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Karleby Resident with Ancestry in Lövånger

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There can be no doubt that family bonds across the Gulf of Bothnia were strong in days gone by. It is unique if one does not find a branch of wanderers in his own family. Early researchers have discovered generation after generation in common between Sweden and Finland. One of them was the late wholesaler Svante Lundell from skellefteå who devoted himself expecially to contact between Österbotten and Lövånger in Våsterbotten.

In addition to [Genealogia Sursilliana], the chronicles from Österbotten point to [Lars Frijs] in Karleby and his descendants among others. By accident, while doing research on my mother's father's origins in Lövånger, I came across some well-known names in Österbotten genealogy. Later I confirmed that a good many Karleby residents descended from emigrants from Lövånger to whom I am also related. And not only I, but a great many native Swedes have a connection to Lövånger.

Since the Frijs family chronicles are so well-known and often referred to, it would be of interest to give an account of my discovery. In records of long ago I found Lieutenant [Petter Grefve], his wife Anna Bobergh and daughter Brita, who was married to Corporal [Gottfried Bock]. Nothing was found of the names of their descendants or background.

While searching for my mother's father's family, I came across my mother's father's great grandfather Anders Olofsson of Västanå, Kräkånger, born ca 1667, called Big Anders to separate him from Little Anders and Anders of Finnmora. The latter two also lived in the same village. Big Anders moved there 1718 and probably took over a house that belonged to his mother's family. The house was considered deserted despite the fact that three widows lived there - three generations. The village was Vallen in Lövånger. By chance, in a court record I found an inheritance distribution between Anders Olofssin of Västanå and his brother soldier [Pähr Junkare], dated 10 Nov 1697. They met to distribute the inheritance after their parents died around 1687. At least the father died, inasmuch as Pähr was not yet 15 years old.

It took long searching to trace the soldier's destiny. In the baptism book for 27 Aug 1699, Päder Junckare's daughter Brita was baptized. Under the notation, in a different handwriting, I saw a note: Married 2 June 1719 to Karelian cavalryman [Gottfrid Bock]. A check of the marriage book showed that on 2 June 1719 the corporal married Brita Grefve. He was with the Karelian regiment in the lieutenant-colonel's company. How does this hang together?

To cut a long story short, let me cite an answer from the War Archives in Stockholm: "From the General Muster list for Västerbotten's Regiment 1689, it is clear that one Mårten Eriksson (Ersson) Grefve was corporal with Adam Gadd's Company, Lövånger parish. He began his military service in 1676. Mårten Grefve, according to the regimental pay list, was discharged 5 Jan 1700 and the following soldier No. 54 in the same regiment was Per Junker (Junkare) "who henceforth was called Grefve." I have not found any other information than that found with Lewenhaupt and Steckzen. He came into service 1689 and was a soldier from Lövånger's parish.

Stecksen's Regimental Officers of year 1841 says of Peter Grewe that he was born in Västerbotten 1673, married Anna Bobergh, was prisoner after the battle at Poltava, came home 1722, lived in Gamla Karleby after 1731 and died there 1749.

So it ought to be clear that Peter Grefwe and his daughter Brita had Lövånger as their birthplace. Peter Grefwe, his wife Anna Bobergh and son-in-law Gottfrid Bock participated as baptism witnesses many times in Lövånger between 1719 and the time they emigrated during 1723. A notation was found about Madame Anna Bobergh when she emigrated, that she was born in Västerbotten and that during the time her husband was away, she resided at Bodan No. 2 with Thomas Olovsson in Lövånger.

Information was found in the regimental rolls showing that she was compensated by the Crown during her husband's imprisonment. There is also a handwritten letter from Peter Grefwe from Österbotten, confirming the death in captivity of a war comrade.

In the records for Lövånger were also notes about regimental comrades Lars Frijs and Gottfrid Bock when they were in the German provinces. Many Österbottningars descended from them, among them the researcher [Hugo Lagström]. As far as I know, no one has been able to tie the Grefwe family closely to Sweden, now that it is possible. It is also through Brita Grefwe that the thread goes back to Västerbotten and Lövånger.

Gun Boberg

Note: Gun Boberg is one of the researchers who sought her roots and found many interesting details. The above is an account of what she found about soldier No. 54 in Väster-botten's regiment, Peter Grefwe, who was captured in battle at Poltava, came home to Sweden 1722 and moved to Gamla Karleby 1732 where he died 1749.

In the census records for 1719-24 a separate section was found with the heading Officers with Lövånger's Company. There were found the names Frijs, Grefve and Backström. After 1723 the first two named had moved away. Backström was left, who married and lived in Broänge. Corporal Bock was also found in the census records, but probably was not living there.

From Österbottningen, Summer 1981

Translated by June Pelo

PS. Brita Grefwe and her husband Gottfrid Bock were my 5th great grandparents.JP


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