Villages in Ostrobothnia home


(These are recollections by Viktor Smeds of his childhood in Petalax.)

Petalax church village was a typical Österbotten village during my childhood. The church occupied a dominant place, Kyrkbacken, at the edge of the woods. The hill slopes down to the old Vasa-Kristinestad coastal road, and the fork in the road to Pörtom was close by. The settlement was filled by one of the crowded Ostrobothnian villages that once was characteristic of the countryside. Petalax was an old village parish. The nearest villages, Molpe in Korsnäs, Ytterby in Malax and Pörtom church village are far off, 10 to 20 kilometers away and the village was in a world by itself.

From the dwellings close to the church, the village was built up by dividing the houses which are found on the other side of the river. At the beginning is "Krutas" and Buss, farther to the west at Krokå bridge is Antonas and Blommi’s torp, "Smess-i-bakkan" with two farmhouses: Smess and "Grousj", also several cottages in back that were separate from the village.

In the 1700s new villages appeared. Some of hem were Långbacken, Kråkträsk, Hultholm, Bjurnäs (Bjurus), Viitela. In the east there is Kalltjers torp and a woods village of Mambrin, sometimes jokingly called Viborg. Concentrated in the south are Åmossa, Skott, Lolax, Finnbacken, Ågren, Riddar, Köping, Granholm, Dahl, and Ribacka. The area contained many large and well-built houses and a new village was created called "Nyby", of a different character than the church village which was called "Gamalby".

Residents of the former village, who descended from Swedish Österbotten, often would consider themselves a bit above the more rustic in a way, more than the conservative old village residents.

In "Gamalby", coming from the north on the right of the road was Klockar farm, on the left was Britas, "Blandas-Jångas", "Neristu", Oppistu, Back-Mattas, :Greddjas", "Greddjas-Gabrelas", Nystu-Mattas, Nörrstu, Pimmas, Eppus, Mattas-Erkas, Erkmas-Gabbas, Thors, Sebbas-Jångas, Sebbas-Erkas, Antasinars, Spikuras, Holm- Mattas and "Holm-Kalas", "Lang-Kalas", Torp.

To the right of the road was Liss-Josepas, Erkmas, Fantas, Lundas-Gabbas and Lin. These were names used in daily speech, different from the official house names. All of these were clustered together and called "Nårr-I-byn". Nearby were the small gray cottages "Vektasj-bakkan", "Kålta-bakkans". South of the church began "Sår-I-byn".

From Lin the following houses were located there: Båsk-Mattas, "Listu-Isrelas", Båsk-Häckas", "Prest-Kalas", Lundas, Jåss, Kelas, Bäck, Jångas, "Pölinas", "Emöusas", Smess-Häckas, Däli, Mansinas, Nyers, Jånkas, Minas, "Morsis", "Gröusj-Kalas", Gröusj-Häckas, Frans-Josepas and "Maartinas".

The village farms consisted of various owners with separate names and separate coundaries. In the north were Storsvedan and Brännback, and in fron of the village Bergmo, "Britas-Trodon" and Posthagan; in the west Skurvur, Maron, "Langjuton" and "Stranden" and in the south Lappkull, "Söderåkrin", Kvänusjbakk, "Söderenjen", "Brenjen".

From "Den Österbottnisky Byn"

Translation June Pelo

Site map

DATABASE of IMMIGRANTS from Ostrobothnia, Finland