About Eskil Larsson
In 1641, the Third Expedition from Sweden included among passengers aboard the Charitas and Kalmar Nyckel my ancestors Eskil Larsson, one of the "forest destroying Finns," of the Parish of Lund in Vermland, enlisted for punishment in the soldiery and permitted by a local governor to emigrate, and his son Bartel Eskilson, who became a freeman in 1648.
Skogsfinnarna (called Forest Finns) were Finnish-speaking people who came to Värmland from Savo, a border province between Protestant Finland (part of Sweden) and Orthodox Russia. They practiced huuhta (cultivated rye in the ashes of burned spruce forest), encouraged by Swedish monarchs in the 1500s-early 1600s to clear ground for farm use. By 1640, their Swedish neighbors complained about the burnings, and soon the Forest Finns eagerly volunteered for the voyages to New Sweden.