Preserving the Legacy of the New Sweden Colony in America

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Volume 1 – 5 of the Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania.

Volume 1 – 5 of the Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania.The Gloria Dei records include minutes of vestry meetings and appointments, details on church and parsonage improvements, disciplinary actions, marriage, baptism and burial records, lists of contributors to the building or improvement of the church and to the minister’s salary, pew assignments, church censuses, etc. They are being supplemented by civil records relating to the church, such as land grants, deeds, petitions by the congregation, lawsuits, probate records and newspaper notices.Enhancing the records at Gloria Dei are extensive records of Sweden’s “American Mission” in the archives at Uppsala. They include letters from the pastors of Gloria Dei, letters or petitions from the congregation, and church censuses. The records show that not infrequently the pastor and congregation at Gloria Dei were at odds with the Swedish Lutheran Consistory in Uppsala on such issues as the use of the English language and English books in church services, and the appointment or recall of ministers. Other records in Sweden include the papers of Bishop Jesper Svedberg, who supervised Sweden’s American Mission in its early years and the diaries of several of the pastors.

The project covers not only the records of Gloria Dei Church but also its offshoots: St. Gabriel’s Church in Douglassville, Berks County; Christ Church of Upper Merion, Montgomery County; and St. James Church of Kingsessing in West Philadelphia. In addition, the records document the splitting off of New Jersey residents to establish their own church at Raccoon (now Swedesboro). Finally, some of the records pertain to Holy Trinity Church in Wilmington and its offshoot, St. George’s Church in Penn’s Neck, Salem County, NJ – records which had not previously been translated and published.

The time span covered by the project is from the founding of the first Swedish Church at Tinicum Island in the 1640s to the year 1787 when the charter of the United Swedish Lutheran Churches of Pennsylvania was amended, terminating the authority of the Archbishop of Sweden to appoint pastors for the churches. Thereafter, the pastors were appointed by the church’s vestrymen who were elected by church members. The final volumes in the series are now being edited by Ellen T. Rye and Kim-Eric Williams. The project will conclude with the year 1786, after which English records are available.

The colonial records of Gloria Dei Church constitute the major “missing link” in chronicling the dramatic history of Swedish settlement and culture on the Delaware River in the 17th and 18th centuries. The records of Holy Trinity Church in Wilmington were translated and published in 1890. The records of the Swedish churches at Raccoon (now Swedesboro) and Penns Neck (Pennsville), edited by Dr. Amandus Johnson, were published in 1938. It is fitting that the same be done for the records of Gloria Dei. The Swedish Colonial Society is proud to be a sponsor for this vital project.

Each book is $25 plus $5 shipping and handling.

Volume 1:
The Log Churches at Tinicum Island and Wicaco,

Volume 2:
The Rudman Years, 1697-1702

Volume 3:
The Sandel Years, 1702-1719

Volume 4:
From Lidman to Nilsman, 1719-1750

Volume 5:
The Parlin Years, 1750-1759

Volumes 1– 5:

Volume 1 – 5 of the Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania.


+$25.00 s&h

The 1671 Census of the Delaware by Peter Stebbins Craig, J.D.

by Peter Stebbins Craig, J.D.

Dr. Craig, internationally known for his scholarship in the identification of the original European settlers in the Delaware Valley, has now published his second hardbound book, which takes on the daunting task of decoding the first English census of the Delaware Valley in May 1671. With his knowledge of the patronymic naming system then prevailing on the River and his research into Swedish, Dutch and English immigration into the area, Dr. Craig not only identifies each of the persons then living in present Pennsylvania, Delaware and West New Jersey but also, in most cases, presents their family histories.

The 1671 census book is $25 plus $5 shipping and handling.

The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware

by Peter Stebbins Craig, J.D.

The 228-page, hardbound book contains a forward by Dr. C. A. Weslager, a lengthy introduction and seven chapters on the colonial Wicaco (Philadelphia) and Crane Hook (Wilmington) congregations, an appendix, abbreviations for commonly used references, eight pages of bibliography, an index of place names, a detailed and well-referenced index of personal names, and two maps of the 1693 service areas of the two churches.

The 1693 census book is $45 plus $5 shipping and handling.

Studies in Swedish American Genealogy II
Olof Stille in New Sweden

by Fritz Nordstrom, translated by Richard H. Hulm

The Stille Family in America, 1641-1772

by Peter Stebbins Craig
(Reprinted from Swedish American Genealogist, Vol. VI, Nos.3 and 4, Sept. and Dec., 1986. Out of print.)

Olof_StilleReprints of two articles about the Stille Family. 46 pages plus 9 page name index.

The book is $16 plus $5 shipping and handling.

The Faces of New Sweden

**Available from The Swedish Colonial Society**

Erik Bjork, Christina Stalcop & America’s First Portrait Painter by Hans Ling


History and art converge in the true story of the portrait of the Rev. Erik Bjork, pastor of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes’) Church, Wilmington, DE; the portrait of his wife, Christina Stalcop; and the fascinating connection between the New Sweden Colony and Gustavus Hesselius, the first portrait painter in America. Learn how two paintings from Colonial America were “lost” but then re-discovered nearly three centuries later and an ocean away, and returned to their original home.

The long-awaited publication of this landmark, 104-page book The Faces of New Sweden is now available and was premiered at the New Sweden History Conference in Wilmington, DE. It is a perfect-bound book and includes many full color reproductions of the recently rediscovered paintings of Pastor Erik Björk and his wife Christina Stalcop.

Erik Björk was one of the three Church of Sweden priests sent to America in 1697 by Jesper Svedberg and King Carl XI to revive the churches and serve the remaining Swedes on the Delaware. He was pastor at Holy Trinity (Old Swedes’) Church in Wilmington from 1697 until 1713. The portraits of Björk and his wife seem to date to 1712 and are by America’s first portrait painter, Gustavus (Gustaf) Hesselius, who was the brother of the next two Swedish priests to serve in Wilmington, Andreas Hesselius and Samuel Hesselius.

The family background of the painter Gustavus Hesselius and the families of Erik Björk and Christina Stalcop is told by the author Hans Ling of Uppsala, Sweden, legal advisor to the National Heritage Board and a Forefather member of the Swedish Colonial Society. The fascinating story of the discovery of these original oils at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm is told by Dr. Peter S. Craig, the Historian of the Swedish Colonial Society.

The book is $20 plus $5 shipping and handling.

Consider a Tax Deductible Donation to the Ongoing Educational Projects offered by the Swedish Colonial Society

**The official registration and financial information of The Swedish Colonial Society may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.