Finns on the Titanic - April 14/15, 1912 - 100 years ago

until the 100th anniversary of the disaster

July 2008 :: April 16, 2010 :: April 14, 2011 :: September 22, 2011 :: March 20, 2012 :: April 14, 2012


On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, making stops at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland (then part of England; now Cobh, Ireland).

On board were 66 Finns, both those emigrating from Finland and Finnish-Americans returning from a visit to the old homeland.

At 11:40pm ship time on Sunday, April 14, 1912, Titanic struck the infamous iceberg on a clear, starry, moonless night.  By 2:20am ship time on Monday, April 15, 1912, the ship descended into the depths of the icy North Atlantic waters.

Most of the Finnish passengers of the Titanic began their journey out of Hanko, Finland on the S/S Polaris, pictured below.

They departed from Finland on Wednesday, April 3, 1912, making the usual stops at Copenhagen, Denmark and Hull, England.  From Hull, they took a designated train to London and from there to Southampton.

Two Finnish passengers, who perished in the sinking of the Titanic, were Mr. and Mrs. William (William and Anna) Lahtinen, pictured above.  William Lahtinen was a Finnish Apostolic Lutheran minister in Cokato, Minnesota.

Other images at IMAGE GALLERY

Share Titanic information here >

See and hear more about the story and the drama at these links:


One Step Beyond: Night of April 14
fictional dramatization of premonition [1959]

The Time Tunnel: Rendezvous with Yesterday
sci-fi [1966]



In 2007, I proposed to the Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society that I would organize and they would sponsor a very special centennial event in recognition of the close connection of the Titanic story with Finnish-America and specifically with Cokato.  To my great pleasure and with my sincere gratitude, they graciously accepted my proposal.  Shortly thereafter, the Cokato Historical Society joined in co-sponsorship.
This website will continue to develop as plans move forward toward the COKATO2012 event, scheduled for Saturday, April 14, 2012.  Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, recommendations, ideas, or comments of any kind.

- Greg



Finns on the Titanic: Northern Minnesota
Thursday, September 22, 2011 @ 7p
Kaleva Hall, Virginia MN
It was a great honor to present my information at the historic Virginia, MN Kaleva Hall on September 22, 2011.  We had a great turn out that night and it was a pleasure to talk with so many.
I was also very pleased to be asked to write an article that will appear in the upcoming edition of the "Kalevainen."  It was wonderful to elaborate a little more on the story of the Finns in connection with the historic Titanic saga!

Finns on the Titanic: Northern Minnesota
Thursday, April 14, 2011 @ 7p
Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm MN

I am very pleased to be presenting the latest information on my Finnish-Titanic connection research at the Minnesota Discovery Center at the invitation of the Finnish American and Friends, Hibbing Chapter of Finlandia Foundation.  This April 14 is the 99th anniversary of the collision.

In addition to an overview of this historic event, we will also highlight the Finnish passengers with a connection to Minnesota and particularly to Northern Minnesota.  All are welcomed and we look forward to seeing you there April 14, 2011!

- Greg

[EVENT WEBPAGE] [Hibbing Daily Tribune article]

Their Journey: TITANIC

presented April 16, 2010
7:30pm @ Int'l Inst. of MN
1694 Como Ave, St Paul MN


Greg Isola, an independent Finnish researcher, will present the latest results of his continuing research into the Finnish passengers on the RMS Titanic. Much of this research focuses on William and Anna Lahtinen, who had connections to Minnesota and particularly to the Finnish community of Cokato. You will hear about their lives in the early part of the twentieth century, some details about the famous ship and its infamous calamity, and also information about all the Finnish passengers who made that fateful journey.


See our new Sponsors' page!
Other generous sponsors requested > Email

Share Titanic information here >
Condensed 2008 Duluth FinnFest bio
Native Duluthian Greg Isola enjoys studying history.  His research into the Lahtinen’s Titanic story began in the 1990s.  This grew out of his interests in genealogy, Finnish, and church history.  There are intriguing intersections among all these subjects.  In 2012, Greg will organize a major Titanic event in Cokato.  Greg lives in Minneapolis with his wife Stephanie and children – Katarina, Maria, Abram, and Olivia.  He continues to share (and sometimes impose) his interests on them.

Science Museum of Minnesota (St Paul) exhibit 2009


Copyright © 2012  Gregory S. Isola, independent researcher, Finn Street on the Internet
Updated 3/19/2012
All rights reserved.  Kaikki oikeudet pidätetään.