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The history of Sundom village, which is now part of the area belonging to the city of Vasa, began with an account of the land that rose out of the sea. The raising of the land has certainly played a great part for all of the coastal area of Österbotten, so it is not a surprise that Sundom's history also began here. The greatest benefit of this voluminous work is found in the chapter that describes the people, how they fished, used the land and lived here this century. The first part deals with local communities, the development and growth of the village, while the second part is a gigantic genealogy of the families who lived in this village.

The chapter that describes the life of the farmers, fishermen and craftsmen and their way of living is interesting reading even for an outsider. The rumble from the wars and years of calamity can be heard somewhere in the background while Sundom residents managed to get along somehow through the centuries. Everything is described here - from the small farms of the 1500's when cultivation comprised only about two and a half acres to the considerably larger modern farms of today. For about 500 years the farms were dominated by the cultivation of grain. In order to support his family, the farmer also had to fish and hunt seals.

In the 1600's the raising of livestock gradually became important as well as navigation to Stockholm, while at the same time farmers could also sell a large part of their harvest in Vasa. The village grew and craftsmen as well as a tailor, shoemaker, boat builder, tanner, clockmaker, blacksmith and building constructors were added to the population.

The lives of crofters and servants and farm hands are described here. Later on one can read of the first emigration wave to the west. The labor migration and commercial travel are also described. Sundom's history also relates of Söderfjärd, the creek that became cornfields.

The first part of Sundom's history is worth reading. There one meets the village residents of today and days gone by. The other part, the genealogy analysis, naturally has its value to Sundom residents and their families. This part is also of interest to the genealogists but for all others it is difficult to read.

The History of Sundom consists of a series of articles written by Kurt Jern, Marianne Blomkvist, K. A. Bäckström, Bertel Bäckström, Bertel Sund, Sigurd Ståhls, Börje Backholm, Uno Mitts, Eric Sanden, Levi Backholm, Karl-Erik Mitts, Henry Höglund, Meta Sahlström, Tor-Leif Westman, Adele Östergård, Matts Andersen, Gerd Hagman-Grönblom, Thor Granfors, Erik Cederholm, Hilding Rönnqvist, Torsten Ostergård, Ingmar Sundin, Göran Björk, Agnes Nordlund, Ulla Höglund, Barbro Bäckström, Göran Heinonen and Måns Ekholm.

The other part of the book that is a widespread and comprehensive genealogy analysis was written by Ragnar Hagman, Leo Achrén, Göran Berglund, Ulla Höglund and Eric Sanden.

NORDEN, 20 October 1994 Reviewed by Ralf Sundberg in Hbl.

Translated by June Pelo

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