Ovanhed’s struggle for independence and the creation of the parish of Boda
This is a summary of an article by professor Georg Landberg in the publication ”Rättvik”, volume 1:2,
issued in 1967 by the parish of Rättvik. Georg Landberg was a historian and head-master of the Fjellstedtska
At an early stage, the Ovanhed region, or quarter, fell out with the clergy of the Rättvik parish over the
right to have divine service in the region. The distance from the most northerly village, Gulleråsen, to the
defended their own and the church’s income from the holy ceremonies.
It seems that a chapel existed as early as in 1586. In 1618 a permission to build a new chapel was granted
on condition that a representative of every household confirmed by their owner’s mark that they would not
”try to obtain any diminishing or reduction of their obligations towards their parish church” (the Ovanhed
letter of obligation).
In 1640 that did not stop one of the signers, Lars Matsson of Gulleråsen, born in 1578 (see Gulleråsen A5)
and other leading men to apply in secrete to the parish of
negotiations the vicar of Rättvik, Olaus Andreae Dalecarlus, promised the he or his chaplain would hold
service in the chapel every third Sunday.
and Anders Nilsson, Kärvsåsen (A8), parish clerk, and Hans Hansson, Västanå (B9) on the other hand, on
service twice a month against an increase of the fee.
Olaus Andreae’s nephew, Andreas Danielis, who was chaplain 1663 – 1672, owned a farm in Kärvsåsen
and lived there periodically. Peace then reigned. Probably he contributed extra services.
Pigot, sheriff of
every second Sunday and at all major feasts. As he catered for the priests in his own home, they could not ask
for more than 24 öre copper coin for each service occasion.
When Petrus Tillaeus was appointed vicar in 1717 he agreed with Pellhans Anders Olsson, Lenåsen (D10),
Callur Hans Olsson, Boda (A3), born on
Sunday against payment of 1 daler and 16 öre copper coin per occasion.
the death of King Charles XII, Erikanders Erik Andersson, Kärvsåsen, born on
an intensive and lengthy campaign for a separation. He was supported by three jurymen: Jöns Anders Andersson,
(A3), born on
Callur Hans Carlsson, Ovanmyra (A1c), born on
Hans Carlsson’s sister was married to the parish clerk of Rättvik, Gudmund Andersson, Söderås.
Erik Andersson was described as holder of a minor farm. In 1745 he was mentioned as inn-keeper, and he
may possibly have been a parish constable for some time. He and Lars Olsson, Änderåsen (A5), born in 1657,
submitted in 1719 a letter to Queen Ulrika Eleonora applying for a priest and a graveyard of their own at the
chapel. As parsonage Lars Olsson offered to give a farm which he had bought from the state and which had
previously been confiscated from Johan Gudmundsson, Gruvriset, a former sheriff. The matter was passed via
the cathedral chapter and the county governor to the district court of Rättvik, who took a strong stand against
Erik Andersson made a new attempt. While parliament was in session, he went to
applied for service each Sunday, or a priest on the spot, and a separate graveyard. He was now supported
by Gudmund Andersson, parish clerk of Rättvik, who wished to see his daughter married to a priest who could
get a position in the parish, preferably at the chapel (she never became a priest’s wife, but eventually the mother
of a priest).
The vicar, Olof Kumblaeus, wrote a long memorial to the county governor. After many rounds a meeting in the
office was summoned, but it led nowhere. On
in succession plus all festival days, and right to bury their dead, on condition that the parishioners of Boda paid
full fee to the mother church. Some other amendments should also be made. However, the county governor died,
and as the cathedral chapter was sceptical, most of it came to nothing.
No real pause in the struggle followed. After permission from the chapter the chapel was rebuilt in great haste
and a grave yard was prepared, which was inaugurated in 1734. (The book of deaths which then must have been
started has been lost.) During the autumn sessions of the district court in 1734 Erik Andersson was fined for faking
the schedule of population and the resulting tax fraud.
the chapel was finished the next attempt was made. On
Olsson of Kärvsåsen presented a letter to the county governor asking for a separate priest and service every Sunday.
The vicar, Kumblaeus, replied heatedly that the region was by no means united. The atmosphere did not improve when
the two ”delegates”, together with Hans Carlsson, Ovanmyra, mentioned above, suggested to the county governor that
Gudmund Andersson’s son Anders Collenius, born in 1799, should be appointed school master of the region and preach
every third Sunday. Kumblaeus rejected him emphatically.
Olof Kumblaeus died in December 1737 and was replaced by Gabriel Sewallius. After Gudmund Andersson had given
up part of his salary as parish clerk and half of his residence, Christopher Forsberg, curate, now became school master
The fighting spirit now seems to have been damped for some time because of a severe epidemic of dysentery in the
1740, the war with
Ovanhed quarter had been particularly aggressive when the rebels of the parish tried to seize the parish funds to finance
After Forsberg had been promoted to Chaplain Gudmund Andersson, now aged, was induced to give up the rest of
his salary and his residence to the curate Olof Forsström, who became parish clerk and school priest, thus assuming
the main responsibility for the public worship of the chapelry. Gudmund Andersson died in 1744.
Andersson now made still another attempt. On
Ovanhed chapel, at which he asked whether the parishioners were satisfied with the existing arrangements. A number of
leading men, including the chapelry clerk, Olof Hansson, declared that they were satisfied. Even Hans Carlsson mentioned
above agreed. (Olof Hansson has not been identified. He is not included in the list of chapelry clerks of ”The history of the
parish of Boda”.) A week later, Erik Andersson sent a letter to the county governor, in which he pretended that the chapelry
unanimously wished to have service every Sunday and was willing to support a priest on their own.
Now a real upheaval arose in the whole parish. Anders Matsson of Gulleråsen, corporal with the name of Knapp, said:
-”If you, Erkanders Erk, draw down a priest upon us, poor chapelry people, you will have to support him yourself!” Many
letters were exchanged, but at a parish meeting on
decision that the existing arrangements should remain unchanged. Soon thereafter Olof Forsström was appointed school
master and parish clerk. Thereby Rättvik had finally got a school priest.
Nevertheless, at the end of 1751 the chapelry parishioners, represented by Jonas Olsson, Leksand, Member of Parliament,
made a last petition to the King for a local priest and regular service. This was bluntly rejected by the government, with a rebuke.
Erik Andersson died the following year.
In the autumn of 1753 the chapelry parishioners made an application to the county governor for an exception at least from the
duty to take part in the maintenance of the vicar’s residence and the parish public room in Rättvik. Georg Landberg describes
the letter as ”a combination of spontaneous rural expression and a refined diplomacy”. It had been composed by a young farmer,
Anders Hansson of Ovanmyra, who had learnt to write. (This may be either Jöns Anders Hansson, Ovanmyra (A3), born on
farms. The grandfather of Jöns Anders was a juryman.)
In addition to Anders Hansson, the letter was signed by
Erik Andersson, corporal Knapp, Västanå (A2), born on
Lars Olof Olsson of Kärvsåsen (A2), born on
Anders Matsson of Solberga (B4), born on
- Haga or Kus Hans Olsson of Kärvsåsen (A8), mentioned above, and
Anders Olsson of Solberga (A1), born on
The proposal met with a point-blank refusal.
In 1759 Olof Kumblaeus junior was appointed vicar of Rättvik. He conducted a more generous policy towards the chapelry.
For instance, the mother church paid for a new bell tower at the chapelry. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the
government tended to view the separation of chapelries more positively. The discussions in the chapelry then turned to the
question whether they should build a church of wood or stone, and where it should be erected. In 1847 they started to build
of stone on top of the Boda hill, which was inaugurated in 1851. On
that Boda should be separated from Rättvik at the next change of vicar, which happened in 1875.