Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bänorp, Östergötland, Sweden Connections

Information and help from Sweden came this weekend from cousin Rune Larsson. Rune has compiled a lot of information dealing with the people, customs, and lifestyle of generations of Swedes before us who were connected to the farm Bänorp. Rune's morfar morfar’s (Gustaf Pettersson 1813-1895) farm, Bänorp was where my Great Grandparents, Anders and Albertina Johnson lived before they immigrated to the Canton, SD area.
Before marriage Anders Petter lived with his parents in cottage Slättmotorp in Ljung parish. He moves in 1854 to the farm Djupsjö in Ljung parish and worked for the farmer Bengt Jonsson. 1855 he moved to Tjällmo parish and came back to Ljung parish in 1859. He worked for farmers in the village Slättmon and 1860 he moved to Bänorp. There he was living and worked on a farm when he married Albertina. Together they were living in a cottage Fredriksberg that belong to the Bänorp farm in Ljung parish. Albertina and Anders Peter move 1874 to cottage Nysätter. In 1880 they move to Grönkulla. 1881 to North America.
Both my Swanson and Johnson sides connect with Rune's ancestry.

Here is some information Rune has compiled.

The Bänorp farm village during the 1800s.

In the beginning of 1800s there were about seven owner families living in the Bänorp village. All farm houses were grouped together like a village. Every field in the village was divided into several small fields and each villager had his share in the respective field. This means that all farmers in the village had to use the same crop rotation and to plow, sow and harvest at the same time. It was impossible to get access to one's field if the field next to yours wasn't harvest at the same time. So the village was managed in a close cooperation.
To modernize the farming and to get a better yield of the land there were several parliament acts called "skiftesreformer" - Redistribution of Land Holdings. The purpose was to gather each farmer’s fields into as few as possible (rather one large field then several small ones). In order to carry this out the land surveyors had to do accurate valuations of the fruitfulness of the village's fields in order to redistribute them in a equitable way. For Bänorp that was performed during 1833-35.
The reform gave Bänorp five separate farms A - E. All the farm owners (man or woman) have relation to my ancestor Simon Håkansson 1686-1767 and also a farmer at Bänorp. (Diane's note - Simon Håkansson's son Jön Simonsson was the first husband of my 5 G Grandmother Margareta Jönsdotter connected to my farmor farfar Karl August Swanson and my farmor morfar Adolph Frederik Swanson)
The reform involved the movement of some farmhouses from the village into each farmer's farmland. But farm A, B, D and E still had many of their houses in the ‘village’. Many of the farm owners did have family relation to each other. The redistribution document for Bänorp can be read on the site Lantmateriet - Historical Maps. The document is in Swedish only but contains a detailed map.
During the period 1840 - 1885 my morfar’s morfar Gustaf Pettersson in several transactions bought the other farms, except the C farm. (In the church books he often is named Gustaf Person but in documents he signed he wrote Pettersson.)
When Gustaf’s farm in 1902 was distributed by the land surveyors after Gustaf’s death in 1895, his two daughters and their families each got half of the farm. The elder daughter Sofia Charlotta married to Göran Sällin in 1873 got the north house and farm including the cottage Nysätter.
The younger daughter Augusta Amalia, my morfar’s mother, married to Daniel August Danielsson in 1881 got the south house and farm and the cottage Fredriksberg. The two families had been farming the two farms since several years. The Sällin family since 1878 and the Danielsson family since 1891. The redistribution document for 1902 can be read on the site Lantmateriet - Historical Maps. It includes a detailed map.
The houses in Bänorp for each of the two farms were in 1902 a manor house with kitchen and three rooms, a shed for food, a stable for horses and a shed for carriages, a barn for cows and needed hay during the winter, a woodshed, a pig house.
When were the buildings built? On the map 1833 most of the buildings were there. I have been told that some of the buildings were enlarged about 1900. The ‘Sällin’ houses where owned by Gustaf and Charlotta. When the Sällin family came to Bänorp in 1878 they lived there together with Gustaf and Charlotta. When Gustaf and Charlotta purchased the B farm in 1883 they moved over to its manor house as they lived there when the Danilesson family in 1891 permanently moved to Bänorp. Houses at Nysätter: a manor house with kitchen and one room, a barn for cow(s) and hay, a shed for wood
Houses at Fredriksberg located at the Eigils farm E and bought by Gustaf in 1883 two small manor houses with kitchen and one room, a barn for cow(s) and hay and wood.
On current maps the Sällin farm houses are named Snickarstugan and the Danielson’s Bergkulla. The house named ‘Bänorp 1’ is the old C farm.
Many of the farm houses at Bänorp are still in place as they were during the end of the 1800s. But some are rebuilt, especially indoors. And some new have been added during the 1900s. There were many more small living houses in Bänorp during the 1800 period. Some is still there e.g. Rosenlund but many of them have been removed. You can see the locations on the different historical maps. Stensätter was the name of two cottages close to Nysätter but they were removed during late 1800s. The cottages in the south part of the Bänorp area, just north of Gillerberga, where built during the 1800s. Some of them, e.g. ‘Lilla Bänorp’, were for some time owned by the Ljung parish and used as ‘fattigstuga’, where poor and disabled persons were taken care of. In 1902 the total area of all farms in Bänorp was 170 ha i.e. about 340 tunnland or 420 acre. Of that, the area defined as arable and pasture land was 65 ha about 130 tunnland or 165 acre.

Some facts about farmers living in Bänorp and the surroundings.
The farmers in Bänorp were during the period 1600-1900 ‘owners’ of their own farm. Many of the farms neighbor to Bänorp were during 1700 - 1839 owned by the large farm “Ljungs säteri” The manor farm close to the church. When “Ljungs säteri” became insolvent in 1867 a commercial bank took over some of the farms but sold them later to different investors or new farmers. The farms involved were e.g. Norrby, Slättmon, Blixtorp, Hjälmsätter, Klasbäck, Skallorp, Sibborp, Djupsjö, Flistorp and some more. That means that the farmers at those farms had, during a period, been tenant farmers under “Ljungs säteri”. As it was relatively small farms it meant that the tenant farmers, including wife and children, had to work a certain number of days at the owners farm land in parallel to farm their own land in order to pay for the rent. However, when Gustaf’s family lived in Slättmon before they moved to Bänorp in about 1833 the farther Peter Gustafsson is the owner and also a Nämndeman. As the farmers in Bänorp owned their farms they were able to vote and also able to be elected to the parish council or to be a layman at the local or regional court. The elected person was then named “Nämndeman” for a period of six years. Most of the farmers in Bänorp are in the church books named “Nämndeman”, a title they kept as long they lived. Even if the council and the court only met two or three times a year they were able to meet and make contact with other Nämndemän from other parishes, and with their families. I have recognized that some of the Nämndemän’s children often were married to each other. as e.g. in my family tree.

The kitchen in manor houses and cottages
Before ca 1800 the manor houses often had a brick build oven for bread baking but the cooking was, made over an open fire. That fire gave a warm kitchen during the cold periods and light for indoor working during the dark period, autumn to spring. In this part of Sweden, Östergötland, the daylight exist only between 9 AM and 3 PM during Dec and Jan. During Jun - Aug daylight is at least between 4 AM and 10 PM. During the first part of 1800 the iron range was installed at many large farms accompanied by some kind of oil lamps. In second half, all farms and cottages had a iron range and often also a iron stove in several of the rooms. I assume that iron ranges were installed very early at Gustaf’s manor houses.

The farm animals at Bänorp
I have not yet found any documents (tax document) that describe which animals that lived at the Bänorps farms and how many, but I assume the following: At the farms in Bänorp there were Horses for the farming and transportation (My morfars morfar
Gustaf Pettersson may have had two or three), Oxen for farming, perhaps only during early 1800s, Cows, to get milk and produce some butter and cheese and to get meat etc. Pigs for meat (and perhaps for sale)Hens, for the eggs and meat. Other possible animals may have been some sheep. And of cause some dogs and cats.

What were grown in Bänorp
At the fields the farmers may have grown: Rye, Oats, Barley, Leguminous plants, Potatoes, Some Rutabaga (kålrot) - the base root vegetable before the potatoes were introduced in Sweden during 1700s. Maybe, the farmers in Bänorp, as they had done before 1835, cooperated by specializing on special crops. And then share it. All farms had a garden for vegetables e.g. carrots and brown beans. Most probably they also had black and red current bushes, gooseberry (krusbär) and some apple trees. Cherry trees may have been found among trees in the surroundings, just as apple trees. In the woods they found bilberry (blåbär) and in early summer strawberry (smultron). In late summer lingonberry (cranberry).
I have inherited a cookbook printed in 1835 and owned by Gustaf’s wife Charlotta. It contains recipes for ”fine cooking”. I can see that the most read pages were about how to make jam and jelly based on e.g. black and red current, gooseberry, blueberry, apple, lingonberry etc. And how to make fruit syrup based on different kinds of fruits, including cherry.
Other food. Did they eat fish? Probably. The cook book includes several recipes for preparing fish found in the lakes around Bänorp. And also a recipe for preparing ‘Lutfisk’ from the dry codfish and how to cook ‘julgröt’ on rice and milk and butter. Lutfisk and julgröt are described by Diane Johnson’s Blog as memories from past Christmas eves. They are still popular dishes in Sweden at Christmas time and the New Year days. But perhaps not so much in younger people’s homes.

The background for emigration
The detailed story of the emigration from Sweden to North America is found in many articles on internet.
The emigration from Ljung parish in late 1800s may have been a result of e.g.
- the bad weather and crop failures during mid 1860s.
- the beginning of a new period in Sweden where farm children had to find work on other places than on other farms but where there were lack of such opportunities in Östergötland,
- there were lot of reports in newspapers and from earlier emigrants about the possibilities in Northern America, including from the agents for travel agencies. During 1869 the number of emigrants from the Ljung Parish was 105. The years before and after, the numbers often were between 10 and 20. Another peak was around 1881. The number of inhabitants in Ljung parish was about 1 900. I have counted the inhabitants at Bänorp’s farms to be between 50 and 70 during the 1800s, including the children. About 100 persons lived at farms neighbor to Bänorp.
Education for the children in Bänorp
The school system in Sweden was before 1842 a responsibility for the parents. They were obliged to educate their children so they could read, write and count. But they must not do it themselves. The well situated farmers could hire a person to educate their children. Those persons moved around between farms. In 1842 the parishes got responsible to set up public schools so all children could be educated by a teacher. And the parents were obliged to let the children go to school. But not all children became education until the end of 1800s when it became compulsory.
How in Bänorp during 1800s? There were two groups of persons that in early 1800s probably were able to read and write
- those who had the title Nämndeman - as they need to have knowledge as member of the Parish council. I.e. most of the farm owners.
- most of the soldiers - education in reading, writing and counting was part of the soldiers’ training. If he was a corporal, as Eigil, he must be good in it.
- most of the Nämndemän’s and the soldier’s children
- those children that were educated by a relative or friend to the family.
On the map from 1868 (häradsekonomisk) I have found tree school houses in Ljung Parish, one close to the church, one north of Bänorp at Klasbäck and one at Djupsjö. In Djupsjö Eigil’s youngest daughter Wilhelmina Eigil was teacher during 1868 - 77. In Dec 1876 she married a teacher from the town of Motala and moved there.

‘Undantag’- a benefit for rest of the life
When a son or daughter took over after the parents or when a farm was sold to another family the earlier farmer and his wife often made an agreement for a ‘undatags’ living. ‘Undantag’ meant that previous owners got some benefits for the rest of their lives. They were guaranteed free lodging, normally in a smaller house on the farm, free firewood and a certain amount of food e.g. milk, meat, flour, potatoes etc. Often they also got a small area of land for growing garden products.

Farmhands and maids
Children under 21 years of age had to stay and work at the parents home/farm. But if they were not needed there, the parents should carter for a job at another place/farm. The contact between the employer/farmer and the employee/farmhand or maid was regulated in a law, ‘tjänstejonsstadgan’ (until 1926 when the agreements between unions took over). This law regulated the basic rules for a contract. E.g. it specified that the employment period should start the 24 October each year, and that the contract should be extended for another year if that was agreed upon during the month of August. The salary was housing and food, some clothing and an agreed small sum of money. If the farmhand or maid moved to another farm he/she has to be at the new farm before the 31 October.

Thanks Rune!
Right: Rune Larsson

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

No excuses, I've been bad at posting to my blog. I've become addicted to facebook and write to friends there instead of posting things here.
One thing I have gotten into is making Jib Jab videos and pictures of family and friends. They are easy to post to other facebook friends, send in an e-mail or post on a web site. Here are a couple I've made.
Mom and Dad sharing some popcorn.
In honor of their anniversary and snow birding down in Mesa.
AJ and Sal (Sally) Swanson.
I thought this one reminded me of the ancestral Swanson homestead behind them.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Help a School

In these tough times, here is a wonderful opportunity to help a local school win a nationwide library makeover contest. A co-worker's husband is the Principal of the school. Please consider voting!

Washington Irving Elementary, Waverly, Iowa, is a national finalist for a library makeover. The school was flooded in the big floods of Iowa in 2008. All was lost in a matter of hours. They would like your vote… only one vote is accepted per email address. (If you would consider voting from home and work, that would be great!) Please vote for Washington Irving Elementary from Waverly, Iowa, and forward this request on to all your friends and neighbors.

Click here to vote!


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