28 August 2018

Religion and the Early Swedes: The First Church Building

The earliest religious services were held at the homes of various members of the community, especially in the home of Germund and Catherine Johnson. The Johnsons donated land across the road from their house for the essential burial ground (now the Hessel Valley Lutheran Cemetery) and this became the site of the first church built by Swedish immigrants in our area. When Rev. O. G. Hedstrom returned to the area to establish the Swedish class in the Jamestown Methodist church in 1852, he gave money to the Sugar Grove community to construct a fence around the church (cemetery) grounds to keep the pigs out.

The original wood structure no longer exists. It was built in 1854 and was a basic, nearly square, gabled house of worship with three windows on each side and likely a door between windows on the end. Overall, it was about 28 feet (8.5m) long by 30 feet (9.1m) wide.1 A later expansion added 16 feet (5m) of space onto the front of the building and a steeple.  This is the configuration of the church as it appeared in the only known photograph.

Forsamlingens gamla kyrka byggd 1854, Chandlers Valley, Pa.
Photo date unknown, collection of Jamestown First Lutheran Church.
A duplicate print is in the collection of the Warren County Historical Society.

Likely form of the original Swedish community church in Sugar Grove.  Model by John Everett Jones

The exterior shows Greek Revival influences common in our area.  It is not known if the clapboard was original or part of the improvements carried out after the Civil War.  The interior details are unknown.  Frederick J. Johnson was commissioned to construct the pews - there are no known surviving examples.

The interiors of the churches in Hässleby and Lönneberga (the origin parishes of the largest contingents of emigrants) may suggest the detail of the ceiling and other interior finishes. 

Hässleby church interior.  Image on a website dedicated to Swedish churches
 © Barbro Thörn [https://www.kyrkokartan.se/055847/images/55847_82930440]

Lönneberga church interior.  Image on a website dedicated to Swedish churches
 © Barbro Thörn [https://www.kyrkokartan.se/055939/images/55939_89527748]

Few churches built by Swedes in America during the 1850s are known to survive.  One of the oldest churches still in use is the brick Jenny Lind chapel (1854) in Andover, Illinois - the subsequent congregation of Rev. Jonas Swensson after he left Sugar Grove.  Aside from the atypical Colony Church (1848) of the Janssonist community at Bishop Hill, Illinois, the earliest (before 1860) wooden churches in Iowa and Illinois no longer exist.  The New Sweden Lutheran Church in Lockridge, Jefferson County, Iowa dates from 1860 and replaced the original structure at Peter Cassel's community.

An early (1856) wooden church in Scandia, Minnesota may suggest aspects of the original structure in Chandlers Valley.

Original Elim (Marine Country) Lutheran) Church, 1856, relocated to
 Gammelgården Museum, Scandia (Washington County), Minnesota.
Photos Copyright © 2017 Gammelgården Museum

1854 Initial Construction

This information comes from an article about the history of the Sugar Grove congregation published in Hemlandet almost certainly with information contributed by Frederick J. Johnson [1846.003].

De skaffade sig snart en egen kyrkogård och redan på hösten 1854 hade de genom gemensamt arbete och gemensamma uppoffringar byggt sig en egen liten Träkyrka.  På ett möte i G. Johnsons hus i December mänad 1853 fattades enhälligt beslut att bygga kyrka, och, såsom nämdt är, var beslutet redan 1854 under en bullersam tid verkställt. (Än i dag samlas församlingen omkring Guds ord i denna kyrka, vilken på senare tiden blivit tillbyggd och reparerad.)

They soon established their own cemetery and by the autumn of 1854, through their joint work and sacrifices, they had built their own small church. It was at a meeting in the house of G[ermund] Johnson in December 1853 that a unanimous decision was made to build the church.  As mentioned, the decision was already realized that year [1854] during a busy time. (Today, the congregation still gathers to hear the word of God in this church, which has been recently expanded and repaired.)

Source:  “Svenskarne i Sugar Grove (Pennsylvanien), Jamestown (N.Y.) och å kringliggande platser.” Hemlandet, 28 Mar 1877, page 2.

1865 Expansion (C.O. Hultgren era)

The 1865 Protokol called for the addition of 16 feet long plus steeple.

§1 Beslutades att kyrkan skall tillökas 16 foll på längden med att torn i form af tornet på Methodistkyrkan i Sugar Grove och med spira.

§2  Beslutades att 5 fot bredt inom kyrkadören skall afmålas för att rum, samt för trappa till uppgång i tornet.

1. It was decided that the church should be enlarged 16 feet in the length with a steeple in the tower like the spire of the Methodist Church in Sugar Grove.
2. It was decided that the church doors should be expanded to five feet wide, as well as the provision of stairs for access to the tower.
(1865.09.26 Protokol)

1885 Last service in the old church

The decision to build a new brick church and locate it a mile east in the village of Chandlers Valley divided the congregation.  A group that included Frederick J. Johnson established the new Mission Covenant congregation across the road from the original church and cemetery.  The last service in the original church was held 16 August 1885 (Anniversary Program - History of Church, collection of Hessel Valley Lutheran Church).  The brick church in Chandlers Valley (Hessel Valley Lutheran) remains in service.


  1. These measurements are based on a 3D model created by the author that was then matched to the projected image of the photograph.  References in the Protokol to the size of the addition provided additional guidelines for creating this model.

23 March 2018

Danes in Jamestown

The obituary of Nelson Greenlund1 described his emigration to America and the small Bornholm community he found in western New York in 1857:
He left Bornholm April 8th, 1857, traveling through Copenhagen. Kiel, Hamburg, Hull and Liverpool. Here he took a sailing vessel, April 25th, bound for New York where he landed May 26th, after a long and tedious journey of 51 days.  He proceeded to Buffalo, N. Y., where he met the following friends from Bornholm:  C. Beck,2  J. Mortensen,3  H. Ancker,4  L. Tideman,5  and A. C. Holmes.6  He finally arrived in Jamestown June 5th, where he met Marcus Jacobsen.7  These six men were the only Danes from Bornholm in America at that time to the best of Mr. Greenlund's knowledge.
Most Danish immigrants in the Jamestown, New York and Warren, Pennsylvania area were from this singular origin: Bornholm. Significantly, these early Danes were young, unmarried journeymen and their skills led to their success in our region. Many Danes took Swedish wives and the Scandinavians became intermingled, although the Danes tended to maintain or promote a separate and at times "superior" identity to the Swedes.

Bornholm (Bornholm in Danish) is an island in the middle of the Baltic that is about one-fifth the size of Chautauqua County.  Modern Denmark is a nation of islands centered around Zealand (Sjælland ), even though Jutland (Jylland ), the peninsula that extends northward from the European mainland, makes up 70% of the country's land area. Copenhagen (København ), the capital, is located on the eastern Baltic coast of  Zealand and about 90 miles (150 km) west northwest from Bornholm. The island is the fifth largest (excluding Greenland) in Denmark and is situated closer to the southern coast of Sweden – Ystad is about 40 miles (65 km) west northwest. Bornholm’s remote location led to its occupation by Soviet troops in 1945 and 1946 at the close of World War II following Denmark's occupation by Nazi Germany in 1940.

Location of Bornholm shown in red, image (cropped/red added) based on Schenck & McFarlane, Lithographers. “Chart of the Baltic from Admiralty & Russian Surveys” General Atlas Of The World: Containing Upwards Of Seventy Maps. Edinburgh, Scotland: Adam & Charles Black, Publishers, 1854. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, Publication Reference: P4334. Publication List No: 2305.000.

Bornholm was the region of Denmark that saw the greatest percentage of emigration in the nineteenth century. The Bornholm community in Jamestown has been researched by Danish historians largely because of the importance of Jacob Riis and his stay in Jamestown during the winter of 1870-1871.8  

The earliest Scandinavians in western New York worked the ships of the Great Lakes - a mix of Norwegians and Swedes with a few Danes. One of the earliest Danes to arrive in Buffalo was C. C. Beck who began working as a shipwright in the port around 1848.  In the 1850 United States census there were about six Danes in Erie County and none in Chautauqua County. In the 1855 New York State census there were a total of thirty-three Danes in Erie County and only five in Chautauqua County.9  In the second half of that decade the small Danish community in Buffalo included a group from Bornholm who arrived in Buffalo almost certainly because of the presence in that city of C. C. Beck and his wife, Caroline Christine Rønne.

C. C. Beck

Carl Christian (Nielsen) Beck was born in Sweden 10 July 1826 in the southern city of Karlshamn in Blekinge län.  He was the first child of master shipbuilder Niels Beck and Edel Benedicte Blache, both Danes who had recently moved to that Baltic port. Each of his parents were in their second marriage: Beck was divorced from Dorothea Winkler of Nyborg, Denmark and had five children with her; Blache was a widow of ship captain Christopher Egmon and had two children from their marriage.  C.C. Beck's parents wed 11 October 1827 and had a second child, Johan Gustaf, born 12 April 1829.

Niels Beck died 4 Nov 1831 in Karlshamn.  His widow, E. B. Beck, moved in 1832 with her young children to Rønne on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.  The younger son, Johan Gustaf Beck, died at age five in Rønne on 15 October 1834.

C. C. Beck grew up in Rønne and apprenticed to become a ship carpenter like his father.  Sometime after 1845 (age 19) he left the island and emigrated to America.  He was listed as "Beck, ____ ship joiner, h corn. Elk & Hayward." in the 1849-1850 Buffalo Directory.  In 1855 he reported that he had been living in the Lake Erie port of Buffalo for seven years, suggesting that he had arrived in America in 1848 or before.  He has not yet been identified in the 1850 United States census (nor in the 1850 Danish National census).

In 1850 C. C. Beck’s mother was living in the Rosenburg Quarter in Copenhagen. Her year of emigration and the ship that brought her to America have not yet been identified. In 1855 E. B. Beck was living in Buffalo in her son's household.

Caroline C. (Rønne) Beck

Caroline Christine Rønne was born 19 Apr 1825 in Rønne parish, Bornholm, Denmark.  She was the second child of ship captain Christian Peter Andreasen Rønne (1790-1851) and Annika Margrethe Christiansen (1796-1858).  She grew up in the same town as Carl Christian Beck and left for the capitol in 1846 (age 21).  She was enumerated in the 1850 Danish National census living in Christianshavn in Copenhagen.  Her obituary10  indicated that she came to America in 1852, however, she has not yet been located on a passenger manifest.

Her obituary also indicated that she arrived in Buffalo independently, met C. C. Beck and then married.  I am skeptical of this story.  It is almost certain that they would have known each other in Rønne  –  C.C. Beck was one of only 93 young men in Rønne who were born in 1825 or 1826 according to the 1845 Danish Census.  The small city of Rønne had a total population of 4,700 in 1850.  It seems much more likely that C. C. Beck had asked Caroline Rønne to come to America to marry him.  And it seems likely that she was accompanied by her future mother-in-law.

Location of C.C. Beck house and warehouse, Third Street near West Eight Street at the Boat Landing.  Detail (rotated) from "Jamestown, Plate 37," New Topographical Atlas of Chautauqua County, New York. Philadelphia 1867. Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library digital collection.

The Beck family in Jamestown

The Beck family moved  to Jamestown in 1864 where C.C. Beck opened a shipwright shop and built a warehouse near the Boat Landing and the West Eighth Street bridge. Their residence and warehouse are indicated on the 1867 map of Jamestown. Beck must have been very successful in Buffalo based on his investment in Jamestown which was estimated to be $5000 in 1865. They arrived with three children, Annie J. Beck (1852-1929),  Charles Beck (1855-1876) and Andrew Beck (1856-1916).  A fourth child named Alice was born in Jamestown in 1866, but died in infancy.

C. C. Beck construction and repair of steamboats

C. C. Beck built several steamships that worked Chautauqua Lake.  Beck built the Col. William Phillips in 1873 and  the P.J. Hanour in 1874.  He was co-owner of the P.J. Hanour which was destroyed by fire later that same year.

The Col. William Phillips at Griffiths Point, 1873.  This steamboat was built by C.C. Beck with a length of 126 feet (38.4 m) and a a beam of 16.5 feet (5 m) and was launched in 1873.  Source: Bob Johnston, Chautauqua Lake Steamboats, Chautauqua County Historical Society member pages.  Photo likely from the collection of Victor Norton, Jr.

C. C. Beck and early yachting

C. C. Beck had likely been a charter member of the Buffalo Yacht Club and his Banner won its division in the club's first regatta in 1860. He built the yacht Adele that was owned and crewed by other BYC members and won the Buffalo Regatta in 1875. "The Adele is a famous old yacht and has won every race in Buffalo waters for some years."   (Buffalo Morning Express, September 20, 1875 cited in The History and Lore of the Buffalo Yacht Club, 1860-1960. Buffalo, N.Y., 1960 and Jamestown Daily Journal, November 6, 1875, p 1).

After coming to Jamestown, C.C. Beck continued building and racing sailboats and was involved in the early regattas on Chautauqua Lake in the 1870s. His 19-foot Naiad won in 1871 and his Neptune won the 1873 regatta setting a course record 20 minutes faster than all previous finishes. The developing interest in regattas and Beck's early success with his boats led to additional business.
Last Fall several orders were given to Mr. C. C. Beck, our accomplished boat builder here, for yachts, to be built in first-class style and to possess among other qualities, speed. Several yachts which had been on the Lake for a number of years and used mainly for pleasure boats, were placed in his charge with orders to fit them up for speed.
Jamestown Daily Journal, June 3, 1872, p 4.
Jamestown Journal,  May 11,1866, p 3.

C. C. Beck and the development of the Chautauqua Lake ice industry

C.C. Beck seems to have been the pioneer of the commercial ice industry on Chautauqua Lake. He had constructed by 1865 a large warehouse at the Boat Landing in Jamestown which was lost in a flood that year.11  He rebuilt and in the 1870's the business was listed as Beck & Johnson.  It was the singular Ice Dealer in the 1875 Jamestown City Directory.

His partner was John W. Johnson, a Dane from Hjørring who had arrived in Jamestown in 1866.12  They dissolved their business in 1879 and a year later Beck & Son sold their remaining ice business to Herman Johnson and Bros, and this company became part of the Jamestown Ice Company (Jamestown Daily Journal, October 29, 1880, p 4).

C.C. Beck's mother Edel died in Jamestown 4 September 1877 at the age of 86.  Charles C. Beck died on 21 July 188813 at age 62.  His wife Caroline lived to be 83 years old and died 26 April 1907.  All were buried in Lake View Cemetery.

J. Mortensen

The identity of J. Mortensen has not been determined. If Greenlund's list is accurate, Mortensen must have emigrated from Bornholm before 1857 thereby discounting his identity as Peter Morgan who arrived in 1862.

H. Anker

The identity of H. Anker has not been determined. It is very likely that this refers to John Anchor who was working in the household of Asahel B. Tracy, a cabinetmaker in Mayville in 1860.  However, he has not been identified in the 1865 nor the 1870 census.  And, he has not been identified in the list of emigrants from Bornholm..

L. Tideman 

Lawrence H. Tideman born Lorentz Henrik Thidemann 14 August 1834 in Rønne, Bornholm, was the son of Jens Christian Thidemann (1804-1883) and Karen Margrethe Morgensen (abt 1798-1840).  In 1850 he was an apprentice with Ole Boss, master painter in Rønne and he was living in Copenhagen in 1855.  He emigrated and was living in Jamestown in 1860.  Tideman became well known in Jamestown as a carriage painter and sign painter, and received a U.S. Patent 147,531 Plastering-Boards for Walls, issued 25 July 1873.

About 1872 he married a dressmaker named Anna Ueberle [sp?] who was a German immigrant from Baden.  She died in 1893. He died 20 July 1899 at his daughter's house in Jamestown.  Both were buried in Lake View Cemetery.

A. C. Holmes

Andrew C. Holmes born Andreas Christian Holm on 11 January 1833 in Allinge-Sandvig parish, Bornholm, was the son of Peder Nicolas Holm (1806-1873) and Kirstine Wilhelmine Lind (1808-1883) and was a first cousin of the Romer brothers.  He apprenticed as a blacksmith with his father and emigrated from Bornholm in 1854.14

In 1863, Holmes married an American, Julia Fitch, who was born in Leon, Cattaraugus County in 1842. He was a merchant and salesman in Jamestown, except for a few years operating a store in Ellington in the 1860s.  He died 30 April 1919 in Jamestown.

His younger brother was born Nicolai Havold Holm on 29 December 1841 and emigrated to America in 1858.  Nicholas was listed in the household of A.C. Holmes in the Town of Ellington in 1865 while he served in the Levant Sharpshooters (New York 1st Battalion Sharpshooters, Company 7).  He was captured and was a P.O.W. in Libby Prison and later escaped from Salisbury Prison in North Carolina.  After the war he was a graduate of Allegheny College and became a Methodist minister.15

Marcus P. Jacobsen

The first Dane to settle in Jamestown was Marcus P. Jacobsen who arrived in late 1855 or early 1856.  Some local histories indicate that he arrived in 1854,16  however, he was enumerated in 1855 in Rønne and a list of Bornholm emigrants indicates that he left for America in October 1855.

Marius Peter Jacobsen was born in Polvsker parish in Bornholm on 23 June 1834, the third child of Jacob Hansen (1791-1846) and Mette Kirstine Mogensdatter (1799-1864).  Jacobsen apprenticed with the blacksmith Jørgen Bjørnsen in Rønne.

 In Jamestown he expanded his work as a blacksmith to include wagonmaking and found success in his trade.  He received U.S. Patent  No. 528,598, dated November 6, 1894 for a design for carriage steering and suspension. Jacobsen became active in other investments, including land development.

In 1857, Jacobsen married Christina Sophia Larsdotter [1851.162] the daughter of  Lars Israelsson (1807-1848) and Anna Caijsa Jonsdotter (1814-1895).  Her mother had arrived as a widow with her children in 1851 and in Jamestown she married her husband's brother and was known as Mrs. Israel (Anna C.) Israelson [1851.160].  They were founding members of the Swedish Methodist congregation in Jamestown.   Alongside his wife, Jacobsen became prominent among the Methodists.  He also became part of the larger (non-Scandinavian) community in Jamestown, for example, "M. P. Jacobson [sic.] joined the [Ellicott Hook and Ladder] company in 1857." (Jamestown Evening Journal, June 15, 1904, p 9).

Marcus P. Jacobsen died at age 85 in Jamestown 8 Jan 1920.  His wife, Sophia had died 12 September 1913.  Both were buried in Lake View Cemetery.

The Greenlund Brothers

Peter and Nelson Greenlund were among many young Scandinavian men who came to America to look for gold in California.  Born Mogens Peter Grønlund on 18 Jan 1831 and Niels Grønlund on 15 Oct 1834 in Rønne, Bornholm, Peter and Nelson were the first of five sons of Herman Peter Grønlund (1799-1882) and Caroline Fredrikke Hintze (1797-1866) to emigrate.  Nelson arrived in 1857 in Buffalo without sufficient funds to continue to California and then traveled to Jamestown to work for Marcus P. Jacobsen for the remainder of the year.  In 1858 Nelson's earnings allowed him to sail to California by way of transfer across the isthmus of Panama.  His older brother Peter and younger brother Christian (August Christian Grønlund, born 25 January 1837, who emigrated in 1858) met up with him in California and after a couple years they returned to our area and then settled in Warren.

Greenlund Letterhead. Source: Worthpoint.
Nelson Greenlund married about 1861 an American, Mary Louise Sadler (b. 20 May 1844, Chautauqua County).   In 1862 he began a furniture manufacturing business with his brothers Peter and Christian.  In 1879 he opened a prominent furniture store in Warren. He also was an undertaker, evidently running the two businesses from the same store front.

Brothers Andrew (Andreas Johan Grønlund born 3 November 1827, emigrated 1869 with his family) and Herman (Herman Peter Grønlund, born 11 Mar 1833, emigrated in 1867) also settled in our area.


Nicholas and John P. Romer, ca 1860s.
Tintype, collection of Bornholm Museum.
Mrs. Nicholas (Jane) Romer, ca 1867
Bornholm Museum collection BM322.

Romer Brothers

Nicholas Romer born Lars Nicolaj Rømer on 26 September 1836 in Rønne, Bornholm, was the son of skipper Andreas Petter Rømer (1803-1849) and Christiana Holm (1802-1879). In the 1855 Danish census, Nicolas and his older brother Anders Christian were apprentices to their uncle Hovald Holm, a blacksmith in Rønne.  Nicholas emigrated in 1857 and was living in the Marcus P. Jacobsen household in the 1860 United States census.  In 1861 he married Johanna Larsdotter [1851.163], the younger sister of Sophia Larsdotter who had married Marcus P. Jacobsen.

Nicolas Romer was joined in America by his younger brother, Hans Peter (1841-1900) in 1862 who would go by the name John P. Romer in America. Both worked in the Jefford's Axe Factory in Jamestown. The Romer brothers then began in business for themselves in 1876 in Gowanda and later in Dunkirk. The Romer Bros. Mfg. Company operated from 1876 until 1889 when it became part of American Axe & Tool Co. and continued operations into the 1920s.

Jacob Riis noted in his memoir the great hospitality he had received from Nicholas Romer while in Jamestown and his enduring friendship with the Romer brothers.17

Peter Morgan

Peter Morgan drowned in Chautauqua Lake on 15 July 1867,18  leaving behind his wife Marie Lovisa Andersdotter [1852.081] and an infant, Charles Morgan, born 18 August 1866 in Jamestown. Morgan was a cabinetmaker working for Breed & Co. and had likely arrived in Jamestown in 1862.  In 1865 he was living in Jamestown in the household of harness-maker Vernon Morley and was listed as 25 years old (1840).

The identity of Peter Morgan has not been determined.  A biography of John Kofod, that was likely co-written by his wife, indicated that Morgan was born in Denmark on 8 August 1843.19  He was not the same age and arrived later than the other Bornholm Danes and therefore is not likely to have been the J. Mortensen listed by Greenlund.  Peter Morgan was listed as Johan Peter Morgon in the First Lutheran membership records (Jamestown First Lutheran, Ministerial Acts 1864-1888, p 101).  No corroborated information connects him with Bornholm.

John Kofod

John Kofod born Hans Julius Kofod on 29 Dec 1839 in Åker parish, Bornholm was the son of Hans Kofod and Gertrude Line Jensdatter.  He apprenticed in Rønne with blacksmith Christian Holm and was in that household in the 1855 Danish census.  He emigrated from Nexø 29 October 1856 with destination California and he arrived in Jamestown in 1863. He worked with John Romer at the Jefford's Axe factory and began a competing firm after the fire that ended Jefford's operation.  After six years he sold his interest in that company and opened a grocery store in Jamestown that grew to be one of the largest in the city.

John Kofod married in 1868 the widow of Peter Morgan.  Mrs. John (Lovisa) Kofod [1852.081] was born 21 February 1847 in Karlstorp parish, Jönköpings län and arrived with her family in 1852. Her parents were founding members of the Swedish Methodist congregation in Jamestown.  She died 30 April 1923 in Jamestown.

A Kofod Disambiguation

The surname Kofod (with various spellings) is a surname particular to Bornholm and is about as common as Anderson or Johnson is in Jamestown.  

James T. Koffod

An unidentified Dane named James T. Koffod made his Declaration of Intent to become an American Citizen in Buffalo on 1 Nov 1852, the same day as C.C. Beck.20

John C. Kofoed

John C. Kofoed born Hans Christian Nielsen Kofod in Allinge-Sandvig (not in Hasle) parish, Bornholm on 12 March 1835 was the son of Niels Nielsen Kofod and Karen Pedersdatter of Allinge.  In 1860 he was working as a journeyman cabinetmaker in Randolph, Cattaraugus County. He married Jeanette Perry of Crawford County in 1861 and they were living in Randolph in 1865.  They then moved their family to Kansas and were listed in the 1870 and 1880 census.  She died in 1880 and has a grave marker alongside her family in Sunnyside Cemetery in Centerville, Crawford County.  John C. Kofoed died 27 January 1910 in Los Angeles, California. It does not seem that he was related to John Kofod.

James Kofoed

James Kofoed was living next door to the John C. Kofoed family in Eugene, Shawnee County, Kansas in 1870 and this likely establishes that he was Hans Christian Kofod’s older brother Jens.  Jens Kofoed was born 23 December 1832 in Allinge and had apprenticed alongside Marcus P. Jacobsen in the shop of Jorgen Christian Bjorn (where both were listed in the 1855 Danish census).  It is likely that Jens Kofoed  was listed in 1860 as "James Kafford, blacksmith" in Charlotte township (Gerry) in Chautauqua County living in the household of John M. Brunson (NY).  In 1865 James Kofod was still living in Charlotte and had married  Eliza (age 40, born in Chautauqua County, her second marriage) and was again listed as a blacksmith.

James P. Sanders

James P. Sanders born Jens Peter Sandbye in Nylarsker parish, Bornholm on 17 October 1841 was the son of Jørgen Sandbye and Karen Kirstine Jensdatter. Sanders apprenticed as a tailor with Peter Sørensen in Rønne and emigrated about 1861. He married Clara Denslow, an American born 1840 in Chautauqua County and was a tailor for decades in Jamestown. He died in 29 July 1923 and is buried in Lake View Cemetery.

There are other relevant Danes, including Charles Ipsen, John Bidstrup, John Dimmick, et al. whose life in Jamestown and Warren have not been researched.


  1. Nelson Greenlund was born 15 Oct 1834 in Rønne, Bornholm and died 6 September 1910 in Warren.  His obituary included a short biography, see Warren Times Mirror, September 6, 1910, p 2.

    The group from Bornholm living in Buffalo were close in age and were from Rønne or had apprenticed there:  L. Tideman (1834),  M. P. Jacobsen (1834), A. C. Holmes (1834), and Nelson Greenlund (1834).  C. C. Beck (1826) and Caroline C. Beck (1825) were notably their seniors.

  2. C. Beck refers to Carl Christian Beck, more commonly referred to as C.C. Beck (1826 Karlshamn – 1888 Jamestown).

    Posts by Inge S. Jensen to DIS-Danmark.dk forums led me to her research about C.C. Beck that identified his Danish parentage. I have checked the birth and household records confirming the documentation of this family. 

  3. Documentation for C.C. Beck includes:
    1826 Birth: Swedish Church records, Karlshamn CI:5 (1823-1849), np (image 53). (AID: v96013.b53, NAD: SE/LLA/13199)
    1833 Emigration to Denmark: Swedish Church records, Karlshamn BI:2 (1829-1838) p 34. (AID: v96004.b37.s34, NAD: SE/LLA/13199)
    1834 DK Census: Family No. F2, Matr No. 486e, Nørre Qvarter, Rønne Parish, Vester Hundred, Bornholm amt.  See Danish Family Search.
    1840 Confirmation: Rønne parish, Hovedministerialbog 1835-1845, p 118 (image 398/506). See Arkivalieronline.
    1840 DK Census: Family No F4, Matr No. 135, Sønder Qvarter, Rønne Parish, Vester Hundred, Bornholm amt.  See Danish Family Search.
    1845 DK Census: Family No. 329/F3, Øster Kvarter, Rønne Parish, Vester Hundred, Bornholm amt.  See Danish Family Search.
    Emigration from Denmark (not located)
    Immigration to America (not located)
    1849 Buffalo Residence: 1849-1850 Commercial Advertiser, Directory for the City of Buffalo, Buffalo: Jewett, Thomas & Co, 1849, p 112. See BuffaloResearch.com
    1850 Census (not located in US or Denmark)
    1852 Alien Declaration: Erie County Court, Alien Declarations, Liber 8, p 165. See Family Search.
    1855 NYS Census: Family No. 125, Buffalo Ward 8, Erie County, New York
    1856 Citizenship Petition: Erie County Superior Court, Naturalization records, Liber 5, Page 411. See Family Search.
    1860 US Census: Household No. 1052, Buffalo Ward 8, Erie County, New York
    1865 NYS Census: Household No. 132,Jamestown, ED 02, Ellicott, Chautauqua County, New York
    1870 US Census: Household No. 44, Jamestown P.O., Ellicott, Chautauqua County, New York
    1875 NYS Census: Household No. 143, Jamestown ED 2, Chautauqua County, New York
    1880 US Census: Household No. 3, Jamestown, ED 55, Chautauqua County, New York
    1888 Death: Death Certificate No. 3431, Lake View Cemetery records, Jamestown, New York.  See New York Heritage Digital Collections.

    A note about Niels Beck:  my research has not clarified if Niels Beck had been granted a divorce or was in the process of getting a divorce from Dorothea Winkler.  Moving to Denmark (a foreign nation) was a common basis for divorce in Sweden in this time period, and conversely, it may have been a reason for Niels Beck's relocation to Karlshamn.

  4. J. Mortensen has not been identified.

  5. H. Ancker likely refers to John Anchor – Danes named Jens and Hans often adopted the name John in America.

    There was a Danish photographer in Akron OH (date unknown) named H.P. Acker whose photo is included in the collection of Bornholm Museum. 

  6. L. Tidemen refers to Lawrence H. Tideman (1834 Rønne, Bornholm – 1899 Jamestown)

  7. A.C. Holmes refers to Andrew C. Holmes (1833 Allinge-Sandvig parish, Bornholm – 1919 Jamestown)  Note:  I have not been able to locate him on ships arriving in New York City at the end of August 1854 (as per his obituary).  Nor have I been able to locate him in the 1855 or 1860 census.

  8. Marcus Jacobsen (1834 Polvsker, Bornholm – 1920 Jamestown)

  9. Bornholm and Lolland-Falster were the regions with the highest rate of emigration (138 emigrants per 1000 population) based on census data between 1870 and 1901, see Kristian Hvidt, Flight to America: The Social Background of 300.000 Danish Emigrants. New York: Academic Press, 1975, p 40-41. Available in digital format.

    For a study of Bornholm emigration see Henning Bender, “Den oversøiske udvandring fra Bornholm og Danmark 1840-1940.” Bornholmske Samlinger 2011, Rønne, Denmark, 2011, p 2-41.  Also available in digital format.  This reference was of great help in understanding the Greenlund family (Grønlund).

    Please note that this article included an error regarding the identity of Mrs. Nicholas Romer, of which Mr. Bender is aware.

  10. New York State statistical summaries.  See Franklin B.Hough. Census of the State of New York for 1855: Taken in Pursuance of Article Third of the Constitution of the State and of Chapter Sixty-Four of the Laws of 1855. Albany: Printed by C. Van Benthuysen, 1857. Digital version available in several volumes from the New York State Library.

    The Danes enumerated in Chautauqua County may have been a German married to a Dane.  The Carl A. Zimmerman family lived in the Town of Pomfret in 1855 and then moved to Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County.  This family arrived 21 April 1854 aboard the barque ELISE in New York City from Hamburg and the manifest indicated that their origin was "Holsteen."  Schleswig-Holstein was the territory lost by Denmark to Germany in 1864, so the listing of the Zimmerman family as Danes was part of an identity that became more complicated.  The 1880 census listed the origin of Mary Zimmerman as Denmark and her deceased husband Charles (Carl) as Holstein.

  11. Obituary for Caroline C. Beck
    DEATH OF MRS C.C. BECK. Aged Citizen of Jamestown Passed Away Thursday Afternoon. The death of Caroline C. Beck, widow of Charles C. Beck, occurred at the family home, 17 West Seventh street, Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the advanced ago of 82 years, seven days. She leaves one daughter, Miss Anna L. Beck; two grandsons, Chas.O. and Lemotte A. Beck; and one great grandson, Earl C. Beck. Mrs. Beck was one of the early Danish residents of Jamestown. She was born in Ronne, Denmark in 1825. She came to this country in 1852, residing then at Buffalo where in the autumn of the same year she met and was married to Charles C. Beck, a resident of Buffalo. About 12 years later they removed to Jamestown where Mr. Beck for a number of years conducted a boat livery at the city dock. His death occurred some years ago. Mrs. Beck was well and favorably known especially among the older Danish residents of the city. She had many excellent qualities which endeared her to her friends. The privilege of seeing the remains is given to all friends Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The funeral will be held privately Saturday afternoon.
    Jamestown Evening Journal, April 26, 1907, p 12.

  12. Flood in Jamestown, March 1865

    The Elements on the Rampage! – A Small Deluge and a Repectable Hurricane! – "Water, Water, Everywhere!" - Great Loss of Property! – The "Oldest Inhabitant" Dumb-founded!

    The greatest wetting-down this section of country ever took has been prevalent for a week past, consequent upon the thawing of the tremendous snow of the past winter’s stock and heavy rains. Early in March the snow commenced to disapper [sic] in an easy and gradual manner, highly encouraging. The streams were "full," but not very "high" – had taken just enough to "feel well." On Thursday of last week it commenced to rain, and continued so to do heavily for two days and a night, by which time "the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth." The water rose rapidly and by Friday night it was higher than any living inhabitant ever before saw it, on the tributaries of the Alleghany...


    The most serious and deplorable loss in any one case hereabouts is the destruction of BECK’S monster ice-house at the Boat Landing. The water surrounded it, melted the lower strata of ice and that above slipped down in a wedge-fashion so as to burst the building apart and ruin the whole in a few hours. What did not melt was drawn away and stored in private ice-houses. There were 1,200 tons of ice in it, the work of the whole winter. Mr. B.’s loss will be $5,000. It is a serious loss to the village also, as many who usually furnish their own ice were depending on his stock for their supply.

    Jamestown Journal, March 24, 1865, p 3.

    Thanks to Norman Carlson for forwarding this article to me. Available in digital format.

  13. John W. Johnson was born Jeppe Johansen on 19 July 1844 in Tversted parish, Hjørring amt, Denmark the son of Johan Christian Jeppesen and Maren Larsdatter.  Two sisters and a brother also emigrated and the date of birth (2 December 1851) of his younger brother Charles Johnson and the names and ages of his sisters corroborate this identification.  J. W. Johnson died 12 March 1918 and was buried in Lake View Cemetery.

  14. C. C. Beck is by and large omitted from local histories despite his essential role in the Danish community in Jamestown.

    Alcoholism was the cause of death listed on his death certificate.  This possibly motivated the remarkable erasure of his contributions from local histories and his minor consideration in the obituary of his wife.  The expunged record of C. C. Beck's accomplishments occurred during the era of the Temperance movement whose influence in the Jamestown area was significant, especially among prominent Swedes and Danes.

  15. A.C. Holmes connects to other Bornholm emigrants: 1) his aunt Christiane Holm (1802-1879) was the mother of Nicholas and John P Romer; 2) his uncle Christian Holm (1810-1884) was the master blacksmith with whom John Kofod apprenticed; 3) his uncle Hovald Holm (1804-1890) was the master blacksmith with whom Nicholas Romer apprenticed; and 4) his brother was Nicholas H. Holmes.

    Obituary for Andrew C. Holmes
    Andrew Christian Holmes, whose death occurred Wednesday, April 30, at the family residence, 825 Prendergast avenue, was born at Allinge on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark, January 11, 1833. When eleven years old, while studying English, he made this vow; "I will go to America and use this language if God lets me live to be a man." This purpose grew stronger with the advancing years and at 21 he took passage alone, the first boy to leave Bornholm for America. He arrived in New York August 28, 1854, and for a time lived in Buffalo, then came to Jamestown where he lived until 1861 when he located In Ellington, N. Y. There he conducted a general store and became identified with the life of the community. On June 10, 1863, he married Julia Fitch, and to them were born four children, Emily W., Catherine L., Mary P., who died in 1910, and Albro C. Holmes. After spending a year in his boyhood home he moved to Jamestown, where for more than 30 years he has been an honored and respected citizen. Mr. Holmes was a member of the First Congregational church and a faithful attendant until prevented by failing health.
    Jamestown Evening Journal, May 1, 1919, p 6.

  16. Rev. Nicholas Howell Holmes (1841 Rønne –1915 Washington, D.C.)  Biographical information from Find-a-grave ID 17915248 .

  17. "The first Dane to arrive in Jamestown was a 20 year old blacksmith and carriage maker, Marcus P. Jacobsen, who came in 1854." part of the Jamestown centennial history "The Coming of the Races" Jamestown Evening Journal, June 21, 1927, p 13.  As noted, this year of immigration is incorrect, the research about Danes for this centennial history was by the John Love (1848 Bornholm-1923 Jamestown). Olaf A. Olson noted: "The first Dane came here in 1855, and he was M.P. Jacobson [sic]. The departed C.C. Beck was one of the first, also." Olof A. Olson, "The Swedes" in Obed Edson and G. Drew Merrill (eds), History of Chautauqua County, New York. Boston: W.A. Fergusson, 1894, p 748. Available in digital format.

    For Jacobsen's listing in the 1855 Danish census see Danish Family Search. The date of the enumeration was 1 February 1855.

    Mrs. Marcus P. Jacobsen was one of the children of Lars Peter Israelsson and Anna Caijsa Jonsdotter. All of their children were born in Mörlunda parish and emigrated with their mother to Jamestown, and included:
    1. John P. Lawson, 26 Aug 1834 - 21 Aug 1918 Jamestown, New York
    2. Mrs. Michael (Louisa A.) Sullivan, 5 Apr 1837 - 7 Oct 1912 Revere, Massachusetts
    3. Mrs. Marcus P. (Sophie C.) Jacobsen, 25 Oct 1839 - 12 Sep 1913 Jamestown, New York
    4. Charles Lawson, 11 Feb 1842 - 16 Dec 1929 Carroll Township, Chautauqua County, New York
    5. Mrs. Nicholas (Jane C.) Romer, 1 Jan 1845 - 28 Jul 1931 Dunkirk, New York

  18. Jacob A. Riis. The Making of an American. New York: Macmillan, 1902, p 79.  Available in digital format.

    See also Romer family biographies in John Phillips Downs (ed). History of Chautauqua County, New York, And Its People, Volume 2. Boston: American historical Society, 1921, p 162-163. Available in digital format.

  19. Peter Morgan drowned in Chautauqua lake 15 July 1867.
    A Dane named PETER MORGAN was last Saturday drowned in the Lake off Griffith's Point, where he had gone with a picnic party of Danes from this place. He went out into the Lake in a skiff with two other men for a bath; could not swim; let himself down into the water by the boat and presently -- either from fear or by reason of a cramp -- let go his hold and after a little struggle went to the bottom before help could reach him. His body was fished up some hours afterwards with a hook and line. Deceased was about 30 years old; leaves a wife and one child. He was a cabinet-maker; has been about six years employed in BREED'S shop; was a very superior workman, a steady, industrious man.  His funeral took place on Sunday from the Lutheran Church.
    Jamestown Journal, July 19, 1867, p 3.

  20. Butler F. Dilley. Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York: With a Historical Sketch of the County. Philadelphia: J.M. Gresham, 1891, p 516. Available in digital format.

  21. Erie County Court, Alien Declarations, Liber 8, p 165.   LDS Film # 007776685, image 174/623 available online through FamilySearch.

14 February 2018

William H. Storum, Jr. and Elias Sanbury

Certificates for Bengt Johnson aka John Benson [i1416] and
Elias Sandberg aka Elias Sanbury. Chautauqua County Court Records,
Naturalizations, Book 4, p 72, 73. Source: LDS/Familysearch.org
The naturalization record for Elias Sanbury [1851.088] includes witness names that I transcribed as William Stomm and William Henry Stomm. Norman Carlson (Fenton History Center) was kind enough not to laugh at my ignorance of early Chautauqua County history – and corrected this to William Storum and his son William Henry Storum. The Storum family are arguably1  as consequential in history as the Prendergasts and yet I did not recall ever learning about this pioneer family of Busti.

My interest is in the relationship between William Henry Storum, Jr (1815-1888) and Elias Sanbury (1812–1888) during their three-and-a-half decades as neighbors.

Elias Sanbury was born Elias Samuelsson 18 February 1812 at Åstugan, Hässleby parish, Jönköpings län and was known in the army (Smålands husarregemente) as Elias Sandberg and later went by a phonetic spelling of this surname – Sanbury. After leaving the military he married Christina Charlotta Carlsdotter Berg – both were from career military families. Elias and his wife emigrated from Vena (Hvena) parish in 1851. They traveled with his wife’s parents from Hässleby parish aboard the Swedish bark Preciosa and during the crossing had their first child, Carl.2   They arrived in New York City on 8 September 1851.

Sanbury and his family spent the winter near Chandlers Valley, Warren County and then purchased/leased a house and farm from William Storum, Sr. in 1852.3  Two more children4  were born to the Sanburys at this farm. Elias Sanbury worked this land the rest of his life and died 15 September 1888, likely at his Busti farm.  His wife Charlotte died in 1897.

Detail from “Busti” in New Topographical Atlas Of  Chautauqua
County, New York. 1867, plate 11. The New York Public Library
Digital Collections image id 1583126.  Lionel Pincus and
Princess Firyal Map Division, New York Public Library.
A review of the Agricultural Schedules of the censuses for 1860, 1870 and 1880 show that the farming activities of Sanbury were similar to the Storum farm. They had good land, good animals and relative prosperity.

William Henry Storum, Jr. was born about 18155  in Oneida County, New York .  His family arrived in Chautauqua County in 1816 and settled on 100 acres of wilderness in Lot 18, Town 1, Range 12 purchased from the Holland Land Company.

After nearly 35 years of raising their family on this farmstead, his parents, William and Sarah Storum, had developed 75 acres and retained a woodlot of 25 acres. In 1850 their farm produced 500 lbs. of maple syrup (about 45 gallons/170 liters), plus 800 lbs. (360 kg) of butter and 100 lbs. (45 kg) of cheese from eight well-valued milk cows. They took 30 tons of hay from their meadows, sold $25 worth of orchard products (likely apples) and grew a mix of wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. The primary work of the farm involved a herd of 400 sheep (possibly Merino) that produced 877 lbs (400 kg) of wool. In addition to the sheep and milk cows they had 4 horses and 20 head of cattle.

Lewis Clarke purchased two tracts of farm land (Lot 10 and 9) adjacent to the Storum farm in 1850 and this was the residence of Charlotte Storum and Lewis G. Clarke as newlyweds in 1850. Charlotte died that year. The farm production listed above does not include the additional yield from this second farm run by son-in-law, Lewis Clarke. That farm was reported to be 35 acres of developed land and 25 acres as undeveloped woodland. The 49 acre tract was sold by Clarke to William Storum in 1852 (Chautauqua County Deeds, Liber 63, page 37) and this was then sold to Elias Sanbury (whose title was registered in 1856). Clarke sold the 8 acre tract to Daniel Larkins (Chautauqua County Deeds, Liber 63, page 62).

It was this farm that hosted Frederick Douglass when he traveled to Sugar Grove in June 1854 for a convention of abolitionists. Like most others, he was impressed by the Storum family.

“...The crowning Convention was held Saturday and Sunday, in a beautiful grove in SUGAR GROVE, Warren County, Pennsylvania, about three miles from Busti. The responsibility of getting up this meeting rested upon the Storum family at Busti - an enterprising family of farmers, well to do on the world and when I tell you that these industrious and well to do farmers are of the color of you and me, you will derive from it the right lesson, and draw from it the right hopes for our whole people. I observed that this family (it is a large one) had so deported itself, that the white people, among whom they moved, appeared to regard and treat them precisely as respectable people ought to be treated. Mr. and Mrs. Storum went from Utica into Chautauqua County, nearly forty years ago, and carried all they then owned on the back of a single ox. There were no roads then as now; they traveled in the woods, by cuts in the trees and reached their present home at the need of three weeks. They have raised a large family and are now surrounded with every needed comfort, and withal, are not too old or worn out to enjoy it. The example thus glanced at, is worthy to be followed. I call upon colored men in cities all over the country to turn their faces to the wilderness, and follow the brave example set them by Mr. and Mrs. Storum..." 
 Frederick Douglass, “Letter from the Editor,” Frederick Douglass’ Paper. June 23, 1854.6 

We don’t know what Frederick Douglass thought about the Swedes.

Tragedy hit the Storum family in the 1850s.  In addition to Charlotte Storum's death as a newlywed in 1850, there were three other losses. Sidney Wills, Sarah's oldest son by her first marriage, who had also lived and worked on the farm, died in 1854 at age 43. Sarah Storum, herself, died from an apparent stroke in 1856 at age 66. The youngest son, Richard Storum, died at age 19 in 1857.

The agricultural census for 1860 noted that the Storum farm no longer raised sheep, but continued with their other livestock and crops. The family's personal losses seem to explain this redirection of the farm, although there had also been a continuing downturn in wool prices. By 1860 William Storum, Sr. was seventy-two years old and the work of the 140 acre farm would have rested on the shoulders of William Henry Storum. William Storum, Sr. died at age 86 in 1874.  Census reports suggest that William Henry carried on with the farm for the rest of his life. William Henry Storum, Jr. died 8 December 18887  in Busti, three months after Elias Sanbury. He had never married and the farm was sold outside the family by the remaining heirs.

The few family anecdotes that I have read suggest a warm relationship developed between the Storum and Sanbury families. Hopefully additional research will turn up relevant and substantial details.

Speculation about the experiences of these two families is attractive.

  • Elias Sanbury was ex-military and likely formidable.8   His son was described in his obituary in 1911 as a giant of a man with incredible strength. Stories in the Storum family likewise indicate that William Henry Storum, Jr. was a big man.9   It is not unreasonable to consider that the Sanburys may have been sold their farm as a means towards added protection for the Storum family during this era of the Fugitive Slave Law and their active role in the underground railroad.
  • These neighbors were physically close, a situation that was unusual in these rural areas.  The second Storum house was likely built for one of their children.  Once the Sanbury family moved in this would have made an unusual social situation. The map above shows the proximity of the two houses.

The contrast and similarities of these two men lacks evidence. A timeline of these two families in the 1850s follows the endnotes.

Towards the larger issue,  I have not yet found enough information on the subject of immigrant Swedes and how they engaged with the African-American community in our area. If you know of anecdotes or references please send them to jamestownswedes@hotmail.com

Other Anecdotes of Scandinavians and African-Americans

L.H. Tideman [i3399]  1834 Rønne parish, Bornholm, Denmark - 19 July 1899 Jamestown

Card of Thanks
   The colored people of Jamestown desire us to return their hearty thanks to their fellow citizens for the aid and sympathy rendered in helping them to take part in the celebration of the ratification of the 15th Amendment, at Corry on the 26th inst.  They desire also to return special acknowledgement to Mr. L.H. Tideman, for the banner he painted for the occasion - the finest one that appeared in the procession.
Source: Jamestown Journal, May 6, 1870, p 8.

Elmer H. Jones [i0545] 24 March 1873 Chandlers Valley - 8 April 1962 North Warren

The blues singer, Lizzie Miles, started her touring career at fifteen working with the Jones Brother Circus and the related minstrel shows and stayed with the Jones circuses for four years.  Her interviews in the late 1950s seem to indicate a fond memory of the Swedish-American show owners.


  1. The Storum family is significant not just in local history, but in our national history:  1) the family arrived in Chautauqua County in 1816 and purchased a tract from the Holland Land Company which they developed into a prosperous farm; 2) the family was instrumental in the anti-slavery movement of Sugar Grove and were virtually the hosts for the Sugar Grove Convention in June 1854; 3) the family’s farm was a real stop on the underground railroad and was the site of the William Harrison abduction in 1851; 4) the Storum daughters married two influential leaders in the anti-slavery movement, Rev. Jermain W. Loguen and Lewis G. Clarke; and 5) the family’s pioneer independence, prosperity and African-American roots served as a referential example of black potential in America to Frederick Douglass who later influenced Abraham Lincoln’s thinking about the post-slavery place of African-Americans in the United States.

  2. Charles Sanbury [1851.090] was born 6 Aug 1851 At Sea and died 28 Mar 1911 Busti, Chautauqua County.  Birth date based on obituary in Vårt Land, 30 March 1911, p 1.

  3. "After a year in Sugar Grove in the Patchen neighborhood [just west of Chandlers Valley], they settled in Busti, in 1852, on Sanbury Road, (named after them) on a farm which they bought from ones who had purchased directly from the Holland Land Company." Lucy Darrow Peake, Biographies of the early families of the town of Busti, Chautauqua County, New York, p 49. 

    Title for this property was registered in Mayville in 1856, See Chautauqua County Deeds, Book 73, p 218.

  4. Mrs. August (Julia) Lindquist (1854-1941) and J. William Sanbury (1858-1944).

  5. His birth date is listed in family trees posted on Ancestry.com as 19 October 1814 in Whitesboro, Oneida County, but I have not corroborated this date.  His age was consistently reported in the U.S. censuses.

  6. This transcription is from a secondary source previously available on the internet, I have not yet compared it to the original. See "Anti-Slavery Sites in Warren, PA" [www.paundergroundrailroad.com/sites.htm accessed 2006.02.22 and captured as  web.archive.org/web/20060222234101/www.paundergroundrailroad.com/sites.htm accessed 2018.02.09]

  7. Death Certificate No. 42660.  I have not yet checked the original.  Referenced in the NY State Death Index, New York Department of Health, Albany, NY; data available in Ancestry.com. New York, Death Index, 1880-1956.

  8. Muster rolls for his regiment are available online and provide brief descriptions of each cavalryman and substantial information about his horse.  These muster rolls have not yet been checked.

    His son's physicality was described as: "I sin ungdom var den aflidne en veritabel jätte och i lyftandet af tyngder kunde få mäta sig med honom." roughly translated as In his youth, the deceased was a veritable giant and unsurpassed in lifting weights. Vårt Land, 30 March 1911, p 1.

  9. A blog by Jane Beecher about the Storum family provides personal details, much based on her research in the Gregoria Fraser Goins Papers at Howard University.  Mrs. Goins was the great-granddaughter of William and Sarah Storum.

  10. See Carver C. Gayton, When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar: The Saga of Lewis G. Clarke, Born a "white" Slave. Xlibris, 2014, for biographical details.

  11. Obituary published in The Weslyan (Syracuse), Vol. XIV, No. 141 (September 10, 1856), p 2. 

    SARAH STORUM. —Died in Busti, Chautauque Co., N. Y., July 30, 1856, Sarah, wife of Mr. Wm. Storum, aged 66 years.

    Mrs. Storum was in the enjoyment of usual health, surrounded by a party of kind friends and neighbors, who had come to make her a social visit, and while preparing with her wonted cheerfulness and sociability for their entertainment, was seized with Paralysis, which in a few short hours effected her dissolution, and the immortal "spirit returned to God; who gave it". Thus the scene of social pleasure became very unexpectedly, the scene of unutterable sorrow and lamentation; showing that, "in the midst of life we are in death," -- and....[illegible]... Be ye also ready,man cometh."

    The deceased enjoyed more than an ordinary share of the confidence and esteem of the community in which she had long resided, and also that of an extensive circle of friends and acquaintance, by whom she was frequently visited.— Mrs. Storum was a woman of superior mould both physically and mentally; and though denominated "colored," yet few ladies of any complexion excelled her in gracefulness of person or manners. Possessed of a vigorous constitution, of a mind of superior capacity, and having the heart of a kind and virtuous woman, she was indeed a wife, a mother, and a mistress of a family, of whom her now much bereaved partner, might well feel proud.

    She came to this town 40 years ago, with her husband and three young children. With their ax, a yoke of oxen, and a few household goods, they penetrated the dense forest and became the pioneers of this. country. Locating themselves upon land that they occupied at the time of her death, they, by their industry and the blessings of a kind Providence, caused "the wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose."

    The writer visited for the first time the family of the deceased, about 22 years ago, and found beneath her roof, those evidences of neatness and comfort which few of the surrounding families then exhibited. She was not only the presiding angel of her own domestic circle, but also, the "ministring angel," of the afflicted in the neighborhood where she lived, — her sympathetic nature, her patient industry, and her superior taste and neatness in the management of household affairs, made her a welcome visitant at the bed side of the sick, and in the house of mourning. Indeed, her worth is generally acknowledged throughout this community; and though the "prejudice of color" is not entirely conquered here, yet her good sense, her superior virtue, and her lady-like deportment, were strikingly calculated to silence the ravings of this foul spirit. She was the agree- able companion and associate of the comparitively wealthy and aristocratic, as well as of those in "the humble walk of life."

    But, may I not say, she has a record on high of a nobler charity and a more disinterested benevolence than any we have mentioned! Yes, she ministered to the wants of the "brethren of Jesus Christ" —those crushed ones who"could not recompense her again."

    The panting fugitive, sick, weary, ragged and desponding, has oft found shelter and relief with her and her family, and many such will rise up and "call them blessed." It is this disinterested benevolence to suffering humanity, springing from a principle of faith and love to the divine Redeemer that is special matter of record in Heaven; and this record will be brought forth in the day of final judgment; then the true philanthropist will hear from the lips of the Judge himself, the pleasing and astonishing declaration, "I was hungry and ye gave me meal, I was thirsty and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took me in, naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me, I was in prison and ye came to me; and when with pleasing amazement they shall ask, "Lord when saw we thee hungry and fed thee, or thirst and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in or naked and clothed thee? or when saw we thee sick, or in prison and come to thee?" When, pointing to these cr… ones who have "come up out of great tribulation," and whose bitter tears of sorrow have been bottled in Heaven." He will say, "Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me; ...[?] ye into the joy of your [?].

    Our departed sister had long professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and though not ableto say much in her last moments, of Christ and Heaven, yet her friends have a pleasing hope of a blessed reunion with her in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.

    Her funeral called out an unusually large congregation, though in the midst of hay-harvest. An appropriate discourse was delivered by the Rev. W. D. Henry, to a very attentive and deeply sympathizing audience.

    Busti, August 22, 1856


2 June 1849                           
Lewis G. Clarke and Catherine Storum are married by Reverend L.P. Judson at the Storum Farm. [not confirmed]
17 Apr 1850 Catherine (Storum) Clarke dies at age 21 in Busti while her newlywed husband Lewis Clarke is away. [not confirmed]
27 Aug 1850 Lewis Clarke lists his part of the farm as 58 acres (35 developed/23 undeveloped) in census
18 Sep 1850 Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 takes effect.
Feb/March 1851 William Harrison, a runaway slave, arrives and begins to work at the Storum farm
8 Sep 1851 The Sanbury family arrives aboard the PRECIOSA in New York City
17-18 Sep 1851 William H. Storum is a delegate at the National Liberty Party Convention in Buffalo. Rev. J.W. Loguen and Gerrit Smith are also delegates. The National Committee includes Frederick Douglass and James Caitlin of Sugar Grove.  Unclear if this was William Storum, Sr. or William Henry Storum, Jr.
Late Sep 1851 The Sanbury family arrives in Warren County, Pennsylvania (typically two weeks transit from NYC)
30 Sep 1851 Harrison Williams is captured at the Storum farm by bounty hunters
8 Dec 1852 Lewis Clarke sells 49.96 acres to William Storum for $1000. Clarke had purchased this land for $800 from John and Joseph Eccles on 25 Feb 1850 (located along the southeast of the William Storum farm)
1852 Elias and Christina Charlotta Sanbury settle on 48 acres leased/sold by William Storum.
Jun 1853 Lewis Clarke moves to East Sandwich, Ontario, near Windsor.10
31 Jan 1854 Julia Sanbury born to parents Elias and Christina Charlotta
Jun 1854 Sugar Grove Anti-Slavery Convention with speaches by Frederick Douglass, J.W. Loguen and Lewis Clarke, all of whom likely visited the Storum family at the farm in Busti.
5 Nov 1854 Sidney Mills (Sarah Storum's son by her first husband, Martin Wills) dies in Busti, buried in Knapp Cemetery
Apr 1856 Lewis Clarke returns to claim other property that he believed he had received in the marriage [not corroborated]
30 Jul 1856 Sarah Storum dies from a stroke (age 6611  )
1856 The Sanbury’s farm deed is recorded in Mayville
13 Feb 1857 Richard Storum dies (age 19) [not confirmed]
28 Mar 1858 J. William Sanbury born to parents Elias and Christina Charlotta
17 Aug 1867 Caroline Storum Loguen dies in Syracuse (age 50)
5 Sep 1874 William Storum, Sr dies at his farm (age 86)
27 Apr 1885 Julia Storum dies (age 60) [not confirmed]
15 Sep 1888 Elias Sanbury dies (likely at farm, age 73)
8 Dec 1888 William Henry Storum, Jr dies (age 74)
28 Dec 1897 Christina Charlotta Sanbury dies at farm (age 75)
4 May 1904 Sarah Marinda Storum dies in Syracuse (age 79)

03 January 2018

Notes on the 1865 New York State Census

This census is a bookend for my research - a last snapshot of the Swedish community in Chautauqua County prior to the deluge of Swedish immigrants who began arriving at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1866. Just like the 1855 New York State Census, there is no comparable information available for the communities in Warren County across the state line.

The most important information found in this census is the identification of Swedish immigrant participation in the American Civil War. Most of these details have been reviewed in two previous blogs.

This census included a question about the “number of times married” –  this revealed several second marriages that I had not discovered from earlier references.

By 1865, the Swedish communities in Jamestown and Sugar Grove had become established and they began attracting Swedes who had first settled in other areas. I have found a few examples of Swedes from the Midwest and Gold miners from California who moved into our area. Plus there were several Swedes and Danes from Buffalo who also chose to relocate to Jamestown and Warren. Several of these new settlers had been living in America years before the first Swedish community was established near Sugar Grove in October 1848.

Swedish settlements had already developed in Brocton (aka Salem or Salem Crossroads), Levant and Frewsburg, but during the Civil War there were new enclaves emerging in Mayville and Hartfield, Randolph (Cattaraugus County), Corry (Erie County, Pennsylvania) and Kane (McKean County).  Soon there were Swedes everywhere.

Some “Newcomers”

Charles Johnson in Hanover Township (near Forestville) 

Charles Johnson, a Swedish sailor with an Irish wife named Bridget, was enumerated in Buffalo in 1850, 1855 and 1860 and then settled near Silver Creek or Forestville before 1865. Johnson was born about 18151 and indicated that he had been living in Buffalo since 1846 in the 1855 New York State census. That household also included a daughter named Margaret (born 1845 in Ireland) and a sister-in-law named Honora Green, born in Ireland in 1822 who had arrived in Buffalo in 1853. Margaret was listed as his child; however she may have been his step-daughter or niece.2   Charles Johnson likely worked as a shipwright in Silver Creek; he made several pieces of furniture that remain within his family.  Charles Johnson died in 1883 and Bridget Johnson died in 1887 according to family notes.

Charles Johnson.  Console table with turned legs and scroll back,
  quarter-sawn maple front drawers, turned pulls, ca. 1870s.
  Collection of descendant.

C.C. Beck and the establishment of the Danish community in Jamestown

Carl Christian Beck was born 10 July 1826 in Karlshamn, the son of Danish master shipbuilder Niels Beck. In 1845 he was living in Rønne Parish, Bornholm, Denmark and was working as a ship carpenter. He came to America around 1846 and settled in Buffalo. Beck worked as a shipwright in that Lake Erie port. C.C. Beck married Caroline Christine Rønne, a Danish woman from Bornholm in 1852 and by 1855 they had been joined by his widowed mother in their household.  His household in Buffalo was the likely base for Danes arriving from Bornholm who would settle in Jamestown. The Beck family moved to Jamestown about 1864 where C.C. Beck opened a shop as a shipwright and built at least one of the steamships that worked Chautauqua Lake. He also seems to have begun the commercial ice industry on Lake Chautauqua.

The Col. William Phillips at Mayville, 1875.  This steamboat was built by C.C. Beck with a length of 126 feet (38.4 m) and a a beam of 16.5 feet (5 m) and was launched in 1873.  Source: Bob Johnston, Chautauqua Lake Steamboats, Chautauqua County Historical Society member pages.  Photo likely from the collection of Victor Norton, Jr.

Rev. Sven B. Newman, Methodish Minister

Sven Bernhard Newman was born in Väsby parish, Skåne in 1812 and arrived aboard a ship carrying Swedish iron billets to New York City in 18423  to join his older brother, who was a merchant in Mobile, Alabama.  S.B. Newman became a Methodist and began preaching in 1845. He was called from Alabama in 1851 to work in the Bethel ship ministry in New York City with O.G. Hedstrom and then was sent in 1852 to serve the Swedish communities in Chicago. Newman returned to New York City and the Bethel ship ministry in 1855, married Erika Kristina Dandanell from Gävle in 1858 and then came to Jamestown in 1859. After seven years as pastor in our area, he returned to Illinois in 1866, ministering first in Galesburg and then back in Chicago. S.B. Newman died in Chicago in 1902.

Pastor Sven Bernhard Newman in 1866.  Newman is seated in the first row, second from the left (No. 6). Source: Witting, p 508.

Rev. C.O. Hultgren, Lutheran Minister

Rev. C.O. Hultgren, Lutheran Minister Carl Otto Hultgren was born in Vena (Hvena) parish on Christmas day 18314  and emigrated from Målilla Parish, Kalmar län with his family in 1853. They travelled aboard the ship Franklin King from Liverpool that met bad weather that extended the crossing - fifteen Swedes died during the voyage. Fault was laid on inadequate provisions by an unscrupulous Swedish travel agent and the brigand Irish emigrants onboard.5

The Hultgren family settled in Henry County, Illinois. Carl Otto decided on the ministry and was mentored by Rev. Jonas Svensson, who served the Andover congregation in Henry County after leaving Sugar Grove and Jamestown in 1858. C.O. Hultgren was one of the early graduates of Augustana seminary and came east in 1864 to serve the same communities that Swensson had served a decade earlier. In 1866 Hultgren returned to Illinois to marry Anna Truedson in Galesburg. C.O. Hultgren retired in 1896 and died in Jamestown in 1901.

Rev. Carl Otto Hultgren, ca 1890.
Edited from the source:  Mathews, Men of New York,
  Vol 1, 1898, p 362. Print also in the collection of  the
 Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center,
Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois

Part of the success of C.O. Hultgren among the immigrant community in Jamestown was almost certainly his family background.  Two aspects differentiate Hultgren from his predecessor Jonas Swensson: 1) like so many others in the Jamestown area, his father had served in the Swedish army;6  and 2) Hultgren had been born in Vena and grew up in Målilla, two parishes in the very center of the area from which the majority of the immigrants in this region originated.  Hultgren’s long tenure in Jamestown literally built the Lutheran church in our area.


  1. The year of Briget Johnson’s birth is consistently reported in the censuses, about 1828; however, the age reported for her husband is listed in 1850 as 44 (1806), 1855 as 38 (1817), 1860 as 43 (1817); 1870 as 58 (1812); and 1880 as 65 (1815).  His date of birth, origin in Sweden and arrival date have not yet been discovered.
  2. A likely immigration record for Honora Green is found in the manifest for the ship W. D. SEWALL that arrived 15 October 1852 in New York City:
    42.  Honora Green, 30 female, servant   Roscommon     Buffalo
    43.  Margret (Green), 7 female              (Roscommon)  (Buffalo)
    It is especially significant that the destination was specifically Buffalo as compared to New York.  See NARA New York Passenger Lists

  3. Sven Bernhard Sjöberg was born 16 September 1812 in the Höganäs coal mine community (Gruvan) in Väsby parish, Malmöhus län.  His father was Jonas Sjöberg, a mine carpenter who died in a mine accident in 1820; his mother was Johanna Nyman. Victor Witting noted that Newman's brother, Charles Ludvig, had adopted his mother’s surname (Nyman = New man) in America and that Sven Bernhard had followed suit.

    Charles Ludvig Newman (1810 -1881) arrived in Mobile in 1832 according to his affidavit for citizenship 21 Nov 1842 in Mobile. (WPA, An Indexed catalog of minute entries concerning naturalization in the Courts of Mobile County, Alabama, Roll M.1, p 27).  He married a local woman, Martha Moore in 1840 (Charles L. Newman, marriage bond, 9 Jul 1840 Mobile, Alabama).  In the 1850 U.S. Census this couple was living in Mobile with an infant daughter.  The household also included an Irish woman servant and six slaves.  This family has not been located in the 1855 Alabama census and in the 1860 U.S. census the couple was living in San Francisco, California (without children).  They are likely the family listed as "C.L. Newman, wife and 2 children" on the manifest of the S.S. Lewis who arrived 5 Jan 1853 in San Francisco from San Juan via Acapulco (source: Sacramento Daily Union, Vol. 4, No. 559, 7 January 1853).  Charles L. Newman operated a hardware store and was co-owner of an auction house in San Francisco.  He and his wife divorced in 1867, although he was listed as a widower in the 1880 census. He died in San Francisco in 1881; his will named S. B. Newman as beneficiary.

    Victor Witting provided information about S.B. Newman's emigration from Göteborg on 12 August 1842 –  I have not been able to identify the ship.  See Victor Witting, Minnen från mitt lif som sjöman: immigrant och predikant, samt en historisk. .. p 248-249.
  4.  Most sources state C.O. Hultgren's year of birth as 1832; however, the baptismal record indicates that he was born 25 December 1831.  See Swedish Church Records, Vena CI:4 (1815-1836) p 209. 

  5.  Gustaf Fredrik Hällgren [1853.044 known in America as Gustave F. Holligreen] wrote a letter “Warning för Emigranter” dated 20 January 1854 that was published in Folkets Röst (Kalmar), No. 16, 25 February 1854, page 2.  Hällgren's first cousin, Charles Gorman, and his family were passengers on the Franklin King and lost an infant daughter on that voyage. 

  6.  C.O. Hultgren’s father was Carl Magnus Hultgren who was in the Kalmar Regiment.  Carl Magnus Hultgren was not a typical reservist;  he served as a musician playing the hautboiste (a reeded instrument similar to the oboe and bassoon).