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Måns Andersson and his Mounts 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 2, Number 6 (Spring 2002)

The mark or "bomärke"
of Måns Anderson, which he used to sign legal documents.

When the Kalmar Nyckel left Göteborg on its second voyage to New Sweden in October 1639, it had among its passengers Måns Andersson, probably accompanied by his wife and at least one small child, Brita. He had been hired as a laborer at a wage of 50 Dutch guilders per year.

Arriving in New Sweden in April 1640, Måns Andersson continued to work as a laborer at this wage and, when a tobacco plantation was established at Upland in 1644, he was among those assigned to learn this type of farming.

His first wife having died, Måns Andersson remarried about 1646 to a daughter of Christopher Rettel, a 1641 immigrant who returned to Sweden in 1648 with his 14-year-old son. While in America, Rettel's wife had died and his daughters had married. Måns and his new wife established their own farm, which they called "Silleryd" (meaning herring manor) in present Delaware County. In that year, he also left the employment of the New Sweden Company and became a freeman. He and another farmer paid 80 guilders apiece for an ox. Prohibited from trading with the Indians, Måns was forced to trade with the company store or Governor Printz's private warehouse. Like most freemen, he fell into debt, which had reached almost 160 guilders by March 1648.

Disillusioned and angry about Governor Printz's harsh treatment of the freemen, Måns Andersson was one of the 22 freemen submitting a complaint to the governor on 27 July 1653, protesting his dictatorial rule and asking for more freedoms. The Governor branded this action as "mutiny," threatened to bring the force of the law upon the signers and soon returned to Sweden.

A number of the freemen decided that for their own safety they should flee New Sweden. Some went directly to Maryland. Måns Andersson chose to go to the new Dutch colony which had been established in 1651 at Fort Casimir (present New Castle). Several other dissatisfied freemen had already settled just north of the fort at Swanwick (Swan Cove). Måns Andersson and his family joined them. He had hardly built his new log cabin when, to everyone's surprise, the ship Eagle arrived in May 1654, bearing a new Governor (Johan Rising) and more Swedish and Finnish settlers.

Rising captured Fort Casimir without firing a shot, renamed it Fort Trinity, and once again Måns Andersson was living under Swedish rule. Måns quickly discovered that the new governor took a more liberal and reasonable attitude toward the freemen. On 10 July 1654, Rising even offered to buy the buildings and cleared fields at "Silleryd," an offer which Måns quickly accepted. His old farm was then rented by Rising to a new freeman, Nils Mattsson.

For Måns Andersson, the return of Swedish rule was short-lived. In September 1655, Fort Casimir was recaptured by the Dutch and the mark of Måns Andersson (see above) was among those signing an oath of allegiance to Governor Stuyvesant.

Måns Andersson remained a resident of Swanwick until 1661. His experience as a tobacco grower led to his being appointed inspector of tobacco in 1656. His young children attended the Dutch school in present New Castle. However, by 1661 conditions were no longer favorable for him. He owed 15612 guilders on a mortgage to the English trader Isaac Allerton, and residents of New Castle (then called New Amstel) were dying like flies because of new diseases introduced by newcomers from the Netherlands. It was time to move again.

In 1661, Måns Andersson, his wife and six children were recorded as having immigrated to Maryland, and on 25 April 1662, a plantation was surveyed for him near the mouth of the Elk River on Sassafras Neck in Baltimore (now Cecil) County. This 150-acre plantation was named "Mountsfield." While this new land was being prepared and a new house built, Måns temporarily took up residence at Christina on the Brandywine River, in partnership with Walraven Jansen de Vos (a former Dutch soldier married to a Swedish wife). Måns planted this land for four years and then sold his share to his former Swanwick neighbor, Dr. Timen Stiddem, in 1665, and moved to "Mountsfield" in Maryland where he spent the balance of his life.

Our last glimpse of Måns Andersson is a reference to him in the diary of a Dutch traveler, Jasper Danckaerts, who reported that on 4 December 1679, "towards evening we came to a Swede's named Mouns, where we had to be put across a creek, where we spent the night with him, and were entirely welcome. He and his wife and some of his children spoke good Dutch and conversed with us about various matters concerning the country."

Children of Måns Andersson

Not all of Måns Andersson's children have been identified, but they appear to have included at least the following:

1. Brita Månsdotter, apparently born in Sweden by Måns' first wife, was married at Fort Trinity in 1654 to the Swedish soldier Johan Gustafsson, progenitor of the Swedish Justis or Justice family. They moved from the New Castle area in 1656 and ultimately settled in Kingsessing on the west side of the Schuylkill River. After her husband's death, she moved to New Castle County to reside with her daughter Annika. She died there in 1723. She had eleven children, as follows:

  • Gustaf Gustafsson (Justa Justis), born at Fort Trinity in 1655, married Anna Morton, daughter of Mårten Mårtensson, Sr., died in Kingsessing, February 1721/2. They had nine children.
  • Måns Gustafson/Mounce Justis, born in 1658, married Christina Andersdotter, daughter of Anders Svensson and his wife Anna, died on the Schuylkill in the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia in 1749. They had eight children.
  • Carl Gustafson/Charles Justis, born in 1660, a tailor, married in 1703 Margaret, died in Kingsessing, by 10 Dec. 1718, when letters of administration on his estate were issued to his widow. They had six children.
  • Hans Gustafson/Hance Justis, born in 1662, married Maria, daughter of Olle Rawson and Brita Andersdotter and initially lived on his father-in-law's plantation on Naaman's Creek. In the early 1700s he moved to the head of the Northeast River in Cecil County, where he died after 1710. He had four sons and at least one daughter ­ Lydia, who in 1710 married Rev. Jonas Aurén, founder of St. Mary's (Old Swedes') Church in Northeast, Maryland.
  • Annika Gustafson/Anna Justis, born c. 1666, married [1] by 1690 Matthias Morton of Ridley township, Chester (now Delaware) County, son of Mårten Mårtensson, [2] between 1707 and 1712 the widower Jonas Walraven of New Castle County, [3] 15 June 1727, at Holy Trinity Church, the widower Charles Springer. She died in New Castle County. She had seven children, all by her first husband.
  • Johan Gustafson/John Justis, born c. 1668, married (name unknown), who died before 1697. He died in Philadelphia County, and was buried 3 Oct. 1716 at Christ Church, Philadelphia. One daughter.
  • Peter Gustafson/Peter Justis, born 1670, married by 1696 Brigitta, daughter of Olle and Lydia Swanson. He died at Kingsessing and was buried 30 Aug. 1699. He was survived by one son. His widow married Jacob Van Culin.
  • Jacob Gustafson/Justis, born 1673, died in Kingsessing, unmarried and without children, and was buried 30 August 1699 with his brother Peter.
  • Elisabeth Gustafson/Justis, born c. 1675, married. [1] before 1696 Matthias Peterson, son of Samuel Petersson and his wife Brita of New Castle County, [2] 18 October 1720, the widower Edward Robinson. She was buried 23 Sept. 1730 at Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington. Three children, all by her first husband.
  • Sven Gustafson/Swan Justis, born 1677, married Catharina, daughter of Peter Petersson Yocum and Judith Jonasdotter [Nilsson]. He died in Kingsessing by 9 March 1722/3 when his will was proved. Five children.
  • Anders Gustafson/Andrew Justis, born 1681, married by 1704 Brita, daughter of Samuel Petersson and his wife Brita of New Castle County, died before 19 Aug. 1740, when his will was proved in Salem County, NJ. His wife had been buried at Holy Trinity Church on 27 June 1737. Four children.

2. Ingeborg Månsdotter, was born by estimation in 1647. After the move to Maryland, she married Hendrick Hendricks-son, who had arrived in New Sweden on the Eagle in 1654 as a young soldier. In 1661 he moved to Maryland and in the following years had four tracts surveyed for him on Sassafras Neck, named "Hendricks," "Hendrickson," "Hendricks Choice," and finally, in 1679, "Hendricks Addition." All adjoined or were close to "Mountsfield." Hendrickson died in the 1680s and Ingeborg then married Cornelius Clements.

Cornelius was the son of Anders Clementsson, who also first appeared in New Sweden records in 1654. He was a soldier at Fort Christina in 1655 and moved to Maryland by 1662 when a 400-acre plantation called "Clementson" was surveyed for him on Sassa-fras Neck, near "Mountsfield." Andrew Clem-entsson died in 1687, and Cornelius, his third son, inherited 75 acres of his father's lands. Cornelius Clements outlived his wife and died in 1715.

By her two husbands, Ingeborg had three children:

  • Catharine Hendrickson, married by 1693 Thomas Severson, eldest son of Marcus Sigfridsson, a Finn who had arrived on the Delaware in 1656 on the Mercurius and moved to Sassafras Neck by 1658 when "Marksfield," 50 acres, was surveyed for him. Thomas and Catharine became owners of "Hendricks" and "Hendrickson," and had seven children before Thomas Severson died in 1718. His wife survived him.
  • Christopher Hendrickson married by 1700 Mary Kelton [English]. He inherited 200 acres, his father's "Hendricks Choice" and "Hendricks Addition," and later acquired other lands in the area. He had five children and died in 1725.
  • Abraham Clements, baptized in August 1697, died unmarried in 1717.

3. Christopher Månsson, born c. 1652, became known in his adulthood as Christopher Mounts, or sometimes as Christopher Ander-son. He married twice. His first wife (name unknown) was the eldest child of Casparus Herman and his first wife, Susanna Huyberts [both Dutch]. She died by 1695, when Chris-topher married Martha, the second wife and widow of Nicholas Dorrell. Christopher inherited his father's "Mountsfield" plantation and also, by reason of his first marriage, had tenure of his first wife's inheritance, 400 acres in "St. Johns Manor" on the west side of Elk River until her children reached adulthood. Christo-pher Mounts died intestate in 1710. His widow Martha died at "Mountsfield" in 1738.

By his two marriages, Christopher Mounts had eight children:

  • Charles Mounts, who inherited 200 acres of "St. Johns Manor," sold that land in 1712 and died unmarried in 1713.
  • Casparus Mounts, who also died unmarried in 1713.
  • Elizabeth Mounts, who married Andrew Rosenquist c. 1711. On 14 March 1714/5 they sold the other 200 acres of "St. Johns Manor."
  • Sarah Mounts, born 7 April 1696, had one daughter, Martha, by her first husband, James Smithson, and married [2] Cornelius Tobey.
  • Mary Mounts, born 6 Sept. 1698, married John Beedle in 1716.
  • Ann Mounts, born 9 Jan. 1702/3, married Robert Mercer in 1727.
  • Martha Mounts, born 16 March 1704/5, married William Mercer, brother of Robert Mercer.
  • Christopher Mounts, born 18 October 1708, died unmarried in 1738.

4. Lars Månsson/Lawrence Mounts, born c. 1660, died by 2 August 1697 when his estate was inventoried in Cecil County, Maryland. His widow Sarah (parents un-known) administered his meager estate. If they had children, none has been identified.

5. Charles Månsson, better known during his lifetime as Charles Anderson, was born c. 1664 in Delaware. He married around 1700 (name of wife unknown) and established his home at first at the head of the Northeast River, close to Hans Justis and Andrew Friend, both also Swedes. By 1712, he was actively engaged in Indian trading with Andrew Friend. Around 1720, he moved to Monocacy Creek, near the Potomac River. As an Indian trader, he was called upon by the Maryland government in 1722 and 1725 to bring Shawnee chiefs from present Oldtown, Maryland, to his house for peace negotiations. In 1734 land was surveyed for him on the Potomac River in Frederick County, Virginia (now Berkeley County, WV).

He turned this land over to his son, Joseph Mounts, and moved on to Oldtown, Maryland, where he lived for the remainder of his life. In 1740, at the age of 75, he signed an affidavit for use in the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary dispute. He died shortly thereafter.

Of Charles Anderson's family, the only proven member was his son Joseph Mounts, who was born about 1700 and married Catharine Williams, by whom he had three sons (Providence, Joseph and William Mounts) who perpetuated the surname Mounts for succeeding generations.

6. Maria Månsdotter, born c. 1676, married Matthias Matthiason, only son and heir of Hendrick Matthiasson, a Finn, who had been sent to New Sweden in 1641 as punishment for a minor crime. In 1648, he was made a freeman and frequently used Freeman as a surname. He also signed the complaint against Governor Printz in 1653, but did not flee New Sweden. However, after marrying Elisabeth (parents not identified), he moved to the Sassafras River in 1658 and settled on a 100-acre plantation on Sassafras Neck called "Mathiason." Upon his death in 1687, this was inherited by his son Matthias Matthiason.

Matthias Matthiason alias Freeman operated an "ordinary" (inn) on his land, which became the first courthouse in Cecil County. In 1699 and 1700, he also traveled to Delaware and worked for two days helping to build Holy Trinity Church. He was suretor for Christopher Mounts, administrator of the estate of Nicholas Dorrell, and when Matthias died in 1702, Christopher Mounts was suretor for his sister Maria, executrix of Matthias' estate. Maria married [2] Otho Othoson [Dutch] in 1704. She died after 1715. Her children, all by her first marriage, were:

  • Mary Matthiason, born 2 April 1690, married John Kämpe, son of Lars Pålsson Kämpe of New Sweden. In 1717 they moved to Gloucester County, New Jersey, to join John's brother, Paul Kämpe, who had moved there a few years before.
  • Elisabeth Matthiasson, born c. 1694, not further traced.
  • Matthias Matthiasson, Jr., baptized 20 August 1699, inherited his father's "Mathia-son" plantation. He died in 1733 and his widow Mary died in 1740. They had four children, one of whom (Matthias Matthiasson III) became a mariner and was living in Biddeford, Devonshire, England, when he and his wife, Ann sold the last remnant of the home plantation in 1752.