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June Pelo
13-11-11, 22:54
The first president of the USA was not George Washington. In fact, the first president was John Hanson, a Finn. It was John Hanson who decorated George Washington for his victory over the British general Cornwallis at Yorktown. Hanson was the first president under the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution. George Washington was the first president under the new constitution. John Hanson was not elected by the people, but by the Continental Congress, and he held the office of president for one year. The first United States Post Office and banking system were introduced during this year. John Hanson was born in Maryland in 1715. His ancestors had come to America from Finland that was then under Sweden's rule 60 years earlier.

Norden, 13 Nov. 2011

June Pelo
28-11-11, 22:18
The article that John Hanson had his roots in Finland surprised many people, so Norden's editor Erik R. Hermans wrote to Juha Mäkipää in Fishkill, NY, and asked where he found the information he sent us. Here is his answer:

I have investigated the matter. I originally clipped the article from the Finnish American Reporter. But it is highly iikely that John Hanson is not related to the Hanson brothers who emigrated to New Sweden in Delaware.

In the 1800s a Swedish descendant, George Hanson, had thought that John Hanson's forefather was one of three Hanson brothers who came to North America on the Kalmar Nyckel. These Hanson brothers came from Österbotten, but had moved to Sweden (Norrbotten) with their parents. During the 1900s the general public here in the US thought that John Hanson's family descended from New Sweden but later, genealogists have proof that John Hanson was not related to the New Sweden Hanson families.

I know that genealogists do make mistakes. Therefore one cannot know with 100% certainty that George Hanson didn't have his facts correct when, in 1876, he undertook to search his "family roots." But recent researchers think that George Hanson's studies were not based on reliable sources. It is now thought that John Hanson's family came from England.

Juha Mäkipää makipaajuha*gmail.com

Norden, 27 Nov 2011