Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Riippa

This is the story of my father's families name in Finland.

Riippa is Swedish for snowbird. Our family is Finnish.

A long time ago there was a terrible winter in Finland.
(well, most winters in Finland are terrible, but this was worse than usual)
Travel through the country side was almost impossible.
Sweden ruled Finland at that time and the Swedish authorities
sent out rescue parties to bring aid to the Finnish villages 
which had been cut off in the heavy snows.

At one village, all was quiet. It appeared that all the
 villagers were dead, having perished of 
the cold and the lack of food. Then they heard a
 small sound and began to search the houses.
In one house, they found a baby girl.
 Her parents had placed her next to the chimney in
 a last attempt to keep her warm.

They brought the baby back to their own village and she
was adopted by a wealthy family. They called her Riippa because
they thought she looked like a little snowbird.


  1. What an interesting history. What a terrible thing to happen. Winters are bad enough in Canada sometimes.

    1. In Finland, names are often matrilineal, but this changed when they came to America...when many americanized their names. Thanks for stopping by

  2. Cool story - you should tell more of it.
    I enjoyed reading it.

    Happy A - zing

  3. I will try to! thanks for stopping by