In Sweden – Torps and Tenant Farms

Returning to the emigration records to see what else can be learned, I find that Hedda was born in Broddarp, Älvsborg (now Västra Götaland), parish Björred, and in 1891 was identified as a tenant farmer’s wife (arrendatorshustru) living a farm called Soldat Torp 417. Jenny (the oldest, at 8), was born in Öra, Älvsborg, parish Hjärttorp, and in 1891 lived at what seems to have been a different farm (Wästergård).  Agda, Karl, and Laura were born in the same town and parish as their mother and are all listed simply as living at a “tenant farm” (or arrendatorgård).  Per August Johansson (from the 1889 record I found for him), was listed as a tenant farmer at Nedre Götatorp.

Per August Johansson, b. 10 Oct 1858  in Öra, Älvsborg (Västra Götaland), parish Oskarsberg, departure date 26 Jan. 1889 from Broddarp, Älvsborg for Amerika.  He is married, but travels alone, and is a tenant farmer at Nedre Götatorp.

In an earlier post (Tracking the Westerlins Back to Sweden), I showed Västra Götaland within Sweden as a whole.  Prior to 1997, what is now Västra Götaland comprised three counties,Västra Götaland, Skaraborg,Älvsborg.  A close-up showing the location of Älvsborg within that area is below (from the article on Skaraborg in Wiki).


Background on the “torps” (small farms) and particularly the “soldat torp” can be found here.  From the linked site: “Torps in mid- and southern Sweden [like Vastra Gotaland] were usually leased from a larger farm…. [T]he torps generally did not have the best plots of land for farming….  You might see the title Soldattorp, Ryttartorp, Båtmanstorp, or even Knekttorp in the records. These were small farms used for the soldiers of the Allotment System starting in the 1680’s. Primarily these farms provided residence for the soldier…and their family. The farm was too small to be self-sustaining so the local farmers with large farms were obligated to provide agricultural products and use of draft animals. In some parts of Sweden the soldier farm was given to the soldier at the end of military service. More commonly, the soldier and his family had to move after the discharge (or death) of the soldier.”

To follow up on these farms,  as well as the parishes identified, one place to start may be a gazetteer.  So far, I cannot find the identified parishes as parishes in Alvsborg.


2 thoughts on “In Sweden – Torps and Tenant Farms

  1. Pingback: Swedish Locations | My American Journeys

  2. Pingback: Westerlin Tasks on My To-Do List | My American Journeys

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