Dear visitor, Welcome to the homepage of Rusi family!

Please accept our apologies for not having the resources to properly maintain these pages in other languages besides Finnish.  There is no actual organisation to back up the work. Nevertheless, in case You are interested in contacting us, please do not hesitate to send email.  I try to respond personally or, in case required, help establishing direct contacts with other members of the family.

The purpose of this site is to maintain and further promote sharing of family history and contacts between relatives.  There is much knowledge and stories that have not been documented.  Part of the knowledge can be transferred to succeeding generations through establishing a media for these stories.  This site will also help in finding related links.  Any suggestions for additional services are welcome!

The origin of the family name Rusi seems to trace back to an ancient tribe of vikings who were called upon to govern restless tribes in the frontiers of east and west.  The varyagin Ryurik Rusi  founded the town of Novgorod which seems to be the preface of Russian state. 

The word Rus appeared in Eastern Europe with advance of Varyagans(Scandinavians) to the south. According to history pages of Belorussia, "Ruotsi" was a common name of Suomi Finns. Later the word spread to all Finns. Hence, in the 10th century the word was used to describe Scandinavian newcomers in contrast with Slavic people. After a number of Ukrainian tribes(e.g. Palyane) had been conquered by Scandinavians, they adopted the names of their victorers, and eventually word "Rusi" meant mainly inhabitants of Ukraine, which, consequently, was called "Rus". At the same time people living in the lands around Moscow were referred as Maskouci or Maskali. Similar derivatives were common for other principalities. Litwa was NOT included in Rus in the same sense as Zhmudz(present-day Lithuania) was different from Litva.  As known, in 988 Christianity was introduced to Eastern Europe by prince Vladimir of Kievan Rus.  

This assumption can be backed up by excavations of arheology. The source is Durham University, UK.

A brief history of Russia in english can be found at Bucknell pages.

There was a constant  conflict of interest in Karelia through Middle Age.  The area was battlefield not only for eastern and western cultures but also for religion expecially after the Christian Churc got divided in 1054. One of the historical raids was the one that Novgorod performed to Sigtuna in 1187 together with Karelians and probably Estonian islanders.  They demolished the city totally as a revenge to the tradition of attacks and counterattacks at that time. There is a short description of the raid in the internet.  The massive city gate of Sigtuna made of copper was transported to Novgorod as a sign of triumf.  The gate can be found even today by St. Sofia Cathedral in Novgorod.

The history of Karelia has  been characterised by rivalry of governance by east and west through ages.  The coat of arms of Karelia from 1562 bares this symbol. To the left You can find a western sword in combat with an eastern curved sable to the right.

History of Coats of arms in Karelia

A good source of information about Varyagins and Vikings can be found at website "Vikinganswerlady".

Studies of genealogy have documented our ancestors back to the year 1642 on the Finnish Karelian territory.  The farmhouse at Uusikirkko is located about 200 kilometers north of the city of Novgorod. There are signs of Rusi´s moving from Novgorod closer to this area. You can find a good description on Karelian history in english at the netsite of Mauri Rastas. There are still some gaps which separate our family from the above mentioned vikings.  As far as we know now there has not been proper documentation of the population prior to late 17th century.  This applies both to congrecational and taxation documents. In the Finnish pages we have dealt this aspect in more details.

Winter War between Russia and Finland during World War II forced the family to immigrate from their roots at Karelia to other parts of Finland together with 400 000 other immigrants.  There is a personal description of a thirteen year old boy of how the evacuation happened.  Unfortunately much of the official records vanished in the midst of the battles. Some background information can be found here.

Currently there are occasional trips to the sites of the ancestors, accompanied by warm and friendly relationship with the present inhabitants of the area.

Please contact by email for further communication.



Olli Rusi   



Koti Story of evacuation