New Castle, Delaware
Community History and Archaeology Program 

Excerpts from the 1993 book with permission of the author

Introduction Maps Complete name list The Crane Hook Congregation PDF with footnotes (3.5 Mb)



"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 destination. 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 ErichssonPetter Kock
Olof StilleHenrik Mattsson FinnSwen Gunnarsson
Axel StilleValerius LooAnders Hansson
Johan HwilerHans MånssonMårten Mårtensson
Hendrick MattsonPeeter JochirnClaes Johansson
Iffver HindrikssonAnders AnderssonJohan Fisk
Måns AnderssonMatts HanssonLars 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 Mercurius, 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 last session.

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 laborious."

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 them."

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:

SwedishEnglishSwedish English
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 MathewPål Paul
Peter, Pehr, Per, Pelle PeterStaffan Stephen
Last Names: 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 (kalkon) 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 list.

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. 1638-1693, 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).