View Full Version : "Bodan" in Sideby

Roy Mattson
20-10-05, 01:09
I wonder if someone could tell me where "Bodan" is in Sideby or what "Bodan" refers to.

My grandparents are Josef Anders Mattson and Elida Maria Bodman. They met and married in NY City and returned to her "hometown" Sideby. (My grandfather originally came from Närpes.) They then lived on their Sideby farm for some 50 - 60 years.

Some of my aunts and uncles who grew up there and emigrated to the US, always referred to their home as "Bodan" and very seldom as Sideby.

Is Bodan a farm name, a neighborhood in Sideby, or are they really saying Bodman and I hear it as "Bodan'. Unfortunately, I can no longer ask them? Somehow, Bodan and Bodman seem related.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.

Roy Mattson

20-10-05, 03:51
Hi Roy,

Bodan is a group of farms or it can also be called a small village in
Sideby parish close to the old county boarder so it is actually the
southernmost place in Ostrobothnia. The name apparently derives from the
Swedish word "bod" (dialectal designation "boda") which means a storehouse of
some sort (storehouse for grain, fishermen's huts etc.). Maybe the first
buildings here were fishermen's huts when or already long before the first
settlement was established in 1751 (map showing settlements in Sideby at
http://sydaby.eget.net/eng/nybond/settlers.htm). Bodan has a long shore at
waters abounding in fish.
Incidentally, a find of very old boats, as far as I know the oldest in the
whole region of Southern Ostrobothnia, was made in the 1960's only about
half a mile to the E of Bodan just on the county boarder. The boats were
dated by the archaeologist Unto Salo to be mid 1300's.
Bodman became the name of the new settlement and the farm. The first
settlers were Henrik Henriksson and his wife Katarina Matsdotter. Henrik
Henriksson Bodman b.1724 came apparently from the nearby
Sastmola/Merikarvia on the other side of the county boarder. Katarina died
in 1755 and Henrik Henriksson married Kristina Grelsdotter from Sastmola in
1756. Already in 1783 there are 23 persons living on the Bodman farm. One
of Henrik Bodman's sons, Joseph Bodman, became the settler of the nearby
Lillbäck new settlement in 1787. These farms were involved in rather
extensive shipbuilding activities already since the late 1700's and had
their shipbuilding "yard" at the nearby Lötskatan.
Another farm Bodman in addition to Bodman I in Bodan is known since 1790
in the communion books with one of Henrik's sons, Johan Henriksson, as
husband. If we now jump straight from the 1700's till today it can be seen
from modern maps that there have been several farms in Bodan: Bodman,
Söderbacka, Nygård, Mellangård. Some of the handsome farm buildings are
still preserved. I have just bought a new camera and have planned to get
better photos from Bodan which I can send to you if you like. You can get a
very detailed list of the persons in Bodan from Karl-Axel Holmberg's
compilation of the communion books 1724-1837.


05-11-05, 05:31

Do you, by any chance, know the full name of Joseph Anders Mattson's father?

Might it have been 'Matts Henrikson'? (b. ca. 1812, Narpes)


Roy Mattson
14-11-05, 23:17

Joseph Anders (Ivars) Mattson b 15 Dec 1873 Göttbölle, Närpes

Matts Anderson (Martens) Ivars b 12 Oct 1821 Nisuls, Övermark

Anders Andreas Michelsson Martens b 11 Mar 1799 Martens, Övermark

Mikael Anderss Martens b 7 Feb 1770 Övermark

No 'Matts Henrikson'? (b. ca. 1812, Narpes) in his past!

However there are some Smeds in my maternal grandmothers side. Ida Sofia Öjst b 14 sep 1882 Övermark.

Anna-Greta Eriksdr Smeds b 30 Dec 1791 Ö Yttermark

Erk Miclkelsson Smeds b 11 Mar 1758 Yttermark

Mickel Erikson Smeds b 27 Sep 1730 Yttermark


Roy Mattson
15-11-05, 00:22

Thanks for your very informative reply about Bodan.

I would love to get your new photos with your new camera from Bodan.

My parents went back to Finland with me in 1948 and we visited ther "Mattson" farm in Sideby. As I remembered it from then, there was a large U-shaped building complex of house, barns, larders and "outhouses".

My wife and I visited in the summers of 1997 and 1998 and saw that most of the buildings were gone. The main building also had a roof collapse over the years. However my cousin Christer and his wife Else-May use it as a summer retreat to get out of Helsinki during weekends and the summer. Enjoyed seeing it very much again and envisioned my father running and working all over the place there.

While there in 1998, we had a chance to visit the Allan and Anita Lillbäck farm and was able to talk with their family. I also brought back a "potatis" that Allan collects. I have conversed with a brother of his who lived in Florida and have gotten a lot of geneology data from him.

I brought back these 3 books:

Mål och bygd in Sideby - Karl Axel Holmberg
Soldater, torpare och bönder - Gunnar Nybond
Skaftung by - Gunnar Nybond

and have used them in putting my fathers geneology together from Sideby. My problem is that my Swedish is very, very limited and I am not sure that I am interpreting things correctly. Would it be too much an imposition on you if I send what I have to you to comment on? I would like to send it to TALKO but I do not know how correct it is. I see on TALKO there are some people who are very proper and would like everything documented and proven.

By the way, do you know if Gunnar Nybond or anyone else is going to write a new släkt book about Sideby. I have some corrections to the Skaftung by book, Tabell 71, Gren VIII:2.A.b.2b.

Best wishes and thanks


16-11-05, 22:44

Not to take your thread too far off course, but...

By any chance, did your maternal grandmother have a brother who has Smeds grandsons?

Or, a great-uncle, who has direct male line Smeds grandson?


Roy Mattson
19-11-05, 00:18