The hill on burn-beaten land with the old Church This place is situated ten kilometers East of the town Östersund in the province Jemtland and it is right in the middle of the map of Sweden, but for Swedish conditions it is seen as a Northern region.
Busvebacken got its name of the spot at the sixteens century to describe the then still standing wooden church built 400 years earlier at the year 1155. Here have I and my wife (Jan and Lena Nilsson) continued the farm development in modern time (just 170 years ago) which once began with my great grandpa Hans Andersson and his wife Brita Jonsdotter/Andersson. They left his father´s farm in Kläppe, a neighbur village, to his next brother Lars, and moved to this place in the small village Bringåsen and settled down with their newly born first daughter, Anna. It was at midsummer time 1855, and this farm, also called Backen had been out-sourced into uncleared forest land from the old village nucleus a couple of years earlier in a legal land divide. It was then bought by Brita´s father, who used it extensively, and at 1855 Brita and Hans inherited it.
The family grew, the farm grew out with new buildings, cleared fields (about an acre/year) and Hans also went on as a community leader of the very small parish and community of Kyrkås (400 souls) which his father had been before him. And that task was later left over to their eldest son "Ante" A. J. Hansson. He took over the farm 1887 and he became my grand father.
Both of them had obviously no formal schoolastic education except low grade school up to they where about 12 - 13 years old, in spite of that they aquired lots of knowledge about realities of life and they left quite a lot of written matters behind them, which is the base of this web site.
So - in 1870 Hans found himself (said he was astonished) elected as a member of the Swedish Parliament´s second chamber (Riksdagens andra kammare). The term began at January 15th and at that time he had to go there by horse and sled, a journey of seven days and 600 kilometers. He was accompanied by two other colleagues from the region and about then a letter exchange started, which I have filed and shown in BrevSamling. It contains letters home to his beloved wife, often called "lilla gumma" and a lot of letters to and from different persons in a net work about political topics, different kinds of services he might do for his electors at home and so on. There are now also letters from the home (Brev från hemmet) back to him, describing what´s happening on and around the farm during his absence. The wife Brita did not write those letters by herself, now I'm shure that she was dyslectic so she always used a secretary, which obviously was any of their children as they grew up and had learnt writing enough well at school. One of the big issues in the parliament of the decade 1870 was to decide how the Swedish main railways north of Stockholm should be develloped. Hans fought (and lost the fight) for a different and for the north part of Jemtland better direction and that is reflected in a lot of the letters. 1880 - 1882 the railway at last connected Östersund with the seas in East and West and with Stockholm. Now Stockholm was only two days away with an over night stop halfways. From now they could bring heavy goods in and out cheaply which had earlier been carried by horse and sled wintertime to high costs if possible at all. For instance was it now possible to buy hay and straw from the south if the harvests were bad and from now folks at Bringåsen started using artificial fertilizers. I think it was a revolution.
From the time their son Ante (A J Hansson) was young and through his whole life Ante collected and wrote down historical facts about folks and communities in this part of the country and he registered very carefully how the family farm develloped and how the fields were cultivated and harvested in a period around 1880 - 1890 f ex. That is expressed in KulturBerättelse (historical) and Släktträd(Family tree) where we have found some ancestors from this parish and neighbourhood back to the years of late 1400. Ante (A J Hansson) also did a lot of work on different fields to enhance the public community and life - probably even more than his father, though he never sought career as a deputy of the Swedish parliament.
Hans and Brita got six children who all grew up and made their lives as a good average of what people did in Sweden at that time. They have a link for each name which are to be filled up with more stuff later.
Great photos from life and people in and from Kyrkås are seen at HansEricssonFoton, which mostly are from a forgotten collection of glass plates made just a hundred years ago by one of the descendants and recently discovered in a cottage museum.
A more unstructured photo collection is until further notice to be seen at FotoSamling.
Before medio 1800 the farming here was to grow grain for food on limited arable land inside the village border fencing and cut hay for the animals and graze them outside in surroundig public forests and peats which farmers had to rent. After the legal land divide reform which here occurred 1830 -1840 each farmer owned and disposed of a continous land area which after the reform in Jämtland included vast forested areas earlier belonging to the state. That made it easier for individual farmers to invest in clearing new fields and of course to begin cutting trees for timber to sell and float to the growing exporting saw mills at the big river mouths. Timber gave good money even here with a long distance and expensive floating to the mill, and one normal log was payed nearly the value of one day's work for a man around 1880 - 90 when sold on quite local ice. But my ancestors had to haul it with horse-powered sleds some 3 - 4 kilometers (2 - 3 miles) to reach this ice.
In fact we can trace farming in Kyrkås parish back into medieval times by legal documents made to confirm the capacitity and obligations of tax payments from each farming enterprise towards the church and the parish. Traces for this place goes back into the century of around 1200, and up to 1500 with the reformation of Swedish churches this obligation sent assets from Kyrkas as far as to the Pope i Rome.
Both Hans Andersson and Brita Jonsdotter were born on farms in the parish with medieval roots, and they started their life together on a third place with roots the same age.
At 1855 when Hans and Brita moved from his fathers farm in village Kläppe, probably one of the whealthiest farms in the parish but still the same size as most other farms and belonging to the same family since 1600. Into this place they arrived to some eight hundred acres of pretty good forest land, some peats and 4 acres of cleared arable land and a few small buildings moved from the old place of the farm. The first winter they had to live in the same house as the animals. They could harvest 120 horse loads (on sled) of hay from the forest and plus some feed from the small fields they were able to winter feed 2 horses, 4 cows , 6 goats and 10 sheep the first winter, which would last about seven months.
Three years later was the main residential house built which is still seen in the middle of the air picture above. Like all farmers here about they built lots and lots of houses and sheds for every purpose. The cow shed and horse stables where rebuilt and enlarged every twenty years or so up to 1910 when the latest ones, seen on the picture, where built. All of them where log houses with boards made at the small water powered saw mill in the little creek one mile from the village. According to old fire insurance policies the main buildings of the farm where red painted (with "Falu" red paint)from the beginning and like they still are.
The hay cut in the forest land prevailed up to beginning of 1900, demanded all the people on the farm and was always done with a scythe and hand rake in open or half open and cleaned spots in mostly wetter parts of the forest land and wetlands. The hay of often doubtful quality was put into small sheds built nearby and then hauled to the farm in winter by horse-sled. In memories written by the son Lars Petter, he remembered from 1880 only on this farm the use of 14 forest haysheds, some of them up to more than a hundred years old.
In NutidaJordbruk, nowadays farming, you can read about what we Jan and Lena (Jan grand son of A J Hansson) did on the farm up to our retirement 2008 together with some photos. In the picture above are the roofs of our nowadays farming enterpris seen in the back of the red colored old buildings raised between 100 to 150 years ago by my grand and my great grand Pa
KyrkåsBor (inhabitants and their offspring from the parish) is a new family tree of selected inhabitants from those who made this to a persistant community.
AmericaFever is a translated and remodeled version of AmerikaFeber, describing the emigration stories and letters from the family of Hans Hansson (son of Hans Andersson and Brita Jonsdotter) and their journeys between Sweden and Amerika, where now quite a lot of descendants remained as Americans.