i happened to say over on steve sailer’s blog that the “swedish-speaking finn,” edvard westermarck (the westermarck effect guy), should just be known as a swedish guy ’cause, ethnically/genetically, he was prolly just swedish. i mostly based this on the guy’s name — westermarck sounds swedish to me. i mean, his name wasn’t westeralkeapää or something like that. i also thought that a swedish-speaking finn in those days was more likely to be ethnically swedish than not.

jaakkeli responded (this was over two months ago, but i only saw his response yesterday — sorry, jaakeli!):

“Westermarck’s ancestry may or may not be from the small number of ethnic Swedish peasantry that settled in the Finnish coasts and Baltic islands… well, probably not.”

from what i can make out by looking @ geni.com, it seems like a h*ckuva lot of westermarck’s ancestors actually did come from sweden. i think they might have interbred with some finnish-finns, but i’m not as sure about that. the westermarcks did marry people born in finland, but the names are all swedish-sounding again, so i don’t know what that means. and, there’s also some germans in the woodpile, so there you go.

some of westermarck’s swedish (from sweden) ancestors include:

– his paternal great-grandfather, nils wilheim westermarck, originally from lövånger, sweden.
– his paternal grandmother’s father, henrik johan sajander, originally from västerbotten, sweden.

westermarck’s maternal grandmother’s mother, anna harring (nee wagnitz) — well, her father was from germany.

so, there you go. westermarck was ethnically swedish with a smattering of german and, most likely, part finnish-finnish as well.

oh yeah. and, judging by the average appearance of the vast number of finnish-americans with whom i’ve interacted (n=1), i think westermarck actually looks quite finnish. maybe some actual finnish people would know better than me, tho:

does any of this matter? no, not really. i just got curious, that’s all.

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mitä kuuluu suomalaisten kanssa?

oh, no! finns in finland have a shorter life-expectancy than swedes in finland. ‘sup with that? (these researchers think it could be something genetic.):

“Family origin and mortality: prospective Finnish cohort study”

“Background: Death rates are notably higher in eastern Finland than in western Finland, and life expectancy of Finnish speakers shorter than that of Swedish speakers. The mortality differences correspond to recent genetic mappings of the population and are prominent for causes of death that are known to be associated with genetic risk factors….

“Result: The death risk of Finnish speakers born in eastern Finland was 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.26) that of Finnish speakers born in western Finland, whereas that of Swedish speakers was only 0.60 (0.52 to 0.71). In Finnish speakers, the effects of own birth area and area of residence disappeared when parental birth area was accounted for. The death risk of persons with at least one parent born in eastern Finland was 1.23 (1.09 to 1.39) that of people with both parents born in western Finland.

“Conclusions: Parental birth area is the driving force behind the regional mortality difference in Finland. The findings highlight and give further support for the potentially important role of genetic risk factors in mortality….

“Our results correspond with known facts about mortality of middle-aged men in Finland. The death risk of Finnish speakers in western Finland is approximately ten per cent lower than that of Finnish speakers in eastern Finland, but 40% higher than that of Swedish speakers. These mortality differences resemble genetic mappings of the population, but no explicit link has yet been established….

“We find that mortality differences by people’s own birth area, which might proxy not only genetic factors but also early-life conditions, are fully explained by the parents’ birth area. If at least one parent was born in eastern Finland, the death risk is over 20% higher as compared with if both parents were born in western Finland.

Relative death rates by region in Finland, standardised for age and calendar year, men aged 35-49 years, 1986-2005 . Total Finland is equal to one. The classification is according to the 20 administrative regions, plus one category (number 7) that separates the Helsinki metropolitan area.

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