Preserving the Legacy of the New Sweden Colony in America

The Swedish Colonial Society

97 Wanamaker Avenue
Essington, PA 19029

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Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church
916 S. Swanson St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-4332

Enjoy the benefits of membership

The Swedish Colonial Society

Enjoy the benefits of membership


Talk from August 12, 2023 in Dala-Floda, Sweden, by Joseph Mathews

New Sweden was founded in 1638 on a small river–now the Christina River–that flowed into the Delaware River. The colony spread northward along the west bank of the Delaware and later on the river’s east side too. Today this area is part of three states–Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Officially the colony only lasted 17 years. In 1655 Dutch soldiers came down from New Amsterdam (later New York) to defeat the Swedes, thus technically ending the 17-year-old colony. Most of the Swedes–there were only 300 or so–stayed and never left …

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Moving The New Sweden Colonial Farmstead Museum to Governor Printz Park in Tinicum Township, PA

In 1988 Gunnar Zetterquist realized his vision of “a Swedish farm from the 1600’s” as Amandus Johnson expressed it in his essay. In 2020 we saved Zetterquist’s buildings from demolition and reconstructed them anew on the site Johnson hoped to see “developed as a kind of Skansen.” By preserving the Farmstead, The Swedish Colonial Society has made it possible to perform in collaboration with its partners in Tinicum its stated mission of promoting the history and culture of New Sweden in America. May that work prosper! 


The Swedish Colonial Society By: Herbert R. Rambo

Founded in 1909 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,by a group of 24 prominent academics and cultural historians, The Swedish Colonial Society is America’s oldest Swedish historical organization and unique in this country because of its relationship to the Swedish Royal Family and the Swedish government.

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The Hymnody of Andreas Rudman in New Sweden, Delaware (1696-1708) by: Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams

Hymnals were not usually available in Swedish parish churches, each family having brought its own copy from home to the services … The dedication of Gloria Dei was probably the occasion for Rudman’s publication of the first of the two hymnals in 1700. He no doubt also took them around on his many home visits and used them with his own portable spinet.

With these two collections the Swedish musical traditions were reinvigorated and the people did learn to sing.

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The astonishing story of Hans Månsson, the Crowns Abbey garden in Varnhem and the death sentence in the Valle judicial district

The Abbey garden in Varnhem acquired by the Crown after 1527: The history of chopped down fruit trees 100 years later, a death sentence and the colony of New Sweden in colonial America – A very unlikely story.

This one of a kind story that we are about to tell actually starts in Hanaskede, Wing (Axvall), with the birth of Hans Månsson in 1612.

Mary Ann Royal, USA, searched for relatives in this part of the world due to DNA-research. And in the digital age, she was able to trace her family tree back 10 generations to discover Hans Månsson, her direct ancestor. The Skarke-Varnhem historical society decided, with Mary Anne’s help, to tell this unique historical story and this page is the result of our efforts.

Click here to read more of the work done by the Varham historical society!