My Ancestry: not as Italian as I thought!

Hemulen

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Here's my partial family history (I don't want to start a new thread). We have a rather encompassing free church registry (from Catholic Middle Ages to the later Lutheran era) online in Finland. It goes back to the 16th century starting from 1850 (newer information has to be requested through authorities) - so you have to know at least one relative from that era to start searching. The oldest registers are scarce and some registers have been destroyed but very many have survived and been microfilmed for public use.

In small Finland it's easy to find at least one stem/branch of family which has already been examined by someone - and the findings can usually be scrutinized for free (self-publishing/absorption principle books, leaflets, public records, free ancestry sites, state-managed registries etc.).

My other grandfather was born in 1882 (the one who was 35 years senior to my grandmother) so his parents were known to the family. My great grandfather was born in 1850. Through this information it was easy to compile the paternal and maternal branches of my mother's side (with auxiliary help of geni.com) back to the 18th, partly even the 17th century. I gave a large, illustrated family tree as a gift to my mother last Christmas.

The maternal branch lived for hundreds of years in the same village where we have our summer place and the paternal branch in the near proximity. Most individuals were common people with farms; my grandfather was the first in the family to gain some kind of social stature in the capital. No distant nobility or high-ranked priests or doctors in the family, then. My father's side is probably quite similar; his family came from another county.

Some of my affinities worked as domestic servants (which was often the destiny for younger siblings who didn't inherit the house). That keeps me humble - and explains my lack of sophistication. One forefather was a Casanova who gave. Everything is stated in the church records. There is a stone age settlement with rock paintings in the same village, so in calm summer nights one can almost hear the history speaking. The last glacial period ended 11 500 years ago.

Finns are a rather distinct and inbred group of people (not entirely, of course) with a big onset of e.g. autoimmune diseases. I am one example with my RA and a certain rheumatoid antigen. This antigen was brought to Finland by one Dutch sailor a few hundred years ago - and now approximately 16% of Finns carry it. This was told by my ophthalmologist who wrote his doctoral thesis about this particular antigen and its relation to iritis.

Anyhow, it is very interesting to dig into the deep. Most of my close relatives married on December 26th (priests were easily available at Christmas) and had several children. Most children died young in the 16th, 17th and 18th century. In the 19th century maybe two thirds of the children survived. My grandfather had about ten siblings; a couple of them died young. My grandfather married a girl from his village. They had two children but their lovely daughter (whose photo I've seen in a 20's magazine cover) died of appendicitis while studying at uni. His first wife and son died in the first Helsinki bombing of the Winter War in November 30th, 1939. My grandmother ended up marrying the poor old widower. They had two children of whom my mother is the eldest. My dear grandmother passed away in 2014.

I used to study linguistics and the English language at uni, so I've read something about the history of the UK. Quite colorful with all the conquests, linguistic and population-related changes; Welch, Picts, Scots, Anglo-Saxon, Danes, Normans, Romans, wars and riots,... The American history is much more remote although my first teachers were American Catholic nuns in a Helsinki-based school. I'm sorry if my English is a disorderly blend of English, American English, Finnish, elf language and gibberish. I haven't used English much lately; mainly in my studies.
 

Morning Glory

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Finns are a rather distinct and inbred group of people (not entirely, of course) with a big onset of e.g. autoimmune diseases. I am one example with my RA and a certain rheumatoid antigen. This antigen was brought to Finland by one Dutch sailor a few hundred years ago - and now approximately 16% of Finns carry it. This was told by my ophthalmologist who wrote his doctoral thesis about this particular antigen and its relation to iritis.

That is interesting. My mother suffered from iritis and became totally blind before I was born. I've written about this elsewhere. She was told it was an autoimmune disease. Back then autoimmune diseases were not as well understood as they are now. I'd be interested to know a bit more about the opthalmologist's thesis.

I'm sorry if my English is a disorderly blend of English, American English, Finnish, elf language and gibberish. I haven't used English much lately; mainly in my studies.

Your English is great. You write very well. :okay:
 

Hemulen

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- - - I'd be interested to know a bit more about the opthalmologist's thesis. - - -
Unfortunately the doctor has retired and because I only met him twice (his last instructions were: 'you'll do fine with supermarket glasses for decades; just keep changing them as your eye sight declines'), I don't recall his name for certain :oops:. He didn't tell any details about his dissertation (couldn't find a familiar match with 'uveitis', 'dissertation', 'scientific research', 'Helsinki University') but I do remember the HLAB27 antigen - uveitis correlation and his story about the Dutch sailor.
 

Mountain Cat

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Mountain Cat the work your uncle was doing on finding your ancestors is fascinating, I thought of getting something like that for my grandma but the companies that do that are crazy expensive. You can do it manually but it's tedious work. Here in Portugal you basically have to chase civil registration offices and because this is a Catholic country also churches, and look for registrations of marriages and baptisms. Going back 2 or 3 generations, if someone in the family moved out of the country or didn't baptize their children it's like they didn't exist.

Here in the US my Uncle used old census records and then checked the pertinent town records for more information. He also sought town and regional records in Germany and in the UK to go back as far as he could, there. He even managed to find photos of our ancestors (Mom was able to come up with those on her side of the family) that go back to the very late 1800s, not earlier for fairly obvious reasons. But some of the records go back to the mid and earli-ish 1700s, over in what is now Germany and some of what is the UK.
 
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