The photo shows part of a page in the Mikkeli church record from years 1726-1735. The name is Matts Muinoin, age 40, (born 1686). Ordinarily the year of birth appeared in the column after the name. The reason for the exceptional practise lies in this being the first notation following Iso Viha (Russian occupation) which caused a break of several years in the church functions. The minister of the Mikkeli parish as well as many town burgers had to avoid the Russians by escaping to Sweden. The end phase of the Suuri Pohjan Sota (Great Northern War) called Iso Viha lasted almost ten years ending in the Uusikaupunki peace treaty of August 30, 1721. The Russian occupation was a difficult period for the Finns; soldiers confiscated food and grain from the farms. Large numbers of people were detained to slavery in Russia, especially to the construction of Saint Petersburg. Estimates of the numbers taken vary from 10 to 20 thousand. The Russian officers sold the detainees to slavery. Pohjanmaa and eastern Finland suffered the greatest losses. In addition about 2000 men were forced to military service. Of the soldiers about 500 and of those taken to slavery about 2000 were able to return, some of them decades later.
One can think in terms of three Muinonen branches: Muinola, Anttila and southern Finland. I have considered the descendants of brothers Esko and Martti belonging to the same branch due to the same point of origin. Matti's descendants on the other hand headed in their own direction at an early point.
The aforementioned Matti is the forefather of the so called southern Finland Muinonens. His son Sakari was a soldier in the Savo Infantry Regiment (with a solder name Hurtig). Sakari moved from Vanhamäki to Ihastjärvi, Mikkeli. This branch moved on via Mikkeli primarily to southern Finland, and still further on to Sweden, Canada, United States and elsewhere. Certain energetic individuals amongst them started the tradition of family reunions by way of the 1974 Mikkeli meeting.
The following reunion meetings have taken place thus far: Mikkeli 1974, Kotka 1977, Heinävesi 1980, Lappeenranta 1983, Helsinki 1986, Raisio 1989, Mikkeli 1992, Hamina 1995, Helsinki 1998, Iniö 2002, Helsinki 2005, Halifax 2008, Mikkeli 2011, at sea between Helsinki and Tallinna 2014 and Helsinki Vuosaari 2017.
The current inhabitants of Muinola at Vanhamäki and of Ylä-Tonni are direct descendants of Esko (born 1690), the brother of Matti (born 1686). The third brother Martti (born1696) had eight children. A new home, Hannola, had to be built for the family of the eldest son Hannu and his 11 children. From there the family later dispersed to numerous houses in Vanhamäki and other villages such as Vanahala, Pajula, Harjumaa, Närvälä and Pöyry village in Hirvensalmi.
No direct paternal relationship can be found between the above mentioned ad the Muinonens of Anttila going as far back as the church registry reaches ( about ten generations), but a DNA test indicates that the closest common fore-farther is found about 15 generations back from today.
In the context of the 1992 Mikkeli meeting an oak tree was planted in the Rouhiala school yard. It continues to flourish.
Minutes of the Family Reunion
Event: The Muinonen family reunion 2017
Place: Helsinki, Hotel Rantapuisto, auditorium
Date and time: Sunday, August 6 2017, between 11.45 -12.10
Chairman: Risto Muinonen
Decisions of the meeting
The tradition of Family Reunions will continue and the next reunion will take place in 3 years, year 2020.
The exact date was discussed but not decided upon. September, June and August were proposed. The Canadians informed that they cannot come for only a weekend and that the summer holidays in Canada start in July. It was decided that the organizing committee will ask opinions regarding the date and decide the exact date later.
The location of the next reunion was not decided upon. The proposal was made that the reunion could again be in Canada, as an active part of the family lives there. Part of the proposal was that the next reunion would not include all the family branches (P,M and A), but each branch would arrange its own reunion. It was decided that the organizing committee will later decide how and where the reunion will take place.
As members of the organizing committee were elected:
- Heikki Muinonen, only if the reunion will take place in Canada (M-branch)
- Risto Muinonen with special duty to call the first meeting, “primus motor” (M-branch)
- Jaakko Sakari Muinonen (M-branch)
- Raija Muinonen (P-branch)
- Sampsa Elomäki (M-branch)
- Pekka Muinonen (A-branch)
- Amanda Sandström (M-branch)
It was further noted that Matti ”Muinola” Muinonen will help the committee in the background, he will receive all the minutes, but he will not participate in the actual work.
It was finally noted that all the decisions were made unanimously.