Laga Skifte Historical Maps of Sweden

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Sweden Gotoarrow.png Laga Skifte Historical Maps of Sweden

The Laga skifte was the next land reform. The decision was made in 1827 to do another land reform that ended both the Storskifte and the Enskifte. Beginning in 1828 the Laga Skifte was in effect. Although the Enskifte was ended, the Laga Skifte really can be seen as continuation and revision of the Enskifte. The only difference was that each farm would have 2 parts of arable land or meadow, and 1 part of forest. Ideally these parts would be on one lot. The process began when at least one farmer in the village requested the Laga Skifte. A lantmätare was brought in to evaluate the land and create a map of the village. Then the lantmätare worked with 2 skiftesgodemännen to come up with a solution of creating farm boundaries that met the requirements on one piece of land (as much as possible.) Another rule was that the new lot of land should produce exactly the same amount as the old farm lot. The letters assigned to the lots on the map correspond to the supporting documents. It’s generally said that the Laga Skifte broke up the old villages. But really, the Laga Skifte was just continuing the process begun with the Storskifte.

Colors on the Laga Skifte Maps

According to the Laga Skifte rules, the arable land was drawn in light yellow or beige, meadows and unimproved land in dark green, and forest and pasture in light green. The Laga Skifte also had a grade value to land that could be ploughed and improved, and land that could not be ploughed.

Supporting documents

The supporting documents to a Laga Skifte are the handlingar (minutes), hävdeförteckningar (owners of the lots before the Laga Skifte), and the delningsbesrkivningar.

In the lagaskiftes delningsbeskrivningar you can find descriptions of the owners that received each lot after the Laga Skifte, including a summary of the pre- and post Laga Skifte owners. They are generally very extensive. You not only see the names of the owners assigned to each lot, but information about structures and buildings that had to be moved as well. Look for corresponding letters between the maps and the supporting documents.

The protokoll is organized into sections, one for each lot that had to be moved. Within each section you will see a preamble statement listing the authority, letter references to the map, and moving instructions. The map is based on the pre-Laga Skifte structure. Just because the moving of a structure (such as a root cellar) was dictated by the Laga Skifte, does not mean that it always happened. Sometimes the compensation amount was given and the structure was not moved. The principles of the Laga Skifte were in effect up to 1926.


Ångström, Karl-Ingvar and Johansson, Björn, Kart-forskning Sverige Släktforskarförbunds Handböcker 3, Svärd & Söner, Falköping, 2011