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Names of Some of the First Finnish Colonists in New Sweden


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The ship Charitas left Stockholm for Gothenburg on May 3, 1641, having on board eight hired soldiers, two soldier prisoners and two misdemeanants who were sent for punishment, and twenty-three others, among which were some hired servants for the company, a nobleman and a priest who both took a trip to the colony for adventure, and several other adventurers, besides a few regular colonists. But in Gothenburg, where the ship Kalmar Nyckel was prepared for the voyage, were gathered the imprisoned and many other Finns with their families, who all were born pioneers and colonists. Both of the ships left Gothenburg in July 1641. The officers on the ships and for the trading post were Dutch, with one exception and the majority of the soldiers and some of the sailors were Swedes and Finns. The actual colonists were nearly all Finns, most of whom had their families with them. Among the Finns that arrived to the Delaware River expedition were:

  1. Anders Andersson, involuntary emigrant, served the company until 1648, then became freeman. Had a farm in the neighborhood of Finland. Has numerous descendants in Pennsylvania.
  2. Måns Andersson, was employed as servant until 1648, thereafter became freeman and began a farm in Finland which the company in 1654 acquired.
  3. Anders Hansson, hired as a soldier by Kling, began a farm later at Finland.
  4. Matts Hansson, brother of the former, (gunner) was hired as constable colony. Brought his wife with him. Became freeman in 1646. Was one of the commissaries during the Dutch rule.
  5. Matts Hansson from Admiral Fleming’s family estate near the town of Porvoo, Finland. Was sent as punishment for the colony and in 1653 received permission to return home.
  6. Israel Helme, involuntary emigrant, from Mora, Central Sweden. Brought his family with him. During the Dutch rule he became a prominent business man and was one of the most influential men in the Finnish colony and on the Delaware River before establishment of William Penn’s colony.
  7. Ivar Hendricksson (also spelled Ivert and Evert), was hired as soldier by Kling. In the colony he was later known as a turbulent fellow. Had a farm first time at Finland and later at Crane Hook, where he was captain of the Finnish militia during the rule of Duke of York.
  8. Karl Johansson, bookkeeper from Kakisalmi, a town on the Lake Ladoga, in Finland. Was sent for punishment for some misdemeanor. Worked in the colony as commissary of provisions and auditor of accounts. Returned to Finland in 1648.
  9. Clement Jöransson, sent for burnbeating. Was planting tobacco at Upland in 1644. Served also as a soldier and later became freeman.
  10. Jöns Påfvelsson, sent for burnbeating. Died on July 9, 1643, at Upland.
  11. Måns Jurrensson (also Jöransson), involuntary emigrant. Works as a laborer and later became freeman.
  12. Peter Larsson Cock (Kock), involuntary emigrant. Was held in Smedjegård prison at Stockholm waiting for the sailing of the ship Charitas. Planting tobacco at the Schuylkill River in 1644. Later became freeman. Married Margaret Helme, daughter of Israel Helme. Peter Cock became one of the leaders in the Finnish colony after the downfall of the Swedish rule and was the most influential man on the Delaware River at the arrival of William Penn. He had six sons and six daughters and his family had branched in1693 into forty-seven persons, bearing the name of Cock, besides the children of the daughters. Peter Cock died in 1688, in great prosperity. His descendants bear mostly the name of Cox.
  13. Eskil Larsson, involuntary emigrant. Had been condemned to serve in the army and his property confiscated for burnbeating. He had escaped from the army and was held in Smedjegård prison at Stockhom from where he was placed on board the ship Charitas. Was planting tobacco for the company at Upland in 1644.
  14. Bertil Eskilsson, the former’s son. He had been condemned to the army and his property confiscated for burnbeating. Later he requested to be sent to the Delaware Colony, which was permitted. He had a farm at Kalkeon Hook in 1677.
  15. Hendrick Mattson, a boy hired by Kling, his salary was to be 10 RD a year and received 10 D in copper money on departure. Was planting tobacco for the company at the Schuylkill River in 1644. Became a soldier on October 1, 1646, and served until March 1, 1648 when he became a freeman.
  16. Knut Mårtensson from Vasa, Finland, came over as a sailor on the ship Charitas. Was planting tobacco for the company at Christina in1644. Had a farm at Finland in 1677.
  17. Anders Classon Mink, involuntary emigrant. Was herding the company’s hogs in 1644 and became a freeman in 1646.
  18. Clas Andersson Mink, the former’s son. Was herding hogs with his father in 1644.
  19. Paul Mink, another son of Anders Classon Mink, also born in Sweden. Lived yet as a farmer in 1693.
  20. Måns Månsson, came over voluntarily and worked for four years for the company to pay for the passage over the ocean. In 1654 he rented land from the company at Finland, the company was to furnish a pair of oxen and give half of the seed and in return the company was to receive half of the product of his land.
  21. Martin Thomasson, from Pohjanmaa, Finland. Served as soldier and was killed by the Indians on March 4, 1643 between Fort Christina and Elfsborg.#Johan, a boy hired by Kling. Was drowned at Upland on March 1, 1644.
  22. Olle Tossa (Tossawa), came over as a sailor on the Kalmar Nyckel. During the Swedish rule he went under the name of Olof Toorsson. One of his descendants has a two century old gravestone standing at the Trinity Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

Excerpted from pages 40-41 of the Delaware Finns by E. Louhi, New York Humanity Press 1925.

June Pelo

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