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The Bredbacka Homestead in Terjärv


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by Joelle Steele

The following is based on information from “Historik över Bredbacka hemman i Terjärv” (“A History of the Bredbacka Home in Terjärv”), written pre-1919 by my great uncle, Pastor Karl Johan Berg (11/27/1861-06/02/1957) and translated into English in 1985 by my mother, Norma Elisabeth (Steele) Martelli (02/24/1922- 08/27/1986).

In the mid-18th century, Malin Johansdotter Döfnäs (1714-3/24/1786), homesteaded at Stampars on Bredbacka with her husband, Matts Johansson Rank Bredbacka (12/16/1703- 04/09/1775), and their 14 children. They later divided their property into 5/8 units between three sons and a son-in-law. Their son Johan Mattsson (04/17/1736- 10/05/1796) got the main house, Stampars (still in the family as of the 1920s). Borgarstu farm went to son Matts Mattsson Bredbacka (12/19/1745- 03/09/1815), but was later divided into three equal shares, and lots were drawn to see who got which estate.

The Nygård estate went to Karl Mattsson Bredbacka (11/29/1751- 05/07/1837). He and his wife were childless and took in his brother Anders’ son, Johan Andersson Bredbacka (06/02/1770- 05/30/1822). Years later, Karl gifted Nygård to Johan.

Johan’s daughter, Anna Johansdotter Bredbacka (10/24/1798- 11/04/1819), was the first wife of my great-great-grandfather, Johan Johansson Fors Fröjdö Lillrank Bredbacka ("Bredbacka Jock") (12/22/1793-06/05/1864), her father's nephew by marriage to Jock's aunt, Anna Johansdotter Fröjdö Fors (ca. 1740-aft. 1808).

Jock became måg (son-in-law) at Bredbacka, and then husbonde (master) when his father-in-law died.

A few years before Jock died, he transferred the home by sale to his only surviving child, my great-greatgrandmother, Lisa Greta Johansdotter (07/22/1831-05/17/1903), and her husband, my great-greatgrandfather, Matts Andersson Bredbacka ("Stålas Matts") (09/09/1826-07/29/1919). In 1888, Matts and Lisa Greta's oldest daughter, my great-grandmother, Anna Mattsdotter (09/14/1849- 02/06/1936), moved to her father's ancestral home on Sandkulla with her husband, my great-grandfather, Matts Anderson Sandkulla Stål (a.k.a. Matts Anderson Granö) (07/04/1847-02/06/1932).

That same year, Matts and Lisa Greta's son, Matts Mattsson, returned from America to manage his parents home, Stålas. But he was never master of Bredbacka, as his father outlived him.

Matts and Lisa Greta’s grandson, Matts Mattsson's son, Frans Reguel Mattsson (08/09/1889- 03/25/1915), became farm master through a property transfer from his grandfather. He died of tuberculosis a couple years later, and his widow sold the farm to Matts Leander Abrahamsson Palm (12/24/1872- 05/02/1949), husband of Reguel's sister, Hilda Cecilia ("Celi") (03/13/1878-02/27/1962). After Celi’s death, their son, Matts Henry Mattsson Palm (09/28/1915- 08/01/1979), owned Bredbacka.

My great-grandparenets, Anna and Matts, became the owners of another home called Stålas on Sandkulla. They had ten children, including my grandfather, Anders Joel Mattsson Sandkulla Stål Granö (Joel Steele) (07/13/1877- 02/05/1954), who came to America in 1907 and settled in Rochester, Washington.

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