View Full Version : When Did Swedes Come to Finland?

09-12-04, 20:30
I got started on a recent book ( in Swedish) and can't put it down. När kom svenskarna till Finland? is the title, edited by Ann-Marie Ivars and Lena Huldén, published by Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland in 2002. It is a collection of a series of lectures presented at a conference by the same title by experts in fields ranging from archeology to biology to linguistics to history and everything in between.

The last chapter which describes the change in coastline as the land rises after the ice age has three fascinating detailed maps of Swedish Ostrobothnia in the 1100's, 1500's and 2000. Key communities are clearly marked, which show that for example Vörå church was at the head of a long inlet in 1100 AD, whereas today it's now it's around 15 km from the coastline.

The first chapter is a summary of various scientific theories from 1881 till today as they were impacted by Finnish nationalism and evolving technology. Fascinating.

When reading history as a student, one might believe it's the last word, when in fact political and social conditions provide the framework within which the ideas of historians, linguists and such are generated. With enough change in the environment, new theories break through. Thus my antique histories of the Swedish people, for example, are interesting in that they unwittingly provide insight into the culture and ideals of the period, but the theories propounded are no longer reliable.

I can't wait for the chapter on Iron Age Graves from Åboland's Archipelago!

June Pelo
09-12-04, 21:12
Pär-Erik Levin has an interesting article about this:

Also, Staffan Storteir has some articles about Varggrottan at Lappfjärd on his own website:


19-04-06, 05:50
I recently Googled an interesting article in English on this topic. Its bibliography includes the book cited by Syrene.

Georg Haggrén & Henrik Jansson. New light on the colonisation of Nyland/Uusimaa



Also a pdf version at


WARNING - this is 4MB+ pdf file.


The authors' findings are similar to those of Pär Erik Levlin's lectures (one cited by June Pelo) - also in English - applicable to Ostrobothnia.

When Did Our Ancestors Come From Sweden to Finland?


Old Nordic and Swedish Influences in Finland


The Gap in Ostrobothnia's History


Also, by Gunnar Damström, How the Towns of Ostrobothnia Came to Be


Also, by Pentti Virrankoski, ... Earlier Settlement of Ostrobothnia (trans by June Pelo)


Also, by Vincent H. Malmström, Town Growth in Finland



The definitive study in English of Åboland and the rebound effect by Tapani Tuovinen is at:


This study (see esp. chap 9) also supports many of Levlin's comments.