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Julz's Family Gen Research Tauranga

Updated October 17, 2001

About Our Family Research


The day I started my family research dates back to 1973 when members of my immediate family began dying of a rare stomach cancer, what was obvious to me was that we were the only maori family in New Zealand dying of this discease. Noticeable to me also was the fact that members of our family, even though related on both my grandfathers and grandmothers side going back five generations, while some members of the family never had the cancer, some of my first cousins had died of this stomach cancer called Hylocobactor Pylori and while others who were never affected. I noticed a pattern in our family which this flesh eating type of cancer had taken hold. In order to prove what I always believed that the cancer was hereditary and against the wishes of our religious beliefs I started secretly doing genealogy. In 1991 a close female cousin had taken a trip to Australia to visit her son and his family, while there she took sick and visited a German doctor who told her she had this rare form of cancer, but there was prevention. You must understand that our family has never ever had any doctor tell us that there may be hope. With this news and a team of four of my family they decided to set up a cancer research clinic, and advertised for a scientist. The only one who had experience in a health field was my sister, so unskilled with no knowledge of health, administration or qualifications they set about renting a house in a paddock in 1995 to do genealogy research. In our religion it is a no no, even worse women were definitely not allowed to even think of doing genealogy. In 1997 I was asked to join the team because of my knowledge of the family genealogy, finally I was now going to openly do what Ive been secretly doing for all those years. When the Otago Medical Research Centre scientist Dr Parry Guilford said that the job would take me three years I just smiled, it took me three months, I started work at the clinic in March and had finished the genealogy research in June which include a total of 10,000 members of our family. I was more grateful that finally our family was given the chance to prove to the world that what we were suffering from was hereditary and not derived from a curse. For me to take us back 24 generations was a milestone in my life. From this research I was also able to weed out the family who thought they had this cancer. I am very grateful to all those family members who helped in what they thought was a small contribution, but actually made a first in medical history. Unfortunately the affected side of our family are very few and instead of attending family reunions, we were mostly attending funerals. To my cousin who died shortly after her visit to Australia and made that breakthrough for the remainder who are still living, I will always remember her, she died before the clinic had started. My genealogy research took me on a journey around New Zealand and afar, we also had help from the New Orleans Medical Cancer Research, School of Medicine in England, a scan machine from Japan and now based at the local hospital, and with the World News coverage in 1998, the New Zealand Government donated some money for further research. I had a wonderful experience doing genealogy, it was like living in the world of the ancestors, I have met some distant Farrell relatives through this web page while reading the message board. I was glad to give them the information they were asking for. I have also done that for several families in my area and have also been contacted by the Catholic Church archivist for information. I must tell you that we also had 38 family books and diaries dating from 1867 which was written by two of my great grandfathers, my 2 grandfathers and my dads elder brothers which also holds forty plus generations, but much of this work is beyond me. Thank for giving me some space to write

 
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