View Full Version : Mattfolk

23-02-04, 06:00
Somewhere on this forum a member gave us a link to a map of Finland from the late 1890s. When I checked out the map I found "Mattfolk" labelled close to the town of Korsnas. As my grandmother had Mattfolk as her last name and was born in Korsnas I wondered if Mattfolk might have been a small village or perhaps an estate (?) in the 1890s. I know nothing of land holding in Finland. Could someone tell me more about this?

23-02-04, 09:38
I put a link to a map on the thread named links of interest.


Margaret Rader
23-02-04, 20:27
I took a look in Hiski using Korsnäs as the parish and found Mattfolk was usually listed as a farm with Korsnäs as the village.
Hiski also had Mattfolk listed as the "last name" of many of these folks.


23-02-04, 21:54
Thank you, granskare and Margaret:

Is it possible then that unrelated people could have the last name "Mattfolk" taken from the farm?

23-02-04, 22:46
Ther are Mattfolk as a name on a farm in Ostrobotnia in

Lappfjärd kyrkoby since 1710 --
Närpes Gottböle " 1725 --
Närpes Kaldnäs " 1701 --
Närpes Yttermark " 1701---
Korsnäs Kyrkoby " 1701---
Esse Ytteresse " 1699--

so that is why a person named Mattfolk not
necessarily are related to an another with the same name.

24-02-04, 11:59
People were primarily identified by first names and patronymicons. But the weren't really that many first names in use. That is why the name of the farm or village became a kind of family names.

Johan Persson Mattfolk meant simply that he was a different person than Johan Persson living on a farm called for example Backa.

This can cause confusion. Let's say that Johan Persson Mattfolk marries a daughter from the Backa farm and moves to live there. After that he is called Johan Persson Backa. The same person can thus have different "family names" in different periods of time.

The farm name can also be attached to farm hands or crofters without any blood relationship. So one must be careful to draw conlcusions about relationships only from family/farm/village names.

It was also possible for a person to declare that he wants to be called by a certain name. Sometimes you can se a note in the communion book "vill heta" = "wants to be called" and the desired name.


Kaj Granlund
26-02-04, 18:26
I am not sure but I could imagine that names like Mattfolk (we have a lot of different -folk in Esse, Finland) in ancient times simply meant the people of Matts house.


26-02-04, 23:36
Go to the map website. Select Korsnäs from the K grouping and when it comes up, Mattfolk shows as a village. Perhaps it was a very important farm?


Kaj Granlund
27-02-04, 07:45
Mattfolk is marked as an inn in the list. And as I look at other places I know of as inns they have the same mark on the map. This could be the reason why this farm is so important to know for travellers. Mattfolk is a farm and not a village.


27-02-04, 07:58
Ah, an inn!

Well then it is a place of importance for a map of those times.
Something like an army fort in the American west of the 1880s.
Now the next time I check one of those maps, I will look very closely at the footnotes.

Thanks Kaj:)


03-03-04, 07:07
I was at Swenson searching S-125 which is Bethany Lutheran, a Swedish- Finn church, checking for Kaj's Wilson people there and I found this person.:

On membership book page 102,

Amanda Johnson [Mattfolk]
b. 4-19-1893 at Lappfjärd

So why was that name set apart?


Kaj Granlund
08-03-04, 20:16
I don't know. But is it possible she arrived as Amanda Johansdotter Mattfolk. The -dotter was to difficult to use so at first she changed that to -son. And later dropped the Mattfolk?

08-03-04, 21:54
Hello Kaj:

My grandmother arrived through Ellis Island (New York) in 1909 as Hilda Alina Mattfolk. She took the surname Johnson sometime later before she married in 1917. My grandfather also took the surname Johnson (born Erkus) before he married my grandmother. So a Johnson married a Johnson. I have kept the surname too as I believe it cost my grandparents a lot.

08-03-04, 21:57
Hej Kaj,

It was the same for [Knuus} and [Lillåls] so perhaps that secretary went further to give farms they lived at in Finland?


Kaj Granlund
09-03-04, 07:05
Yes, that is possible. Some do more than needed and some doesn't do what they are supposed to do. The former can in genealogy work be of more help.