12 May 2014

Extending the work of Nils William Olsson

Nils William Olsson's books and articles provided an important basis for this project. His research traced Swedish immigrants to the United States from the first part of the nineteenth century until the end of 1850. This database incorporates a subset of Olsson's research:  129 immigrants who settled in Chautauqua and Warren counties.  Nilsson's research was more from the "push" side of emigration - exit permits and passport lists.  This research is primarily from the "pull" side of immigration - church and census lists, biographies and family histories.  I have fact checked Nilsson's references (his research is nearly always correct) and I have added details about the lives of these early immigrants both in Sweden and in America.

Of note to our area:  Olsson was likely the first to research Isaac and Christina Been who arrived in 1844, probably the first Swedish settlers in either Warren or Chautauqua counties.

Also of note to our area:  Olsson's research of Swedish sailors has not yet been connected to the first Swedes in our region.  Some of the earliest Swedish immigrants were found in the ports of the Great Lakes, including Buffalo and Erie.   The saga of the first Swedish settlers in Chandlers Valley is incomplete without the acknowledgment of the help they received from Scandinavians already living in Buffalo in 1846.

This project also extends the list of known immigrants from 1850 (where Olsson left off) to 1855 when Castle Garden's Immigrant Depot began operation in New York City.

You can learn more about the life and work of  Nils William Olsson at the Augustana College website.

No comments:

Post a Comment