The 400th Anniversary of the first immigrants arriving in the Colonies is quickly approaching. In 1624, Guillaume Vigne, his wife Adrienne Cuvellier, and their children—including the direct-line daughter Marie—endured a dangerous, months-long, food-depleted and disease-ridden voyage, setting foot in the fledgling New Amsterdam colony. They would secure land, start a farm, and live out their days in what is now Manhattan, with plenty of adventure and misadventure (Natives, British loyalist, and other ethnicities and religions often not appreciating one another as well as wild animals, language-barriers, diseases, horrid winters and food scarcity). They were part of just thirty European families inhabiting what is now the entire state of New York.

The Vigne family were Walloons, French-speaking Protestants, living in a disputed border area and subject to protracted wars involving the Netherlands, France and Spain. Valenciennes today is in the French Republic and the de la Vigne / Vigne family were French Huguenots. In 1608, Guillame married Adrienne Cuvellier near Valenciennes in today’s region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, just before “the 12-year truce” between Spain & Holland began in 1609. The truce provided some respite for the area but the Roman Catholic French monarchy had a plan to convert or kill the Protestant population living within and along its borders. After King Henri IV, who was sympathetic to the Protestant minority, was assassinated in 1610, many non-Roman Catholics fled that country after having their property confiscated. This is most-likely why Guillaume Vigne and Adrienne Cuvellier emigrated to Holland in 1618 to the city of Leyden, which was a protective and tolerant haven from war and prejudice. The weaving and publishing industry were flourishing in Leyden which was the second largest city in Holland at that time. The boom in the Leyden textile industry owed a lot to the arrival of French and Flemish weavers. Guillame, Adrienne and three daughters including Christina emigrated from Amsterdam on 25 Jan 1624 to New Amsterdam on the De Eendracht. The Vignes were one of 30 Walloon families selected by the Dutch West India Company to establish a permanent settlement in New Netherlands [New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut]. We don’t know whether the Vignes spent their first year at the Albany, Connecticut River or Delaware River settlements.By 1625, Guillame was a farmer on land north of what is now Wall Street in Manhattan along the East River. They had five more children before Guillame died. Their son, Jan Vigne, was born shortly after their arrival in New Netherland. Only four adult children of Ghislain Vigne and Adrienne Cuvelier are mentioned in New Netherland records. Owned the land that the New York stock exchange now sits on.62

Nearly all of these early immigrants were also colonial pioneers, the very first to settle and found villages and towns. The very first landowners who dealt with the British, Dutch and Swedish authorities as well as the Native Americans leaders. They cleared land, built homes and churches, worked as farmers and local officials, providing for their families and helping neighbors survive the primitive, challenging times.

The immigration dates range over a quarter millennia, from this French Walloon Vigne family up to the final arrivals, the Prussian Lutheran Dankert family who landed in Pennsylvania in 1870. Many English migrants aren’t easily documented, as during the colonial period the Colonies were under British rule most of the time until the American Revolution, and therefore any English arrivals weren’t officially considered immigrants. There are also very few immigration records for African-American slaves or freemen.

The majority of the British colonial slaves were brought between 1720 and 1780. Therefore the assumption can be made that most of the African ancestors born in 1700s would be immigrants. They would include the Georgia families such as Fortune and Jane Brown, George and Ranie Brown, William and Phillis Hay, and Betty Barksdale. The neighboring South Carolina families who were born during this window of arrival would be Harry and wife Curry, Joe and Mary Huggins, Phyllis and husband Frazier, and Rebecca and husband Thompson. The only documented “born in Africa” ancestor of the entire collection happens to be Ranie Brown, born in Africa about 1799.

The European ancestral line, up to Generation Twelve (grandchildren’s 14), which was the determined ending point for the Pioneers book collection, contains 425 direct-line immigrants. To include all generations, there would be approximately seventy more, totaling nearly 500 kin. For the Anniversary, the focus is on the first arriving hundred folks, from 1624 through 1709, during a most challenging time in colonial America.

For the African lines, using Generation Nine (grandchildren’s 11) as the best possible point of the majority of immigrant Africans, there would be about 256 direct-line ancestors who were brought to the Colonies as enslaved persons. Recalling that Generation Five (grandchildren’s 7) of the African line has one European line, 31 ancestors need to be deducted to arrive at an approximate of 225 African immigrant ancestors.

The early European immigrants settled in three main areas: South-Eastern New England (Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, New Haven & Rockingham counties); South-Eastern New York/Northern Jersey (Albany, Manhattan, Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, Monmouth, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union counties); and South-Eastern Pennsylvania (Lancaster, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia counties, and New Castle, in the state of Delaware).

The early Africans would be brought to two main areas in the Southern Colonies. To Georgia (counties Chatham, Jefferson, Warren and Washington) and to South Carolina (counties Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell, Beaufort and Jasper), settling those area after emancipation and extending out to mostly to Savannah and Philadelphia.

To honor these early pioneers, the following information has been penned to show appreciation for the tremendous difficulties they conquered and to give a deeper understanding of “who we are.” These colonial men and women deserve credit for overcoming the most challenging obstacles and for their fore-sightedness to build homes, farms, churches and communities.

New England

The earliest immigrants of New England, the Burr and Cabel families, arrived in 1630, just ten years after the Mayflower, and the last, the Lacys, set foot here in 1660. Jehu Burr5,37,39,40,59 and John Cabel5,38,39,40 and their families were original founders of Fairfield as well as ancestors Thomas and Isabel Moorehouse40,59, Alexander and Elizabeth Knowles5,40,59, and John and Alice Lacy60. Frances Reed Ong, widow of Edmond Ong59, would arrive in 1631 and occupy Watertown where ancestors Joseph and Mary Underwood44,59 also were early settlers, in Hingham, Watertown, and Hampton. Hampton would find John and Elizabeth Garland61 and the original founders of New Haven included the Wilmot41 and Brown families, while ancestors George and Elizabeth Barber42,43 were settling in Dedham and Medfield.

Jehu Burr (also seen as Jehue Burre) came to New England with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. He became a Freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony on May 18, 1631. He resided in Roxbury about 1641 and was a carpenter by trade. From “Genealogies of Connecticut Families”, Vol. I, “The Burrs of Fairfield, Conn.”, pg. 261: …”was in Massachusetts in 1630 and was admitted freeman in 1631. Jehu Burr belonged to the Church at Roxbury and settled at Springfield with William Pynchon and others, in 1636. In a few years he removed to Fairfield, where he died before 1650.” Estate: On 12 Jan 1673, a record was made of the land held in Fairfield by John Burr and Jehu Burr, “per virtue of the last will of his deceased father”. John Burr had three and three-quarters acres in the Old Field, four acres in the New Field or Mill Plain, eight acres on Sascoe Hill, ten and a half acres and twenty rods in Great Meadow, and two and a half acres and thirty-four rods of meadow in Sascoe Neck (Fairfield P Records 4 (reversed):27; Fairfield Land Records A:1:229). Jehu Burr had a four acre homelot, eight and a quarter acres in the Old Field, eight acres on the Mill Plain, and sixteen acres on Sasqua Hill (Fairfield P Records 4 (reversed):55; Fairfield Land Records; Book A:1:229).68

Frances Reed was born about 1583 and married Edmund Ong/Onge 08 Apr 1602 at Brent Eleigh, Suffolk. Edmund died and was buried there on June 7, 1630. Frances Onge and her three sons Jacob, Simon and Isaac landed in Boston on 05 Feb 1631 on the ship Lyon of the Winthrop fleet. The Lyon had left Bristol, England on 01 Dec 1630. Frances’s daughter Mary is probably the Mary Onge who arrived in 1634 on the Francis. Watertown, Massachusetts records contain the grants of three parcels of land to “Francis Onge.”  On 20 July 1643 John White gave a mortgage to John Sherman “in the behalf of the children of the late deceased widow Ong of Watertown to whom he doth owe twenty-five pounds” on a house and six acres in Watertown and a house and seven acres in Cambridge. Frances Ong, widow, died at age 55 and was buried 12 Nov 1638 in Watertown, Massachusetts.64

New York & New Jersey

New  Netherlands would be the site of many of the ancestors’ arrivals, spanning from 1624 to 1689. 1624 was the very first Europeans to arrive in New Amsterdam (although the Mayflower was to land here, for various reasons it had to land and remain in New England).

Guillaume and Adrienne Vigne49, mentioned in intro, would settle in New Amsterdam (now Manhattan) along with fellow immigrants and original founders George and Anna Adrienssen52, Jan Cornelisz and Hilligond Van Hoorn48, Andries Vandersluyse, and Maria Rutgers who arrived with her step father Pieter Janszen Meet. The Van Hoorns, the Rutgers, and Abram Verplanck50 and his family would leave New Amsterdam, making their way across the Hudson River to Paulus Hook (now Jersey City) and the Verplancks would continue to Albany, settling there.

Abraham Isaacsen Verplank was the son of Isaac Ver Planck. Abraham Isaacsen Verplank was born in 1606 at Netherlands. He married Maria Vigne, daughter of Guillaume Vigne and Adriana Cuveille, circa 1632. Abraham immigrated circa 1633. On 1-May-1638, he registered land in what is now Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey. This land was the first conveyance of land in Hudson County of a tract at Paulus Hoeck, situated westward of the Island of Manhattan, and westward of Aharsimus, extending from the North River into the valley, which runs around it there. On 21-Jun-1638 Jan Damen sued to have Abraham Ver Planck and Dirck De Noorman “quit his house and leave him the master thereof.” Dirck countered with a charge of assault and had witnesses testify that Jan tried to “throw his step-daughter Christine, Dirck’s wife, out of doors.” Abraham resided in Paulus Hoek in 1640. He held the position on the 12-man council assembled by Director Willem Kieft to “advise” him on Indian affairs. In 1641, Abraham had such a falling out with the Director that he was threatened with banishment if he continued to insult the Company’s officers. In the following year Kieft disbanded the council because it disagreed with his military ambitions. In 1643 the Indian war forced Maria and Abraham to seek the safety of the fort at Manhattan. They bought a lot from brother-in-law Van Tienhoven at Smits Vly, near Pearl Street and Maiden Lane, and built a house there in 1649. In 1664 when the English fleet showed up on the Hudson River, Abraham was one of the signers of the petition requesting that Peter Stuyvesant surrender. A fight with the English would have destroyed New Amsterdam. The people were more interested in keeping their homes than keeping Stuyvesant as their leader. In 1699, a parcel of land having belonged to Abraham Isaacc Verplank, located on King Street, New York City, was sold by his heirs apparently to settle his estate. Of interest is that his heirs of February 27, 1699 are named.65

The Jersey contingent would consist of ancestors Richard and Anne Marie Green, with son Samuel23,24, original landowners of Johnsonburg and Amwell and Thomas Bull in Burlington. Hunterdon county would see Richard and Abigail Lippincott1,7, Peter White1 son of Thomas White, and Edward Andrews33. Cornelius Hendrick and Maycke Van Ness45,58, original founders of Albany would relocate to Fairfield in Essex County. Adriaan Pietersz Kinne58 and family would migrate from Brooklyn to Somerset County. New Havenites Isaac and Susan Whitehead1,35,41 and colonial born Nathaniel and Susan Bonnell1,35, whose immigrant father William Bonnell returned to England, as well as Robert and Anna Morse5,35 and Edward and Mary Broadwell with their son William36 would all start families in Elizabethtown. Lastly, Henry and Mary Monnet, who landed in New Amsterdam, would travel south to settle Elizabethtown as well.

Isaac Whitehead, was born about 1624 in England. When Isaac arrived in America is not known. He first appears on the record in the New Haven Colony in June 1642 when he “received the charge of freeman”. He was not among the original Planters in 1639. He appears to have held land as a tenant until receiving a grant of property from the town in 1650. He shows up in court records a number of times. Twice for being late for militia drill. He was chosen as a fence “viewer” (inspector) in 1661 but otherwise does not appear to have held public office. He sold his land holdings in New Haven in early 1666. A court record of 6 March 1665/6 states that “Isaac Whitehead doth Alienate to Nathaniell Merriman all his part of Land given by the towne”. Subsequently, he sold additional property “bought of Mr. John Davenport” with a bill of sale dated 16 April 1666 (recorded in court on 1 Dec. 1668). Isaac was married to Susanna (maiden name unknown) in New Haven before 1650, as their first child was born that year. Isaac and his family relocated to the newly-established Elizabethtown, New Jersey where he signed the first oath of allegiance in February 1665/6. He is listed among the original Elizabethtown Associates receiving initial allotments of property. Isaac was one of the principal leaders of the new colony. He was the first town clerk of Elizabethtown, serving until his death. He was for several years Clerk of the colonial House of Deputies. On March 22, 1679, he was appointed Captain in the militia. In 1683, he was a Judge of Small Causes and Essex County Coroner. Isaac was living in Elizabeth, Essex, New Jersey on 8 Feb 1683 when he took an inventory for the estate of Leonard Headley. After Susanna’s death, Isaac was remarried to Mary Higgins sometime after 1684. It was Mary’s third marriage and Isaac’s second. There were no children born to this marriage. Isaac died in early 1691 in Elizabeth, Essex, New Jersey.66

Most ancestors of New Netherlands would become establishing folks in Brooklyn, originally Breukelen in Dutch, the eventual combination of the original villages of Breukelen, Boswyck/Bushwick, Midwout/Flatbush, Canarsie/Ameersfort/Flatlands, Gravesend, and New Utrecht. John Jacob and Margaret Hartje would leave New Amsterdam for Brooklyn, settling near ancestors Simon Aersen and Grietje DeHart58 and Wybran Pietersen and Margaret Paules54. Three families would start in Albany but relocate to Brooklyn, including Pieter Claesen and Grietje Wyckoff1,46,58 to Canarsie, Mathies Louris and Christina Jansen to Brooklyn, and Peter Lars Jansen and Stijntje Opdycke55 to Gravesend. Their son John Lawrence Opdycke1,30 would remove and become an original landowners of Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville, Mercer Co), Jersey. Jacques & Lydia Cossart58 and Lambert Huybertson and Tryntje Moll settled in Bushwyck while  Derick John and Marrtje Woertmann54,58, Teunis and Femmetje Nyssen54,59, and Gerrit Cornelis and Chieltje Van Nieuwkerk57,58set up homestead in Gowanus/Flatbush area. The Van Nieukerks migrated to Hurley later in life. Peter and Anna Praa53,58, and their son Capt Peter53 colonized near Hurley in Cripplebush. Finally, ne’er-do-well ancestors Jan Celes (also Sayles), whose wife Phillipa died at sea, would travel around the area, never truly finding his way, but settling in Brooklyn. Bordering Brooklyn to the North-east is Queens and Nassau counties. Oyster Bay was founded by Thomas and Susan Armitage34, and Peter and Alice Wright51. Armitage had also inhabited Success (now Hempstead), where James and Susan Pine34 and Simon and Catherine Searing34 would be early landowners. Lastly, Charles Auguste and Marie Grassette, who initially landed in Staten Island, would become first settlers in Jamaica. 


The vast majority of the ancestors came through the Philadelphia port, Delaware Bay during the Swedish rule and into the British takeover. The first, Mans Anderson and his family, setting foot in 1639 and the last, the Bauman family, arriving in 1709. As we’ll see, there was also a good delegation of New York immigrants who would quickly lose patience with the British officials in New York and relocate to central Pennsylvania.

Mans Andersson family. 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. 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.” 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.63

What would become Berks County was where those disgruntled New York immigrants relocated, a deeply rural area call Tulpehocken, away from the British government, the loyalist and the over-bearing Puritans and Presbyterians. These Lutheran families took challenge after challenge, finally becoming the first landowners in the area. These pioneers include George and Margaret Meiser and their son Michael4,32, Georg Reidt who died on voyage, his wife Catherine and their sons Peter4,32, Michael2,18,32 (both ancestors), Martin and Catherine Stupp18,32, Daniel Gutman who also died on route, his wife Maia Barbara and their son George. Nearby  John Henry Bassler19 would settle Fell’s Manor (now Marion Twp, Berks Co) and Berks would host Jacob and Maria Koebel4,32 and Christopher and Christina Bauer.

Jacob Kobel was born in 1682 in Hoffenheim, Sinsheim, Germany to the parents of Hans George Cobel and Eva Sonss. Jacob married Anna Maria about 1708 in Germany. After leaving Germany they arrived in England June 11, 1709 (age 27) and they were sent on to New York by June 1710. They were then sent on to Livingstone Manor, New York to work for the English government producing naval goods (tar and pitch). By 1713 they had moved on to Schoharie County, New York. Jacob Kobel built a gristmill in the location of present day Cobleskill, NY. After about 10 years of settlement and improvements, Governor Robert Hunter appropriated the land and sold it to his cronies. Many of the Germany settlers of the Schoharie Valley moved on to the Tulpehocken Settlement in Berks Co., PA. Jacob Kobel was on the tax list there in 1726. He land was located in the area of present day Womelsdorf. Jacob died between Aug 7, 1731 when he wrote his will and when it was filed March 16, 1732 at Philadelphia. He died near Womelsdorf, Berks Co., PA. Jacob had 9 sons but only Henry is mentioned in his will. Anna Maria was given title to land in the Manor of Plumpton by Conrad Weiser and she didn’t die until 1774. The story of this group of immigrants is one of destitution, death, deception, Indian massacres, hard work and survival. Their story is very interesting and is worth the effort to find one of the first two original sources listed below and read the complete story. Jacob Kobel was a miller who built several mills in NY and PA. The first was a mill in Cobleskill, NY (It is said that the town of Cobleskill, New York took its name from Jacob Kobel; the town was named after the stream that ran his mill) and the last was the one in Womelsdorf which is still standing. Will: written August 7, 1732 probated March 16, 1732/33. Philadelphia Count will Book E page 184.67

Bucks became the home of first settlers in areas such as Byberry, Middletown and Bristol, including Thomas Livesay and son Jonathan, Henry and Elizabeth Thompson, Joseph and Anna Bond28, Benjamin and Mary Armitage, wife Charlesworth, Abel Hinkson, and Richard and Catherine Gale.

Chester and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania and New Castle, in the state of Delaware, were sites of villages and areas such as Uwchlan, Merion, Edgmont (now Edgemont), Ammansland (now Darby), Upland, Haverford, Marcus Hook, Kingsessing, Sadsbury and New Castle. Pioneer ancestors who settled here include Robert Taylor, David and Mary Evans, Henry and Margaret Marsh and their son Wm Marsh21, Olaf Nilsson and Cecilia Gastenberg8 and Jonas Nilsson8,9. Uwchlan became the home for Thomas and Mary Porter, Thomas and Martha Woodyer, Joseph and Sarah Phipps31 while Ammansland was originally inhabited by Eskil Larsson56 and his son Bartel Eskilsson8, John Van Ceulen, Marten and Helena Martensson3,6,8,9 and their son Morton9,14, John and Helena Grelsson8. John and Elizabeth Houlston22, founders of Edgemont, would join  Haverford families Elizabeth Rees (wife of Samuel Humphrey) and her son Daniel25, Richard George who died just after landing and his wife Jane and children, and Thomas and Ellen Ellis, who would eventually migrate to Montgomery County. Reynier van der Coelen would set up a homestead in New Castle as did James Williams21, who eventually relocated to Sadsbury, where another ancestor George Leonard21 settled.

Sadsbury bordered Lancaster County, where ancestors Hans and Elizabeth Herr13, his wife’s families the Kendigs13, and Wendel Bauman13 founded a town which is now called Willow Street. Isaac LeFevre and wife Catherine Ferree settled in Pequea Valley as well and their relatives Abraham LeFevre17 and Maria Ferree13 were also the first landowners in the area. Lastly, New Castle brought us James and Suit Anderson, well-traveled folks who laid out the town of Waterford (now Marietta).

Montgomery and Philadelphia would be the final stop for the largest number of these early immigrants, more than 25% finding fertile lands to build cabins, churches and farms. The first arrrivals, Swedes, arrived in 1640 to the Delaware Bay and continued to the Van Sintern family who set foot in Philly in 1708.

Downtown Philly would see early settlers including William and Anna Smith, William and Grace Rakestraw27 and William Gibbs, who set roots near Arch Street, with Gibbs relocating to Edgemont, Chester County. Also Andrew and Gertrude Bengtsson8,9 of Moyamensing, Robert and Jane Taylor of North Liberties and Peter Gunnarsson and Brita Rambo3,8,9 of Passyunk. Shoemakertown (now Elkins Park, Cheltenham) was initially named for the Shoemaker ancestors, Sarah Shoemaker3, whose husband George died on route, their son George16 and their relative Richard Wall20 and ancestors Michael and Catherine Braun were also original settlers in Shoemakertown.

Kingsessing became the homestead location for Peter Larsson and Margaret Koch3,8 and John and Brita Gustafsson/Justis8, who moved from New Castle to Aronameck (now Bartram’s Garden). Two other families would head north here, Sven and Britta Bonde/Gunnarsson6 and their son Andrew Sven Boon8,9,14  as well as Helena Andersson whose husband Nils d at sea. These families originally settled in Boon’s Island/ Minquas (Mingo) area but finally set root sin Kingsessing. Boon’s Island was named for the Bonde family, which was pronounced ‘Boone.’

Gunnarson family. In August 1639, the Swedish government, needing settlers for its New Sweden colony, sent word to the governors of Elfsborg, Dalsland and Värmland to capture deserted soldiers and others who had committed some slight misdemeanor and to send them to America. Among the “convicts” rounded up in this effort was Sven Gunnarsson. When the Kalmar Nyckel left Göteborg in September 1639, he was aboard with his pregnant wife and two small children. Initially, in New Sweden, Sven was stationed at the Fort Christina plantation, where he was found in 1644 working on the New Sweden tobacco farm. In October 1645 he was finally granted freedom from his servitude and joined other freemen residing at Kingsessing (now West Philadelphia). Here he was known as Sven the Miller, as he operated the first gristmill built in New Sweden on present Cobbs Creek. Being a freeman in New Sweden was like being a peasant under the tyrannical rule of Governor Johan Printz. Like other freemen, Sven was required to work without pay at Printz’s Printzhof plantation whenever the Governor demanded, was prohibited from trading with the Indians and forced to buy all necessities at the company store. Like other freemen, he fell heavily into debt. Another such freeman, Lasse Svensson the Finn and his wife Carin had their plantation seized by Printz (who renamed it Printztorp). Both Lasse the Finn and his wife were forced to live without shelter in the woods. Both perished, leaving several impoverished children. It was not surprising, therefore, that Sven Gunnarsson was one of the 22 freemen signing a petition of grievances which they submitted to Governor Printz in the summer of 1653. Printz called it a “mutiny” and returned to Sweden. Sven the Miller fared better under Governor Rising, 1654-1655. He even volunteered to help defend Fort Christina against the Dutch invasion. A pitched battle was averted when Rising decided to surrender the colony. Conditions proved to be even better under Dutch rule. Stuyvesant allowed the Swedes living north of the Christina River to organize their own government. That government, known as the Upland Court, treated Sven Gunnarsson well. In 1664, Sven Gunnarsson moved with his family across the Schuylkill to Wicaco, a former Indian settlement, where Sven’s 1125-acre plantation embraced what would become the future City ofCopyright Swedish Colonial Society 2012 Philadelphia. Here, on his land, the first log church at Wicaco (now Gloria Dei Church) was built by 1677. Sven Gunnarsson died about 1678 and probably was one of the first to be buried at the Wicaco church63

Aptly named Germantown would see founding families such as Conrad Baucher/Rutters29, Conrad and Fredericka Jansen26, Isaac Van and Magdelena Sintern26, Abraham and Catherine Opdengraff10,26 and their son Jacob17 who would go settle Skippack and Claus and Wilhelmina Rittenhaus and their son William Rittenhouse11,26, of Rittenhouse Square fame.

Many ancestors were the original landowners of Skippack, including Evert and Elizabeth de Haven3,17 , Martin and Magdalena Kolbe17, John and Magdalena Miller, Hans Peter and Barbara Umstadt26 and their son John17. Henry and Eva Pannebecker11,17 settled here and were honored with Pennypecca village, now simply the Pennypacker Mills area. Thomas and Elizabeth Wynne15, personal physician for William Penn, inhabited Merion (now L Merion) and numerous town and streets are named for this family, including Wynnewood. Lastly, as mentioned earlier Thomas and Ellen Ellis with their daughter Eleanor25 wife of David Lawrence from Haverford, would eventually set roots in Montgomery County.

Honorable Mentions

Not all ancestors that were movers and shakers immigration prior to 1709. As mentioned, after 1709 there are still have another 400 immigrants, including notable kin such as the following pioneer families. Alexander Thompson founded and laid out the town of Sheridan in Schuylkill. Flemington New Jersey was established by ancestor Samuel Fleming and George Schoeneck left this name to a small village named Schoeneck in Lancaster County. George Kluge Jr, whose father died in New York Colony, along with his mother Susanna Fischer Kluge would become original landowners of Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville, Mercer County).

Berks County was settled later than many of these other places, but there are ancestors who were first landowners there as well. In addition to those mentioned above, these folks relocated to Tulpehocken a year or two later. Martin Batdorf2,4,18,32 and his mother Catherine (father Peter died en route), Philip and Mariket Zerbe and his brother Martin Zerbe32, Adam and Elizabeth Walborn4,32 and their children including Herman2,18,32,John and Margaret Feg18, Peter and Maria Feg4,18, Jacques and Clothilde Zeller32 and their son Henry, Michael and Elizabeth Emmerich4,32, Frederick and Rosina Shaffer4,32, Anna Margaret Wolff, an immigrant orphaned and destitute Palatinate child who married into the Gutman family named above and the Philip Sext, who died in New York Colony, but whose progeny migrated and set roots in Tulpehocken.


1 – Founders of New Jersey,; Colonial Families of NJ, vol. 3, Pearson

2 – 1723, Map of Tulpehocken [Tulpehocken] Valley Pioneer Homesteads

3 – 1639-1698, First Families of PA,

4 – 1724 Petition, Tulpehocken Tax List January 1725/26, Tulpehocken Tax List January 1726/27, & 1727 Tulpehocken/Oley Road Petition,

5 – The First Puritan Settlers of Connecticut,

6 – 1653, Govr Printz New Sweden Petition,

7 – c1660, Original lands purchasers, Monmouth, Jersey,

8 – 1671 census DE Bay,

9 – 1693 Census Swedes on Delaware,

10 – 1683, Original founding families of Germantown, PA,

11 – Old Philans,

12 – Colonial Families of Maryland,; First Families of Maryland,

13 – 1711, The original land plots of the first European settlers to Lancaster County,

14 – 1686, The Names of the Early Settlers of Darby Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania,

15 – 1682, Cheltenham Township, A Sociological Analysis…,

16 – 1682, Cheltenham Township History,

17 –  1713, Skippack petition,

18 – Early Tulpehocken Settlers,

19 – 1735, Settlers of Fell’s Manor,

20 – 1682, 15 original founders of Cheltenham Township,,_Montgomery_County,_Pennsylvania

21 – 1718 Taxables; 1728, petition presented to the August court, Sadsbury,

22 – c1722, The earliest purchasers of land, Edgmont,

23 – 1719, first court held in the county was at Maidenhead,

24 – 1718, first settlement of New Jersey by people of the German race, file:///C:/Users/arcif/Downloads/TheEarlyGermansofNewJersey_10850270-1.pdf

25 – 1703, Haverford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania,,_Delaware_County,_Pennsylvania

26 – 1689/1714, Germantown Settlement: Lot Owners In 1689 And 1714,

27 – 1684, “First purchaser” in Philadelphia,

28 – c1700, Bristol Borough,

29 – Conrad Ritter/Rutter: Pennsylvania Pioneer,

30 - History Of Burlington And Mercer Counties, New Jersey With  Biographical Sketches Of Many Of Their Pioneers And Prominent Men,

31 – Uwchlan Township,

32 – 1723/7, Palatines Who Moved To The Tulpehocken Valley In Pennsylvania,

33 – Tuckerton, New Jersey,,_New_Jersey

34 – 1643/85, Early Settlers and History of Hempstead (Heemstede), Long Island,

35 – 1664, Original Associates of Elizabethtown, New Jersey,

36 – Broadwell Family of Clinton County, New York,

37 – 1630s, Roxbury Settlers and The Great Migration,

38 – The first century of the history of Springfield,

39 – 1636, Agreement to Establish Springfield,

40 – The History of Fairfield,

41 – 1639, History Of The Colony Of New Haven To Its Absorption Into CT,

42 – 1640s, George Barbour (1613 – 1685),

43 – 1636, Original Settlers of Dedham, Massachusetts,

44 – 1637, Early Settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts,

45 – 1650+, Follow the Snyder Line,

46 – 1652, A Tour of New Netherland,

47 – 1660, Jamaica, Long Island, Ny, History,

48 – 1640s, History of the city of New-York,;view=fulltext & Grants of Land 1646~1776,

49 – 1624, News From New Netherland, The First Families,

50 – 1638+, Abraham Isaacsen Verplanck,

51 – 1650s, Town History,

52 – 1653, The iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909, & Guide to the records of New Amsterdam, 1647-1862,

53 – 1650s, A history of the town of Bushwick,

54 – History of the City of Brooklyn,;cc=moa;rgn=main;view=text;idno=AFK3956.0001.001

55 – 1650s, American Descendants Of The Holland Family,

56 – Nya Sverige (1638–1655), & Kalmer Nyckel, Passengers 1641,

57 – 1670s, History of Ulster County, New York,

58 – 1660s, Register in alphabetical order, of the early settlers of Kings,

59 – 1639, Hampton, New Hampshire,

60 – A history of the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut,

61 – John Garland,

62 – Ghislain Vigne (abt. 1586 – 1632),

63 – Forefather Family Profiles,

64 – Frances (Reed) Ong (abt. 1583 – 1638),

65 – Abraham Isacszen (Plancken) VerPlanck (abt. 1606 – bef. 1691),

66 – Isaac Whitehead (abt. 1624 – abt. 1691),

67 – Jacob Kobel (1682 – bef. 1733),

68 – America The Great Melting Pot,