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The Vast Family Network of Matthew Claude Bernard Henriquet

Updated August 21, 2003

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Dear Matthew,

Every family has an interesting history but yours might prove more fascinating than most!

It resembles a huge spider's web and you are the tiny little shining dot in the middle. Think about it! Without all these hundreds of people beginning to come together from distant lands and different times in history, leading these adventurous lives through the centuries and ending up meeting and marrying and blending into what became this huge extended family of yours, you would not be the wonderful person you are and we all love. Like a lot of families, yours started at different times in history, in very different parts of the world. Some of your ancestors on Zouca's side left Italy in the early dawn of the second millenium during the crusades, and that is a long, long time ago; when the crusades ended, they decided that the people who were supposed to be their horrible enemies were not so terrible after all and that life was easy and sweet in the Greek Islands and decided to stay through the centuries doing business with the rest of the Mediterranean. For Mamisa's ascendence on all sides is nothing if not euro-mediterranean merchants.

On my father's side, Jean Baptiste Giraud was a third or fourth sons of wealthy orchardists in Antibes, a port the South of France but in those days there was no future for a young man if he was not not the eldest or second born in the family. So like many others in his position, Jean Baptiste left his comfortable life in lovely Antibes around 1760, long before the French Revolution, and set off to seek his fortunes on the banks of the Mediterranean which were humming with trade. On his way through Genoa, he met a nice young lady he eventually married, a Signorina Cortazzi. I wish I could imagine that she was beautiful and that he was carried away by a grand passion for her, but unfortunately, from the protrait we have, she was terribly plain! I therefore deduce she must have been a kind and pleasant lady, ready to adapt to the unexpected challenges one encounters moving around the Mediterranean while your husband is trying to set up a profitable business with his father-in-law's funds. Maybe the father-in-law was all to pleased to advance funds for exploring business deals in Asia Minor, as Turkey was called then in exchange of a marriage of a plain daughter... things were very different in those days. Whittalls, Pattersons, van der Schroefs,

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