are recollections by Viktor Smeds of his childhood in 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.
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 Blommis torp, "Smess-i-bakkan"
with two farmhouses: Smess and "Grousj", also several cottages
in back that were separate from the village.
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".
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.
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.
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".
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".
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,