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The Uppa Genealogy and Family History

Thanks for your interest in the Uppa Family Association (UFA). We focus on documenting and preserving the legacy of Uppa family lineage that started on a remote river bank of Seinäjoki in Pohjanmaa over 500 years ago. Today our database includes over to 200,000 entries and new names are added weekly. If you are not sure whether you can trace your roots to Uppa, let us help you - there is no obligation to join or include your information in our database if you so prefer. UFA has members around the world and we welcome all and everyone.

With many ancient farm names, the source of origin is not certain. The Uppa name appears around Finland and has alternate recorded forms such as Uppala. Although it can be found in the nearby locales of Teuva and Laihia, our research is yet to shows any direct linkage to those family farms. One logical source could be the Swedish word UPPÅ or “upriver” indicating that the Uppa homestead was located up stream from the rest of the farms on the banks of river Seinäjoki.  

Our genealogy experts are still researching through the daunting amount of tax accounts and court records. Below is what we know now. It’s pertinent to point out that at the time the Finland proper was part of the Swedish kingdom and all official education and record keeping was not done in Finnish. Many genealogists prefer to use translated names, but that can be difficult for someone who is not a native speaker. In this document you’ll find both forms.

At this point, the earliest official Uppa lineage trace can be found in the 1546 tax account in which one Matt Johansson or Matti Jussinpoika is marked down as the resident farmer of a certain homestead in Seinäjoki. The naming of farms didn’t become a necessity until a hundred years later so we do not know what name the farm had until in the middle of 1600’s. In 1563 the recorded taxable owner of the farm was the son Olav Mattson or Olli Matinpoika, who was the master of the house for 35 years. Then, for some reason, in 1600 the farm received a new owner as one Eric Nilsson or Erkki Niileksenpoika took over. As with many small peasant farmers, his origins are not clear to the researchers. He runs the farm until his death in 1610 after which the widow Rachel or Raakel takes the helm. The following decade is so far murky but in 1620 we found one Thomas Rasmusson or Tuomas Rasmuksenpoika tilling the farmland and paying taxes accordingly. The earliest occurrence of the Uppa name can be found in 1629 court records of Lapua village: the above mentioned Thomas Rasmusson from “Uppa of Seinäjoki was named as one of the participants in a dispute case concerning new farming rights. It’s not clear whether the farm was already called Uppa before or if Thomas brought in the name when he took over.

And then we finally get to officially anchor down our Uppa family lineage!  The honor goes to Jacob Ericsson or Jaakko Erkinpoika who in 1627 is mentioned in the official documents to the farm in Seinäjoki. Old tax records mention Jacob as the son of Thomas Rasmusson but our experts conclude that this has to mean a step-son. The patronymics of Jacob Ericsson also suggest that maybe the widow of Eric Nilsson, Rachel remarried Thomas Rasmusson. However, the matching timeline and convenient father’s name are not enough to call the connection waterproof and thus Jacob Ericsson - with his wife, Barbro Mattsdotter or Barbro Matintytär - is the first link and official square one of the Uppa family lineage. Their descendants can be found in our database.

Contact information: merkku.riikonen@gmail.com or merja.lamminkangas@netikka.fi