06 September 2014

Jamestown as a Destination (Part 2)

The previous blog discussed the general factors of location and cheap land  that brought Swedish immigrants to the Jamestown area. This time I’ll begin looking at the specific reasons for each wave of immigrants.

Immigration was seasonal, with sailing vessels arriving in New York City and Boston during the summer (although ship arrivals extended from May until December). The long journey to Albany and then to Buffalo (before the arrival of trains in 1851) and then to Dunkirk and then by oxcart overland through Chautauqua and Warren counties meant that new immigrants were arriving in the area in late summer or in the fall.

“Swedish brig Ariel, Sicholm, [sic] 115 days from Stockholm, via Fayal, with iron to Boorman Johnston & Co”
New York Daily Tribune, March 26, 1844, p 4.   Isaac and Christina Been were the only passengers aboard.  They and a Portuguese sailor named Manuel appear on the manifest of Captain M.P. Sjöholm after their long trip by way of the Azores to New York.
A brig or barque flying a Danish or Swedish flag, said to be the Ariel.  Source: Old Ship Picture Galleries (note: the original source of this image is not credited/documented). http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum%20Ships/Old%20Ships%20A/slides/Ariel-16.jpg : accessed 2014.09.06]  

Hudson (North) River piers, New York City (1852).  Note that the Boorman, Johnston & Co. Iron Yard is located between Carlisle and Rector Street opposite pier 10.  This is the likely destination of the Ariel when it arrived on March 24, 1844 with its shipload of iron. The John Wesley Bethel ship was also moored at a pier between Carlisle and Rector Street  and began services later that year in November.  In May/June 1845  O.G. Hedstrom began his ministry at the North River Mission aboard the Bethel ship.  Map detail from John F. Harrison "Map of the City of New York Extending Northward to Fiftieth St." Mathew Dripps, Publisher, New York, 1852.  Source: David Rumsey Map Collection, Image No : 2620000 © 2000 by Cartography Associates.

The First Wave (1844)

The first wave was unnoticed. Newlyweds Isaac and Christina Been from Helsingborg settled in Mina Township just north of Findley Lake. They likely arrived in  Chautauqua County in 18441, about the same time that Dutch families were first settling in Clymer.2 The couple may have been one of the four Europeans (not from Great Britain, France or Germany) who were enumerated in Mina Township in the 1845 New York State census. Research about this family3 is incomplete, their reason for choosing Chautauqua County remains undocumented.

1 1855 New York State Census, Chautauqua County, Town of Mina, Family No. 109. Their census taker recorded that they had been living in Chautauqua County for 11 years.
2 See the research by Yvette Hoitink, Dutch Genealogy blog.
3 Nils William Olsson documented this family in Swedish Passenger Arrivals, 1820-1850, Chicago, 1967, 56, 57 n31-32, 269. Various descendants of the Been family, Karen Livsey at Fenton History Center and myself continue research about this family. See the Individual Reports under the Database tab included on this website for documentation of Isaac Been and Mrs. Isaac K. (Christina) Been.

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