Sunday, July 29, 2012

Born in the USA

The first Swedes left for north America in early 1600s, they established a colony called "New Sweden" near the Delaware river. Its estimated that about 700-800 Swedes made the trip.
In 1655 this colony was overtaken by the Dutch, but people spoke Swedish there also more than 100 years later.

These early emigrants nobody really knows much about. Probably there are still some lineages with descendants that still are existing?

From the film "The Emigrants"
It was in mid 1800s that some Swedes again left for America. Mostly religious groups that wanted to be able to live a life they could not do here in Sweden, like "Bishop Hill".
After the civil war ended in USA and we here in Sweden struggled with several years of crop failure and bad harvests, many Swedes  started to flee the country and most did go to USA.

I truly recommend you all to see

In 1865 there are about 25 000 Swedes living i USA, and 25 years later there are about 800 000!
In total about 1 300 000 Swedes left for USA this period, but nearly 20 % returned to Sweden again.

In the Swedish church records in the late 1800s and early 1900s, its not unusual to find farmers and other people that are noted to be born in USA;
In the Swedish census 1880 about 600 persons have their birthplace noted in USA or North America.
In 1890 census, the number was about 1500 and in the 1900 census it was about 3800.

Most of these was of course children to the returning emigrants.

But the majority did never return to Sweden again, and its said that in total there are more people living in USA with Swedish ancestry than the actual number of citizens living in Sweden today.
So I guess more than 10 000 000 Americans have Swedish roots!

And almost everyone here in Sweden do have many relatives in USA, some of them known, but actually most of us have lost track- and contact with our American relatives.

One of the best ways to actually find living relatives that you don´t know about is to do a genealogical DNA-test! I strongly recommend the Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA.