List of Qualifying
List of Current
Nils Andersson and His Lykins Descendants
by Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig
Fellow, American Society of Genealogists
Fellow, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
Historian, Swedish Colonial Society
originally published in Swedish Colonial News,
Volume 3, Number 5 (Fall/Winter 2006)
The freeman Nils Andersson, his wife and at least four children were aboard the Eagle when that ship left Gothenburg for New Sweden on the 2nd of February 1654. From the burial records of two surviving daughters, we learn that he came from Nya Kopparberget in Ljusnarsberg parish, Örebro län, Sweden.
Nils Andersson may never have seen the new land. He probably was one of many who died at sea. When the new freemen were gathered at Tinicum Island to sign pledges of allegiance to Governor Johan Risingh, Nils Andersson’s widow signed for the family.
The widow (name unknown) soon remarried. Her second husband was Mats Hansson from Borgå, Finland, one of the leading freemen of the colony who had arrived in New Sweden in 1641 and served on Governor Risingh’s council.
In order to provide a home for his new family, Mats Hansson became the first settler on Minquas Island, an island to the north of Tinicum Island, later surveyed as 468 acres. By 1660, Mats Hansson had given half of this island to his new son-in-law, Anders Svensson Bonde, who had married Anna Nilsdotter. The island would later bear his name and became known as Boon’s Island. On 18 May 1663, Governor Petrus Stuyvesant granted patents to Mats Hansson and Anders Svensson Bonde for their halves of Minquas Island.
After the surrender of New Sweden to the Dutch in 1655, Mats Hansson from Borgå became one of the justices of the Upland Court and served in that capacity until at least 1663. Upon his death, his remaining half of Minquas Island went to his second son-in-law, Otto Ernest Cock, who received an English patent confirming his ownership on 7 May 1672.
The two youngest children of Nils Andersson were Peter Nilsson and Michel Nilsson. They ultimately settled in the woods of Shackamaxon and adopted the surname of Lyckan, meaning “a glen or clearing in the woods,” which was descriptive of their plantations. Neither Peter nor Michel could write. They signed documents with a “P” or an “M.” Among literate Swedes their surname was spelled Laijkan, Laican, Leikan and Laikan. In deeds and wills, the English scriveners used the spelling of Lakian, Lykell, Lyckan, Lykan, Likin, Lycon, Loykan, Laycon, Leycon and Laicon. Their descendants also have similar variations to the surname.
The four known children of Nils Andersson from Nya Kopparberget are:
1. Anna Nilsdotter, born in Nya Kopparberget about 1637, married Anders Svensson Bonde c. 1657 and lived her entire adult life on Minquas (later Boon’s Island), where she died in 1713. She had ten children – Sven, Peter, Hans, Catharina, Nils, Olle, Margaretta, Brigitta, Anders and Ambora. (See “Anders Svensson Bonde and His Boon Family,” Swedish Colonial News, Vol. 1, No. 14, Fall 1996).
2. Christina Nilsdotter, born in Nya Kopparberget c. 1639, married Otto Ernest Cock [originally spelled Koch], a Holsteiner, c. 1670, who was given half of Boon’s (former Minquas) Island. She died there in 1709. Her husband served as a justice on the Upland Court, 1671-1683, and also was a warden of the log church at Wicaco. He died in 1720. Christina, who was buried 3 July 1709, had three children who lived to adulthood and married:
- Valentine Cock, born c. 1672, was married in 1697 to Margaret Swanson, daughter of Anders and Anna Svensson. After her death, he married 2nd Elisabeth, widow of Christiern Jöransson of the Wilmington congregation. He died at Boon’s Island in 1725, survived by four known sons: Andrew Cock, born c. 1700, married Catharina Hoffman, widow of Andrew Rambo of NJ, and died in 1770 at Boon’s Island; Otto Cock, born c. 1704, married Maria Lock and died at Repaupo Creek in New Jersey by 1750; Gunnar Cock, born c. 1708, married Christina Hendrickson in 1734 and died in Gloucester County NJ in 1759; Peter Cock, born c. 1710, married Beata Lock and died in Gloucester County NJ c. 1760.
- Zacharias Cock, born in 1674, married Christina Stille, daughter of John and Gertrude Stille, on 24 Jan. 1705. His father gave him a 210-acre plantation on the east side of Cobb’s Creek in Kingsessing, which remained his home until his death in 1740. He had two sons: John, who died unmarried, and Arthur (Otto), the eldest, who had sons William and Zacharias.
- Elizabeth Cock, born c. 1676, married Matthias Nitzilius by 1696. The couple were granted land on Cobb’s Creek by her father, which they thought to be 200 acres, but the Quaker government granted 100 acres of it to Richard Tucker, which was the cause of considerable protest among the Swedes. Elisabeth predeceased her husband, who died in 1724, survived by Christina, who married Conrad Niedermark; Otto (a.k.a. Arthur) who married widow Maria Lenderman [Swedish]; Catharina; Maria; Elisabeth who married Daniel Van Culin; Dorothy; and Margaret.
3. Peter Nilsson Lyckan, probably born in Nya Kopparberget c. 1641, was married by estimation in 1663. In 1671 was living with his young family on the Printztorp plantation, owned by Armegard Printz at the mouth of Upland Creek. Within a few years, Peter had moved with his brother Michel and Gunnar Rambo to Shackamaxon. Ultimately, in 1691, he received a patent for this land, 468½ acres.
Peter Lyckan also acquired 200 acres nearby which he called “Poor Island.” He wrote his will on 21 January 1691/2, naming his brother Michel and his brother-in-law Otto Ernest Cock as executors. The will left 180 acres apiece to his two unmarried sons and £ 20 apiece to his three unmarried daughters when they reached the age of 21. He died at Shackamaxon shortly thereafter. The name of his wife has not yet been discovered.
Peter’s surviving children were:
- Nils Laican, born c. 1664, married Maria Gästenberg c. 1687. She was a daughter of Olle Nilsson alias Gästenberg. During his father’s lifetime he had been given 300 acres, including “Poor Island.” In 1711 he also purchased a corn grist mill on Red Clay Creek in New Castle County, 294 acres, half of which he gave to his daughter Christina after she married Justa Justis, Jr., of Kingsessing, and the other half of which was sold after his death to his daughter Brita when she married John Seeds of New Castle County. Nils Laican was an active member of Gloria Dei until his death on 4 December 1721. He was survived by seven daughters: Christina, who married Justa Justis, Jr.; Gertrude, who married Edward Hatfield in 1714; Anna, who married John Rambo, Jr., son of John Rambo and Brigitta Cock of Gloucester County, NJ; Elisabeth, who married (1) Fred Geörgen by 1718 and (2) Måns Jonasson Keen in 1722; Brita, who married (1) John Seeds in 1722 and (2) Thomas Milner; Susannah (not traced); and Maria, who married Hans Ericsson Keen.
- Anders Laican, born c. 1666, was married by 1695 to Anna [parents not identified]. In 1699 he sold his land at Shackamaxon and moved to Matsunk (Swedesford) on the Schuylkill on land that he rented from Måns Cock. By 1709 he had moved upriver to Manatawney (present Douglassville) to share land owned by his brother-in-law Måns Jones. He bought this land in 1721. He sold the same to his son-in-law Benjamin Boone in 1733. He died at Manatawney before 1740, survived by his wife Anna. They had one son, Peter Lycon, born c. 1706, who married Sarah Jones, daughter of Jonas Jones and Anne Seymour of Kingsessing and became the progenitor of the Lykins families of present West Virginia. They also had daughters Christina, who married Israel Robeson, a grandson of Israel Helm; Brita, who married pastor Samuel Hesselius; Anna, who never married but had a daughter; Susanna, who married the Quaker Benjamin Boone; Maria, who married Anders Ringberg, an immigrant from Sweden; and Phoebe, who married John Jones, son of Jonas Jones and Anne Seymour of Kingsessing.
- Hans Laican, born in 1668, married Gertrude Johansdotter, daughter of Johan Classon c. 1695. In 1697, he sold his land at Shackamaxon and acquired 160 acres at Pennypack in Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia, which remained his home until his death on 19 September 1751. The land was then sold to pay off the mortgage. He had five sons and two known daughters. John Lycan, the eldest, married Elizabeth (surname unknown) and moved to Burlington County; the last report on him was the fact that he escaped from the Burlington County jail in March 1742. Peter Lycan, born in 1699, married Brita Jones in 1719, and lived for several years in Moorland township, Philadelphia, before moving to Frederick County, Virginia, where he died in 1753. Hans Lycan, Jr., remained at Pennypack and was twice married, dying in 1761. Nicholas Lycan remained with his father until the home plantation was sold and then moved to Burlington County, NJ, where he died in 1766. Andrew Lycan, the youngest son, married Jane Cahoon at Christ Church in 1730 and then moved to the Pennsylvania frontier, where he was killed by Indians in Lykens Valley, Fermanagh township, Cumberland County in 1756.
- Ingeborg Laican, born c. 1670 married Måns Jonasson [Mounce Jones], son of Jonas Nilsson, about 1690. The couple became the first Swedish settlers at Manatawney (Douglassville) in Berks County. Their children included: Margaret, born 1691, who married Marcus Huling; Peter, born 1693, who married Elisabeth [parents unknown]; Christina, born 1696; Jonas, born 1698, who married Maria Knecht; Andrew, born c. 1700, who married Dorothy Goucher; and Magdalena, who married Andrew Bird.
- Three other daughters, all unmarried, were also mentioned in Peter Laican’s will: Anna, Mallee [Magdalena] and Brita. They have not been traced.
4. Michel Nilsson Laican, born c. 1644 in Sweden, married Helena Lom in 1670. She was the daughter of Måns Svensson Lom and step-daughter of Lars Andersson Collinus of Moyamensing. Michel moved with his brother Peter to Shackamaxon, which remained his home until 1699, when he sold his lands and moved to a plantation on Woodbury Creek in Gloucester County. Although he had been named a church warden at Gloria Dei Church in 1701, he was instrumental in establishing the new Swedish church on Raccoon Creek in 1702. He was buried on 17 April 1704. He was survived by ten children:
- Catharina Laican, born 1671, married Laurence Huling of Gloucester County NJ c. 1695. They had two children before Lawrence’s death in 1700: Laurence Huling, Jr. (1697-1748), who married Diana Helm and remained in New Jersey, and Michael Huling (1699-1781) who married twice and became a successful shipwright in Philadelphia.
- Anna Laican, born 21 Aug. 1673, married John Gunnarsson Rambo c. 1695. They moved to Matsunk (Swedesford) in Upper Merion Township with his father, Gunnar Rambo. She died by 1725 after bearing seven children: Peter, Måns, Gabriel, Michael, Anna, Helena and Ezekiel. Her husband remarried, had four additional children and died in Upper Merion in February 1746.
- Gertrude Laican, born 16 Dec. 1675, married Peter Ericsson Cock c. 1702 and died in Gloucester County c. 1721, survived by seven children: Emanuel, Catharina, Helena, Anna, Maria, Peter and Måns. Her husband remarried, had five more children and died in Gloucester County in July 1747.
- Nils Laican, born 20 Feb. 1677, married Susannah Casparsdotter Fish at Gloria Dei Church on 11 November 1702. He died as Nicholas Lycon in Deptford Township, Gloucester County, NJ, in March 1733. He had no surviving children.
- Måns Laican, born 10 March 1679, married Maria Jones, daughter of John Jones and Catharina Lock, c. 1720. They had daughters Catharina and Helena before he died in Deptford Township in January 1728.
- Anders Laican, born 11 March 1682, never married. He died as Andrew Lycon in Deptford Township in March 1733.
- Christina Laican, born 15 Feb. 1684, married Elias Casparsson Fish by 1703. They lived in Upper Greenwich Township, Gloucester County. She was bearing children as late as January 1727. It is not known when she died, but it appears that she and several of her children died in the smallpox epidemic of 1728.
- Michael Laican, born 11 Oct. 1686, married Annicka Fredricksdotter Hoffman c. 1709. They had at least ten children, including three sons who survived childhood: Michael, Frederick and Ezekiel. The father disappears from recorded history after 1740. Frederick (1715-1770) moved back across the Delaware to live at Calcon Hook in Lower Darby Township.
- Helena Laican, born 29 Dec. 1689, married Casper Fish, Jr., of Waterford Township, Gloucester County. She predeceased her husband, whose will of 21 October 1748 named sons Michael, John, Isaac and Elias and daughters Rebecca, Mary and Helena.
- Zacharias Laican, born 26 Dec. 1696, never married. He died in Deptford Township at the end of March 1733.