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View Full Version : From Nedervetil to Kerimäki



June Pelo
07-02-15, 00:16
I received a copy of Karlebynejden #45, 2014, which covers the history of a family that moved from Nedervetil to Kerimäki in 1859. I translated the opening article by Jan-Erik Nygren, which relates how he was contacted by a member of one of the families and they wanted to know about their roots in Nedervetil. Jan-Erik gathered the family data, arranged a meeting with some of those family members and took them on a tour of the areas where their ancestors had lived.. they had no knowledge of any of their ancestors so it was all new to them. I have recently been contacted by several of these people who are so happy to have been able to travel to Nedervetil, Terjärv and areas where their family has lived over the years. Here is the opening article by Jan-Erik Nygren:

Here is the story of the Pelofinnbacka descendants. From Nedervetil to Kerimäki - Johan and Lovisa's new life in Eastern Finland.


The reason for the following article about Gåsjärvi in Nedervetil was an e-mail from Auli Lumme in Espoo who asked if I knew anything about a Johan Finell and his wife Lovisa Smedjebacka who was from Pelofinnbacka in Gåsjärv, who moved to Kerimäki 1895. The contact eventually resulted in a visit to Nedervetil of four descendants of Johan and Lovisa and a meeting with relatives from both sides who were completely unknown to each other. The visit took place in August 2014. Since it needed some basic research, there was increased interest to know about Johan and Lovisa's fortunes in Eastern Finland, about their ancestry and kinship in Nedervetil and Terjärv. The following section presents a part of the family, biographies, family histories and legends.

The visit began with a visit to the church, where they met the first relatives related to Gåsjärv (Ahlskog, Gåsström and Rauma). Then they drove out to Gåsjärv and met more relatives (Känsälä). There were some visible remnants of Pelofinnbacka; they then continued to Hästbackbyn in Terjärv to visit the site where Lovisa Smedjebacka was born, ie Langbacka. There remained not much more than parts of building foundations, but you could at least walk on the land where Lovisa had grown up.

Pelofinnbacka croft on the Gåsjärvi homestead was located on the north (left) side of the road before coming to Gåsjärvi. The cottage is now uninhabited.

Whence the name Pelofinnbacka is derived is not clear. In any case, it should not, because of the form of the name, be old. Possibly it was originally Finnbacka to which the attribute Pelo was later annexed.

This is an excellent illustration of what genealogy is all about: finding your roots and identify them, visit the place or places where your ancestors lived and meet relatives who had previously not had a clue and then stay in touch with them.

Johan Hansson Gåsjärvi was born as the seventh child in the family of village blacksmith Hans Henrik Mattsson and Maria Andersdotter, (Kniktilä), at Pelofinnbacka in Gäsjärvi in Nedervetil June 19, 1838. There were ten children born to the family. Johan learned the art of forging from his father who was the village smith.

Johan stayed in Karleby 1860-1863. In October 1863, he moved at the age of 23 to Russia, probably St. Petersburg. His sister Maria, b. 1843, who married Matt William Mattson Hinell, had moved with her husband to Russia in January of that year. The parish registers tell that Matt worked as a shipbuilder in Kronstad. Matt's and Maria's two oldest children were born in Kronstad. It is not known where Johan lived and what he was working on in St. Petersburg, but it is most likely that he worked as a blacksmith. It is also possible that Johan worked in Kronstad so he could be in the vicinity of his sister's family. How long Johan resided in St. Petersburg is not clear from church records. From1868 it is recorded that he, on 12 Dec.1868, moved from Nedervetil to Karleby. On 2 June1871 he returned from Karleby to Nedervetil.

Johan married 5 Apr 1873 to Lovisa Johansdotter Smedjebacka from Terjärv. Lovisa had at least 10 siblings. Lovisa was 28 years old at her marriage; Johan was 34 years old. Lovisa had moved as an 18-year-old from Terjärv to Nedervetil to work as a maid. Then she moved with a couple years between from Nedervetil to Terjärv and vice versa. On 25 Nov 1872 she left Terjärv for good when she married Johan 5 Apr 1873.

Jan-Erik Nygren, 2014 Karlebynejden