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Analysing the 1695 cadastre

In document A land of one’s own (Page 137-140)


districts from 1606 onward, one taxland was requisitioned in each of the parishes to serve the needs of the vicar (Norstedt, 2016). Since no one paid taxes for those lands, they were not included in the fiscal records, so to produce a correct average taxland area in this analysis I had to add the church lands. Points representing church lands were added in most locations where churches existed in 1695, or more specifically Lycksele (Umbyn), Åsele, Sorsele (Gran), Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog, Jokkmokk, Jukkasjärvi (Siggevaara), Markkina (Suonttavaara), Sodankylä, and Inari. There was also a church in Kemijärvi that had been established in 1647 to serve the Sami population, but it was located outside the scope of the 1695 cadastre. Also, a church was built in Kuusamo (Maanselkä) after 1675, but since there is a taxland called “Kussamabij”

(Kuusamo village) in the cadastre this is probably the land around the church place. No land has therefore been added in Kuusamo. In Silbojokk, there was a church and maybe also a church land, but since Silbojokk was located in Semisjaur where there were no taxlands, this has not been accounted for. As for the chapels in Avaviken, Nábrreluokta, and Ålloluokta, there are no indications of a vicar being steadily employed, so it is unlikely that church lands existed.

One possible source of errors in my analysis is that I have assumed that all land was divided among taxlands. This assumption is not entirely correct, since there were also commons. During the Girjas trial, commons were repeatedly mentioned, and one could get the impression that taxlands were small and surrounded by much larger commons. This is not what I have seen in the sources, however. On the only existing map of the distribution of taxlands, the one of Ume Sami district, there is just one small common (Gedda, 1671). In Jokkmokk and Arjeplog, some taxlands that were located along important migration routes were commons (Læstadius, 1977 [1833], p. 13; Hultblad, 1968, p. 84). They do not appear to have been more significant than the common of Ume Sami district.

However, the situation might have been different in Finland. As mentioned in section 5.1.1, most of the taxland names in Inari were clustered around Lake Inari, whereas those in neighbouring Kittilä and Sodankylä were mostly located in the south, which suggests that there were commons on the watershed in between. However, since the main focus of my thesis lies on the western side of the Gulf of Bothnia, I have chosen not to take commons into account. There are also practical reasons for this, since I have no indications on the position and extent of possible commons, apart from the area marked on Gedda’s map. It should therefore be remembered that if there were considerable areas of common land in some communities, average taxland areas have been overestimated in those cases.

The number of households per land was defined as the number of persons noted in the cadastre for each single land. An average was then calculated for


each community to produce Figure 10, p. 62. In some of the communities that were divided into taxlands, no land was indicated for a number of people. In most cases, this number was insignificant, but in both Kaitum and Sirkas, about one third of the members had no indication of land. In both of these communities, two persons were explicitly said not to have a land, but there is no way of knowing if any of the others did have a land and in that case which one. Kaitum and Sirkas are unique in presenting this mixture of members with and without taxlands. At the same time, they are two of only three mountain Sami communities with taxlands. I have therefore assumed that it is not by mistake that taxlands have not been indicated for these people, but more likely because they were involved in a more collective kind of land use. Both systems may well have existed in the same community.

It should be noted that the number of households is not the same as the number of taxpayers. Each community had one or two persons who served as intermediaries (bylänsmän) between the community and the Crown’s sheriffs, and they were exempt from taxes. In most of the northern and eastern communities, there were also at least one person who was responsible for transportation (skjutsrättare) and who did not pay taxes. In addition, people who could not pay taxes because they were poor, dead or absent are sometimes included. If the 1695 cadastre were to be used for an analysis where the number of taxpayers is important, all these persons would have to be subtracted.

In future analyses, the ethnicity or origin of taxpayers may be a variable of interest. In 1695, most of the persons included in the Sami tax register were unsettled Sami, but there were also quite a few settlers. During the Girjas trial in the Court of Appeal, I heard the State’s representative claim that all taxpayers that were registered for 4 dalers in the 1695 cadastre were settlers. This claim seems to have been based on a historical document on the new tax system, where it was declared that the Sami would pay 2 or at most 2½ dalers, while “those who cultivate fields” would pay 4 dalers (Kammarkollegiet, 1910 [1695]). When the 1695 cadastre is studied, however, it is clear that this principle was not applied. A tax level of at least 4 dalers was in fact much more common in the mountain Sami communities, where settlers arrived very late or never, than in the forest Sami communities, where there are known settlements in 1695. In other words, 4 dalers or more was a tax level paid also by rich reindeer-herding Sami, not only by settlers, so this cannot be used to assess the number of settlers.

From the sources mentioned in the beginning of the Appendix, I have reached the conclusion that the following numbers of settlers were included in the Sami communities in the 1695 cadastre: Siggevaara (10), Kittilä (6), Kitka (5), Suonttavaara (5), Sjokksjokk (5), Sompio (3), Umbyn (3), Åsele (2), Maanselkä (2), Sodankylä (1), Peltojärvi (1) and Gran (1). Almost all of these settlers came

In document A land of one’s own (Page 137-140)