The name Kristdala means "the valleys of Christ" and there are reasons to believe, that the name originates from the introduction of Christianity in this part of Sweden. This happened in the 11th century. However, people lived here long before that. Tools and burial grounds more than 4000 years old have been found. During the Viking era, about 1000 years ago, Kristdala may have been a Viking homestead.
Kristdala was first recorded in writing in 1353, and in 1359 the church was first mentioned. By that time however, the church was probably more than 150 years old already. We do not know exactly when or by whom the old church was built, but we do know where it was located and roughly what it looked like. In 1792 the new, our present church, was built and the old one was torn down.
Farming has been the main occupation for the people of Kristdala. Back in the medieval days there were few farms each built in a village like fashion. As the population grew farms were divided and more land was cultivated. In the mid of the 19th century the increase of the population was rapid and there was a shortage of land. Hence, poverty combined with new religious ideas in conflict with the established church, drove more than 1 million Swedes across the ocean to America. From Kristdala hundreds, maybe as many as one thousand people left. Andover in western Illinois, USA was one frequent destination. Andover and Kristdala are today sister towns.
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