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Jaska Sarell
09-04-07, 14:15
Today on Mikael Agricola's day, it's time to remind about this great man in Finnish history, especially since this year is his jubilee year, based on his death date 450 year ago.

Mikael Agricola was born about 1510 in Torsby village of Pernå, east of Borgå (fi Porvoo). His father was a wealthy farmer named Olof. Thus he went on by name Mikael Olaui, until at school in Viipuri (sw Viborg) he started to use surname Agricola due to farmer's occupation. He had three sisters, whose names are not known - their husbands were clerk Klemet Henriksson, sheriff Thomas Larsson and farmer Magnus Jönsson. The farm became later known by name Sigfrids after Mikael's nephew Sigfrid Magnusson.

Pernå (fi Pernaja) was and mostly still is Swedish speaking parish. It is speculated that Mikael's mother may have been Finnish speaking. Anyway he learned Finnish completely and became known as "father of Finnish language" after making an ABC book for Finnish and translating the New Testament into Finnish etc.

Later the bishop of Turku, married with Birgitta Olofsdotter, he is known to have only one son, who became the bishop of Tallinn - Christian Agricola till Villnäs, nobled in 1584. Christian had a daughter Brita, but after two generations that family branch ended. Thus there's no known descendants living today.

More about his life in English:
Agricola 2007 (http://www.utu.fi/agricola2007/translations/english/index.html)
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikael_Agricola)

:) Jaska