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            07 October 2012

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My name is Colleen and I am the volunteer for the Finland GenWeb site.  If you find a link that does not work, or if you have a link that you would like added to the site, please contact me.  

Please be patient, I am still updating links!

History of Finland:

The first people arrived in Finland about 9,000 years ago. They probably represented several groups and tribes, including the ancestors of the present Sami. Lured by the plenitude of game, particularly fur-bearing animals and fish, they followed the melting ice northward. The first people perhaps came to hunt only for the summer, but gradually more and more of them stayed over the winter. Apparently berries played a significant role in their diet.

Another group probably arrived some 3,000 years later from the southeast. They possibly spoke a Finno-Ugric language and may have been related to the ancestors of the present Finns, if they were not actually of the same group. Other peoples—including the ancestors of the Tavastians—followed from the southwest and central Europe, eventually adopting the Finno-Ugric tongue.

During the 1st millennium before Christ several more groups arrived, among them the ancestors of the present Finns. The nomadic Sami, who had been scattered over the greater part of Finland, withdrew to the north. Most other groups intermarried and assimilated with the newcomers, and settlement spread across the south of Finland. The population was still extremely sparse, but three loose unities seem to have crystallized: the Finns proper, the Tavastians, and the Karelians. These each had their own chiefs, and they waged war on one another.

Even before the beginning of the Viking Age (8th–11th century after death), Swedes had settled on the southwestern coast. During the Viking Age, Finland lay along the northern boundary of the trade routes to Russia, and the inhabitants of the area served as suppliers of furs. The Finns apparently did not take part in the Viking expeditions. The end of the Viking Age was a time of unrest in Finland, and Swedish and Danish raids were made on the area, where Russians and Germans also traded.  From:  Encyclopedia Britannica

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