Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bearhunting in Hälsingland...

I have researched a lot on my grandmother's ancestry in Hälsingland and there are many interesting lifestories and exciting moments to get out from the church books.

Some of these ancestors are originally from Finland and in the late 1600's, they arrived to clear and occupy unsettled land in Hanebo (X) parish.

I noticed that some places, speciallyTönsen and Raman seems to be populated mostly of people of Finnish origin.

But in these days,Finland of course was just another part of Sweden.

My grandmother's grandmother's great-grandmother's name was Cecilia Henriksdotter (1703-1784) and she had a nephew named Olof Andersson and he was born December 7, 1744 actually in the place Raman.

A week after that Olof celebrated his 34th birthday, he and some others went out in the forests of Hälsingland to hunt for bear...

How common it was to hunt bear, I really do not know, but I guess there was a little more bear in the woods at the time.

Anyway, this story does not end so well for Olof ... Apparently something goes wrong in the hunt, and he died December 20, 1778, after being severely injured during that hunt.

Here's how the somewhat odd death notice looked like in the death records;
The text reads;

Biten och illa sargad i hufvudet af en Björn, som han i följe med andra ämnade skjuta, hwarefter han lefde, allsomst 4 dygn.”

Translated it would be;
Bitten and badly wounded in his head by a Bear, that he had, in company with others, the intention to shoot. He lived for four days after the accident happened before he finally died.

I'm not an expert on bears, but I guess that time of year, the bears should be doing their winter-sleep and perhaps this hunt actually really was poaching?

What happened to the bear the story does not tell.

Best not to wake the bear that sleeps...”


  1. One great-grandmother was born in Sweden...

    Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  2. Yep - probably should've left that one alone. What a lousy four days for Olof. Not a good way to go.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)