The family pages are maintained by The Könni Family Association, founded in 1947. The family association was registered with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office in 2010. The purpose of the association is to conduct research into the history of the family, preserve family traditions and promote and maintain continuous connection among family members.
On these pages you can find information about the history of the Könni family of blacksmiths, their products, skilful clockmakers, the Könni masters, and also about the history of the family association preserving these traditions. The family association uses these pages also as a channel for information.
The founder of the Könni family is Jaakko Jaakonpoika, born in 1721. He was the son of a farmer from the Ranto house in the village of Jouppila in Ilmajoki. He was the first Könni master. Jaakko Jaakonpoika learned the blacksmith’s craft and became a skilful iron- and gunsmith as well as a clockmaker.
Jaakko Jaakonpoika bought the Könni homestead and settled in the village of Peltoniemi, in Ilmajoki Alapää. After settling he first started to clear more field, as the place was deserted after the Great Northern War. Only small parcels of land had been cleared. The new farmer had lots of ideas about farming and forestry and he also worked as a blacksmith. Together with his sons Juho and Samuel he continuously expanded both his production and his farm.
In 1816 the enlarged Könni farm was divided into Ala-Könni and Yli-Könni by the two eldest of five sons in the third generation, Jaakko and Juho. Both clock- and watchmaking along with agricultural work were expanded.
With the years ’könninkello’ the Könni-clock has become a household word meaning a tall floor clock. The Könni clock production included many kinds of clocks, from pocket watches to tower clocks. One of the most demanding productions was the tall calendar clock with seven hands.
The most well-known tower clock is probably the one in the Government Palace at the Senate Square in Helsinki. It was made by Jaakko Ala-Könni in 1822.
Along with the many different kinds of clocks and watches, the production of the Könni family included many more items. A newspaper article published in Helsingfors Morgonblad in 1841 gave a long list of Könni products. In addition to clocks and watches there were saw blades, surgical instruments, clock springs, carriages, carts, chandeliers, locks, keys, hinges and a water powered trip hammer.
The creativity, skilfulness and wide production of the Könni family in Ilmajoki, in an actual technology village of that time, was well-known all over the country and even abroad. The works of the masters had such a reputation that people started spreading colourful stories about the inventiveness and skills of the Könni brothers. They were even mentioned in Finnish literature, in the novel ’The Seven Brothers’ by Aleksis Kivi.
The last of the Yli-Könni masters was buried in 1861. None of the sons, who were underage at the time, continued the craft of clockmaking. When master Ala-Könni died in 1865 and only a five-year old daughter was left behind, the long chain of clockmaking which had lasted for a hundred years and four generations was broken. But the family of the clockmakers did not come to an end!
The Könni Family Association was formed in 1947 and the Aldermen, led by Master Könni, started to manage its affairs. The association has been very active throughout the years. The family reunion in Ilmajoki in 2015 was the sixteenth in order. Reunions have been held in South Ostrobothnia and in the Greater Helsinki area. The Könni logo, two interlocking arcs, was agreed as the Könni family logo in 1947. You can find the logo e.g. in family publications, standards, family pins and pennants.
We hope that people who visit our pages will find interesting, useful and fun things to read and see. The Aldermen welcome all Könni family members to the family association and to our family reunions!