SFHS Topmenu: Finlander | SFHS | Repository | Talko | DEE |

Klockars in Malax


Jump to: navigation, search

According to expert interpretation of the indistinct text in the Malax communion book of 1667, Jåpa(r)s farm (Jåp=Jakob), is what the Klockars’ house was called in the 1600s. Johannes Klockars was interpreted as being at “Tåpes” farm. An Anders Joppson was mentioned in connection to Jåpas farm in the 1600s and probably is the same person with the name of Anders Jakobsson in 1620.

Jåpas farm was situated on the shore of the stream and in the tax record it was nearest the parsonage and the church. It bordered also to the present cemetery. Possibly they built a house for the parish clerk between the church yard and Jåpas farm. But the parish clerk’s place probably was where the present cantor’s place is situated. Jåpas farm refers to the Klockar’s taxed house, and the parish clerk’s house should be the Granlund’s house. During the 1700s the farmers at Klockars who were parish clerks often called themselves Granlund. Notes were found that indicate parish clerks were at Jåpas farm also in the 1600s.

During the 1600s Jåpas farm was judged to be impoverished according to notes in the tax records. Bad harvests struck the farm. At times they were free from taxes. “Destitute because all the males were dead,” I thought as I translated a note. The first who was taxed for the house was a Bertil Olofsson, who is mentioned as early as 1600 and in 1625 was taxed together with parish clerk Per Ersson. Malax had its own pastor, church and parish clerk in 1607. The parish clerk usually lived near the parsonage and the church.

The parish clerk was already an institution in the parishes from the middle ages. He had custody and supervision over the parish church and property, attended to the ringing of the bells, and led psalm singing at church services; he also helped the parish pastor at church functions and with everyday duties. During the 1600s the skills of the parish clerk were required to instruct the children to read and write in a parish clerk school. The parish clerk duty was coveted because it was relatively well paid. In Österbotten it was not unusual for parish clerk duties to be performed by some of the parish farmers until the end of the 1700s when churches began to obtain organs and skill in playing the organ became necessary.

In 1698 it was proposed by Wellam Andersson that the future parish assistant manager should receive part of the parish clerk salary and that a farm hand be hired as a parish clerk. A farm was also found in Malax in the 1600s for the parish clerk. Wellam Andersson became parish clerk in 1701. By that time he probably had already moved to Klockarbacken.

Matts Eriksson was a farmer at the farm 1647-1668. During the years 1669-1681 his son Anders Mattsson was taxed for the farm.

In this situation, a “strange bird” stepped into the picture. Wellam Andersson, b. 21 February 1661 (1662?) in Limingo, married 6 January 1678, as a 16-year old sexton, with the farm’s oldest daughter, 29-year old Helga. Beyond the somewhat unusual difference in ages the name of Wellam, whose birth place was Limingo, is interesting. Wellam (Wilhelm, William) was an unusual name at that time in Österbotten. The work I consulted gave me reason to assume that perhaps Wellam Andersson was the only one with that name at that time in Österbotten. The name is German in origin. It is not too far off to assume that Wellam’s father was a German who moved from nearby Uleåborg to Limingo. Seventy years of famine probably drove him to the south.

Wellam Andersson took over the house from his father-in-law in 1681. He became a District Juryman 1697 and parish clerk in 1701. Periodically he was also a church warden. Wellam Andersson had at least six children. Three died in the same year of 1676. By the end of the 1670s he was a widower. The only surviving son Anders was 19 years old at the death of his siblings and the youngest was only 11.

Around the turn of the century he moved the house to a hill about 700 meters to the northwest. After he became parish clerk the hill began to be called Klockarbacken and the house Klockars. It indicates talent and leadership ability that a foreign newcomer became a juryman, parish clerk and church warden. It is not too farfetched to wonder if Wellam, before he gave up his wandering and ended up in Malax, could have visited Uleåborg’s school teacher. Perhaps he was influenced by an upper school scholar as a student in Nykarleby when he chose a place so far to the south.

During Stora Ofreden the farmers in south Österbotten were ordered to relieve the Viborg army. The men called to arms were led by a farm leader. Wellam Andersson was one of them. During their march to south Österbotten, the Österbottningars turned toward home for a meeting. In this situation Wellam showed stability and faithfulness to the authorities. He surely was able to read and write. There is also evidence during the time he was parish clerk that he taught the young people.

His name is seen in documents from that time period. In 1703 he took action against Matts Halfvare for defamation. He had been criticized because he and his son went home (from the war). This glimpse from Wellam Andersson’s life gives the impression that he was a harsh man who, in the struggle between country people and the authorities, had a tendency to side with the authorities.

The Great Wrath at Klockars

In 1714 when the Russians penetrated Österbotten, Klockars was one of the farms harshly hit by the war. In a battle at Napo on 16 February 1714 the oldest son Anders, born 1679, was killed and probably also a son-in-law. Wellam’s brother-in-law Anders Mattsson was killed by the Russians at his home. According to tradition this happened in the yard near the well which can still be found at Pentti Ruonen’s farm. One of Wellam’s sons, Daniel or Gabriel, born 1700 according to the damaged communion book where only the last letter can be seen, was taken prisoner and driven to Russia. Daughter Maria, born 1692, was taken to Vasa where she was mistreated by soldiers so badly that she died the following year.

Klockars After the War

Wellam Andersson had no son who could inherit the homestead. No son or daughter of son Anders, who died at Napo, has been discovered, but we know that Anders was married to Brita Markusdotter Bonn. It was daughter Beata, born 1685, who continued the family at the farm.

She entered (shortly before the war?) her first marriage with a Matts who became father of Matts Mattsson, born 21 September 1714, and in his time became farmer after his mother’s father of the part of Klockars that I refer to as “stamgården (family farm) in the following. It is about him and his successors as masters of the family farm this chronicle covers. Neither Johannes Klockars, P. E. Ohls nor K. V. Åkerblom who researched the family history have been sucessful in a clear-cut analysis of this Matts Mattsson’s lineage.

It has not been possible to prove that he was the son of Beata Wellamsdotter. We know nothing about his father other than that he may have been called Matts. Much has been said that Beata was married to a Matts so shortly before the war that he is not introduced as a resident at Klockars, or that Beata moved as a resident to Matts’ farm. If he died, as hypothesized, no cause was found according to the parish registers of that time. No notes about him were found at Klockars.

Beata Wellamsdotter entered a new marriage in the beginning of the 1720s with Olof Mattsson Uljens from Töjby in Korsnäs. In records of 1743 Matts Mattsson was referred to as son-in-law to Olof Mattsson. This certainly is wrong. It is fairly easy to mix up a stepson with a son-in-law in such a connection as this. The most reliable evidence that Matts Mattsson was a son of Beata Wellamsdotter is found in the census for 1735. There he is listed as a son under the names Olof Mattsson and his wife Beata.

According to K. V. Åkerblom Johannes Klockars has presented the hypothesis that Beata’s first husband, the “unknown Matts” would have come from Bonnas, after which is found a mode of expression that the Klockars family was of Bonnas people for they had such “big feet”. There still is no support for the relationship in chuch books or census records.

The Matts Bonn in question is Matts Mattsson Bonn, born 1673, lived until 1743. It is worthwhile to note the numerous marriage offers between Bonnas and Klockars. Anders Wellamsson was, as noted above, evidently married to Brita Markusdotter Bonn, and a half sister Margareta Wellamsdotter was married to Johan Hindersson Bonn.

Under “Collateral Branches” I’ll return to Wellam Andersson’s marriage to Gertrud Markusdotter Perjus and Beata Wellamsdotter’s marriage to Olof Mattsson Uljens.


Matts Mattsson, born 21 September 1714, died 14 January 1794, was a farmer at Klockars. He was also a parish clerk for a long time. As parish clerk he used the Granlund parish clerk house and called himself Matts Granlund (Klockars). Son Vilhelm who pursued an academic career, took the name Granlund, as did the sons at Klockars, although they later left Malax during the 1700s. Matts Mattsson married Maria Marcusdotter, not known from which Malax farm she came. Son Vilhelm was in school in Vasa in 1748. He probably bought a third of Svarfvar’s homestead in Tölby (Korsholm) for daughter Maria and her husband Simon Mattsson Sperring. They took the name Svarfvar and their daughter Brita, married to Ehn, became the first ancestress of several families in Tölby and also for the Smeds family in Solf, through their daughters.

Son: Matts Mattsson Granlund , born 1 January 1759, died 2 June 1809. He went for a while to school in Vasa, and became a seaman and first mate. At the same time he was also a farmer at Klockars. He married 5 October 1783 in Göteborg, Sweden to Johanna Charlotta Holm, born 24 Jun 1761 in Göteborg. The fact that the bride was from Göteborg indicates that Matts Granlund was assigned to a ship that sailed out through Öresund. It is possible that at his marriage he was not yet a first mate. Johanna Charlotta Holm was a daughter of seaman Jonas Holm and his wife Johanna. The name seems to indicate they were Swedish and that they belonged to the Göteborgars of foreign descent who at that time were numerous in Göteborg.

Church books in Göteborg relate that the banns for the marriage took place the last three Sundays in August, the wedding was set for 5 October and the young couple took communion on 18 October. The Vasa vessels were thought to have moored in Göteborg for long periods. One must wonder if the ships stayed there over the winter. Could the ships after this date manage to get to Vasa before the ice froze?

This seaman’s daughter from Göteborg was mistress of the household at Klockars at the close of the 1700s and the beginning of the 1800s. Son Matts, who would inherit the farm, was only 15 when his father died. He was responsible for the home for a long time. To all appearances, he did everything with energy.

Son: Matts Mattsson , born 15 August 1794, died 23 May 1850, was the next farmer at the family homestead. He married his father’s cousin Maria Elisabet Michelsdotter Klockars. Her father, Michael Andersson Klockars, was a farmer of part of Klockars. He was a grandson of Beata Wellamsdotter in her marriage to Olof Mattsson Uljens.

Son: Matts Mattsson , born 18 August 1828, died 6 October 1913, was a farmer of 1/16 mantal of the Klockars homestead. My mother called him “Klockars Gambel Matts.” His descendants appear in the analysis that follows. Tradition says that he was the first in Klockarbacken to subscribe to Vasabladet (newspaper).

Farmers at Klockars descended in a direct line from father to son, from Matts Mattsson to Matts Mattsson for 150 years. The last Matts Mattsson had three sons baptized as Matts, but all three died at a young age. The homestead was taken over by son Gustav Erik. At the beginning of the 1920s during Nyskiftet he moved to Börängen. There were many others, in addition to farmers, who belonged to the Klockars family.

I use here the term “collateral branches” and refer to children in Wellam Andersson’s second marriage and children in Beata Wellamsdotter’s second marriage as well as the sons in the family who moved from Malax.

Collateral Branches

Wellam Andersson’s first wife Helga Andersdotter died during the famine year 1697. He entered a new marriage in 1699 with Gertrud Markusdotter Perjus from Övermalax. A son was born 1700 who was taken prisoner by the Russians in 1714, also there were daughters Margareta and Anna. Margareta married Johan Hindersson Bonn and Anna married Mikael Mattsson Ström. The daughter from the first marriage to Helga was married to Markus Mårtensson Mattlar, so one can say that the three daughters of Wellam were ancestresses of three of the largest houses in Malax when it was resettled after Stora Ofreden.

Beata Wellamsdotter, whose first husband was assumed to have died during the war, entered a new marriage at the beginning of the 1720s with Olof Mattsson Uljens, born 1681, from Töjby in Korsnäs. The village is now included with Närpes. After 20 years he succeeded his father-in-law Wellam as sexton in Malax.

At the District Court Session in March 1743 permission was given to divide the homestead that is now shared by Matts Mattsson and Olof Mattsson. Olof Mattsson and his wife Beata’s descendents later came as farmers or torpares to Klockars. Their son Anders seems to have been sexton a short time in 1770. Anders’ son’s son Fredrik, born 1774, became a soldier in Näsby. He disappeared into history in the beginning of 1800, but his son Peter Wilhelm, born 1797 in Närpes, came as a 17-year old in 1814 from Råneå in Sweden to his father’s mother in Malax. He used the surname Forsberg, the first in the family to bear the name and it is not known where it came from. In 1823 he enlisted in Kej. II Vasa Sharpshooter Battalion where he advanced step-by-step until he became Sergeant Major 1828. Later when the Sharpshooter Battalion was disbanded he served several years in 1830s with the Finnish sea equipment at Skatudden in Helsingfors. During the winter of 1841-42 he worked at Töftö factory in Vårdö at Åland. He was married to constable’s daughter Stina Eriksdotter Udd. Between the Sharpshooter Battalion camp meetings, he served as assistant constable and parish writer in Malax. He is mentioned as being a custodian for 40 years. Homestead papers and other documents were preserved that were written in Peter Wilhelm Forsberg’s beautiful handwriting.

Petter Wilhelm Forsberg (Gambel Forsberg) was my father Edward Alexander Forsberg’s mother’s father’s father. My father descended also in eight generations from Wellam Andersson and my mother Johanna Matilda, nee Granlund, descended from Wellam Andersson in eight generations through her father Johan Granlund and through her mother Johanna Sofia Mattsdotter Klockars.

Army Chaplain Wilhelm Granlund and his sons

The first son from Klockars who left the homestead was Wilhelm Mattsson, born 3 February 1739. He was also son of the first Matts Mattsson Klockars. It is written that as a 9-year old Wilhelm was at school in Vasa 17 February 1748, ten years later he was a student at Åbo Akademi, became a Ph.D 1766, ordained 1772, became chaplain in Replot 1775, chaplain in Kvevlax 1781, and finally a chaplain in Vörå where he died 1814. He was married to Clara Margaretha Holstius. Wilhelm Granlund was a master builder when Replot church was built 1777-81; he also worked on Kvevlax church 1795. K. V. Åkerblom has noted that Wilhelm Granlund was the first clergyman who worked in Kvevlax. Field Marshall Klingspor gave the title of Field Chaplain to him in 1808.

Wilhelm and his wife had two sons. Wilhelm, born 1795, became a prominent district medical officer in Tavastehus. His marriage to Fredrika Wilhelmina Spåre was childless. Son Johan, born 1798, became a justice lawyer of the Court of Appeals at Vasa Court of Appeals 1856-68, senator and head of the Ministry of Justice (a combination of Department of Justice and president of the Supreme Court). He had two sons in his marriage to Lovisa Aurora von Kraemer. The youngest drowned as a student and the oldest Karl Östen Wilhelm became a lawyer and secretary of protocol with the Ministry of Justice. He died unmarried in 1923. This family branch has died out.

Merchant Israel Granlund in Kaskö

Israel Mattsson Granlund, born 21 December 1767, son of Matts Mattsson, born 1735, moved in 1794 to Kaskö which had been founded nine years earlier. He had taken a job as salesman in Karl Gustaf Hultin’s store. Karl Gustaf drowned in the mid 1790s and in 1797 Israel married widow Beata Regina nee Cneiff. She was the daughter of Österbotten’s well-known Johan David Cnief, author of financial and economical questions. (Today in Kaskö the Cneiff’s stone can be found. This past year an archaelogical excavation was undertaken at Herrman’s home.) He was Cneiff’s servant. Beata Regina nee Cneiff died before 1805. Kaskö and its businessmen became known for their wealth.

Around 1810 Israel’s son Carl Rudolph moved to Malax. He was a crofter at Tuuf in 1837 when he died. In Malax Carl Rudolph was married twice, first to Beata Abrahamsdotter Tuuf and second, Anna Stina Mårtensdotter Malm. Several Granlund families in the Vasa area are descended from his three sons in his second marriage: for example, my mother’s father Johan Granlund who was Carl Rudolph’s grandson.

“Bergis” in Kvevlax

Gabriel Mattsson Granlund, born 1763, was the older brother of Israel. He first went to school in Vasa. Later he was a farm worker for his uncle who was c chaplain in Kvevlax. He married in Kvevlax to farmer’s daughter Christina Johansdotter Qvevlander (Berg), became son-in-law in 1813 and farmer on the the Qvevlander home called “Bergis.” The Berg family in Kvevlax descends from his sons Johan and Gabriel.

Characteristics of the Klockars Family

It is risky to report on family traits. Each individual inherits from two families in the first generation. External family traits are legion: A strong face with very busy eyebrows. Dark, nearly black hair is also normal as can be seen in Senator Granlund, born 1798, whose portrait is the oldest that was found.

K. V. Åkerblom points out that the farmers at Klockars were often trusted with public missions. Among the farmers at Klockars during the 1700s were three jurymen who also held sexton duties during the 1700s. These were looked upon as commissions of trust and responsibility. The sexton duties provided knowledge to read, write and arithmatic.

Of the 15 farmer’s sons from Malax who went to school during the 1700s, there were three from Klockars, and one farmer’s son from Malax who received a university degree at Åbo in the 1700s was the above Wilhelm Granlund. As a curiosity, the next farmer’s son from Malax who passed the academic exam was Johannes Klockars who received his Bachelor of Arts in 1883, 130 years after his great grandfather’s brother Wilhelm Granlund.

Written by John Forsberg, March 1994

Translated by June Pelo

Back | To the beginning | till början | alkuun | Finlander

Personal tools
blog comments powered by Disqus