A1 Journal article (refereed)
Lindbergin kauppiasperheen vaiheita ennen ja jälkeen Turun palon (2020)

Paloheimo, M. (2020). Lindbergin kauppiasperheen vaiheita ennen ja jälkeen Turun palon. Genos, 91(4), 194-210.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Paloheimo, Maare

Journal or series: Genos

ISSN: 0016-6898

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 91

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 194-210

Publisher: Suomen sukututkimusseura

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73906


This article focuses on the life trajectories of the petty trader Henric Lindberg and his family before and after the Great Fire of Turku in early September 1827. The fire, which destroyed some 75 per cent of the city and left almost 11,000 inhabitants homeless, was a turning point in the history of Turku; it also had nationwide consequences. In the case of Henric Lindberg, the fire not only destroyed his family home but also his trade and means of supporting his family. By taking a closer look at the family, the article provides new insights into the life trajectories of individuals of middle social groups before and after the Great Fire of Turku 1827. For example, social networks - especially godparent networks - are analysed in order to trace the connections between the members of the petty bourgeoisie community in the northern quarters of city, the Aninkaistenmäki area. The fire and the rebuilding of the city had large-scale consequences for the community; the families of petty traders and craftsmen not only lost their homes and trades but their social networks were also affected, as members of the community were scattered around the city as the urban rebuilding began. The city was rebuilt in line with a new city plan designed by the architect C. L. Engel in 1828: the new plan and new safety regulations meant that the ownership structure of the land in the city changed, and the lower social groups in particular had to move to the outskirts, where the plots were smaller and cheaper. Similar processes took place in other large cities damaged by fire in the nineteenth century. The article also describes how Henric Lindberg, originally a son of a peasant farmer from the parish of Halikko, gradually moved up the social ladder and established himself as a burgher in the city in 1814. He was married twice and by the end of 1820s he had become a father of a family of ten children. Despite petitioning for a loan or donation from the city administrative court and eventually from the sovereign in 1830, the father of the family fell into poverty as debts were falling due. In this situation, financial support from the mutual aid function of the local petty bourgeoisie and a donation from the will made by a wealthy Russian-born merchant provided some financial help. However, the life trajectories of the second generation demonstrate that even in the hierarchical society there were opportunities for social mobility in the latter part of the nineteenth century: three of the sons of the impoverished petty trader became traders or merchants. One of the sons, Carl Fredrik Lindberg, became an owner of a prestigious general store in Turku. The store carried his name until its closure in 1993, being then the oldest general store in Finland, with a history covering 170 years.

Keywords: catastrophes; fires (accidents); urban population; merchants; families; kins; life changes; coping; social networks; social mobility (contemporary society); urban history

Free keywords: Lindberg, Henric; 1800-luku; Turku; Turun palo 1827

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-25-08 at 12:44