General land reparcelling maps of Jämsä

The land reparcelling began in Ostrobothnia in the parish of Laihia in the 1750s. Despite objections of farmers in the beginning, the new land division quickly spread all over the country. The land reparcelling was simply about regrouping the scattered lands of the farmers to form as few blocks as possible, and at the same time the so-called surplus woodland was sectioned off for the Crown. Even though it was not usually possible to form only one block from a farm's lands, the new land division meant a huge clarification to the scattered lands of the farmers and also an improvement in land productivity. This was especially the case in the established agricultural provinces of Turku and Pori, Uusimaa, Häme and Pohjanmaa.

The land reparcelling was performed in the Jämsä parish belonging to the province of Uusimaa and Häme in the 1790s, and in some villages, such as Hohkala, Moiskala, Niemola and Saari, the land had already been re-divided at the end of the 1780s. The division was mainly performed by the parish surveyors Jonah Bonej and Nils Anders Zittig, other participating surveyors were Herman Silva, Nils Gummerus, Per Kjellman and Johan Jack. Bonej was originally from Piittime on the Swedish side and it is presumed that he knew Finnish. There is no information about the parish surveyor Zittig, but he was about 40-50 years old at the time of the surveys.

The land reparcelling maps kept in the municipal surveyor’s office have been used a great deal during decades and centuries, and are therefore rather worn. The pictures show as selected examples the maps of Alhojärvi (village no. 1), Auvila (3), Hohkala (11), Kaipola (15), Moiskala (23), Patajoki (25) and Ruotsula (29). There are also examples of Crown park maps from the Kelhä area.

Copy: Heikki Rantatupa