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Matts Johansson Svartsjö

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When Matts Johansson Svartsjö-Torppa, born ca 1673, was 24, he moved to Haltas-Svartsjö as a farm hand to widow Maria Henriksdotter who was a “small cousin”. Her husband Johan Olofsson had died 1697. Johan’s brother Jakob Olofsson and sister Malin didn’t get along with Matts Johansson so they moved to Storbacka. Matts’ father was Johan Gabrielsson, died at age 102, who had 14 children. His brother was a jurist and member of parliament.


The following addresses could not be geocoded: Veteli,Finland, Nykarleby,Finland, Jakobstad,Finland and Karleby,Finland. The map cannot be displayed. Johan’s father was Gabriel Olofsson who built the church at Övervetil; his picture was carved on the pulpit. According to Ilmari Wirkkala he was first married to a woman from Svartsjö. Matts’ great grandfather and great great grandfather were called Olof, and then we go back to Michel Olofsson Stor-Caino, whose father was Olof Grelsson Caino, whose father was Grels, born ca 1490.

RE the Caino farm: Eric Cainberg, 1778-1816, came from Caino. He was Finland’s first sculptor. When K. J. Hagfors, also a descendant of Grels Caino, asked his mother if Cainberg belonged to the family, she replied: “I think not because he was a careless fellow who never knew what he would eat in the morning.” The answer was evidence of the great familiarity about a person who was dead close to 100 years. Hagfors did not exclude the relationship and we can now confirm this relationship.

Other relatives of the family: Carl-Johan Slotte and Alexander, his son, who was a writer. The Riska family, known for its musical talent. Also from the same roots came Dr. Karl Johan Hagfors, Director of Nykarleby Training College, fosterer of several generations of elementary school teachers in our area. Also other artists residing in the area were Professor Taneli Kuusisto and artist/designer wikipedia:Tapio Wirkkala.

Matts Johansson Svartsjö and Maria Henriksdotter had 5 children:

  1. Matts Mattsson, born 1698. He and one of the children were taken prisoner by the Russians and returned home in 1723. He was a boatswain in Jakobstad and took the surname Nyman. Then he became a respected alderman between 1746-1770. He had 8 children and all died in infancy, except for 2 daughters. Daughter Maria married 1747 to Niklas Malm, who amassed the Malm wealth. Stor-Malmen and Stor-Malmskan had many children. A great grandson was Otto A. Malm, at one time the richest man in Finland. A great granddaughter Louisa Malm married Anders Donner of Gamlakarleby and their descendants contributed to Finland’s culture. A niece’s son was Johan Ludvig Runeberg. The grandson of a niece was Gösta-Moliis Mellberg. One of Stor-Malmen’s niece’s sons was Wilhelm Schauman, and thus the Caino and Svartsjö blood joined together in this gifted family.
  2. Karin Mattsdotter, born 1702, married Finnilä of Kronoby. One descendant was the poet wikipedia:Veikko Antero Koskenniemi whose father was the lecturer Anders Forsnäs, Latin teacher in Uleåborg – he was born in Kronoby. Another descendant was Johan Still and his sons: Daniel and Runar Still. Also genealogist Melker Storå, Johan Broända, member of parliament, politician Birger Åminne, Lecturer at Nykarleby Teaching College Oskar Holmqvist and sons: Nils and Bengt. Hjalmar Krokfors was another decendant of Svartsjö; also Nykarleby poet Ragnar Rudolf Eklund, Johan Storbjörk of Kronoby, and genealogist Hugo Lagström. Also Isak Smeds, founder of Jakobstad’s newspaper, Professor Helmer Smeds and wife Ellen Grönroos.
  3. Anders Mattsson, born 1707, married Brita Jakobsdotter Hästbacka. Son Matts Andersson’s son Anders’ daughter married Kolam and daughter Malin married Granö.
  4. Anna Mattsdotter married Granö-Granbacka. Descendants are in Terjärv, some are named Granholm.
  5. Johan Mattsson Frisk, businessman in Helsingfors.

Was Matts Johansson Svartsjö eventually a link between many others who further bore a rich inheritance from Olof Grelsson whose names we have not yet found? The possibility is most likely.

Excerpted from “Matts Johansson Svartsjö’s 300th Anniversary”, by Roger Mannil. Translated by June Pelo 1992.


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