Excerpts from the 1993 book with permission of the author
"One of Peter's first ancestors to arrive in New Sweden was a Swedish
soldier named Peter Jochimson who arrived on a crowded ship with Governor Johan
Printz in 1643... [Peter] is a 12th generation descendant of this marriage... He gathered
every shred of information he could find about all the migrant families from
Sweden. His goal was to learn everything he could about each family who
debarked from Gothenburg in the known expeditions between 1637 and
1655."[by C. A. Weslager]
This book is written as a step toward filling the gaps in our knowledge
about the first settlers on the Delaware. It is based upon the 1693 census
of the Swedes on the Delaware, a census taken to document the colonists'
argument to Swedish authorities that there remained a sizable group of
Swedes in America who were worthy of help in the form of new pastors for
their churches and new religious books in the Swedish language.
research in this neglected area of American local history and genealogy.
The New Sweden Colony
Between 1637 and 1655, Sweden equipped thirteen passenger voyages for
the South (Delaware) River, which departed with about 800 prospective
settlers. Eleven vessels and some 600 passengers reached their intended
The first settlers were carried on the Kalmar Nyckel [Key of Kalmar] in
1637-38. Although 24 men were left at Fort Christina (now Wilmington),
only one of these - Clas Johansson - remained in America permanently. In
1693 his descendants were known as Johnsons in present Pennsylvania and
as Classons in present Delaware and Maryland.
The Kalmar Nyckel came again in 1640 carrying over 35 new settlers,
including a minister and the first women and children. For the third
expedition, in 1641, the Kalmar Nyckel was joined by the Charitas. Together,
they brought over 80 men, women and children.
Another 60 arrived in 1643 on the Fama and Swanen [the Swan].
Among them was Johan Printz, who was to govern New Sweden for the next
ten years. Both the Fama and the Kalmar Nyckel came again to New
Sweden in 1644, but brought only 13 new settlers. War between Sweden and
Denmark caused a suspension of colonization efforts and it was not until
1647-48 that emigration was renewed. Approximately 25 passengers then
arrived on the Swan, including a new pastor, Lars Carlsson Lock. In 1649,
another 70 settlers departed Sweden on Kattan [the Cat]. None of them
reached the Delaware. They were shipwrecked near Puerto Rico and imprisoned
by the Spaniards. Fewer than half managed to return to Sweden alive.
The colony came close to collapse in the early 1650s. Governor Peter
Stuyvesant erected a fortified town at present New Castle in 1651 under the
flag of the Dutch West India Company. Several dissatisfied settlers left New
Sweden for the promise of free lands in neighboring Maryland. Others
returned to Sweden, having completed their terms of voluntary or (in the
cases of convicts) involuntary service. The freemen who remained in New
Sweden rallied and, on 27 July 1653, twenty-two of them presented a petition
to Governor Printz, complaining of his autocratic rule and urging reform.
Signing this petition were many of the Swedes who were to serve as leaders
of the Swedish community for the next generation:
| || ||Per Rambo|
| Matts Hansson|| Oluf Erichsson||Petter Kock|
|Olof Stille||Henrik Mattsson Finn||Swen Gunnarsson|
|Axel Stille||Valerius Loo||Anders Hansson|
|Johan Hwiler||Hans Månsson||Mårten Mårtensson|
|Hendrick Mattson||Peeter Jochirn||Claes Johansson|
|Iffver Hindriksson||Anders Andersson||Johan Fisk|
|Måns Andersson||Matts Hansson||Lars Thornasson Bross|
For the 400-pound Governor Printz, this was the last straw. Branding the
petition of grievances a "mutiny," he threatened legal action against the
signers and accused pastor Lock, Olof Stille and one of his own soldiers
(Anders Jönsson) of instigating the crime. He ordered the soldier killed by
a firing squad, packed up his possessions and returned to Sweden, leaving
the colony under the command of his son-in-law Johan Papegoja.
Meanwhile, Sweden was preparing its largest expedition to New Sweden
under the command of Johan Rising, who would be the last governor of the
colony. The ship Örnen
[the Eagle] left Gothenburg 2 February 1655 with
a reported 350 passengers, 100 of whom died at sea. Reaching the
Delaware, Rising demanded that the Dutch Fort Casimir surrender --which
it did; it had no gunpowder. Then Rising received the discouraging report
from Papegoja that the population of New Sweden had been reduced to 70.
Of the 22 freemen who had signed the petition to Governor Printz in
1653, seven were no longer on hand to sign a new loyalty oath to Governor
Rising at Tinicum Island in June 1654. After Printz' departure, fifteen men,
many with families, had run away. Papegoja had then hired Indians to bring
them back, dead or alive. The Indians returned with the severed heads of
two men. As Anders Hansson and Valerius Loo had made it safely to Kent
Island, Maryland, in the Chesapeake Bay and Axel Stille, John Hwiler
[Wheeler] and Måns Andersson were to be found at Fort Casimir, it may be
inferred that Hendrick Mattsson the Swede and Matts Hansson the gunner,
brother of Anders Hansson, were the two victims of Papegoja's hired
Indians. Their names do not appear on any record after the 1653 complaint.
In June 1654, Governor Rising reported back to Sweden that the
population of the colony, "including the Dutch and all," was then 368
persons. This implies a population of about 50 persons (Dutch and Swedes)
at Fort Casimir, which he had added to the colony under a new name - Fort
Trinity. He fully expected more supplies and more settlers would arrive
soon. They did not. Gyllene Hajen (the Golden Shark), which originally was
to accompany the Eagle, did not leave Gothenburg until mid-April and, due
to a navigation error, landed near Manhattan, where the ship was seized by
Governor Stuyvesant and its cargo confiscated in September 1654. Only
about ten of its passengers reached New Sweden. The others remained with
the Dutch in New Netherland.
Governor Rising quickly made amends with the freemen who had
protested Printz' conduct. Peter Rambo and Matts Hansson from Borgd
were named to his Council, and Olof Stille and Peter Cock served as justices
at court sessions held at Tinicum Island. By the end of the year, he had
negotiated an "Ordinance Concerning People, Land and Agriculture, Forestry
and Cattle," which guaranteed various property rights for the freemen. Food
supplies, however, were insufficient for the increased population. The Dutch
at Fort Trinity quietly returned to New Amsterdam. And several of the
newly-arrived soldiers and freemen heeded invitations from their countrymen
in Maryland and moved to that colony.
It may be estimated that about 300 persons remained in the colony of
New Sweden when, on 30 August 1655, Governor Peter Stuyvesant appeared
in the Delaware with seven armed ships and 317 soldiers. The outnumbered
Swedish forces recognized that fighting was useless. Their fifty soldiers were
divided between two fortresses. Captain Sven Skute surrendered Fort Trinity
on 1 September 1655, and Governor Rising surrendered Fort Christina on
15 September 1655.
Even as Rising was signing the final surrender of New Sweden, a
thirteenth voyage was being prepared in Sweden. That voyage, by the
, carrying ten former New Sweden officers and servants, two
Swedish wives, two Swedish maidens, and 92 Finnish men, women and
children from the province of Värmland, Sweden, left Gothenburg on 25
November 1655 and arrived on the Delaware River on 14 March 1656.
The "Up-River Swedish Nation," 1656-1681
After the surrender of New Sweden, Governor Rising, several of his top
aides and a few of the soldiers and freemen returned to Sweden. However,
ninety percent of the colonists decided to remain in America. An important
factor in this decision was the solicitude shown to his new subjects by the
Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant, who agreed to recognize what was
variously known as the "Swedish and Finnish Nation," the "Swedish Nation,"
the "up-river Swedes," or, in its final manifestation, "Upland County."
After overpowering New Sweden, Stuyvesant startled Governor Rising
by offering to return the colony to him. Stuyvesant would retain Fort
Casimir (present New Castle) and the area south of the Christina River, but
he was willing to honor the boundaries as they had existed in Governor
Printz' time, restoring the area north of the Christina to New Sweden.
Governor Rising declined.
After Rising left the Delaware River with 36 of his supporters, Stuyvesant
renewed his offer to the remaining settlers. The Swedes would be governed
by a court of their own choosing; they would be free to continue their own
religion and have their own militia and officers; they would retain their landholdings
and have freedom to continue trading with the Indians. In return,
they were required to pledge loyalty to New Netherland and have their
officers approved by Stuyvesant.
The "Swedish nation" was formally launched at a ceremony held at Fort
Casimir on 4 August 1656 - 14 August by the Dutch calendar. On that day,
the sheriff Gregorius van Dyck from Gothenburg appeared with the four
magistrates - Olof Stille from Roslagen, Sweden; Mats Hansson from Borgå,
Finland; Peter Cock from Bångsta, near Strangnäs, Sweden; and Peter
Rambo from Hisingen [site of the Volvo factory], near Gothenburg, Sweden. All were sworn in and
warned that in trading with the Indians no "strong beverages" were to be
sold. Other initial appointments included Jöran the Finn of Crum Creek as
provost or court-messenger, Sven Skute as captain of the militia, Anders
Dalbo as lieutenant and Jacob Svensson as ensign.
Although the actions of the "Swedish nation" were carefully monitored
by Stuyvesant's deputy, Willem Beeckman, stationed at old Fort Christina
(renamed Fort Altena by the Dutch), Stuyvesant's efforts to dictate policy to
the Swedes were unsuccessful. In 1660, when preparing to make war on the
Indians at Esopus (Kingston, New York), Stuyvesant tried to recruit soldiers
from the Swedish nation. They declined. He also ordered the Swedes and
Finns to move to a single fortified village. Again the Swedish nation refused,
preferring to remain on their widely dispersed plantation.
South of the Christina River there were several changes of government.
In 1656 this area was transferred from the Dutch West India Company to the
City of Amsterdam. Its colony, called New Amstel, was then captured by the
English in 1664, only to be retaken by the Dutch in 1673. In 1674, it was
returned to the English throughout this period, the up-river Swedes
successfully resisted any major encroachment on their historic domain.
The first test arose in 1663 when the Dutch West India Company
transferred the area north of the Christina River to the colony of New
Amstel. On the last day of 1663 (by the Swedish calendar), Governor
Alexander d'Hinojossa summoned the Swedish magistrates with many of
their fellow Swedes and Finns living north of the Christina River and
demanded that they give him a new oath of allegiance, "which they
unanimously refused to take until they had in writing those privileges of
trade and other things which they had enjoyed under the Company's
[Stuyvesant's] administration; without this they said they would be forced to
leave." The Swedish nation prevailed. Their court continued. As a token
of his authority, however, d'Hinojossa began issuing patents to the settlers
north of Christina River, many of which are noted in subsequent English
surveys and patents.
The same persistence of the Swedes prevailed in October 1664 when the
English overpowered the d'Hinojossa government and renamed New Amstel
as New Castle. Under the surrender agreement, the existing Swedish
magistrates were permitted to continue their offices and jurisdictions as
formerly. The make-up of the court for the Swedish nation, then meeting
in Upland, witnessed changes. Israel Helm was added in 1663. With the
retirement of Olof Stille and the death of Mats Hansson of Borgå before
1673, they were replaced by Lars Andersson Collinus, who had arrived on
the Eagle in 1654 as a minister's scribe, and by Olof Svensson (son of Sven
Gumarsson), who had been born on the Kalmar Nyckel in 1640.~ In 1676,
a sixth justice was added, Otto Ernest Cock.
The boundary between the Upland and New Castle courts became
blurred during the temporary recovery of the Delaware River by the Dutch
in 1673-74, when the Dutch Governor ordered that both courts could
exercise jurisdiction on both sides of the Christina River? This overlapping
jurisdiction was doomed to failure. As the Upland court met quarterly and
the New Castle court met monthly, the de facto boundary, dictated by
litigants' desires for faster relief, moved northward to the Bought (half-way
between Christina River and Naamans Creek) by 1678 and then, by 1681, all
the way to Naamans creek.
In June 1680 the increased influx of Englishmen brought an end to the
exclusively Swedish character of the Upland court. Otto Ernest Cock
became the presiding judge. Israel Helm continued on the court. Lasse
Cock replaced his father, Peter Cock. But Peter Rambo, Lars Andersson
Collinus and Olof Svensson were replaced by two Englishmen, Henry Jones
and George Browne." A year later, the Swedes no longer held a majority
of the court positions and, on 12 September 1682, the Upland court held its
William Penn and the Swedes, 1682-1693
The end of the Swedish nation on the Delaware was sealed in March
1681 when William Penn received his charter for Pennsylvania. This was
supplemented, on 24 August 1682, by deeds to Penn from James, Duke of
York, adding the three lower counties (present Delaware). Although Penn
did not come to the Delaware until late October 1682, twenty-three ships
arrived from England in 1681-82 carrying his Quaker followers. The hegemony
of the up-river Swedish nation was now history.
Writing to England on 16 August 1683, Penn observed:
"[T]he Swedes [inhabit] the freshes of the river Delaware. * * * they are a plain,
strong, industrious people, yet have made no great progress in culture, or propagation of
fruit trees, as if they desired rather to have bust] enough than plenty or traffic. But I
presume the Indians made them the more careless by furnishing them with the means of
profit, to wit, skins and furs, for rum and such strong liquors. They kindly received me,
as well as the English, who were few before the people concerned with me came among
them. I must needs commend their respect to authority and kind behavior to the English;
they do not degenerate from the old friendship between both kingdoms. As they are
people proper and strong of body, so they have fine children, and almost every house full;
rare to find one of them without three or four boys, and as many girls; some, six, seven,
and eight sons. And I must do them that right, I see few young men more sober and
Thomas Paschal, a 1682 immigrant from Bristol, England, who lived
adjacent to the Swedes at Kingsessing, wrote in January 1683 that "most of
the Sweads and Finns are ingenious people: they speak English, Swead, Finn,
Dutch and the Indian." The men "will cut down a tree, and cut him off when
down, sooner than two men can saw him, and rend him into planks or what
they please, [using] only the axe and wooden wedges; they use no iron."
They "have lived much at ease, having great plenty of all sorts of provisions."
He found it strange, however, that they "plant but little Indian corn, nor
tobacco" and noted that "their women make most of the linen cloth they
wear; they spin and weave it and make fine linen. Many of them are curious
housewives: The people generally eat rye bread, being approved of best by
William Penn courted the Swedes' favor and it was desperately needed
for his new enterprise. Not only did the Swedes provide food and housing
for the newcomers but also essential services in negotiating with the native
Indians. Peter Rambo, Peter Cock, Lase Cock, Mins Cock, Sven Svensson
and Peter Petersson Yocum were called upon to serve as interpreters in the
purchase of lands from the Indians, lands which the Swedes had purchased
many decades before. When Maryland challenged Penn's claims to lands
on the Delaware, seven of the "Antient Sweeds" provided depositions in 1684
verifying that the Swedish nation had possession, by purchase and occupation,
since 1638. Finally, the Swedes cooperated in providing Penn the
lands he wanted for the City of Philadelphia, for his Pennsbury estate, and
for disposition to new settlers.
Seventeenth Century Terminology
This book tries to employ 17th century terminology and spellings and,
where the option exists, to prefer the Swedish usage over contemporary
English and Dutch versions.
"Swedes" and "Finns": Throughout the 17th century Finland was an
integral part of the Kingdom of Sweden. Hence the term "Swedes" included
persons from Finland or persons whose primary language was Finnish. The
term "Finns," as used in the 17th century, was restricted to persons whose
primary language was Finnish. In point of fact, all of the "Finns" who came
to the Delaware came from provinces in present Sweden (principally
Värmland) and bore Swedish names. Conversely, those settlers coming from
Finland proper were Swedish-speaking and were not called Finns.
Dates: The Dutch used the New Style (Gregorian) calendar in the 17th
century. The Swedes and the English used the Old Style calendar which was
then ten days behind. In addition, the English started the new year on
March 25th. Thus, the date of 31 January 1693 (to the Swedes) would be
rendered as 10 February 1693 by the Dutch and as 31 January 1692
(sometimes 1692/3) or 31 Eleventh Month 1692 by the English. This book
seeks to apply the Swedish dating system.
Spelling: There was no standardized spelling in the 17th century among
the Swedes, English or Dutch. The author has taken the liberty of
modernizing spelling in most instances. Where a Swedish word or name was
used, the apparently preferred 17th-century spelling hag been used. Then,
as now, the Swedes had three vowels not found in English: Å (pronounced
as in "moan"), Ä (pronounced as in "fair") and Ö (pronounced as in "burn")
The letter J is pronounced like Y; K is always sounded before N; W is
pronounced like V; and G is frequently "soft" and pronounced like Y. Thus,
Jöran or Göran, the Swedish equivalent of the English George, was rendered
as Yurian or Urin by the English.
First Names. Some of the more common first names used by the Swedes
evolved into English substitutes, which were not always literal translations:
|Anders, Andreas|| Andrew ||Anna, Annika ||Ann|
|Bengt|| Benedict, Benjamin|| Brita, Brigitta ||Bridget|
|Carl|| Charles|| Catharina, Karin ||Katherine, Cary|
|Christiern|| Christian ||Christina, Stina, Kirstin ||Christians|
|Eskil|| Ezekial|| Elisabeth ||Elizabeth, Ella|
|Gosta, Gustaf ||Justa ||Gertrud|| Hiertrude|
|Hendrick|| Henry|| Gunnilla ||Jane, Jean|
|Jons ||James or Jonas|| Helena|| Eleanor, Ella|
|Joran, Goran ||George|| Ingeborg ||Ingebo|
|Lars, Lasse|| Lawrence|| Johanna|| Hannah|
|Måns ||Moses|| Magdalena, Lena|| Maudlin|
|Nils ||Nicholas|| Margareta, Greta ||Margaret|
|Olof, Olle ||Woolley, William ||Maria|| Mary|
|Mårten|| Morton ||Walborg ||Barbara|
|Matthias, Mats|| Mathew||Pål|| Paul|
|Peter, Pehr, Per, Pelle|| Peter||Staffan ||Stephen|
: The principal barrier in following the history of individual
Swedish families on the Delaware is the patronymic naming system then in
vogue. Instead of a surname, boys and girls generally were known by their
father's first name, followed by "son" or "dotter." Thus, the soldier Jons
Nilsson (later Jonas Nilsson) named his eldest son Nils Jonasson (Jonas'
son). Society pressures were to add a surname or alias, especially when
there were two or more persons with identical first names and patronymics.
When surnames were selected or applied, however, they did not always stick.
In addition, not infrequently, sons adopted (or were called by) their father's
patronymic. Thus Peter, the son of Måns Petersson Stake, was called Peter
Mansson, Peter Petersson and Peter Stake in contemporary records. He
died as Peter Peterson, which became his family's surname.
Geography and Place-Names
Virtually all of the adult males in the 1693 census of the Swedes were
farmers. Their log cabins were built within walking distance of the Delaware
River or a navigable stream. The dugout canoe was their primary means of
transportation, whether it was to or from church, a court or a market.
Although most of the Swedes owned horses and many owned oxen, wagons
or carriages were rarely found in the inventories of their estates.
The Delaware River, therefore, was "main street" for the Swedish
community, as it had been for 55 years. Overland roads, principally Indian
paths, were secondary highways and generally not suitable for wagons.
Unable to find any maps that accurately depict the area covered by this
1693 census, I have employed the talents of Sheila Waters to prepare maps
for the service areas of the two Swedish churches in 1693. These maps are
reproduced on pages 11 and 13.
The Wicaco Church
In 1693, the log church at Wicaco served Swedish families lining the
Delaware River and its tributaries from Neshaminy and Senamensing on the
north to Marcus Hook and Oldmans Creek on the south.
On the west side of the Delaware, all Wicaco church members lived
below the fall line of the navigable streams. It would be several years before
the first Swedish families ventured above that fall line to settle in new
Swedish tracts granted by William Penn at Matsunk (present Upper Merion
township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania) and Manatawny (present
Amity township in Berks County).
The largest concentration of Swedes west of the river was between the
towns of Philadelphia and Chester (former Upland), extending from Wicaco
to Ridley Creek (formerly Olof Stille's Creek) and encompassing Moyamensing,
Passyunk, Nitapkung, Aronameck, Kingsessing (including Carkoens
Hook at its western end), Cocks Island, Boons Island, Calcon Hook and
Ammansland. Tinicum Island, the place of government under Governor
Printz (1643-1653), was in English ownership in 1693.
East of the Delaware the principal concentration of Swedes attending the
Wicaco church lived in the area from Mantua Creek to Raccoon Creek. A
smaller group resided near the mouth of Pemsauken Creek in areas known
as Senamensing and Putshack.
Most of the place-names were derived from Indian names or phrases,
although many had Swedish origins, as is obvious with Upland (Uppland),
Finland and New Stockholm. Boons Island, Cocks Island and Cobbs Creek
were named after families belonging to the Wicaco church. Crum Creek was
derived from the Swedish word for "crooked (krum)
. Ammansland (often
written as Amosland) means "land of the wet-nurse" in Swedish. Calcon
is the Swedish word for wild turkey and was pronounced Calcoon,
the spelling found in many English documents.
The Crane Hook Church
The service area of the Swedes' log church at Crane Hook was an
equally large territory in 1693. Most of its congregation lived on the
Delaware and its tributaries, although several member families resided at
Sahakitko, a trading center for the Susquehanna (Minquas) Indians located
at the head of the Elk River, the present location of Elkton, Maryland. For
communication with the Delaware River, portages were necessary between
the Elk River and Christina River, between Back Creek and St. Georges
Creek (the present route of the Delaware River-Chesapeake Bay canal) or
between the Bohemia River and Appoquinirnink Creek.
West of the Delaware the member households were concentrated in the
area between the Bought and Crane Hook and up the Brandywine and the
Christina River, including the lower reaches of Red Clay and White Clay
creeks. Soon, however, several of the church members moved south to Red
Lion, St. Georges and Appoquinimink creeks.
East of the Delaware, the member households extended from One Tree
Point to Chestnut Neck, opposite Salem town. This entire area was also
generally known as Penn's Neck.
Many of these place-names had Swedish origins, such as Finns' Point;
Christina and the Christina River [named after Queen Christina]; Skilpot
Creek [from sköldpadda
, "tortoise"]; Fern Hook [from furen
, "pine"]; Bochten,
the Bought and Boughttown [from bukten
, "the bend"].
The 1693 Census
The most frequently copied 17th century document relating to the history
of the Delaware River valley is the 1693 census of the Swedes on the
Delaware. The census was appended to a letter dated 31 May 1693, written
by Charles Springer of New Castle County and addressed to Johan Thelin,
postmaster of Gothenburg, requesting his assistance in sending new ministers
to fill the empty pulpits of the two Swedish churches on the Delaware.'
Unfortunately, none of the many versions of this census printed over the
past three centuries is accurate. This study presents that census in full -and
accurately - for the first time.
All previously published versions of this 1693 census can be traced back
to a copy entered into the earliest record book of Gloria Dei Church in
Philadelphia by Pastor Andreas Rudman, one of three ministers sent from
Sweden to the Delaware in 1697 in response to the 1693 letter. That record
book, which is still in existence, was relied upon by Jehu Curtis Clay, the
first pastor of Gloria Dei to be born in America, when he wrote his Annals
of the Swedes on the Delaware (Philadelphia 1835). This was the first
publication of the Rudman copy in a book written in English.
Two earlier transcriptions of the Rudman copy had been made. Peter
Kalm, a Swedish naturalist, borrowed the Gloria Dei record book around
1750 and copied the list into his journal. Kalm's copy remained in
manuscript until it was printed in Fredrik Elving's (editor) Pehr Kalms resa
till Norra Amerika: Tilläggsband sammanställt (Helsingfors 1929), pp. 204-06.
Also in the 1750s, Israel Acrelius, pastor of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes)
Church in Wilmington, made a copy which was printed in his history of New
Sweden, Beskrifning om De Swenska Forsamlingars Forna ocl~ Närwarande
Tilstånd, etc. (Stockholm 1759), pp. 217-220. Rudman's copy of the 1693
census had been forgotten by the time Benjamin Ferris published his History
of the Original Settlements on the Delaware (Philadelphia 1846).~ At pages
305-07, Ferris chose to copy the Acrelius list, although he erroneously
attributed it to Campanius Holm.
Comparison of the three copies of Rudman's copy of the 1693 census
yields many puzzling results: Dismissing the not unsubstantial differences
among them: each of the three copies includes the names of persons not
otherwise appearing in contemporary records. Each omits names that should
have been present on this census. Each also shows a total number of
persons in several households contradicted by contemporary records.
Now the answer to these problems has emerged. The Rudman copy of
the 1693 census which, in turn, had been copied by Clay, Kalm and Acrelius,
was very inaccurate. Many names were omitted; others were misread;
the number of persons that appears after each entry was, in several
instances, transposed from an adjoining entry.
In place of the many defective copies of Rudman's defective copy, the
original version of the 1693 census is now available. Stored for almost three
centuries in the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet) in Stockholm, the
document was photographed and made a part of the Finnish exhibit on New
Sweden entitled "Delaware 350," which made its debut at the University of
Delaware in March 1988. Dr. Richard H. Hulan of Arlington, Virginia,
obtained a copy of the original from Riksarkivet and supplied me with a
transcription. The present book relies upon this version.
It is Dr. Hulan's opinion, with which I agree, that the list was written by
Charles Springer. To a degree unrivaled among the Swedes on the Delaware
of his time, Springer was educated in both Swedish and English? The
names entered in the census fluctuate between Swedish and English styles,
both of spelling and of handwriting. Throughout the list, Springer revealed
the proclivity to double consonants (e.g., "Petter" instead of "Peter").
Sometimes adopted surnames were disregarded in favor of the patronymic.
In other instances, the patronymic was ignored in favor of the adopted
surname. In only two instances were both used.
The order of the names on the census is highly significant. The first 95
names listed were members of the Swedish log church at Wicaco (Philadelphia)
which served the Swedes living in present Pennsylvania and Burlington
and Gloucester counties, New Jersey. The next 93 names (Kerstin Stalcop
through Erick Ericksson) were members of the Swedish log church at Crane
Hook (between present Wilmington and New Castle), which served the
Swedes living in New Castle County, Delaware; Cecil County, Maryland; and
Salem County, New Jersey. The last seven names were addenda to the
Wicaco church listing.
Within both church groups, the tendency was to enter the names in
geographic order with the exception that members of certain large families
(e.g., Rambo, Cock, Stedham, Van der Veer) were placed together in lieu
of the order of their place of residence.
The original census was entered on a single sheet with two columns on
each side of the sheet, a total of four columns. The first two columns
contained the original listing of the Wicaco church; the third and fourth
columns contained the original listing of the Crane Hook church plus, at the
end, seven additional members of the Wicaco church. The list is captioned
"An exact list and roll of all the men, women and children that are found
and are still alive in New Sweden in Pennsylvania on the Delaware River."
Opposite each name, Springer entered the number in the household,
which ranged from one (for bachelors) to as many as 11 (for five households).
He also entered running totals at the bottom of each column.
However, his total for the first column (273) left off one person so that his
reported total (971) should have been 972. Of this total, 554 were members
of the Wicaco church and 418 were members of the Crane Hook church.
Not all of the heads of household were of Swedish heritage. In several
instances, they were men of English, Dutch, Holstein or German origin who
had married Swedish women. On the other hand, the list did not include all
persons of Swedish origin then living in the vicinity of the Delaware River.
Many who had migrated to Maryland no longer associated with the Swedish
churches on the Delaware. Others, whose names appear in the church
records of Wicaco and Crane Hook, 1697-1699, apparently were not active
church-goers in 1693 when both churches were without a minister. Rudman
estimated that on his arrival in 1697 there were 1,200 persons in former New
Sweden who spoke Swedish. This represented over 5% of the total area
population and well over 10% of the rural population, as only one of those
listed (Andreas Derickson) lived within the towns of Philadelphia, Chester,
New Castle, Burlington or Salem.
A faithful transcription of the 1693 census is reproduced below in the first
column of names. The only intentional deviation from the original is that
I have capitalized all proper names. Springer frequently used a lower case
"p." In the second column I have attempted to set forth each individual's
complete name where (as is often the case) both a patronymic and a
surname were used in contemporary records. Each name has also been
assigned a number for ease of reference. In subsequent chapters, each name
and family will be discussed to identify, where known, the immigrant
ancestor, the place of residence and the relationships with other families on
The spelling used for the "normalized version" of each name cannot avoid
being somewhat arbitrary. Contemporary records were an admixture of
English, Dutch and Swedish. There was no standardized spelling in any of
these languages. And many of the subjects of this census could not write
their own names. In general, however, I have sought to apply the spellings
preferred by the Swedish clergy, who were well educated, or the spellings
later adopted by the families involved.
The name list
: An exact list and roll of all the men, women and children that are found
and are still alive in New Sweden in Pennsylvania on the Delaware River."
Excerpts from 1693 Census of the Delaware
Family Histories of the Swedish Lutheran Church Members Residing in
Pennsylvania, Delaware, West New Jersey and Cecil County, Md.
, Peter Stebbins Craig, J.D.,
SAG Publications, Winter Park, FL, 1993. © Peter Craig
Converted from a PDF to HTML using optical character recognition. Manual correction
of mis-recognition by Jim Meek, NC-CHAP (2009).