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).

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