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From Sideby to Karleby

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Picture courtesy GSF
What point of interest in common do they both have - Sideby in the south and Karleby in the North of Swedish Österbotten? The road is long between them, 300 kilometers. There seems to be no reason for both places to have a connection, and it has been the same for 250 years. In a family chronicle it is a question of people and genealogy ties.

Parish clerk Carl Skogman left Ömossa village in Sideby, known as Lappfjärd, and went to Karleby by 1789. He married there and had a large family of children who in the next generations increased. In our time there are hundreds of descendants in the Karleby area. Parish clerk Carl Skogman did not create a great name in Karleby. There is nothing printed in Karleby parish history similar to others of his professional brothers in the parish.

Today if we should go on a journey from Sideby to the northern part of the country to visit relatives there, we would get into a soft car seat and start a journey of several hours. We would have a reason to go for we can find "Skogman" and Öman" in many places: Lappfjärd, Tjöck, Närpes, Övermark, Malax, Vasa, Kvevlax, Munsala, Jeppo, Jakobstad and Karleby. The journey would take a long time if we visit all of the relatives along the way, perhaps like the long trip for Carl Skogman when he moved to his new occupation.

Picture courtesy GSF
When he traveled in 1789 from Storå, where he previously served, he had to choose between three possible ways to travel: He could hitch his own horse to the cart or sleigh, if he had one, and take several days. He was already 35 years old and did not have to take into consideration anyone else. The second possibility was to stop at innkeepers the entire trip, but that would have been expensive. The other likely and convenient possibility was to sail on a small cargo boat from Kristinestad. There were many such boats on the way from Karleby to Stockholm with a cargo of tar, meat and butter, birch bark and pelts. On the return trip they could have made port at Kristinestad with a lighter load. Carl Skogman could have driven his household goods on board and continued to Karleby. Here we can fantasize. In any event, the newly employed parish clerk found himself at the large church opening ceremony in Karleby 30 August 1789.

The well-known parish priest in Karleby, doctor of theology, member of parliament and national economy author Anders Chydenius - he who now has his picture on our new 500 mark - had forged an enlargement and rebuilding of the Karleby nave of stone into a cross church. The opening ceremony was scheduled for 30 August with the governor and notables present.

In this church Carl Skogman from Ömossa showed what he did as a parish clerk. During his time there was no organ in the church. Later in 1879 the church acquired a costly instrument. He had ordered a simple instrument of another kind to accompany the hymn singing. For the remainder of his time Carl Skogman performed all the tasks that were required of a parish clerk in addition to church service duties: reading examination and other functions, taking reading skills to the children, and such. He was a well qualified man.

Carl Skogman was married two times in Karleby and we know of his descendants, but there isn't much more that we know except that he died 28 December 1810 of a hernia at 56 years of age.

Carl Skogman was not the first who came from Ömossa to Karleby. Before Anders Chydenius there was another renowned priest in Karleby. He was called Carl Gustaf Werander and he arrived to serve the congregation in 1736. He was there only seven years but during that short time he created a reputation that was handed down to posterity. In preaching the word, Werander followed a moderate, pietistical line and won the trust of the congregation through his sincerity. He held the high esteem and confidence of the Cathedral and was appointed to dean by the age of 35. During the Little Ofreden he went to Sweden in 1742 with many other priests and didn't return.

"Werander's wooden palace", as the parsonage in Karleby was called, was built 1736-37 and is regarded as his memorial. The parsonage is one of the largest and purest style and best preserved wooden building in the entire country. After 250 years since its origin it still remains and is used for its original purpose.

But what has this to do with Sideby? Carl Gustaf Werander was born 1705 on farmer Marcus Hansson Skogman's farm in Ömossa, the same farm where Carl Skogman saw the light of day 49 years later. His father was the parish priest in Lappfjärd. The parsonage was so small and in such miserable condition that he could not live there with his family and servants. A new parsonage had to be built. During that time the priest's family stayed in Ömossa. It seems that the parish priest had owned a part of Skogman's homestead, since the family was registered there in 1707 and still in 1712, although the family father had died the previous year. Sideby and Karleby have been known to have their points of contact far back in time.

Now we will come forward in time. We start 200 years back and stop first in the 1920s. At that time two men from Sideby appeared in the area of Gamlakarleby. One was teacher, bank director and financial leader Frans Teir, the other was Mayor Valter Gran, two notable figures in the economic and judicial life of the city for several decades. What became of Frans Teir's four sons: Tor Erik, Håkan, Harold and Grels, all born in Lappfjärd? No one followed events through their public life during the last four decades. They have not lost contact with their family home. Witness Kilen's old Homestead Museum, Faffis and their "summer colony" at Kilänget in Sideby.

There are still a couple of personal bonds between Sideby and Karleby. Serving as a teacher Runa Kallis, nee Hanses of Björneborg, has family ties to Sideby. She is married to Bjarne Kallis; he is also a teacher at the same school. Not to forget the medical sisters Svea Teir and Håkan's wife Hulda, nee Långvik from Ömossa, who watched over the health of the city's residents for a long time.

Oh, what Sideby has given up - qualified people to Karleby in the course of time. Have we received anything in return? We had a fine priest known as Ole Brunell, from the north, but he preferred to go to Australia instead of taking care of the souls of Sideby residents. Two grade school teachers, Arne Räbb and Axel Tast, gave a special performance in Sideby one year - that is all. Karleby stands in great debt to Sideby.

Gunnar Nybond

English translation by June Pelo


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