17, 1935. Shoemaker, tradesman in Vihteljärvi.

First Spouse: Elsa Leppänen (née Leponiemi),  b. November 28, 1883, d. July 13, 1915. 4 children.

Second Spouse: Hilja Leppänen (née Hirvijärvi), b. April 17, 1894 in Lavia, d. February 5, 1968. 7 children. Iivari’s photo.


4) Juho Maurits Leppänen, b. March 24, 1883, d. August 9, 1965. Shoemaker, farmer.

Spouse: Hilma Joosefiina Leppänen (née Lähteenmäki), b. June 7, 1884 in Pori suburban parish, d. September 11, 1972. 12 children. Juho’s photo.


5) Victor Leppanen (former Vihtori Leppänen),  b. April 19, 1887, d. December 19, 1964 in Duluth ( Minnesota, USA). Shoemaker.

Spouse: Hilja Maria Leppanen (née Riihimäki), b. January 23, 1884, d. 1939 in DeKalb (Illoinois, USA).  5 children.

Vihtori immigrated to the USA in 1911. Victor’s photo.


6) Jalmar Maki (former Jalmari Leppimäki), b. February 8, 1889, d. May, 1970 in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada). Farmer, businessman.

Spouse: Hilma Matilda Maki (née Uusitalo), b. 1890 in Noormarkku, d. January 4, 1945 in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada). 6 children.

Jalmari was only 17 when he immigrated to Canada. Jalmar’s photo.


7) Hilda Aleksandra Ojanen (née Leppimäki), b. December 24, 1890, d. November 29, 1964.

Spouse: Frans Iivari Ojanen (former Kortesoja, former Oja), b. April 30, 1889, d. April 8, 1982. Tradesman, farmer. 18 children, of which 8 children grew up. Hilda’s photo.


8) Manasse Viljam Leppimäki, b. April 19, 1894, d. March 22, 1949. Shoemaker, farmer.

First Spouse:  Jenny Maria Leppimäki (née Koskinen), b. April 2, 1890 in Lavia, d. January 31, 1929. 6 children.

Second Spouse: Hilja Leppimäki (former Leppänen, née Hirvijärvi), b. April 17, 1894 in Lavia, d. February 5, 1968. 1 child. Viljami’s photo.


9) Artturi Leppänen, b. April 27, 1897, d. February 22, 1967. Businessman.

Spouse: Veera Aili Leppänen (née Venetmäki), b. July 16, 1899, d. July 17, 1978 in Helsinki. 7 children.

Artturi’s photo.


10) Eino Verneri Leppimäki, b. July 19, 1900, d. February 11, 1990. Businessman, farmer.

Spouse: Anni Ester Leppimäki (née Koivisto), b. May 22, 1914, d. February 20, 1992. 9 children.

Eino’s photo.


The new family catalogue will be consisted of nearly all the descendants of these children. There are around 950 names in the catalogue today. The catalogue will be published on July 31, 2010 at the family reunion.